Survey: What’s the Worst Way Tech Recruiters Reach Out to You?

We’ve all been there with tech recruiters: Someone you’ve never talked to calls while you’re having dinner with info about a great job opportunity. You might be interested, but wowwhat a terrible time to call.

Cold-calls from recruiters can be the worst. Even if you’re not about to shove handfuls of food into your face, those strange area codes popping up on your phone can be annoying. Should you answer, or let it go to voicemail?

Emails, though easily the most passive form of engagement for recruiters, can also get annoying, especially when multiple recruiters reach out about the same job. It’s usually an indication the recruiting firm has placed a premium on filling that role, and while the multitude of emails is flattering, you have to wonder if they even bothered to look your online profiles over at all.

Speaking of online profiles: Recruiters have begun reaching out via social media, too. A new trick is to find candidates’ social media handles, and reach out via services such as Facebook Messenger or Twitter Direct Messaging to engage them. Many consider this an invasion of privacy; we tend to think of social media as a safe place for private interactions, and someone reaching out blindly about a job opportunity might burst your bubble a bit.

There’s also direct texting. Many recruiters are starting to simply text candidates with information about a job, or invite them to call or text back. If social media is an invasion, is texting even worse? After all, this is the way most people communicate with loved ones, friends, and co-workers; having someone reach out blindly via text might feel a step too far for you.

And then there’s the dreaded video chat request. Be it FaceTime, Skype, or another video chat service a recruiter has found you on, random video chat requests are downright annoying. The recruiter probably wants to move you right into an informal interview to gauge interest and check an item off their list, but wow, is that presumptuous.

We’ve encountered all these methods from tech recruiters, but we want to know: which is the worst you’ve encountered? Did you get a random text (or worse, a series of texts!) that annoyed you, or maybe the incessant emails are the bane of your existence. Let us know in the survey below. All responses are anonymous (of course), and we’ll be publishing results in a future article, so stay tuned!

19 Responses to “Survey: What’s the Worst Way Tech Recruiters Reach Out to You?”

  1. James Igoe

    I get legitimate requests anywhere, although I do find some intrusive, text being the worst, but the issue isn’t so much the format, and the purse ‘spamminess’ of it all. Lately, one of my email addresses starting getting numerous job openings to a Outlook/Hotmail account, from many different people, likely because the scraped an email off GitHub, even though I actually use GMail for my professional identity. Although I’ve labeled myself as not looking on the resume sites, that still leaves all the recruiters that still send email regardless of my location, and because I post daily on LinkedIn I get numerous connection requests, although i have no interest in a new employer. The complete idiocy off it makes em wonder if the are a form of phishing…

  2. C’mon Nate!!! You know a humongous pain in the ass are emails and phone calls from Indian mass staffing and recruiters are so pervasive, that I haven’t had a call from an American recruiter in a month!!!!!!

    It has reached a point where I might get one call per month. Around 1% of 100 to 150 calls + emails per month.

    The hourly rates have decayed as offshore firms go in so low, it’s hurting what used to be fair to midland hourly consulting rates. They have been driving rates lower and lower for 20+ years.

    When is this going to STOP!!!!!

    • I’ve been running my own mail server for many years and when I got back into the job market, I found I had to implement filtering to cut down the emails from Indian body shops who were contacting me about positions for jobs that I had no background, out-of-state, etc. Sometimes multiple emails from different recruiters from the same company looking to fill the same position. There’s one IP address in particular that seems to be an email clearinghouse for those recruiters. On several days I found that I was blocking close to a hundred emails from that address.

  3. wageSlave

    By driving brand new BMW or Mercedes convertibles to user group meetings while the recruitees have to drive late model piece of junk cars. By buying luxury high-rise condos while the recruitees have to rent. There is a cost to having a recruiter in the transaction and the recruit pays for it with lower wages. What is the most annoying thing recruiters do? They exist and they control access to opportunity for a sizable piece of what an employer is willing to pay.

  4. OK, I’ll bite. The absolute most annoying is that call at 5:01pm from somebody that is on a really bad VOIP connection, that sounds like they are in a really unprofessional environment (non-office background chatter) and they want your birthday and last 4 or 5 of your SSN. (the first 5 can be guessed).
    The second most annoying is that email saying they have a really nice position but they don’t tell you who the client is and has a job description including tasks required of a short order cook, military drill sergeant and Java programmer wrapped up into one. Then they go on to ask for your salary requirements for said Unicornium job and want to sign you to an exclusive representation contract. (and of course, please give me your last 4 and DoB…)

    • My shields go up whenever I see those emails requesting all that personal information (including the year you graduated from college). They look like little more than they’re collection information to engage in a.) identity theft or b.) age discrimination.

