July 9, 2010 — There was a catch phrase that gained overnight popularity in the 1960’s when a speaking ‘futuristic’ android was the sidekick to the stranded Robinson family of astronauts on a planet far away in producer Irwin Allen’s hit TV science fiction series “Lost In Space”.
Throughout the three-year series the speaking ‘machine’ (simply called “Robot”) would discuss the various situations that confronted the entire crew in each episode. One time, and reportedly only once, it warned young Will Robinson of an impending threat by saying, “Danger Will Robinson!” And so was born the ‘catch phrase’.
If you’re wondering what a TV show that aired some 40 plus years ago has to do with the timeshare industry today, then allow me to introduce you to a new ‘machine’ that, when ‘it’ first communicated with me, immediately made me think of “Robot” and that very corny TV series. Maybe it will make you think of “Robot”, too.
It all started when a reader of ‘Inside The Gate’ e-mailed in a message challenging us to call a specific phone number and listen to a recruiting-recording (“for a good laugh”).
As it turns out, ‘someone’ at Wyndham/WorldMark apparently gave the ‘OK’ to someone else to contract with a third party staffing company that is using the free Craigs List service in Las Vegas, NV (and apparently violating CL’s “overpost” policy, too). They are seeking “Timeshare Phone Pros” for a Wyndham/WorldMark call center.
Readers of the sales ad get some get some very basic details and are told: “To be considered you must call and listen to the instructions carefully. Do not reply by email you will not get a response”. I.E. No resumes please!
When anyone makes the call they’ll hear what I’ll call ‘ShareBot’, the ‘machine’ that begins ‘speaking’ to give instructions. Then the responders are put through annoying hoops and instead of receiving any real information about the ‘career opportunity’ they instead must answer some childishly basic (and amateurish) pre-recorded questions, etc. in order to get through the 3-4 minute “telephonic survey”. At no point does the respondent get to speak to a live person.
I applaud Wyndham (WorldMark) for thinking outside the box, but after calling that number and listening to ‘ShareBot’ I couldn’t help but wonder how many (real) “Closers”, within seconds, would just hang-up on this emotionless and boring sounding android and move on to the next “timeshare (phone) closers” ad.
And yes, it did give us all a good chuckle, but the pathetic side of the equation is that it is another example of someone in our industry doing the interviewing, screening and hiring for timeshare closers, yet the ‘recruiters’ have likely never sold a week (over the phone, on the tables) in their entire lives!
At no cost to them this staffing firm has placed about 28 ads of this sort on Craigs List, Las Vegas heading (which, by Craigs List’s own “SCAM ALERT” is a known haven for ‘career’ < sales job > scammers), and along with their repeated ‘job’ postings surrounded by what seems to be no shortage of ‘job-offers’ (ads) from con-artists I’m also wondering how it is they can apparently skirt the law, too.
To the best of my knowledge, in some jurisdictions, ‘staffing’ and/or private employment agencies are required to print some sort of disclosure that they are such an enterprise in all ‘career/job’ advertisements, and in the ads I’ve read this ‘staffing’ company does not do so!
At the end of the day I suppose the ‘someone’ who pitched the ‘someone’ at Wyndham/WorldMark on this staffing company did so in person (or live over the phone), as I’d bet the farm that had that ‘someone’ pitched Wyndham/WorldMark via ‘ShareBot’, Wyndham/WorldMark would have hung up within a “Danger Will Robinson” second, too!
Perhaps during the ‘pitch’ the staffing folks made their recruiting approach sound all nuevo but the end product is, IMO, nothing but a trashy low-rent scheme for what should be a serious recruiting effort to attract the Crème De La Crème to a long term career opportunity with a fine company.
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