An Open Letter to Recruiters

The recruiting industry today has become a statistical game played in the hopes that by maximizing the number of resumes sent to a company, the odds are increased that a candidate is hired. Indeed, the game is for any candidate to get hired, rather than the right candidate, as recruiters get paid by filling the position, not by finding quality candidates. This practice is wasteful for the company, and hurtful for the candidates who never get a call back.

I have dealt with recruiting firms as someone looking for candidates for the last 10 years, as well as someone looking for a job over the last 15 years. Over that time, I have more negative experiences than I care to recount. My hope is that with this Open Letter to Recruiters, the current situation can be improved.

The following facts and pieces of advice should be read by every recruiter before contacting any potential candidate. Not doing so perpetuates practices that will ultimately drive the recruiting industry into obsolescence, as internal company recruiters move to contacting candidates directly over LinkedIn. If this fate is to be avoided, it begins by changing the practices used by recruiters today, in order to change them into partners to both the company and candidates, rather than a generator of resume spam:

  • Everyone lies on their resume
  • The phone is a bad first impression
  • Don’t ask me to update your internal database
  • Form letters do not work
  • Leave Intelligible Voicemails
  • Don’t sound like you making hundreds of phonecalls a day
  • I am not a ninja, and do not know Kung Fu
  • Opportunities are rarely exciting
  • Your job requirements are unrealistic
  • Your experience requirements are arbitrary
  • Asking for a referral makes you spam
  • We can see through your use of buzzwords
  • We can guess the company, no need to be secretive
  • Don’t oversell the candidate to the company
  • Don’t oversell the company to the candidate
  • Lead with the compensation package
  • Don’t assume what I value
  • Don’t ignore the commute
  • Act like an agent