2 minute read

My newest co-worker challenged recruiters to step up their game. He’s found a job he likes (and I’m biased, so I’ll just nod and smile) that provides some of the challenges he is looking for. Perhaps my co-worker attracts a higher quality of recruiter than I, but I’ve not had any luck with unsolicited contact from recruiters.

For most of this year, I’ve had an active disdain for LinkedIn. I’m not in the market for a job, have not indicated I’m looking, and don’t desire to be contacted about new opportunities. And yet, the LinkedIn messages, invites, and contact keeps coming.

Let me interrupt this rant with a self-reality check: I’ve been very fortunate during my career in regards to finding the right job at the right time. I can’t take all the credit. Some will say I’ve been lucky, some will say I’ve been blessed. Both groups are probably right. If my situation was different, and I was out of work and looking, would I still use LinkedIn? And would I use LinkedIn to contact recruiters?

(To answer truthfully, the answers to the last two questions are yes and no).

After receiving one too many obvious attempts by a recruiter to (lazily) lure in a developer, I ensured my LinkedIn settings didn’t indicate I was looking for a job, and I updated my profile to say (at the beginning):

Recruiters: I am not looking for a job, nor am I interested in relocating. Please don’t send recruiting inquires. But you will anyway.

And like clockwork, the contact kept coming.

Years ago I took down my resume from my personal website when I noticed that all the contact I got for it was rarely related to my skills or interests. In short, I was getting recruiting spam. LinkedIn contact has turned into this.

I’ve only ever had one meaningful contact through the network over the many years I’ve been a member. I probably spent an average of 10 hours a year reviewing emails, declining invites, accepting new requests, and generally using the site. Let’s say I’ve poured 40 hours in my lifetime to the site. Have I gotten 40 hours of value back? Would 40 hours of other job search effort be more beneficial? Likely.

I’m not saying that recruiters are evil, just that the process is broken. If a company bases its recruiters’ salary on the number of hires, the process will be gamed. The best jobs may be the ones not advertised.

Here’s the “invitation to connect” that sent me over the edge:

Hi Jason: No recruiting going on here I promise. I run a team of webdevs in Tampa and I just want to connect. You never know when we might be able to help one another. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

At least the recruiter read my profile.