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— Sep 8, 2014 —

My love/hate relationship with recruitment for the web

Let’s start off on a bit of a controversial point.

I quite like LinkedIn.

Yep, that’s right, I actually find it useful. Yes, I get far too many emails from the platform, and why on Earth I get messages from what is the world’s largest professional network about my connection’s birthdays I am yet to fathom.

But one of the biggest gripes I have both heard and experienced for myself is the sheer number of recruiters touting job vacancies left, right and centre.

This is an obvious by-product of a social platform based around connecting with professionals, in and around your industry, who you have both worked with, and would perhaps like to work with in the future. It is to be expected.

I don’t have a problem with the existence of recruitment agencies, or those individuals who have made it their career to help people find jobs they love. They have both the ability and connections that are required to help push prospective employee’s careers in directions they may not have felt able to do by themselves. Personally, I owe my thanks to 3 individuals who work in recruitment – I’ve only worked at 4 different companies since graduating in 2000 – all of whom I would recommend to anyone when looking for a new position in the web industry.

Being tarred with the same brush

However, for every one of these great recruiters, there seems to be a much larger number of individuals who seem to waste their time as well as ours as prospective candidates. How many times have you received an email from a recruitment agency where the first line reads something like this:

“Apologies if this is not applicable to your situation.”

Under normal circumstances I would read this as a pre-emptive strike against the fact that I may not be looking for change in employment at this time. With that I do not have a problem. I’m sure you, being the reasonable human being that you are, wouldn’t really object either.

But what if this sentence was immediately followed by a position that is completely devoid of relevance to your skills, knowledge, experience and all the other details that you have most likely supplied to this particular recruitment agency at some point in the distant past.

To me, this smacks of pure laziness on the part of the recruiter. My email address has been copied and pasted from a list of candidates kept on file with no thought or effort applied to supplying something of relevance. It’s tantamount to spam minus the advertisement of penis hardening drugs.

That isn’t even the worst part. On occasion, this little gem will appear at the bottom of the message just before the extremely hopeful recruiter signs off:

“We offer a finders fee if you recommend someone to us who we place in the role.”

Not only have you sent me a position that is completely irrelevant to my experience, you now want me to do your job for you?!

Here’s your chance

The recruitment industry is crying out for someone to grab it by the hair and drag it in to the digital age. Maybe someone out there will read this and see that people want quality of service. That sending out blanket emails of, more than likely, irrelevant vacancies is not the way to find the right person for that role you’re looking to fill.

It takes less than a minute to find the profile of someone on LinkedIn, and just a few more minutes to take a look at their history and experience to see if that role is something that may be a good fit for them.

Imagine what you could do if you actually put some effort in.