Recruiters: Must Try Harder

Right now, it’s an employee’s market in the Bay Area. Technology firms are growing, and they’re always trying to hire more people. So I regularly receive emails from recruiters. This is not to brag, it’s just the way things are right now, based upon the economy, my background, my current location, and my age. I’m lucky.

Some of these approaches are outstanding. Well-crafted, tailored to the person and the role. Some are pathetically bad, and I don’t know why they try.

The Right Approach

A good approach goes like this:

Hi Lindsay!

I’m a recruiter at $CoolCompany. We’re looking for great people to work on our teams doing $InterestingThingOne and $InterestingThingsTwo! We’re hoping to do This, That and the Other Thing! Check out our projects on Github <here> and <here>.

We think this would be a good match because of your background working on $RecentProject in $PreviousIndustries.

We were thinking about someone to do these sorts of things: X, Y, Z. But mainly it’s about finding the right people, and we’re fine with re-working the role a bit to suit.

Let us know what you think

Regards, Good Recruiter

The Wrong Approach

Hi <Insert Name Here>

We have a job opening for a Senior Product Manager in your area, which you may find of interest. If you are interested, please get in touch with us.

Sincerely, Lame Recruiter.

NB: This is a real example. I’m not making this up. They searched LinkedIn for people with my job title, in my geographic region, and they just sent a form email. Couldn’t even be bothered to attach any details about the job. The only connection was the Product Manager title. If you know anything about Product Management, you know that PMs take many different forms, come from different backgrounds, and do very different jobs, depending on the company, and the requirements.

For those recruiters sending out blast emails like that, why do you even bother? What’s your hit rate for good candidates, when you send out something barely above spam level? There’s a reason that recruiters have a bad reputation, and it’s because of things like that. Sending out spam email, and then claiming a large payment should it ever succeed, and they get a candidate placed.

The good recruiters are looking to fit the right person to the right role. I have worked with recruiters that have done a great job. They have matched my skills to the right role, and they have paid attention to when I would be available. I don’t begrudge those recruiters the fees they earn. The rest that just clip the ticket, fill in the paperwork, and don’t do any real work? No time for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being arrogant. I know that the economic cycle will turn in future. Plus I’m in my late thirties now, and soon I will be over the hill by Valley standards. I’ll be the one who needs to work my contacts, talk to recruiters, hustle to find a new job. Maybe then I’ll be grateful to receive a form letter from a recruiter, sending a blast email?