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Poll: Developers how often are you contacted by recruiters?
27 points by louhong on Feb 3, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 47 comments
Curious what the frequency is for other developers who get contacted by recruiters. Is it annoying enough that you've removed you contact or job info?
few a week
125 points
few a month
98 points
once a month
65 points
multiple times a day
37 points
once a week
37 points
never, they can't contact me (my info isn't public)
29 points
once a day
23 points

A couple times a week. I don't think it's annoying, in fact I think it's a little flattering/ego uplifting.

I think recruiters have a somewhat hard job and I try to reward the good ones with nice letters: http://simonsarris.com/blog/626-why-i-love-recruiters

In general, if we want recruiters to get better, we should probably think up more ways to reward the ones that do their job well. I'm not sure if there's a materially good way to do that, a way that would convince the median recruiter to improve, but it's an interesting thing to brainstorm.

The easiest way is to make sure your company is using good outside recruiters or that your internal people are doing things the right way. And that you're also trying to hire through internal referrals and being visible in the local community rather than just through recruiter spam.

If you're a good employee, the kind of person they would like to hire more of, it will carry a lot of weight if you are interested in helping with hiring. Offer to go to meetups or do other local things to get your company more visibility. And help craft job descriptions and phone screen guidelines.

Then you can just be honest about how recruiters can help with the process and how they can get in the way. A bad outside recruiter who spams the local community can destroy your reputation in the community, whereas a good recruiter can identify good prospects while also engaging with your current team to understand their feedback and understand how to sell the company to people.

While there are certainly some terrible in recruiting, there are also some wonderful people. And lots of mediocre people who will default to bad habits because of their metrics-oriented incentives but can be coached to do really good work if they have help.

I'm in total agreement.

I've mostly stopped answering phone calls from numbers I don't recognize. I've completedly stopped answering unrecognized numbers from 415- and 650- area codes.

I don't mind being contacted via LinkedIn, email, Twitter, etc, but cold-calling me is a strict no-no. I've got this written in bold text on top of my LinkedIn profile but yet some still insist.

Never, they apparently don't know I exist.

Voted "Once a month", but its more like 8 - 10 year for me. Most are through LinkedIn, but occasionally I get something from a large outfit that has a horribly out-of-date version of my resume still in their database.[1] The LinkedIn contacts are generally pretty good, though I continue to have people misunderstand what "systems engineer" means in my resume.[2]

When I was publishing my resume on job sites, which I haven't done in a couple years, I was getting tons of contacts, but 90%+ were spammy recruiters who obviously just read and misunderstood a couple keywords. I assume my lack of contacts is a function of my location (Dallas) and variegated EE/SysE/SE career path.

Its kinda frustrating, though, to come on sites like this and hear about how hard it is to find good developers when it seems like anyone who isn't already in one of the primary or secondary hotspots doesn't exist. Amazon is the only company that consistently reaches out to me, and they finally pitched something that isn't site reliability/security.

[1] Its really funny when I get power engineering pitches because they have a version that is from my pure-EE days. [2] See here: http://www.incose.org/

I get contacted mostly by CTOs and "spam" recruiters. CTOs have gone through my GitHub, read my blog and often checked out my LinkedIn. "Spam" recruiters are often recruiting me for "Java"-Script (They don't know the difference).

I always give at least a response to a CTO (As a consultant, this is one way I gain repeat clients)... but I have a template that I spit back at spam recruiters to quickly weed them out.

They call my job sometimes!! They just call my job with the question if I am interested in another job. This is kind of shameless and rude in my opinion. I have been nice until now but I won't be next time. Have to explain to everybody every time that I am not looking for another job. That they see my linkedin and see where I work.

The problem is that recruiters are not "opt in". I'm sure many of the people who voted "multiple times a day" would like to be contacted less, and some of the people who wrote, "never" would actually like a bit more outside attention.

We built Mighty Spring (https://www.mightyspring.com) to help developers overcome these recruiter-related problems.

