Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


LinkedIn spam?
March 18, 2014 5:21 AM   Subscribe

What's your feeling on unsolicited recruiter spam on LinkedIn? Because now I want to spam you.

I get a lot of recruiter spam on LinkedIn. I think it's pretty harmless and easy to ignore.

Now, I'm trying to hire two web software engineers, one in Oakland, CA, one in Newcastle UK, in the 2~4 years experience range.

More senior people are relatively easy to source (internal/personal referrals), and recent grads are relatively easy to source (lots of them). But for this lower-mid-range, we're really struggling to find candidates. My internal recruiter in the US, and our agency recruiters in the UK, are coming up with nothing promising at all.

I find myself wanting to just start spamming anybody on LinkedIn who looks like a reasonable fit for the position.

So the questions: How offensive to you are unsolicited job spam? What could the spammer do to make you less antagonistic to the spam? (eg, if the message suggested that even if *you* aren't looking for a new gig, this might be a great opportunity to help out any friends of yours, would that make it more palatable?)

Any other considerations?

Thanks
posted by colin_l to Work & Money (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I wouldn't mind getting unsolicited job offers on linkedin in since that's pretty much what it's for, especially if I have selected "job offers" in reasons to be contacted at the bottom of my profile.
posted by modernnomad at 5:25 AM on March 18


LinkedIn profiles exist for people to look for jobs, so I think unsolicited job spam is fine (caveats: in moderation, don't spam the same person more than once, make sure your message is targeted and that you've actually read their profile, etc).

OTOH, I get quite irritated when recruiters suggest that I might want to recommend any of my friends for a job: for me, that's a favour they're asking, and I have no reason to pass on their spam. The most that would be acceptable for me would be a quick note that they'd be interested to hear from anyone else I know looking for a job.
posted by katrielalex at 5:25 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


I've been the recipient of many unsolicited job offers. I've even interviewed for those jobs. TRUST me, if you phrase your inquiry as an actual person trying to fill an actual job, and you touch on things that are mentioned in my profile that lead you to me, I'm all ears.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:31 AM on March 18 [7 favorites]


LinkedIn is a business networking website. You emails are about business - they are job offers. Within the context of LinkedIn, I don't think unsolicited job offers are spam at all - I think that is part of the very reason people create LinkedIn profiles.
posted by Flood at 5:45 AM on March 18


My general rule for recruiters is a) if you contact me, you need to have a position in hand to talk to me about -- I'm not farming my contacts to you, and b) that position had better be appropriate. I'm a professional with a pretty awesome work history, and I still get a lot of recruiters trying to offer me entry level crap.
posted by bfranklin at 5:46 AM on March 18 [8 favorites]


More senior people are relatively easy to source (internal/personal referrals), and recent grads are relatively easy to source (lots of them). But for this lower-mid-range, we're really struggling to find candidates.

I'm in a different field, but it's a pain in the other direction, too, with most jobs I see targeting new grads or very senior people. So yes, I'd welcome (polite, relevant, and non-spammy) contacts from recruiters, simply because otherwise there are few visible options.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:48 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I get quite irritated when recruiters suggest that I might want to recommend any of my friends for a job: for me, that's a favour they're asking, and I have no reason to pass on their spam.

Just as an FYI, that's a subtle way of the recruiter asking if you might be interested in a/the position.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:11 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Just as an FYI, that's a subtle way of the recruiter asking if you might be interested in a/the position.

No it means they are on a fishing expedition. 9 out of 10 Linked in job contacts, either via email or requests are waaaayyyy off base, either offering me entry level positions, or totally inappropriate positions given my resume. In other words these people see a few key words and it is bombs away! As mentioned above a well thought out and appropriate offer would not be unappreciated.
posted by Gungho at 6:18 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I don't mind getting unsolicited job offers through LinkedIn. That's how I got my job.
posted by hat_eater at 6:23 AM on March 18


that's a subtle way of the recruiter asking if you might be interested in a/the position.

Yeah, no. "Subtle" is a word not commonly associated with recruiters.

Job offers are what LinkedIn is for, but you do have to work to differentiate yourself from the scattershot recruiter spam if you don't want to be ignored by the candidates. This means
* only send to people who have indicated on their profile that they are interested in job offers
* only send to people you might actually hire based on their profile/resume, not to "anybody who looks like a reasonable fit"
* make it clear that this is for an actual job, and describe its specific narrow requirements -- recruiter spam is usually "now hiring for any of the following umpteen unrelated skills!"
* don't do the "if you aren't looking but want to help out a friend" thing because it makes it look less like a legitimate offer. Also it's pointless. (If I get a job offer that's perfect for my friend Joe I'm going to pass it on to Joe whether the recruiter asks me to or not.)
posted by ook at 6:45 AM on March 18 [6 favorites]


When I was looking for employment, I would have welcomed "spam" like this!
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:52 AM on March 18


Ook's comments are all good.

