Every day I'm getting e-mails, InMail or private messages with this exact sentence. I've been very hesitant to write this blogpost, because I know there are some good people around as well. It's just that there's plenty of work in IT and with that in IT recruiting. Unfortunately this attracts quite some gold seekers who are destroying the image of IT recruiters.

Let's get this straight: I like e-mails, I like conversation. But I totally hate recruiter software working with a trawl net. Though they might be using different systems, the crappy messages they produce are very similar:
"During a search I came across your profile, which looks very interesting. I especially like the fact that you work with <random endorsement tag here> and I hope you can help me.
A client of mine is looking for a <technique here> developer in <any place nowhere near my residence>. At the client you will be working on very cutting-edge exciting projects. <some other acquiring crap here>.
Please let me know on which phone number I can call you to discuss more details regarding this vacancy.
P.S. If this is not something you are looking for at this moment, perhaps you could send me details of people you know who might be interested in this opportunity"
Let's be honest:
  • You've just taken one of my endorsement tags which suits one in your system. There's a high probability that you even don't know what it means.
  • You haven't looked at where I live (which is already pretty specific).
  • You don't give a crap about me or my career
  • You're not giving away details on your client
  • You expect me to give details on people I know to you

I'd like to be treated as a human being, not as commodity

The summary of my answer: Go @)%# yourself.
The longer version: You obviously don't care about who I am, what my accomplishments are, my wishes and if it's even possible for me to travel to your client. You just want my phone number and a linkedin connection so your trawl net grows because you are going to spam my connections as well. Recruitment is about finding the right person for the job, not about throwing as much shit against the wall as you can to see what sticks. As you are not willing to do that, nor to invest time in, at least, some of my details, I'm not giving you anything. Not now, not in the future.

I'll give you this

I must admit that I haven't automated it as far as the system you are working with, but I think it'll do (and it's in English and Dutch!):
Dear <recruiter name>,
Thank your for your interest in my profile. Currently I'm very happy with my current work as I'm self-employed and I have no plans on switching jobs in the near future.
I wish you good luck in your search for the perfect candidate.
Kind regards,
Patrick van Kouteren
--
Beste <recruiter naam>,
Bedankt voor uw interesse in mijn profiel. Momenteel ben ik prima op mijn plaats bij mijn huidige werkgever aangezien ik zelfstandig ondernemer ben. Ik heb dan ook geen plannen om een nieuwe uitdaging aan te gaan in de nabije toekomst.
Succes met uw zoektocht naar de perfecte kandidaat.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Patrick van Kouteren
--

Not all is bad

But: not all is bad in the world of IT recruitment. There are some good recruiters as well. In the past I've worked with a couple of recruiters who looked into my profile and knew about the techniques they were recruiting people for, so only when my skill set matched such a job listing, they contacted me.
A former colleague of mine demanded that an IT recruiter supplied at least 3 relevant job listings in order for him to work with the recruiter. For me to work with a recruiter, I just require an open conversation: just tell me who the client is and I promise not to apply behind your back. I know you are making a living with it and because you're fair with me, I'm fair with you. That's all I ask.
In fact: most of these recruiters haven't gotten me a job in the end, but I've helped them to look for people with specific skill sets or with extra knowledge to target the right niche.
Bottom line: As an IT recruiter: do your homework and be honest. And as Bill Gates said: Be nice to nerds…..
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