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Ask HN: How do you deal with recruiting spam?
12 points by asdev 44 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments
With incessant spam over multiple channels(LinkedIn, email, phone calls etc), how do you deal with and manage these communications?

I believe in keeping options open, or at the very least not burning bridges, when there is a reasonable level of effort on the part of the recruiter. If the message is obviously untargeted, or the recruiter is trying to get around the normal channels (ie, sending an LI connection and throwing in a "check this dope opening!1!" message in the invite) then those do not warrant a reply and get hit with the spam hammer.

Otherwise, I have a standard reply that I just copy-paste in to be human about it and make it exceedingly quick. True, 99% of the messages are not going to interest me, but I think everyone deserves to be treated fairly if they've made an effort. You never know who you might run into a second time when you're in need. It goes something like this:

> Hello [Recruiter],

> Thank you for reaching out, I appreciate it! Unfortunately I'm not looking to make a jump right now, but I wish you the best of luck in finding some great candidates.

> Thanks again,

> Joshua

I'll make tweaks to the standard message when warranted. For example, recently the CTO of a large-ish web property was the one who made the direct contact herself, instead of just a recruiter or hiring manager. I wasn't interested, but that obviously warranted a more thoughtful response. Other times, if the recruiter actually has the wherewithal to (shock!) include salary details and actual information I often complement them on that fact, to encourage the behavior more often in the industry.

In general, true, it can be annoying to get many an unsolicited and uninteresting offers. But on the other hand, what a great privilege we have to be in a field where we are in such demand that people are pinging you left and right; we should count our blessings! :)

I have a Recruiter label in Gmail, whenever a new recruiter messages me, I make a Gmail rule to mark as read and label as Recruiter for the sending domain. This also prevents the “three touch points” tactic they all seem to use from working. Works like a charm, then whenever I get angry at my job I can go look at the recruiter label for an ego boost.

Phone - don’t answer unknown numbers

LinkedIn - don’t open the page. It’s generally useless I find. Nobody notices when you don’t congratulate them on their 3 year work anniversary.

If it is marginally attractive, I reply with what it would take for me to leave my current role. Which is a lot, like 2x what you hear about for solid FAANG roles - and that is the minimum (lots of other things I look for in a potential company). Else I ignore. Unless the recruiter is obv. spamming by offering me frontend or php roles when I’m a principal engineer with a focus on scaling distributed systems — those I click spam.

You keep a list. Someday you're going to want a different job, and at that time, it may pay (literally) to know some good headhunters.

How do you which ones are good? Start with ethical. If you ask them to stop spamming you (via opt-out or whatever), do they stop? The ones that do, put them on your list.

Ignore. The type of spam I get is bottom of the bucket. Barely English, mismatch between title and description, complete mismatch regarding my experience, etc. I’ve gone ahead and minimized my online presence with the info that usually attract this for now as well.

I want to point out that is a very US-specific problem that goes along with the much higher demand for talent in the US and (still) higher compensation. Working in tech in Europe (and I'm guessing the rest of the world) is very different.

I reached a kind of tipping point recently where it has started to happen to me (based in eastern Europe and active on LinkedIn). I was kind of flattered, until I began to see the patterns emerge, and how 'industrial' it is.

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