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The problem is when the unsolicited attention becomes a distraction. When you have engineers that can have their work process interrupted by something as trivial as workplace banter, an overzealous recruiter that calls incessantly, spams your email with job listings (for "anyone you might know looking for a new opportunity"), and in general doesn't know when to stop is something most developers would rather do without.

I've worked with a few good recruiters, but even over a 5-month job search and talking to every major recruiting firm in town, I got zero actual job offers (and only one real promising lead that fizzled out on the company's side). There's a LOT of inefficiency in the system.

These tactics are driven by recruiting managers running a bullpen and stressing it's a numbers game. They'd encourage you to make 200 calls a day until someone bites. I'd rather make 20 targeted approaches (via email almost exclusively these days) than interrupt people that are working by phone unnecessarily.

Contingency recruiting and the incentives inherent in that model, again, is at the heart of the problem.

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