Why Developers Hate Recruiters

Some thoughts, informed by Mr. Robot.

For the past week I have been working closely with a Developer friend of mine, let’s call him “Elliot”, and asked him his thoughts on LinkedIn. He finds LinkedIn to be collection of everything that annoys him and more specifically how Recruiters use it. In short he finds the whole recruitment industry disingenuous, annoying and unoriginal and LinkedIn itself to be invasive towards his privacy (LinkedIn reading your Facebook contacts even though he didn’t give them permission).

Inmail number 1 — Well paid permanent and contract positions — .net developers needed!! I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you this way but I stumbled upon your profile while searching for experienced and seasoned .net developers. I am working on both permanent and contract positions in the .net space and wanted to see if you would be interested. How are things with yourself at the moment? The roles that I have range in terms of salary, length of contract, location and experience required. It would be great if you could get back to me and let me know if you are on the lookout and open to having a quick chat. Many thanks, *Recruiter name*

As a former IT Recruiter I know how hard it is for Recruiters and especially those who are trying to recruit introverted Developers so I asked Elliot to give me some examples of how he has been approached on LinkedIn over the years.

Below are 2 Inmails he received, one from when he was a grad and the other more recently as an intermediate level Developer. At this point I’m going to have to raise my hands up and say I have sent far worse in the past.

Inmail Number 2 — How’s it going? How’re you? I think I remember your face from uni? Hahaha How’s the new job going? Hope you don’t mind the message but quite a number of our clients are looking for grads and I thought i’d drop you a message to see if you’d be interested in hearing about what they have to offer? All the best, hope you have a nice weekend and I look forward to hearing from you *Recruiter name*

What this reads like to Elliot: “I’m a recruiter with jobs who is giving no real information at all or even worse a generic overview of most likely a fake job. The intro and over familiarity/fake niceness annoys me as you have obviously sent this to blanket list. I doubt he even looked at my profile.”

What Elliot suggests: “Be upfront about where you found me and tell me it’s a group message. Give an example of a job you think I might be interested in and be specific on skills, salary, location and the classification of the company — start up? Industry? Etc. provide me a link to the job posting and then make it clear that you have other options for me. Messages on LinkedIn are like spam through my front door. These messages are like an array of unasked for local restaurant menus however at least when the local take away shop is putting the menu through the door there is actual specific information on it. I might not purchase, and it may end up in the bin, but I usually at least give it a look.”

What this reads like to Elliot: “I don’t know the Recruiter and don’t appreciate the obvious ploy at being overly familiar because of them seeing from my profile we went to the same university together. Same as the above, she is not offering any detailed information and trying to honey pot me into responding.”

What Elliot suggests: “Be upfront — Offer value to me in actually reading the message and don’t be overly chummy unless you are 100% sure that we know each other. “

Internal recruiters are just as guilty according to Elliot (although to him agency and internal are all just the same) and are also serial offenders at inmailing him repeatedly with these same types of these messages.

How do we effectively communicate in a genuine way with the “Elliots” out there on LinkedIn?

Elliot also mentioned to me that: “I would only respond to such messages if I had decided it’s time to look for a new job and wanted to make a superfast change. The messages in the examples I provided though would be bottom of the list for me”. Elliot confirmed he had actually used a Recruiter previously who found him on LinkedIn to find his last job and had a really good experience (3 interviews (one day), 2 offers) so it’s not all bad. That said he does say we all sound a little bit like Donald Trump…

The challenge we Recruiters therefore have is –

Rec2Rec — Helping UK & Irish Recruiters move to the USA, Australia & Asia.

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on September 28, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com

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