Technical Recruiting is Broken

February 17, 2019 (5y ago)

On my LinkedIn profile, I explicitly list what I'm looking for in a position to help receive more targeted, relevant messages.

My LinkedIn Bio

Unfortunately, this is assuming that most recruiters actually read my profile. If they did, I wouldn't get emails like this.

Amazon Recruiter

I explicitly list what I don't want, yet still, get tons of recruiter spam. Why is this?

Buying vs. Selling

Hiring is becoming increasingly more difficult, especially in a place with a limited talent pool and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation (2.4%). This leads to companies outsourcing or supplementing hiring by working with third parties.

The bottom line is: the people you're trying to recruit already have a job. The focus needs to be on selling them the position. Let's take a look at some examples. What kind of subject line works best?

Recruiter Email

What does that even mean? Is that an engineer?

Recruiter Email

Okay, that's a bit better.

Recruiter Email

This one really got my attention 😂

Building Relationships

Good recruiters focus on building relationships versus solving an immediate need. I'm not actively looking for a new position right now, but I might be in the future. When a recruiter leaves a positive impression, I'm more likely to return to them when the timing is right.

Rather than dwell on the negatives, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight some positive messages I've received from recruiters and CEOs.

Technical Recruiter
  • He creates a personal connection by reference my writing he's read
  • He compliments me on my skill sets
  • He asks to learn about me instead of plugging a specific job
Technical Recruiter
  • She captures my attention with a great subject line
  • She read my profile to see that I'm into music
Technical Recruiter
  • She understands the benefits I'm looking for by reading my blog
  • She offers to connect me with a developer


What can recruiters do to fix technical recruiting?

  • Make genuine, personal connections
  • Focus on building relationships more than solving immediate needs
  • Do your research on candidates (look at their website, read their blog, etc)

What can recruitees do?

  • Just because there are bad recruiters out there does not mean they're all bad - acknowledge and support those who recruit well and develop relationships
  • Clearly state what you're looking for and what you don't want
  • No false advertising - be able to speak to everything on your resume and LinkedIn

See more discussion on Reddit and Hacker News.