Are there any recruiters working in technology who get it? Anyone putting in just a minimum of effort to appear even half-way competent? If so, they need to speak up. The reputation of their profession is being soiled by completely clueless hacks.

Here’s a pitch I just got this morning:

Dave –

My name is Kelly ** and I am reaching out to you to see if you would be looking to make a career move. I am searching for creative and talented Ruby Developer to add to a rapidly growing team. The position is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. You do not need to be there now, but should be willing to relocated there within a short but realistic time frame. Relocation expenses will be shared by my client.

They are serious about bringing on the right talent, so they will pay for the right person. Base Salary is open and depends on your experience.


About My client: They are a rapidly expanding, VC-funded tech startup positioned squarely on top of the social media marketing revolution. Their platform allows brand managers and marketers of all shapes and sizes to quickly create a variety of promotional campaigns to engage and interact with the users and fans of their brands.

You’d think that the job of the recruiter would be to narrow down the field of suitable candidates by actually doing some research on them. If they’re just going to spam people from emails they find on tech sites, why not just pay some shady Russians to do it?

The problem with this kind of hackery is that it has bred an outright animosity to recruiters in large parts of the tech world. The gut reaction of programmers to any recruiter interest is that they’re just as clueless as all the others that went before them. And that’s too bad, since I’m sure that there are companies out there who could actually use good recruiters to screen and find talent for them.

As things stand right now, though, I would never recommend the use of recruiters to anyone for a technical position. You’re much more likely to be associated with the incompetence of the recruiter than you are to find highly skilled technical talent.