Allison Kruse wrote a thoughtful article on the issue of excessive amounts of email being sent by recruiters.  I do applaud her concern and think that she has a good point.  

At the same time, I wonder how many placements she has made in the realm of technical search, where there are sometimes extremely few candidates that can perform a certain job, and a huge number of possible candidates to research.  

In any case, she has some valid points.  Here is her article:

Here is my response:

I would like to offer a dissenting opinion, while acknowledging that poorly-written email is a definite turn-off to many candidates. Still, I think reaction to emails varies drastically by market sectors. There are some industries, like software, where mass emails simply don't work.

There are other sectors, like chemical engineering and chemistry, electrical engineering, etc., where it works amazingly well. I've repeatedly been told that my emails always contain the most exciting and interesting jobs in the industry, and I get many requests to put people on my email lists. I've also received many other compliments. Perhaps the level of professionalism exhibited in the email is another factor... maybe most recruiters are simply doing a very poor job of it. I have people on my email list that have been reading my blasts for 15 years or more, in many cases.

The fact of the matter is simply that a well-polished, well-written job description email is a much more efficient way to advertise an open position than painstakingly going to every single candidate.... If you are working in a field with 50,000 skilled scientists, you really can't approach each one of them individually, and they know that. I usually work with PhDs who almost never complain, probably because they realize how hard a job it is to actually find the very best people... On the other hand software engineers have a tendency to complain; but I've also placed PhD Software engineers who were great guys, and never said anything negative about the email approach, and have been on my friend lists for over a decade.

I try to use both a wide-spread mailing approach (and I have a complaint rate of about 1 per 20,000 emails), as well as a pin-point targeted approach with complete personalization to each individual that I can establish as a qualified candidate. The truth is, you can't really predict which approach will work best, in any given situation.

Most recently, my client (a major Energy company) told me that they found my approach to be the best experience they had ever had with a recruiter (and they have used many)... Similarly, my candidates that I identified by email were extremely pleased that I found them at all, and have been ideal and very cooperative to work with. All of my clients are very loyal to my work, and I almost always get repeat business. Similarly, my candidates are very friendly, cooperative, upbeat, highly professional, and rarely have anything negative to say.

When I have had negative results, it has been almost exclusively from software engineers who basically lied about receiving so many job offers that they just hate recruiters. I actually researched this and found that they were receiving about 1/10th the amount of recruiter email that they were claiming. I've also had people curse me for sending them a "bad match" when I know for certain it was extremely accurate, and I had done my homework (due diligence) extremely fastidiously. So, I think mostly the critics are lying. You can also tell because they tend to come from rather inferior colleges, and tend to be paid substantially less than the vast majority of skilled technical people who don't complain about recruiters networking with opportunities.

So, I'm not buying this "recruiterspam" nonsense. I've been doing this for a long time, and it has worked great in every high-tech industry with the exception of a small subset of the software industry... Most people have very positive reactions to well-constructed email offering them a six-figure job opportunity. If they don't like it, they are welcome to unsubscribe. But, the bottom line is that whatever approach you use, it has to be one that works. If it's not working, then fix it.

Views: 564

Comment by Katelyn Hudson on September 23, 2016 at 11:26am

The key to not spamming candidates is to approach them with the RIGHT opportunity at the RIGHT time.  This is easier said than done. ENGAGE is a new sourcing intelligence platform that uses predictive analytics to help you do just that, because timing is everything.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on September 29, 2016 at 1:36am

Katelyn Hudson

Hi Katelyn.  Your point is taken, but I should also add that your comment is actually spammish, since it is clearly plugging a product which might help reduce spam.  So, your product intrigues me, and sounds like something I want to know more about, but you still must appreciate the irony that your comment spam is triggering my anti-spamming reflexes.  


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