The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Sorry, But I’m Not Buying What You’re Selling …
January 21, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Boqueria Market stall

So the ‘talent director’ of a rather well known creative agency called me last week about joining their company.

To be honest, she has called me quite a few times – however even if I was interested, she’s pissed me about so much in the past, that I have a nasty taste in my mouth about her and to a certain degree, the agency she represents.

What really cheesed me off was when I asked how her Christmas was and she replied …

“It was good but I love my job so much, I was so happy to come back”

Putting aside that most people – however much they enjoy their job – like having some time off, this is a mother who complains she spends too little time with her beloved children so it begs the question, who the hell does she think she is kidding?

Did she honestly believe that having heard that, I was going to say, “WOW, that sounds amazing, where do I sign?” 

As far as I am concerned, Talent Directors are just a new name for Human Resource managers [abit like Channel Planners are a new name for Media Planners] and if you go here, you’ll see what I think about most of them.

Big Top

I’ve been doing this advertising lark for quite a long time and one of the only times I’ve genuinely been impressed with an HR department was years ago when I was asked if I wanted to join a UK agency called Circus.

When they came back with a formal offer, I was somewhat underwhelmed with the overall package – however this is where their brains and skill really shone through …

Because they’d spoken to some of my references, they knew that I was the sort of person who would walk away if I felt a company was trying to ‘screw me over’ even before I’d taken the job – so instead of coming back with a basic increased financial offer, they created incremental value …

1 Return flight to Australia [because they knew I’d miss my friends there]

2 Season ticket to Nottingham Forest*[because I love ’em]

3 Pret A Manger Card [so I could have a decent sandwich each day]

4 Odeon Cinema Pass [because they knew I loved going to the flix]

Sure they were basically increasing my salary package – but by doing it this way, they were showing they ‘got me’ and interms of a job, I know I only want to spend my time with organisations who embrace me for who I am, not who they want me to be.

Anyway, for a whole bunch of reasons I didn’t end up taking the job – but it left an amazing impression on me and ensured when I started cynic, I wanted to follow a similar approach

Another Pro-Lifer for War!

And that’s another thing this HR person I’m dealing with, did to wind me up … she called me ‘awkward’ for asking a bunch of ‘tough’ questions.

OK, so I admit some were overly provocative – but surely any major consideration should activate a whole host of enquires?  Hell, if someone I was thinking of hiring didn’t have any questions, I’d be majorly concerned about their suitability/capability.

However the bit that made this whole episode particularly distasteful was that her agency goes on and on about how it encourages, embraces and executes ‘new thinking’ – yet they immediately got shitty when I questioned some of the claims and plans.

I guess I need to remember where advertising is concerned, people often preach but rarely practice.

Saying that, at least she gave me something to rant about – so it wasn’t a total waste of time, ha!

* You’d think this fact alone would stop them wanting to hire me. Mind you, they’ve gone bust now so maybe they were abit daft 🙂

19 Comments so far
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Weren’t Circus the agency that did that Newcastle Ale ad that was a spoof of the Sophie Dahl perfume ad? Something like “Brown is the new black”? I loved that ad.
You’re right about many HR departments, often they have the ego of a Hollywood star but with the potency of watercress soup. For an industry that talks about the importance of people, I am amazed more companies haven’t followed Circus and cynic’s policy in remuneration, especially as I am sure there are a lot more tax deduction opportunities for them. Then that could be to do with most people only really caring about the cash rather than the “added value”. As I said last week, you’re a strange chap 🙂

Comment by Pete

Fuck me. You’re not talking about that fucking trumped up talentless talent director based in NY who is hovering around the blogosphere are you? Because if its the same bitch who couldn’t contact me as she was ‘running around Cannes’ last year. Then its the same bitch I stood up for a meet in London on the basis that if she is hovering around Cannes then

Comment by Charles Frith

..what is it with me today. Anyway I thought I’d look through the emails to get her name and then tried to call you but your receptionist said you were busy, put me on hold and then the line went dead so I’m going to leave the mysterious identity there. Lets just say the last thing to impress me is someone talking about unable to talk because of Cannes followed by Paris then somewhere else when the first place is crusted with dinosaurs and wrinklies… She now keeps trying to add me on Facebook. I’d use the C word if your mum wasn’t reading occcasionally!

One last thing. That Bumper stiker is ace 🙂

Comment by Charles Frith

Ahhhhh the beauty of the non-communication business. I will be going down to receptopn and smashing their eye into the corner of their desk till they plead for forgivness and promise to never keep the wonderful Charles on hold again.

In all seriousness , fuck calling the office best get me on my mobile and if you’re put on hold then, feel free to smash me in the nuts.

Not sure if we’re talking about the same person -it sounds like it could be but this woman is based in Asia. Eitherway, she is demonstrating why I shouldn’t [and won’t] trust a word she says and my only disappointment is that the agency in question hired her because I always thought they were good but now I’m not so sure, ha!

Comment by Robert

Funny, she hasn’t called me.


Comment by Marcus

Sadly for many HR people, the people they hire aren’t like them; so they struggle to understand them.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Don’t you think that’s a pretty major flaw given one of their tasks is to find the right talent for their company?

I know you won’t want to name names, Mr M – but I am sure you have some horror stories as regards how you’ve been treated in your job quest.

Care to elaborate – including how it made you feel towards the organisation?

Comment by Rob

Well, I have mentioned how at one agency the person interviewing me (and another candidate in the room at the same time) was pretty much ignoring us and being pretty rude.

Put me off the agency for good.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Once you’re hired, let me know so I can name and shame them on your behalf. My career is almost over so I can afford to be a complete shit 😉

Comment by Rob

I already have on my site, but I don’t like to keep mentioning them in case I look bitter or they have got rid of the idiot in question!

Still waiting for the call… not enjoying this wait at all!!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

To everyone who reads this blog:



Comment by Rob

Haha thanks 🙂
If only it were that simple!

Id rather wait and have good news than no wait and bad news though!!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Everything I have 2 of is crossed. And it hurts so I hope you get good news soon!

Comment by Robert

Your tense bone crunching is appreciated!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

care to elaborate on ‘my career is almost over…’ rob?

Comment by lauren

it’s an age thing Lauren.

Comment by Marcus

of course, seeing that rob is about to turn 84…

Comment by lauren

It’s not his age that is causing his career death, it’s the fact he’s one of those pointless planner types. But he is an old fucker as well 🙂

Comment by Billy Whizz

I think your boss needs to come back and have a little word in your stud-ridden ear 😉

Comment by Rob

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