Being a recruiter is hard work. A lot of pressure and having to deal with people's egos. Although I have no plans to leave Mozilla any time soon, it's still some sort of value in seeing that my skills are sought after in the industry. That's why I haven't yet completely cancelled my LinkedIn membership.

When I get automated emails from bots that just scrape LinkedIn I don't bother. Sometimes I get emails from recruiters who have actually studied my profile (my blog, my projects, my github, etc) and then I do take the time to reply and say "Hi Name! Thank you for reaching out. It looks really exciting but it's not for me at the moment. Keep up the good work!"

Then there's this new trend where people appear to try to automate what the bots do by doing it manually but without actually reading anything. I understand that recruiters are under a lot of pressure to deliver and try to reach out to as many potential candidates as possible but my advice is: if you're going to do, do it properly. You'll reach fewer candidates but it'll mean so much more.

I got this email the other day about a job offer at LinkedIn:
Shaming a stressed out recruiter from LinkedIn

  • I have a Swedish background. Not "Sweetish". And what difference does that make?
  • I haven't worked on "FriedZopeBase" (which is on my github) for several years
  • I haven't worked on "IssueTrackerProduct" for several years
  • Let's not "review [my] current employment". That's for me to think about.

So what can we learn from this? Well, for starters if you're going pretend to have taken time, do it properly! If you don't have time to do in-depth research on a candidate, then don't pretend that you have.

I got another recruiter emailing me personally yesterday and it was short and sweet. No mention of free lunch or other superficial trappings. The only personal thing about it was that it had my first name. I actually bothered to reply to them and thank them for reaching out.

Ed - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
So do LinkedIn ( or in fact all Tech company ) hire a Resulting agency to do that? Last time something like these happen was some clueless recruiters asking DHH for his Rails experience.
Peter Bengtsson - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
I suspect that a lot of the times, they outsource this. However, some of the big companies have in-house staff who do it. Google for example does that.
Adam - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
"If you're going to do, do it properly. You'll reach fewer candidates but it'll mean so much more."

Spot on! I've been using the same people to help me find jobs for years now.
I actually have no idea which recruitment agencies they work for.
I just know them as people I can contact.
Steve Fink - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
Exactly the same for me. I have a collection of recruiters who ping me every 6 months or so, at which time I politely stall them off for another 6 months. Anyone who writes a good intro letter gets a polite reply and is added to that (pretty short) list. Anyone who writes a decent but honest letter has a chance of going onto that list, depending on my mood and email load. Anything that smells machine-generated or (worse) poorly human-generated gets dropped or permanently muted. Some percentage of recruiters don't continue to keep going with it, and so naturally drop off the list, which keeps it at a roughly constant size.

I judge intro letter quality fairly harshly, so really about half the list is recruiters who were in-house at places where I interviewed and turned down a job in the past -- they're more likely to keep in touch because they've pre-qualified me, and recruiters have high turnover independent of their quality, so none of them are still with the original company. Especially since most of those companies are long-dead startups.
Fred - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
I am sure your wife is also impressed with your sweetish background. Haha.
Erik Rose - 08 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
Google has some in-house recruiters but also contracts out.
ëRiC - 10 April 2013 [«« Reply to this]
hehee aahhw this bullshit "professional spam" ...
recently I got invited by someone like this:
"Hi Greg

Your profile caught my attention, as I have been asked to approach candidates of a calibre appropriate for placement at AAA studios...."
Rachel - 13 July 2013 [«« Reply to this]
He was doing quite well right up until the obvious typos. At least he'd done some minimal research, even if his transcription skills were lacking.

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