Why You Should be Nice to Recruiters
I see a lot of articles lately that rally against the evils of recruiters. And while I have seen the bad, I am here to tell you: You should be nice to recruiters.
If you are even a somewhat competent developer you will get a lot of phone calls, email, and Linkedin requests from recruiters. That’s how it is in today’s job market. There are more tech jobs out there than there were at the height of the dot.com boom and it only seems to be going up. And there are recruiters out there trying to do their jobs filling those positions. Some recruiters will be good and will target you directly and some will be canvassing for anyone who will respond. Some will be experienced and some will be new and will be reading straight from a script. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be nice to recruiters.
Recruiters help you get a job.
It seems stupid to even say this, but recruiters are trying to help you get a new job when you need/want one.
Recruiters become part of your network.
Even if you don’t need a job right now, you may at some point. And if you don’t need a job then you may need to hire good people, developers or *gasp* non-developers. Having a strong network of people who can help you do that is a good thing. Weak ties tend to be important and recruiters tend to know a lot of people.
Recruiters can be a source of knowledge.
Want to know what is actually going on in the job market? Ask the recruiters that call you. They can tell you what languages and technologies people are really using and hiring for. They can also tell you what problems their clients are facing.
Be a good human being.
Beyond all of this, just be a good human being. That means being nice to people. Being rude to people doesn’t pay off.
What should you do about all the calls, emails, and Linkedin requests? Pretty simple. Answer the ones you find relevant, usually through email or Linkedin. If you aren’t looking, send the recruiter a simple message saying you aren’t looking currently but would like to keep in touch for the future and would like to connect on Linkedin. I have never had a bad response using this technique. In fact, most recruiters simply send a note back saying thanks and will keep in touch. Remember: recruiters don’t want to waste your time any more than they want to waste theirs.
What about the irrelevant emails or Linkedin requests? They are only irrelevant to you. Ignore them. No, don’t respond back. No, don’t send a form letter. No, don’t be rude. Just let it go. You don’t respond to every spam email you get, do you? It is pretty simple to tell if a recruiter is canvassing or not and if they are professional or not. I don’t accept every Linkedin request from every recruiter who contacts me. I look at their profile and make a decision.
Be nice to recruiters. Build your network even if you aren’t looking for a job right now. It will pay off in the future. And even if you never find a job through a recruiter, at least you were a good human being.