It was four a.m. when we arrived in the lot...
December 6, 2016 9:05 AM   Subscribe

But one day I realized recruiter emails were something else altogether: writing prompts. From a captive audience. posted by acb (38 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
I didn't get it at all until I read "previously."

I never respond to recruiters because if I do, and I spend the time crafting a CV or whatever for them to pass on, all I am doing is helping them demonstrate their worth to their client, who will likely never hire me.

Indeed, when I worked for a tech industry association I worked hard to act as an alternative conduit to hiring managers. I know almost every CEO, development manager, CTO etc in town, as well as the hiring managers. My job was to help new arrivals in town, typically immigrants, by-pass unempathetic gatekeepers HR, and avoid dealing with the recruiter vultures.

Helping qualified people find good jobs was one of my favorite things to do.
posted by My Dad at 9:14 AM on December 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


I hadn't seen the "Previously", but this made me think of Erowid Recruiter at once.

You will find more of the car crashes, the heart attacks, the infinite swarms of scorpions.
posted by thelonius at 9:23 AM on December 6, 2016


The response to "Interesting Work, Great Perks - Software Engineering Opportunity" is epic, but might lead to a visit from the police.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2016


I really liked his riff on passion.
posted by maggiemaggie at 9:39 AM on December 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


My favorite recruiting email of all time was a perfectly standard form-letter email, but recruiter's name was "Michael Fassbender." To this day I have no idea if there is an actual tech recruiter by that name or if it's someone just messing with candidates to try to get a response.
posted by miyabo at 9:44 AM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ohhh man. OH MAN. Finally an excuse to share the best recruiter email I ever got. And before you ask, yes it DID arrive just after The Force Awakens came out.

SUBJECT: Helloooo....oooo...oooo....Is anyone out there...ere...ere...ere.....possible...ble..ble..ble.....positions...tions....tions....Master
BODY:
[LastName],
Good afternoon and I was wondering if anyone was out there? I came across your resume and have attempted to make contact. I am hoping that you aren’t lost in space or off fighting against the Republic. I am reaching out again because I can sense the force is strong in you and I want to be the Obi Wan of career resources for you. I believe I have a couple roles that would suit your Java destiny and would like to discuss them. When you have moment please send me back some sort of transmission via telephone or droid. If you want to fly Han Solo let me know as well and I will take an e-wok. I am looking forward to speaking with you soon.

…………………………….May the Force be with you…………………………………

**************End of Transmission**********************
[Signature]
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


Also once I signed up for a company's free trial product under the name Malcolm Reynolds and got the most amazing sales pitch email full of Firefly references. Still didn't buy the product though.
posted by miyabo at 9:49 AM on December 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


Gosh it must really suck to have skills that are in such high demand

I wish I had time at work to write responses to unwelcome emails

(yeah they're funny but grumble)
posted by entropone at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


Eh, a lot of the demand is illusory. I very occasionally reply to these things and am inevitably disappointed... companies paying 40% below market rate, companies that really have no idea what they're looking for, or sometimes it turns out they actually want you to work with 20-year-old tools that it would be a bad career move to get tied in to. One recruiter replied to me and said that the company in question actually had a company-wide hiring freeze... um, why did you bother to send spam then.
posted by miyabo at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


maggiemaggie: I really liked his riff on passion.

I read an autobiography by a CEO once. As he was climbing the ranks, he said that the best advice he ever got was that what's really missing in business isn't competence, but passion. You need to care about those quarterly sales figures from Region 3. Passion.

I decided that the role of ambitious junior executive was not for me.
posted by clawsoon at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Gee, most of the recruiter emails I get say they read my resume and then commence to pitch a job not even close to something I've done/would like to do. I suck, obviously.
posted by tommasz at 10:14 AM on December 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I keep getting emails from recruiters, some hilariously inappropriate, like for Enterprise Java developers in Antwerp or Windows administrators in Dublin and such (for what it's worth, I'm an iOS developer in London).

I get the impression that there are a lot of recruiters for whom actually doing research would cut into time they could use throwing chum into the waters by the fistful.
posted by acb at 10:14 AM on December 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I am in this particular boat at the moment, my former employer having recited to me the Financial Constraints Leading To Departmental Restructuring And Subsequent Reduction In Force euphemism chain, and I put my resume up on Monster.

This has resulted in a bunch of responses, only a handful of which have had a flicker of relevance. Some have been in my field but ignored my stated strong preference for non-contractor positions (I don't want to be in this same jobhunting boat n months from now.) Some have ignored my "looking for remote or close-to-home work only" message and invited me to relocate to Bumfuck, Wyoming. And my favorites are the ones inviting me to start an EXCITING NEW CAREER in insurance sales.

One cold-called me and went through a whole getting-to-know-you spiel, then asked if I would be available for an interview that week. "What... exactly... is the position being offered?" "We can discuss that at the interview." Now THAT's a company that's going places.
posted by delfin at 10:18 AM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


"What... exactly... is the position being offered?" "We can discuss that at the interview."

It was probably a time-share cubicle pitch
posted by thelonius at 10:23 AM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


See also: Overqualified
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:25 AM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I read an autobiography by a CEO once. As he was climbing the ranks, he said that the best advice he ever got was that what's really missing in business isn't competence, but passion. You need to care about those quarterly sales figures from Region 3. Passion.

One of the most frightening things about executives and marketers is that many of them actually believe the nearly-incoherent marketingspeak they use. I had always assumed they were using language that way because they were manipulative, but no, they actually believe that "disruption" is a net-good phenomenon that doesn't always result in people with less job mobility losing income and/or employment, etc. Passion.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


sometimes it turns out they actually want you to work with 20-year-old tools that it would be a bad career move to get tied in to.

I believe the preferred nomenclature is "interns."
posted by Mayor West at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2016 [36 favorites]


I get the impression that there are a lot of recruiters for whom actually doing research would cut into time they could use throwing chum into the waters by the fistful.

As far as I can tell, about 90% of these are precisely that, search algorithms do basic keyword matching and then call center techs work the matches. I assume it's an entry-level job for applicants that can speak some English but don't have CS degrees/advanced degrees, or maybe this is the hellish mail room you start in before you get one of the better support assignments. It's probably second or third-tier agents you actually speak to, if it progresses that far, but the last few I've gotten that far with were still obviously in a large call center, from the background noise.

The last time I hired for a tech position and couldn't get my boss to put "no third party" on the listing, we'd get the same applicant over and over again from 10, 20 recruiters, and I'm pretty sure the applicant never knew about it unless we showed some interest. My management felt obligated to go with the first recruiter that got them in, who would then try to collude with us to lowball the offer to the applicant in return for a better commission. It was incredibly gross.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:02 AM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of the old internet.
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:13 AM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gosh it must really suck to have skills that are in such high demand

The demand reflected by recruiter spam is about as genuine as the products hawked by any other kind of spam.

I liked the one about working in advertising.
posted by enn at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh man, this is the same guy who recorded his memories of his psychotic break, isn't it? Welp, that's my workday wasted.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


These are pretty goodespecially the "party" that ended with I would rather be that guy's boyfriend than work in the ad industry again. I never respond to recruiting emails because it just ecourages them to send me the next 'exciting opportunity' though I sure would like to send some like this some days.

I guess there are people out there who find existential peace solving allocation errors

Yes there are. Consistant passion maybe not, but I do approach what could be called passion and existential peace all the time in my work. I make computers do what I say. When that works like I hope it will it makes me happy. I guess I'm an optimist. It also makes me realize that there are probably people who find passion in quarterly sales figures though that will never be me.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:54 AM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh lord, I have so many stories about recruiters.

- I once got three emails from different people at the same recruiting firm about the same job in the same day - two within a half-hour of each other. I think the firm hired a bunch of newbies, threw them all at the same database, gave them a quota, and told them Go.

- I once got a phone call at 7 am from a recruiter. Fortunately, I was already awake, but wow, that's gung-ho.

- My personal record for most recruiter calls about a single job is 11. It would get to where I would start reciting the job description back at them.

- I was once about to start a job when a recruiter called me. I told him that I had already been hired, and he tried to persuade me to drop that job and go with his job. I told him I wasn't interested, but out of curiosity, I asked what the job was. It turned out it was the job that I had just accepted.

