Random job board spam - are you a culprit?

Every day I seem to get an email saying I am perfect for a Java or Oracle or other tech job because someone did a key word search on a job board and just messaged everyone. Sure they might toss in a statement to refer someone else if this is "not quite a fit" for me. What does this say to candidates that see your message? How validated do you feel? It makes me feel like the person sending the message has no concern what my background is and is just tossing things against the wall hoping something sticks. 

Are you a culprit of this technique? If so, I want you to consider one thing... when you reach out to someone, you have one chance to make a good impression and empower someone to assist you in some way. By approaching someone with a developer job when they are a recruiter or sales person (or anything that is not the right role), you are saying to them "I don't really care about you unless you are an actual fit for my job" and it terminates most desire by others to assist or even consider your need. Is it a good use of your time or resources? Is it worth the potential negative image you cast of yourself on people who could be future sources of candidates or jobs?

There are automated systems out there that manage this "Spamming" and people are not actually physically sending messages. This does not make it any more justified. It actually makes the process worse. What happened to the resume review process? Has it gone the way of the phone sourcing techniques that have been lost over the last 10 years? I only want one thing for you to take from this. Your image is the one thing that you will always have. How do people see you?

Views: 878

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on November 18, 2011 at 7:22am

Nice post, Chuck.

I've been broadly echoing this sentiment for ages now but recruitment agencies still seem to be in business, so it must be working to some extent?

I guess the real question is, is it really doing their brand/reputation any real damage?  That answer is probably related to the number of candidates that are in the agencies target market.  I doubt the really niche recruiters send out these types of messages - but I could be wrong.

Another question it raises is this; do candidates really care about who the agency/recruiter is, if they need another job?  I don't have the answer to that one.

Comment by Dorothy Wong on November 18, 2011 at 2:56pm

Thanks you sharing Chuck.

I am a social media intern at identified.com. As an active job seeker, I uploaded my resume to many job boards out there to maximize my chance to land a job. Every now and then the job board I submitted my resume to will spam me with positions I have absolutely no interests in. It is true that I am trilingual but I don't speak Spanish. Please stop spamming me with jobs that require fluent Spanish skill. That is just one of the many examples that I have. I can go on for hours with this spamming problem.

After being spammed for months with irrelevant info, I have reported job board as a spammer so that I won't receive anymore emails from that job boards. The reason I did was because as a job seeker every email I receive represent an opportunity I might get, having my hopes up and then finding out the opportunity is irrelevant is too much of a disappointment for me. 

I guess that answers Mitch's question. I don't care about how the agency/recruiter is, but if he or she keeps spamming me, I opt out. I disconnection all communications with him/ her. I understand it might be a lost opportunity for me but I don't wanna be spammed.

There has got to be better ways to match candidates with job postings then spamming people with irrelevant emails. I have been having better luck with social media like facebook, twitter and linkedIn. Well at least I have got some phone calls and emails through those media. I didn't expect anyone to I have been telling my friends who are looking for jobs to boost their social media presence because of the positive experience I have had with social recruitment.

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Comment by Melissa Zentgraf on November 18, 2011 at 3:15pm

I am very careful about the people I contact through boards and LinkedIn.  When I send them a message, and each one is personalized, I always add something about the resume that caught my attention.  It can be something about their experience, or something they added that was personal.  Anything that shows them that yes, I actually read their resume/profile.  Because of that, I have a very high response rate, even if it is them just saying no.  But even if they said no today, I've opened the dialogue for next time.


I just wish they wouldn't reply to my inMails just to say no.  Those things are precious....

Comment by Chuck Radcliff on November 18, 2011 at 3:21pm

Melissa, try putting a final line that states, "Please respond if you are interested in speaking further or share with others who might be. If there is no interest at this time, please disregard or archive this message."

Comment by Sandra McCartt on November 18, 2011 at 4:05pm

I think perhpas part of the reason we are seeing so much spam both to candidates and from boards is because so many people are using technology to do their contacting instead of doing it themselves.  All these sexy apps work on keywords but they can't tell the difference between Manhattan software and Manhattan, New York.  If a resume says trilingual or bilingual the technology doen'st know which three languages unless the job and the resume both have all of it and then it will pick up the one word and forward.  The joys of progress always  bring about unintended consequences.


Would somebody please tell the Identified interns that it is possible to respond to a post without making it an infomercial.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on November 18, 2011 at 7:42pm

@Sandra you noticed that too? :)

Comment by Chuck Radcliff on November 21, 2011 at 11:51am

Very well put Sandra. The question is how can these tools be used effectively and not create a negative light on the recruiter?


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