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Scott Arciszewski

Software, Privacy, Security, Innovation

An IT Recruiter Habit That Causes Severe Misery

August 4, 2014 12:30 PM • Business, Opinion, Technology Industry, Culture

Since I listed my resume on all the usual venues (Monster, Dice, Indeed, LinkedIn, Stack Overflow's Careers 2.0, etc.), I've been contacted by a large number of recruiters/headhunters/talent acquisition professionals. I realize that by writing this post I'll probably effectively be burning the bridge with a lot of them. However, I believe this sort of behavior is a significant source of burn-out in the technology industry, and we really ought to address it.

A Losing Strategy: Dehumanizing Emails

Actual recruiter email subjects that say things like 'Requirement: Developer'
And these are just the ones I didn't immediately delete.

I love technology, but I am not a machine. When I get an email with a subject that says "Requirement: [position]" and that starts off with "Here is a requirement I am currently working on," I lose interest.

This is the IT Recruiter equivalent of saying, "References available upon request," in a resume or cover letter. Of course this is a "requirement" you are currently working on—if it wasn't, you wouldn't be contacting us about it, would you? But we don't care about that. We're not interested in what is required of you. We, as developers on the job market, are interested in opportunities. Where's the human connection? Talent acquisition is part of [outsourced] human resources, is it not?

Instead of being treated like a marginally talented human being that you believe might be a good fit for a position that matches our skills and geographical location preferences, we end up feeling like the recipient of a shotgunned database query.

When I receive these emails, I want to respond, "I'm not a part of a distributed computing cluster, I am a human being. Map-reduce this!" with a picture of my middle finger and then create a new filter that forwards all emails from the recruiter's domain name to the trash-bin.


If any recruiters find this old blog post of mine, know that I'm now working as one of Orlando's finest technology consultants.

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