Our goal is to provide the positive services offered by recruiters (market awareness, matched job opportunities, passive job search) through a web app that you manage on your own time (avoiding the cold calls and spammy emails).

We do this through a layer of anonymity for you, the candidate, so that you can engage with the market as much or as little as you like.

We're in private beta, but will expedite invites to the HN crowd. Email is in my profile if you have any questions.

I got my current position through a recruiter, and I was really impressed. Dropped him an email on a Saturday morning letting him know I was looking for a new position, and by the afternoon he'd come back with four potential employers who he figured were a good fit, and followed through with the interviews. Also negotiated salary, which was great.

On the other hand, I've had some really bad experiences, especially from the employer's perspective. Loads of totally unsuitable candidates, lies about their experience (like the one with "10 years of Rails experience")… I think that you probably need to build up a relationship with a good recruiter, and I'm not convinced there are many of them.

"Few a month", but it's somewhat cyclical. There are dry months with maybe just one ping, but other months with 10+. Not sure if it's tied to regional fiscal years, or funding cycles, or the weather :)

I get contacted a couple of times a week, pretty much only via LinkedIn. It is not often enough to be annoying. In fact, a lot of the times it is good. I find out about jobs I wouldn't otherwise know about.

As a matter of fact, I am about to change jobs because of a recruiter that contacted my on LinkedIn. So in my case, it's been really good :-)

I've written more on being contacted by recruiteres on LinkedIn here: http://henrikwarne.com/2013/08/21/linkedin-good-or-bad/

I welcome recruiters contacting me and even sometimes go to lunch with them to really get to know them better. My opinion is that anyone out to find work for me is worth having around in times like today's.

It's gonna be difficult to draw conclusions out of this.

For instance, your currently location matters a lot. Ever since I moved to NYC (from Geneva, Switzerland) I get contacted by recruiters way more often.

I've never really gotten any of the spam recruiter phone calls that seem to bother everyone else at hacker news.

I get a couple of emails a week from other funds or banks asking me to go to lunch to talk about "other opportunities", but rarely do I get cold calls from recruiters.

It could be my location (Toronto Canada)

Or that I don't have javascript in my skill set( compiler development and algo trading systems are my area of expertise).

Anyone know how these recruiters are getting peoples phone numbers?

Side note:

Anyone know of a good recruiter in the Toronto area?

There are several that I've used in the past, Sapphire Canada which is now Randstad Canada, and IQ Partners.. there is actually a fair number that exist and/or operate in Toronto. Although they all seem sleezy to me besides the two I've worked with above.

As I was getting out of college I posted a resume online. Before I had any leads from that, I ended up getting a job through a networking event.

Two years later, I get an email from a headhunter who found my original resume. It led to my current job, which I enjoy a whole lot more. One thing to keep in mind is that the salary negotiation goes through the headhunter, and it certainly seems like they get additional money the lower of a salary you accept. So never accept the first offer.

Almost all recruiters are paid a % of first year salary - 30% was a very common figure when recruiters contacted me to see if we wanted candidates for open positions.

That being said, its not in the recruiter's best interest to try to maximize your salary. The difference between you earning 90k and 100k results in a trivial commission difference to the actual recruiter. His interest is aligned with placing you as quickly as possible and moving on to another position. Its very similar to how your real estate agent isn't really motivated to get you an extra 5k on your 300k home.

> it certainly seems like they get additional money the lower of a salary you accept

Are you sure about that? AFAIK, they get a percentage (20%? maybe more?) of your starting (yearly) salary. So your interests (get a high salary) are aligned with their.

I assume they also have a clause in the contract that they get paid only if the candidate stays at the job for a certain period of time. At least that's what I would demand as an employer.

It certainly depends on the contract the headhunter has with the company, but I have followed up on this suspicion by asking a few people who 'know', and they told me this can often be the case. It makes sense to me at least - if they can bring you in at a lower starting salary, they probably save the company a lot of money in the long term.

