On Technical Recruiter Spam

I haven't updated my linkedin or dice.com profiles in about a year.  I figured by not updating those profiles that it would slow down the constant onslaught of recruiters phoning and emailing me about web developer positions.  It hasn't worked so far.  I really appreciate someone giving me the opportunity to apply to interesting jobs but the recruiting industry is just broken and full of lazy people who can't be bothered to do anything other than a simple keyword search.  I have a lot of experience so I'm going to show up in a lot of keyword searches but that doesn't mean those jobs are applicable to me or that I would be interested in them.

So if you're going to contact me anyway, you might as well try not to annoy me.  Here are some ways dear recruiter of not annoying me:

1.) If my profile lists that I'm not willing to relocate then don't send me a job clear across the state.  Or the country.   Or the world.   These would require relocation.  While I realize that New Jersey is one of the smaller states in the union, it is still 166 miles north to south and 57 miles wide.  Since I live towards one end of it as referenced by my address, it makes little sense to assume I can commute to the other end.  That's over a 100 mile commute.  A quick google map search could give you that.  

2.) If the job entails working WITH a "guru," "ninja," or "rock star" then I am not interested.  A real guru is much too enlightened to ever refer to themselves as a guru, nor would they allow another to refer to them as such.  So when I see "guru" as my potential boss/coworker, I read "asshole."  A ninja would have altered the job ad before it went live so as to preserve his identity.  And rock stars aren't developers.  They are girls named Kim that play bass guitar.

3.) If the position entails that I NEED to be a "guru," "ninja," or "rock star" then I am not interested. Please see above.

4.) If my profile lists I'm looking for full time work, then don't send me jobs that aren't full time.  I really don't get this one.  And I don't have anything funny to add to it either.  It's really just sad that people don't pay attention to this.

5.) If the position requires being an expert in some technology that I don't have as my primary skill set, then don't bother contacting me because I probably couldn't even do the job.  

6.) Stop asking for "excellent communication skills."  If I had those, I wouldn't be a developer, I would be a salesman.  Or Steve Jobs.  I can communicate well enough to get the point across the first time.  Is that excellence?  Perhaps to you it is, but you also think the world is full of gurus and ninjas so I can't really take your assessment at face value.

7.) If the position does not require me to write code to get a job offer then I'm not interested.  Because that means your other developers didn't need to write code to get their jobs there and probably two-thirds of those developers are terrible.  I don't want to work with terrible people.  The better job you do at weeding out the crappy developers, the more I will think of your organization.

8.) If the position is for a company whose name you cannot divulge until we've had several conversations then I'm not interested.  I understand not putting the name in the job ad online,  that's pretty standard these days, but if you're contacting me directly then you should give me the name of the company.  Otherwise it implies a lack of trust on my part, like I'm going to steal this commission from you somehow.  So, first, you're making contact with a stale account since I haven't updated my profile in a year.  So you're assuming I'm looking for job when I'm probably not.  And then to try and entice me into the job market, you neglect to give me the company name so I can do research on it?  That's pretty lame.

I could go on and on here, but what about you?  What are your suggestions for technical recruiters?


pelletized said...

I agree with everything except for point 7. Too many bad experiences where I will spend many hours doing a coding sample/test, and send it back to the company, only to never hear from them again. I understand if they don't agree with my code, but at least tell me you are moving on, provide feedback, something.

Anonymous said...

do you want them to tell you we hated your code?

Nilstime said...

i just wrote that above comment.

Pete said...

I also disagree with point 7. I don't know of ANY companies that require actual coding as part of the application process, and I think it's a bit short-sighted to dismiss a company just because its application isn't coding-based. From your discussion, it sounds like your issue isn't so much crappy developers, it's working with the crappy code produced by crappy developers. Why not ask to review some of the code to see whether you'll be working on a stinking pile of cr*p, an elegantly architected masterpiece, or something in between? (though I guess you'd then need to trust that the co would share code that accurately represented the majority of its codebase... and would they show it to you anyway?... Feh - try it and see.)

Good post (esp for no-longer-very-technical guys like me)

Rich Zygler said...

I don't think too many companies would let you peek at existing code during the interview process without an NDA.

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