  5. If I see the same job listed from two or more recruiters I write it off as not being fillable by those recruiters because my immediate (and with good reason) impression is that if I even respond to those recruiters I will not even be interviewed for the job–that these recruiters do not have permission to solicit for the position and they will submit my resume unsolicited to the hiring company. I’ve had this happen so many damn times and been locked out of so many jobs in the last 4 years that I refuse to work with any obvious mass-spam recruiters at all.

  6. A few weeks ago i got a request on Linkedin from a recruiter to talk with them about a “great opportunity”. Wanted my resume and to set up time to talk via video. I asked for basic information several times on the opportunity Refused to tell me anything about what the job was (just it was in the SF tech world) or who the company was. Really needed to schedule a video call asap. Obviously trying to make his call quota. Prob didnt’ even have gig for me. Reported him for Phishing. Who knows.

  7. I get spammed by so many offshore recruiters, usually for jobs that are far, far away from where I live that I have a form email to reply with. The next time that a recruiter from the same company contacts me, I block the domain. Here it is:

    Hi Offshore Recruiter,

    Thank you for bringing this __ position to my attention but I am not looking for __ work in the CITY, ST area. I have already been spammed by several offshore recruiters about this position.//Besides, I do not see a match between this position and my __ skill set.//This is the _ time that you have spammed me about an out-of-state position. If this happens again, then I will block your email address!

    My resume clearly states that I am available for local positions in the CITY, ST area. Please read my resume before you contact me. I hear from many offshore recruiters and most of them are a waste of my time because the positions are not in my local area. Offshore recruiters need to understand that most Americans will not relocate across the United States for a job, especially contract work.

    If the __ position is in the CITY, ST area or I can work remotely from ST, then I am interested in discussing it with you. If not, then please do not contact me. Do you understand this!?


    • I’ve done the same thing. Canned response #1: This position sounds great but I’m not looking to relocate. CR #2: The skill set your client is looking for include too many things that I can’t honestly claim to have done—plus I’m not looking to relocate. CR #3: The requirements for this job in no way are a match to my background—plus I’m not looking to relocate.

      They (mostly) don’t read them. On occasion, I’ve received a subsequent email from the same recruiter for yet another position that they should know by now I’m either not qualified for or wouldn’t be interest in because of the location.

  8. There’s no method of contact that I find worse than any others. It’s usually the timing: calling over the lunch hour (though I get why they likely consider this to be an optimal time to call) or shortly after work (again, I get why they think that’s a good time to call but if I’m already driving I won’t be picking up).

    What’s really annoying? The incessant contacts. Receiving three, four, or five email in a short period of time is annoying. Recently, one recruiter called 11 times in a 90 minute period while I was driving to an appointment and couldn’t take any of those calls. (The most annoying ting was that the recruiter never bothered to leave a voice mail—they just hung up when the voice mail greeting started and redialed.) When I was able to return his call, it turned out to be for a position in another state. When asked, he told me he’d gotten my contact information from a job board where I’d explicitly stated I wasn’t interested in relocation. Finally, there are the recruiters who haven’t done a lick of homework before calling and their pitch is little more than a couple of pleasantries, a job title, and a request for how much money I’m looking for. Have they bothered to email me a job description I can look at? Of course not. It takes waiting for that job description to show up in my Inbox and another phone call before we can have something remotely resembling a conversation.

  9. There’s really no bad way to contact me. I can ignore my phone or email when it’s not convenient.

    What bugs me more is the recruiter who is flakey and clearly only interested in themselves and the possibility of a single and quick payday.

    A good recruiter looks at you as someone good to know. Even a long-term investment. A relationship. If they place you once and didn’t lie about anything just to get you to sign on, and then you find yourself looking again down the road, who are you going to check in with? A recruiter who genuinely cared about you, or someone who was less than honest and disappeared off the radar?

    It’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than to find a new one. The same is true for job candidates the recruiter might be able to place.

  10. Carlos Bott

    Indian recruiters. The worst. As soon as you say that you are a US citizen, the phone screen is over. Another trick they use is 10 to 12 emails about the same position. Apply twice with two different recruiter accidently and automatic disqualification. They are just filling quotas in order to bring in more H1B’s