Some experiments and thoughts on all things from Mitchell Simoens

How Not To Recruit

4 min read

Recruiters... more precisely tech recruiters... You are a necessary evil but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about recruiting. First off, my hat is off to you for doing your job, I could never do it. The few I've talked to in person have been actually great conversations. I'm not sure if it's because of your job or if you're really that way but that part of recruiting I enjoy even if I'm not interested I'm still involved in a great conversation.

Email > Phone

There are many ways to get ahold of someone: email, phone call, LinkedIn, etc. Many people like me prefer email for many reasons. It's easy to ignore and it's easy not to be distracted. I hate getting a phone call because I am likely in the middle of something (probably my job which I don't want to spend company time talking to a recruiter) and I have now been conditioned to not answer unknown numbers. What if the phone call is an emergency now? Well, I hope if it's an emergency they will use a phone already in my contacts or else I won't answer it. Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Story Time!

I wanna tell you of a recruiter that just tried contacting me in order to show how not to recruit. I didn't talk to the person because of how aggressive this person was at trying to get ahold of me. I received 3 emails (on different email addresses I have), LinkedIn message, Facebook message and 3 phone calls on the same number each call with an associated voicemail. Let's break each down:

3 emails - I have many different email addresses but they are all very similar enough so that you definitely know they are the same person. My last name isn't a common last name, it's me. Each email was the same thing just copied and pasted into a new email. The email was poorly formatted, spelling and grammar errors (which I make my fair share of also) and impersonal. If you really were interested in me, you'd have a professional looking email at least somewhat tailored to me. Oh, and you wouldn't go spamming every email address you can find.

LinkedIn - This is very much like an email. I get LinkedIn is a great place to find someone, in fact it's a great place. Except the amount of recruiters out there searching for keywords. I'm not sure if you actually read what I have up there or not but I get the feeling you search for a term and you message those who match.

Facebook - I have my Facebook profile private, I don't want the general public to know what's going on in my private life. So if I have my profile private, it means I'm not wanting to get spammed by people wanting to recruit me or anything. It's for my friends and family, this is not a great way to get ahold of me for an open position.

Phone calls - Like I said before, I hate recruiters calling me. The person trying to contact me tried calling me 3 times back-to-back as if the person was a teenage girlfriend I was ignoring. No joke, just got a fourth round. You have been blocked now with the voicemails deleted without listening to them. What do you think is going to happen? I'm magically going to answer one after your persistence? You think I'm in a happy mood that you keep calling me so much and it's going to be a good conversation now? STOP!


Like I said before, recruiters are a necessary evil. We need recruiters, they are crucial. But there is a wrong way to recruit and I see the same mistakes over and over. I wonder what their success rate is with these practices.

My friend Arthur Kay also has an open letter I'd like to point you too:

P.S. Oh, and if you do get to talk to me and I am not interested, I do not wan to do your job. If I know of someone looking for a job that I would recommend, I'm hiring. Even if I wasn't hiring, can I have your cut for finding someone since I was the one who found someone?

Written by Mitchell Simoens who is a long time nerd developing software and building computers and gadgets. Anything expressed on this website are Mitchell Simoens's alone and do not represent his employer.
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