My quest for this year is to try to remove all recruiters from my mailing list. I literally get 4-6 emails and 1-2 calls a day.

The most annoying thing. I haven't been looking for a job for over a 15 months.

I have even had recruiters call my place of work asking to talk to me (which i was most seriously pissed at seeing as i have never given out the office number (come to think of it I dont actually know what it is).

What you don't realize, is that there's an entire industry of companies that scrape & aggregate developer profiles and sell them to recruiting agencies.

Check out Gild.com, Sourcing.io, 3Sourcing, Entelo, etc.

There's no way for you to remove yourself or opt out of their databases.

Too often. And the fact that I've been at this same job for 5 years should tell you a little something about what they are offering.

I block entire USA on my phone (I'm in Canada), so I stopped getting cold calls, but I get contacted on Linkedin a lot.

I only get them once in a blue moon, but when I do, they are hilarious. Once, in response to my Linked-In: "So, I see you currently work at [name of my law firm, LLP]. Do you have any experience with Ruby on Rails?" I'm big on never looking a gift horse in the mouth, but I couldn't help but giggle at that one.

What qualifies as a contact? It can range from an obviously generic email or random LinkedIn "please add me" without any customization of the message to a highly personalized email or even a telephone call. The first two are borderline spam and I wouldn't count them in such a survey, but some people would...

Multiple emails and LinkedIn messages per day is the usual. I don't even have connections who are recruiters, but I have used agencies to look for jobs in the past. It's almost like they share a candidate database, because I'm not sure how half of them know I exist.

I'm a developer in North-West England, predominantly C#.

Get contacted frequently on Linked-In.

It's annoying because its usually a double-purpose e-mail - we want to hire you to do some contract work OR if you'd liked to hire us to do some contracting work, we'd do that too!

Too many companies trying to scrape together resources to abuse for contract work without any intent on quality it seems.

I have LinkedIn email filtered out, but I still check it once every two weeks or so. Usually, I just respond with a relatively generic "Not available at the moment but thanks", and often add the recruiter as a contact.

You never know when you'll need them, so I wouldn't completely remove your contact info.

Much to my amusement, one actually called me in the time it took me to load this thread and read the top reply.

Here is a visualized chart of the responses: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0Apeq0A1yrFZCdF...

A few a month. It used to be more frequent. When they call, I try to be polite and have a short chat. I tell them where I am, ask what jobs they are hiring for, and promise to send any friends their way if they have a matching background.

A few times a week. I just ignore most of them, but the ones who strike me as very professional and worthwhile usually at least get a short note saying "Not looking right now, but I'll keep you in mind for the future".

I am a high school student who has not worked full-time in the industry. My resume consists of two internships and a handful of side projects. Despite this, recruiters still contact me from time to time. I generally ignore them.

Unless you're being flooded by contacts from recruiters, I'd say it's a bit early in your career to ignore messages from recruiters.

I don't. The recruiters that are contacting him/her today will like have moved on long before he/she needs them.

How are they even getting your info? Linkedin?

I am never contacted, even if my contact info is easy to get to, but then I am not a developer but a CTO/co-director.

Multiple times a day by email, several calls per month. I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know.

I don't have linkedin. I don't get any calls from recruiters.

At least I hope that is the only reason.

I stopped getting so many calls after I gutted my LinkedIn profile. It's still there, but a keyword search for a specific technology isn't going to find me any more.

Putting my resume on Dice has easily doubled how often I get contacted.

I pulled my resume off Dice for exactly that reason.

Once a day. Apparently, C# and .net is popular in MN.

They seem to be generally popular in the midwest. I've attended or worked my company's booth at conferences in other areas and almost never hear .NET stuff. Then I went to CodeMash in Sandusky, OH and probably 70% of the people I talked to were either actively doing .NET things or worked in a shop that was primarily doing .NET things.

twice a week

few a week

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