I have a problem. Hundreds of people every week contact me to try to get me to work for them.

In an economic downturn, this may sound like what I call a ‘high-class problem.’ Noted examples of high-class problems include: paying taxes on your lottery winnings, being unable to make up your mind between your Harvard and Yale college acceptance letters, and getting a shopping cart dent in your Rolls Royce.

It may sound like I should have absolutely no problem finding my next contract or FTE position, but the truth is that I am bewildered by the sheer quantity of irrelevant job postings and shady headhunters by which I am besieged on a weekly basis. This is no joke: I have hired a remote assistant whose sole job for me is to go through all my emails related to job postings. I have no way to process them all and still get coding, blogging, eating, and living done. I have an obligation to follow up on each posting that fits my skill set, and
I am trying my best to do so…but there’s no way to spend hours per response following up on thousands of postings–99.7% of which are irrelevant due to location, skill set, or compensation level.

Then, we come to the issue of rude and unethical recruiters. I’ve had some recent encounters that inspired this series; I’ll be describing that situation as I discuss the ethics of recruitment from the other side–the people being recruited. I’m bombarded by recruiters who have the incentive to email as many people as possible, since they have no reason to care about the skill sets or fit of the people they’re slotting into jobs. They’re paid by the number of people they place, not the quality of the placement or its duration. That doesn’t add up to a recruitment culture of individualized attention and courtesy. I’m also constantly hit by emails demanding my time and effort without so much as a ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

Finally, there are rules that good recruiters follow which instantly
get my attention and cause me to work with them. I’ll let you know what traits a recruiter possesses to make me work with them again and again.

So, over the next several days, I’ll be posting a multi-part series on how to recruit me. I want to be hired; people certainly want to hire me–so why is it so hard to be paired with a recruiter who has actually read my resume and thinks I’d be a great fit for their open position?

Welcome to the joy of being heavily recruited by thousands of clueless and careless headhunters who have your email address and phone number.

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