Peddling People

One of my favorite movies is Soylent Green. Not because it’s a great movie, but because it’s a great concept and of course, Charlton Heston is classic. No one else could yell like he could. Soylent Green is people!

Which brings me to a common practice in the staffing industry but one I have always found distasteful: The marketing of people.

For a lot of staffing companies, their product is the talent they represent. Their product is people. And to let the market know they have the best people, they market them and their skills usually through blanket e-mails and marketing materials to clients and prospect clients.

Meet “Mark”. “Mark” is a skilled web developer with great digital agency experience. He’s ready to work for your great digital agency. He has experience in HTML, CSS, has worked on big budget sites….he’s available now. Schedule a meeting soon!

I don’t know. Makes me feel like “Mark” is a product/package on a shelf. Where is the nuance of finding the best fit? Just because “Mark” has great skills and great experience does not mean he can just be slotted into roles and companies to do his thing and all will be great.

There is more to making a match than matching a resume and a job description. A lot more. Like looking into cultural fit. And looking into organizational/structural fit. And asking, “can I see “Mark” being happy working for this company?”

Besides, I’m pretty sure “Mark” is a real person with real feelings on where he wants to work. And does “Mark” really want to be “shopped” around town to the highest bidder?

On many levels I have never agreed with this staffing industry practice of marketing people. If you meet someone whom you think would work great for one of your clients, or vice versa, that’s different. You might help someone find a great job or a company make a strategic hire. But just sending faceless campaigns? Just peddling people?

Something does not taste right about it. Now, soylent green? That might taste good.

4 responses to “Peddling People”

  1. Jeff says:

    Great article Steve. Being on the receiving end of this for years now, its great to see somebody actually address that issue. You nailed it on the head.


  2. potestio says:

    Thanks Jeff. Nice to see someone reads this stuff. 🙂

  3. Lizzzzzzzz says:

    Mark sounds like a great fit for my agency, is he still available?

  4. potestio says:

    He will be in your office tomorrow at 9am ready to go!

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