How to Find a Person Who Isn’t Listed In the Directory by @MaureenSharib

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Jun 9, 2015


One of the interesting things about healthcare is that the greater majority of healthcare workers don’t have a digital footprint that allows recruiters to identify them in the healthcare roles they work in.

In other words, they’re not sailing on what Andy Headworth recently called “the supertanker.”  

In fact, in that March, 2015 article he points out one of the emerging uncomfortable truths in recruiting today: “…companies could well be making their employees harder for you to find… like JP Morgan, who have told their employees to downsize their LinkedIn profiles.”

I’m here to tell you of a recent experience that should chill some of you to the bone.

There’s a way around the dilemma and I’m going to tell you what it is, but first, pull your chair up – real close.

I was calling into hospitals that are NCI (National Cancer Institute) – designated cancer centers – there are 68 of them in the United States – to identify personnel in various critical positions for a large U.S. hospital network that is preparing a pipeline for present and future oncology hiring needs.

One of my “find” techniques is to get directly into the department where the person(s) I am seeking resides and to that end I am not above using information I find online to do that.

Because I’m always looking for direct dials from the first call onward – I begin:

Great Big Hospital – Bernadette speaking.

Hi, Bernadette, this is Maureen Sharib.  Can you please give me the number of one of your employees – Marian Fitzgerald?

Can you spell the last name please?

F I T Z G E R A L D   Fitzgerald. I believe I have it spelled correctly.

My eyes are trained on the letters on the web page itself so I KNOW I have it spelled right!

There’s no listing for a Marian Fitzgerald.  I have a Peter and a Maurice – but no Marian.

Thinking Maurice is close enough to Marian for maybe there to have been a clerical mistake in the entry of the name I ask:  What title does Maurice have?

He’s the Director of Surgical Services.

Nope.  I know this is no clerical error.  I’m looking for a Dosimetrist. *

The receptionist then asks me:  What department is Marian in?

Radiology, I answer.

She may not be listed in the directory.

What?  I ask.

We have 17,000 employees.  If they’re not outward facing to the public, they’re not listed in the directory.  Half of our employees are not in the directory.

They’re not listed in the directory if they don’t interact with the public? I repeat slowly, back to the receptionist, as the meaning sinks in.

And you say half of your employees are not listed in your directory? I ask, stunned.

Yes, maybe even a little more than that, the receptionist boldly shoots back.

That must make your job hard, I counter, collecting my thoughts and tracking north.

Can you give me the number to the radiology department?

And she does.

And that’s where I found my dosimetrist.

And the other sixteen who worked with her.


But none of them are listed in the directory.

So even if you could find them on social media (which you can’t) how are you going to find them where they work if these companies aren’t listing them in the directory?

You haven’t thought about that – have you?

Your managers sure as hell haven’t thought about that because they’re not the ones on the front firing lines taking the bullets like you are.

You have to be in the trenches doing the duty, experiencing the shock and awe like I just did to appreciate the full scale of what this means for the future of sourcing.

Sure as heck what Andy said above is happening – this wasn’t an isolated incident on this job and I’ve experienced it recently (over the last couple years) on other jobs as well.

Companies are blocking access to their employees.

They’re doing it in clever ways – Coke did it when they did away with employee Voice Mails.  Nearly all of their employees swallowed that hook.

JP Morgan (above link) is doing it and rest assured other financial institutions are watching the results, salivating, awaiting their turns.  Before you know it they’ll be telling us it’s some form of compliance required under Sarbanes Oxley or some other such numbnutsense.  To give the devil its’ due though, it may well be!

Whatever excuse companies can dream up they will – rather than admit they dread the expense and inconvenience and hassle of employee replacement they’d much rather keep them yoked than go through all that.

“It’s cheaper to keep her.”

Companies are using Voice Mail systems that block out the person’s name and/or message altogether.  It’s beginning to feel rather odd trying to communicate with businesses nowadays.  Many of them are beginning to sound really weird – really paranoid -like the lights are on but nobody’s there.

Some companies (like Google) don’t even have internal phone systems anymore (or the ones they have are skeleton lines) or anyone at their offices that answer at a front desk – it’s becoming necessary to be able to reach in (I call it “stabbing in” and have for a long time!) and not only be able to identify the people on the inside but also be able to reach the person after you find out who that person is!

This is serious business and though it’s only a rumbling now I predict it’s going to become a groundswell in the future because I don’t believe employees overall have the understanding that these policies are clever subjugation strategies – designed to keep opportunities limited and wages lower than they would be in a free and open contact work environment.  I also don’t believe most employees have the temerity – even those who understand the consequences of these policies – to stand up to the companies they work for and defy them.

So whatcha’ gonna do?

Here’s what I did:

I called directly into the department where I knew the employee worked.  DO NOT take the receptionist’s word for it that the employee “is not listed in the directory” – in fact, ASK if the directory lists all employees!

If you don’t have a name ask for the department the employee works in – this is why it’s so important to understand the structure of departments inside organizations and how they interact and report to one another.  People inside departments know one another.  People in departments that interact with one another know each other.  That’s how I did it.  Can you think of a better way?

There’s a real need for hand-to-hand combat emerging in sourcing – are you ready for it?

* The Medical Dosimetrist is a member of the radiation oncology team who has knowledge of the overall characteristics and clinical relevance of radiation oncology treatment machines and equipment, is cognizant of procedures commonly used in brachytherapy and has the education and expertise necessary to generate radiation dose distributions and dose calculations in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist.