When the market isn't so good, maybe people will stop thinking of these people as annoyances (though I understand 95% of them ARE worthless annoyances) and realize that these people can be a valuable tool to help them get a job. Hell, I don't charge for a single placement I make where it is a friend being placed. If a friend says "hey do you know a recruiter/hiring manager at place x? I'd like to work there." My answer is usually "yes" and they do. Call the people in the field annoying all you want, but I imagine someday people will realize they were being a bit immature with stuff like this. It's almost as if people need to pad their ego by bragging about how many of these annoying emails they get and then start doing things like writing blogs about how theyre deleting a useful tool because of it. Makes no sense to me.
I once had a conversation with a recruiter that went like this:
"I do, but those are front-end technologies, and I'm not interested in a front-end job at this time. Thanks, anyway."
"No, this is a back-end job."
"I think you have the definition of front-end and back-end switched around."
"You know, I'm looking at your résumé again and I think maybe you're under qualified for this role. I have a junior position..."
It's not just the emails. It's the constant phone calls, too. Software developers get tired of talking to "air-quote recruiters", e.g., "Are you familiar with... 'Hadoop'?"
I understand these guys aren't going to be experts, but given that most positions are found through referrals, some tech people just feel like it's not worth the hassle.
The real problem is the barrier to entry for a recruiter is low. Companies will create a supplier portal and recruiting firms will take a req, and have Offshore "recruiters" troll dice, LinkedIn, etc and cold call on their crappy VOIP lines.
How can I know you aren't one of the 95% who will waste my time? Why should I even talk to you?
How can I know you won't misrepresent me?
What are the consequences of you screwing me over? (Lost time, lost opportunity, reputation damage)
How is your rate of success measured?
It's not like this is a single "oh, I met a bad recruiter once" anecdote, this is an industry wide plague.
You are the one who called 95% of your colleagues worthless. I was agreeing with you.
I and most of the people I know have received all of their jobs through conferences/meetups, word of mouth/direct referrals etc and I find that much more pleasant than dealing with linkedin and phone spam. I do still maintain a LinkedIn account though.
I am now cofounder of a startup and, despite my LinkedIn profile clearly stating this, I still received messages from recruiters about jobs.
I said this in another post, but even as a recruiter, I get contacted constantly and I usually just look at the persons work history, the specifics of the offer, if they actually seem credible, (does person offering you job at Google actually work at Google?) and if they're offering something that actually makes sense for you. If those are the case, they're probably not dreadful.
Why do people make their email and phone number visible and then complain about unsolicitied contact? LinkedIn has privacy settings, you might as well use them. I have an account for years and only get a handful of job invites per month, if that.
What you have here are people treating recruiters as a monolithic entity instead of the highly binary one that it actually is.
Knowing some good recruiters is extremely valuable. I agree that sometimes these "hurr recruiterzzz" posts seem like attention-seeking or bragging. I ignore almost all recruiter contacts on LinkedIn, and they waste 10-20 seconds of my life daily. Hardly something worth a blog post about.
Anyways, something concrete from the post that bothered me:
> "For now on, if I like a company, I’ll contact them."
And you can do this while still talking to recruiters. I contact companies occasionally just to chat, even if I'm not looking for work, simply because I find their work interesting and want to make the introduction. I also talk to recruiters, because I am not an encyclopedic source for good companies in my area.
The secret is talking to good recruiters and wasting no time with bad ones.
In the last 3 weeks I've had a couple different CTOs ask me to meet so I can teach them a bit more about hiring. I'm not harassing these people into taking a meeting. They are emailing me because they know that I can teach them skills that would help them and their company grow. If people want to shut out a source of value like this, than that is their own choice, but it's certainly not one I agree with.
If and only if the benefit you receive from the good recruiters outweighs the hassle of talking to and vetting all the bad recruiters in order to find the good ones.
This isn't always the case. I get that you're frustrated by the demonization of your industry, but I suspect you don't really appreciate just how much of a useless time-suck a bad recruiter can be, and just how small the ratio of good to bad recruiters is.
CTO's ignoring recruiters is one thing, developers I've met do not see recruiters as a source of value, rather an occasionally necessary evil.
I have very little reason to doubt that you are a good recruiter. And I think it is very respectable of you to help out friends who are looking for work and for whom you can make useful connections. But how many of those friends did you meet through LinkedIn? How many of those inquiries are coming to you through LinkedIn? Could all of them not be made just as well (if not better) through personal email?
The fact of the matter, which you readily admit, is that most recruiters on LinkedIn aren't very good. If 95% are "worthless annoyances" then why would any qualified person stick around on the platform hoping to meet the rare gem like you that might actually understand how to do the job properly?
Because there isn't really another good way to meet exclusively good recruiters. This might mean the market is ripe for disruption (i.e., a place where good engineers can meet good recruiters without all the noise).
It's the same game as online dating. 99% of the people you will meet you will not have a relationship with, but lacking a better alternative you must wade through the 99% to get to the 1%.
> "Could all of them not be made just as well (if not better) through personal email?"
LinkedIn's value is not as a communications platform. Anyone can throw up a textbox and send someone the contents of said text field. LinkedIn is known for discoverability - and that remains an unsolved problem. Not every programmer has an up to date resume, on their website, and properly SEO'ed to boot.
So the question is, without LinkedIn, how would a (good) recruiter even find your email address with which to contact you?
There are alternate ways of discovery, but each one seems to leave a large group of qualified candidates on the floor. Not everyone is on StackOverflow, not everyone is on Github, etc.
That's a great question. You should ask a good recruiter. Because there were surely recruiters, and good ones, plying their trade before LinkedIn.
I'm willing to state, unequivocally, that if a recruiter's top talent discovery system is LinkedIn, that recruiter is not a good recruiter.
My relatively uninformed opinion is that to be a good recruiter you have to forge relationships. And I'm pretty sure a lot of us would agree that LinkedIn is not a good platform for forming relationships.
There isn't much to understand really. While there are many bad recruiters you should just archive their email. There are some good ones. The more ways good ones have to contact you (though I would admit, contact through a community other than linkedin would generally be a signal of a "good one") the more ways you have to make a connection. With bad recruiters, simply archive their email, with good ones, just keep in touch.
The implication that the OP is "doing something about it" by deleting their linkedin account and making blog post #428934892 where people complain about recruiters because of a bad experience is a bit ridiculous. What does that accomplish? I guess I just don't really see whining about a problem as doing something about it. Seems like the flavor of the week to talk about how recruiters suck because you had a bad experience with one and that one just wants to get a rep by pretending like they're so overwhelmed with headhunter emails they just can't handle it. As many have said, bad recruiter=hit archive. good recruiter=build a relationship with. That is a much better way to "do something about it" than writing another blog post about how bad recruiters are because you didn't like one...
Well, deleting the account sends a signal to LinkedIn, albeit tiny, that it isn't providing value to him. It also removes a (presumably) quality engineer from the pool of talent available to be found on LinkedIn. This eventually will force the good recruiters to look elsewhere for engineering talent.
The blog post is an attempt to amplify those two signals.
I agree that whining isn't helping much, if at all, when you think about it as whining. I'm mostly agreeing with the deletion of the account, not so much the blog post announcing it.
If you are offended by the blog post, but can see the validity in actually removing yourself from a network that isn't providing much value, then we agree on everything.
I agree with this impression. I feel especially inadequate when some people talk about getting 2 - 3 calls or emails a day and I feel lucky to get 3 in a month if I don't have my resume posted on Dice. That said, my own experiences with recruiters have also generally been negative. Over 95% of unsolicited emails I get are inappropriate for my skills and experience, sometimes wildly so. I even get this from in-house recruiters at Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, though these recruiters tend to misunderstand my systems engineering background.
