Dear recruiter, I won't accept your invitation to connect

| 3 min read

Dear (LinkedIn) recruiter, No, I won't accept your invitation to connect. This is not personal - it's because in my 20 years of career recruiters have been utterly useless.

I guess this sounds harsh, so I'll elaborate a bit.

What I get on a daily basis from recruiters is a version of this:

"Hi Martin, I have an incredible opportunity for you in a very disruptive company using blue and green technology. They have a very dynamic environment and offer a competitive salary. Can you give me a number I can call you on".

Generally missing are:

  • What the company does
  • What the team looks like
  • The salary or rate range
  • What's the work life balance

In a nutshell - I don't get any useful element to be able to even see if I could be interested. Instead I get a sort of template text with two technical words lost in the middle and a demand for my time.

I understand where this come from - if you as a recruiter starts saying anything meaningful about the company (not even saying getting me in contact with them), I'll probably be able to identify them, and your whole value disappear - your service cost a lot to the company and actually to me too!

But Martin you are not paying me? Well - maybe not in money, but in time. Instead of being able to talk (possibly convince) a future boss or colleague, I have to discuss with an intermediary with actually very limited knowledge about the job - and also a very different set of interest.

Generally you'll be paid (in the tens of thousands!) by getting people like me to sign contracts - so you need me (and a lot of other people) to sign 1/fast 2/for a lot of money if possible. The thing is, I'm generally not in a hurry and more interested to know/understand more about my future team and company - something that makes this relation very shaky.

When I look for a job, what I could get from you (I'm guessing as none of those ever happened) is three possible things:

  • Get me in contact with jobs I could not reach myself
  • Manage to "sell" me for an higher price that I could
  • Get me better information about positions or companies than what I can find myself so I can find a job more adequate to what I want

From experience - none of those ever happen.

  • Companies have no incentive to "hide" their job post in a very challenging job market.
  • You never take the time to know me well enough to be an efficient agent (and hence able to sell me better than I can do without going overboard).
  • Getting better information requires to get the company involved and at that time again you become useless to me - I prefer to cut out the intermediary.

For some "usual" questions:

  • "Looking for a job yourself take time": It does indeed, especially as I tend to be a bit picky. But I'm not a company - I have only one "me" to "sell". I can afford to take a bit of time to find a place I'll be happy.
  • "I'm different": I wish I could believe that - but finding out takes time. So if you really think so and want a call - pay me 250€ for the call. I promise I'll join, and if it's useful, maybe we can work together. I made that offer several times - no one ever took it.

So - I won't accept your invitation. The good thing is - you can probably find someone who will. I see that the recruiting industry is still alive and well - as mind boggling as this could be for me.


As a sidenote - this mostly do not apply to company internal recruiters - then tend to understand their company pretty well and are more closely related to the hiring team so there are much less friction in the relation.

Opinions? Let me know on LinkedIn!