I get a lot of calls from recruiters, and I’m always happy to hear about
interesting opportunities because I don’t like to close any doors. Hey,
if someone wants to pay me a million bucks a year to eat candy bars or
something, I’m gonna take it.
That said, I’ve got some huge pet peeves about the way some recruiters
deal with things.
For example, I’m pretty clear about what I like to hear about. I’m only
interested in permanent, full-time positions (no contract or
contract-to-hire). I’m not interested in relocation (that includes the
“keep an apartment where the job is and fly home on weekends” notion -
that’s relocation, too). I don’t want to travel extensively.
Being very clear about that, it’s interesting to get incessant calls
about “a phenomenal three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” I’m not
interested. You know I’m not interested. Stop spamming me with crap and
show me something I’m interested in.
Here’s another one: recruiters love the phone. Love it. And I
understand that, since salespeople also love the phone and recruiters
are basically job salespeople. The thing is, I hate the phone. Hate
it. I can’t do anything else when I’m on the phone (I can email and
do other things). It’s hard to get a private conversation on the phone
(you can email people without people hearing what you’re emailing
about). It’s not memorable (I can tell you over the phone that I don’t
want to relocate and you can ignore it; you can’t ignore a documented
The big pet peeve with the phone is that recruiters abuse it. You do
not need to schedule a time with me where I can take your call and talk
privately and you can reel off the company backgrounder to me. You do
not need to schedule a time where I go to the effort of calling you
before work or when I get home so you can tell me about “a phenomenal
three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” You certainly don’t need to
call me right in the middle of the day and stop me in whatever I’m doing
so you can tell me you just got my resume and then promptly start asking
me to restate everything that’s already listed on my resume.
A recommendation to recruiters everywhere: Get off my phone. We’re in
an electronic age - use the facilities provided. Use a database to keep
track of people and pay attention to what it says. If the “no
relocation” box is checked on the form, don’t send me the opportunity no
matter how cool you think it is. If the “no contract” box is checked,
don’t tell me about that super-awesome week-long contract in Australia.
Does that make me hard to work with? I don’t think so. I just think
that a recruiter is more valuable to me when they choose to maximize the
value they get out of my time and their own. Respecting my time shows me
they respect me and really do pay attention to my needs, and in turn I’m
more interested in hearing what they have to say. If I want job spam,
I’ll sign up for a Monster search agent.