A Rant About Recruiters


I get contacted a lot by job recruiters. I’m not currently in the job market, but I was 18 months ago, so my resume is still on a bunch of job seeker websites. Plus, my email address and phone number are on LinkedIn, social media, and my websites, so I routinely get a lot of outreach from recruiters. Although I’m not actively looking, I’m still a businessman. I’ll listen to an interesting proposition or pitch.

And this is where I get ticked off: probably 99% of the contacts I get are of the variety that “I’ve got a position that you would be a great fit for.”

I have absolutely zero interest in a job that I currently fit. I’m not interested in a new position similar to what I’m doing now or what I’ve done in the past.

I am interested only in potential positions that represent professional growth and challenge. If it’s not something that requires me to stretch, grow, and learn, I want no part of it – because I’ll be bored.

A couple experiences stick out in my mind. In the first one, a hiring manager at a company pleaded with me to speak with them for fifteen minutes. He proceeded to spend much of the time explaining why I’d be so great for them. I admit this sounds arrogant as hell, but I told him, “I know I’d be great for your company. What’s in it for me?” This is business.

The second experience involved a very small start-up that pursued me directly, and it was located in a part of the country my significant other and I are interested in living. After a couple calls, I got frustrated that they wouldn’t tell me anything regarding the job description without a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). They even called me up once, asking if I could be there the next day to talk with the founders. Can I be there tomorrow? No. I have people that rely on me, both personally and professionally.

Finally, I pressed them for direct answers, or else it was good-bye. Are you offering me a seat at the table? Does this position involve management or increased responsibility / ownership as the company grows? Does this involve anything different than what I’m currently doing? The answer to all questions was “No.”

They wanted me to leave my security and move my family for a longshot that offered no growth or advancement Depending on how things turned out, I could be unemployed after a year of building their prototype. Seriously?

Here is what I’d be interested in hearing from a recruiter: “I’ve got a position, but you’re not 100% right for it at the present time. It would require you to pick up a couple technical skills on the job. It would involve more management responsibilities than you’ve held, and you’d be in charge of more than you’re used to. You’d also have to develop some soft skills that may be outside your wheelhouse.” If I heard that, I’d absolutely be hooked.

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