- So many recruiters tried to insert themselves into a job process that they didn't belong in: they'd look up a job description, look me up, and then send me email about the job. I learned to do a Google search for relevant parts of the job description before responding to a recruiter. Sometimes, I would find the company's listing, and then apply to them directly.

Sometimes, recruiters are unavoidable, though: the government of the province of Ontario (Canada) doesn't hire tech employees directly (or they didn't ten years ago, when I was there). All applications must go through a recruiting agency, and each agency is allowed one applicant. Cue all sorts of mayhem.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 12:14 PM on December 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


See also: Overqualified
As soon as I saw this, I immediately thought of Overqualified #38, letter of apology for #37. But then I hate fun.
posted by eykal at 12:24 PM on December 6, 2016


Oh god, yeah, I remember that one when it went up.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:52 PM on December 6, 2016


So many recruiters tried to insert themselves into a job process that they didn't belong in: they'd look up a job description, look me up, and then send me email about the job. I learned to do a Google search for relevant parts of the job description before responding to a recruiter. Sometimes, I would find the company's listing, and then apply to them directly.

I love doing this, it's really easy when the recruiter mentions the company is on the list of top 10 blank-iest companies and you can spend 5 minutes checking the job postings at all of them.
posted by borkencode at 12:54 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


These are actually pretty good, well beyond regular grade IT Work Culture Is Dumb flavor funny.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:44 PM on December 6, 2016


I just had a neat idea for a product where you forward a recruiting email and it tries to tell you what company and position they are pitching for so you can contact them directly. Kinda like tripit for recruiter spam instead of travel plans.
posted by gryftir at 1:52 PM on December 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I frequently get recruiter emails for contractor positions, in the same role I already have, at the company at which I am already a full-time employee. I don't expect recruiters to read all the fine print, but jeez--surely, if you "read my resume and thought I'd be a great match," surely you might have noticed that I already work there and have that job.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:52 PM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I opted out of LinkedIn and all the other recruiter honeypots and now when I need a new contract I just go to the local tavern and look for the hooded figure sitting in the back puffing on a pipe. Never fails.
posted by um at 4:04 PM on December 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm going to swim against the tide here and admit that I know actual recruiters in real life and see them socially, have used recruiters before to find candidates, and have been successfully recruited a couple of times, resulting in job changes. I'm not saying that all recruiters are great; like anything else, there is a long tail of bad behavior. We're way off topic for the original post, so I'll just leave it that if your only interaction with recruiters is "cold call" emails, I think you are doing it wrong.
posted by kovacs at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2016


When I was young, naive, and Midwestern, a recruiter emailed me and I, not wanting to be rude, replied that I wasn't looking but thanked them anyway for taking the time to reach out. Now TekSystems (TM) will never forget that they found a real live developer with a valid email address.
posted by Jpfed at 6:53 PM on December 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dammit, infinitewindows!! I had things I wanted to do tonight.

I read the whole damn thing and it was well worth the time.

Thanks for pointing it out.
posted by hoodrich at 10:38 PM on December 6, 2016


I, too, am from the Midwest, and have it as a very minor spiritual discipline to reply with kind regrets to recruiters. As long as I remember to tell them that I will forward their email if I know somebody who would be a great fit, it's generally been fine. It's fun to surprise people who don't expect to treated like human beings.
posted by willF at 10:39 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


And here I was bitching/wtf-ing to some coworkers about getting cold calls from recruiters on my work phone. while I'm in my cubicle surrounded by my coworkers. Actuarial recruiters are apparently nowhere near the nightmare y'all have. At least they would absolutely never propose a job that I am currently in or at my current employer.

[2 minutes of googling later]...so that's the difference between recruiters and head-hunters.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:23 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess there are people out there who find existential peace solving allocation errors

I literally just finished solving a memory management problem that's being going on for a while, and I feel very satisfied and happy.
posted by flaterik at 6:12 PM on December 7, 2016


The worst one i got was very stalk-y.
posted by palbo at 9:38 PM on December 7, 2016


Yeah, they'll call the main number at my work and ask to be transferred to me. This is usually the only reason my work phone ever rings. Coworkers just call my cell.
posted by miyabo at 7:15 AM on December 8, 2016


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