This is coming from someone who wants to find one of the good recruiters. I see the value they provide, and I think I would benefit from it because of my geographic location and unorthodox background. Spending two years looking for another job and having to deal with the above has left me very recruiter-weary, though.
 Probably not a coincidence that this ratio is about the same as the number of recruiters you call "worthless annoyances".
 I was a classical systems engineer: http://www.incose.org/practice/fellowsconsensus.aspx
I'm sure that a fellow like yourself, who seems quite considerate of others' time, can appreciate that it depends how easy it is to tell you apart from the less exemplary members of your profession. There might be some fantastic recruiters out there but if it takes five minutes to see whether someone's serious and people have to pay that cost for every interaction - are they really going to do it?
It's not like someone's just paying the cost once or twice to talk to you, they're paying the cost with every bit of spam they go through to find you.
I know that's something I have extreme reluctance to do. I get hundreds of emails every weekend, most work-related. If the field is heavily slanted towards abusive personalities, then almost every time I invest in that activity, rather than dealing with one of the pressing issues, it feels like I've wasted my time. Very discouraging when the returns are purely hypothetical, (never met a recruiter who made me feel like he was taking me seriously.)
And outside SV, were the ventures aren't so highly speculative, the market hasn't been cyclic.
In fact, in my now 25+ year career in tech, the market for developers where I live has never crashed.
I think that along will come a recruiter on HN that shows that recruiting is good business in the way patio11 changed the way a lot of people here think about sales, which is another thing developers OBVIOUSLY never have to stoop down to touch, until they do.
There's literally zero downside to having a LinkedIn account. The emails are too annoying? Auto-archive them and send them to a 'Recruiting Spam' folder which you browse every few weeks (or never).
Disclaimer: I have a LinkedIn account, but I'm likely deleting it soon.
If you'd complained about how much stuff companies like this infer about you then you'd have more of a case about privacy. e.g I've never given Facebook my phone number but I'm almost certain that FB already knows what it is since my friends have it in their address books. Address books which they've (perhaps unwittingly) handed over to countless companies. Even then, me leaving such services doesn't stop them from knowing things about me.
I think deleting your LinkedIn account is a net loss, what's the downside of _having_ a LinkedIn account?
I moved from NY almost two years ago, and I still get calls/emails for NY based positions. A quick glance at my LinkedIn profile will clearly show that I do not live in NY anymore.
There is no magic behind LinkedIn. You are discoverable based on the amount of information you enter. Do not list skills or job descriptions (w/ buzzwords) and your hit rate will go down. Forget what LinkedIn suggests, your profile does not need to be 100% completed.
(The only time in 35 years that I found a job through a recruiter, it was a train wreck. I doubt the recruiters on LinkedIn are much different).
I'm on LinkedIn because it's fun to find and talk to prior cow-orkers without involving the privacy catastrophe that is Facebook.
Yet I still get a not insignificant amount of spam connection requests.
Seriously, if you want to chat with me on a matter that I'm going to need discretion in (like, say, leaving the company that owns the cubicles) we're going to have to arrange a time in advance.
That's a lot of effort to find out that my skills are a poor match for the position, or (as happens a lot) that I've already been talking to your client.
I used to have this in my 'how to contact me" spot in the profile, but LinkedIn failed to surface that section correctly in the public profile. Half of this is their fault.
With that, I do still get a few recruiter contacts every now and then, but it's just a trickle.
It's also worth noting that you don't even have to be notified of all these bothersome emails, let alone reply to them, and can clearly indicate whether or not you wish to be contacted about work (granted, that can be ignored, but the good ones won't).
The recruiters though are typically inexperienced due to high churn rate, so it's almost random luck that you'd get a good fit for a job interview, particularly if they lie to both you and the employer before the interview to make it seem like there's a fit.
It's definitely inefficient, what's the solution here?
It's a self-updating rolodex for me.
Good recruitments happen through good contacts anyway.