I would also recommend not approaching anyone who has been in their role less than two years, even if they have indicated they are interested in job offers. Many people change jobs and forget that they have this setting turned on.

There is nothing more annoying than moving to a new job and having recruitment agents contact you for weeks afterwards - even though it's clear that you're not going to jump ship so early on.
posted by mr_silver at 6:53 AM on March 18


Be honest about the hiring firm and name names if possible. I get recruiting spam daily because of my employment history, and I have less than zero interest in working for a "groundbreaking" "high velocity" startup in "hyper growth mode". I work in the industry, just tell me the name of the company.
posted by telegraph at 7:01 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


I think ook has the exact right of it, with one possible exception:

* only send to people who have indicated on their profile that they are interested in job offers

I don't know anybody who explicitly says this on their profile, and that includes myself and lots of people I know who are very actively searching for new jobs. This is at least in part because if you're currently employed, you probably have coworkers connected on LinkedIn, and there are very reasonable reasons to not want your coworkers & boss to know that you're looking for a new job.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:04 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Seems like you should approach it like a dating website.
Read their profile, only make contact if you think you will hit it off and so on?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:09 AM on March 18


I don't mind getting job leads on LinkedIn, but I'm irritated if it's a job that's obviously completed unrelated to my interests or skills, or obviously very junior or very senior. So, yeah, it the job seems like a probably good fit based on what's in my profile, I'm happy to see it, especially if the recruiter/contact explains their interest. But the job is something I'm obviously unqualified for (i.e. it requires a degree in engineering and you can see from my profile that my education is in social sciences) I'd be irritated by the contact.
posted by Kurichina at 7:16 AM on March 18


only send to people who have indicated on their profile that they are interested in job offers

Yeah, whoops, sorry, never mind that bit. LinkedIn used to have a set of checkboxes on the profile for users to indicate that they are or are not interested in job offers, networking, questions, and a few other categories. I see now that that's gone -- they've replaced it with a freeform "advice for people who want to contact you" which, as Tomorrowful points out, people are a lot less likely to have filled in.
posted by ook at 7:46 AM on March 18


I don't explicitly say I'm looking for work. I don't generally mind getting recruiter emails.

As others say above - what makes it a massive PITA is getting emails that say "I read your profile and you'd be a strong fit for this position!" when the position is for Managing Director of Widgets and you had a widget internship 10 years ago but otherwise your resume reflects your career in foo.
posted by bunderful at 7:47 AM on March 18


@ook - it's not gone, it's just very well hidden.

If you hover over your picture in the upper-right, and choose Privacy Settings, then the Communication tab on the lower box, there's an option "Select the types of messages you're willing to receive" with all the old checkboxes.
posted by colin_l at 7:51 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I'm fine with unsolicited LI emails as long as they are relevant to what I do.
posted by COD at 9:10 AM on March 18


The fact that I have gotten a couple such messages is pretty much the only evidence I am ever able to offer for LinkedIn's usefulness. (In other words, go for it.)
posted by wintersweet at 9:47 AM on March 18


I agree with those who say "be specific." Honestly just mentioning the name of the company would make a big difference in how seriously I take a piece of LinkedIn mail, and would distinguish you from most of the recruiter-spam I see. (I'm a newbie junior dev, though, not in your demo.)
posted by mskyle at 9:49 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Thanks, all.

It sounds like the rules of thumb are:

* Only contact people who actually look like a strong fit
* Be very specific about the position, the company, and why you're contacting the person
* don't ask them to forward it along to friends who might be interested
* respect defined privacy settings

sounds good to me.

Many thanks.
posted by colin_l at 10:04 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Also, try to stay away from email templates. They're so easy to mess up. I get at least one recruiter email per day, and if I see any where it's like "hi [NAME] are you interested in a [POSITION] opening" (where you left those bracketed placeholders in), I'll just laugh at you and hit "delete". It sounds common sense, but you'll be surprised how many recruiters goof this up.
posted by curagea at 2:07 PM on March 18


Those are good rules. I'll add:

- please explain why you think the person would be a good fit for the role, especially if they lack one of the key skills (I'm thinking here of the recruiter who contacted both me and a junior colleague about a highly lucrative Java development role - when I'd not used Java since university, fifteen years ago, and she had no coding experience at all beyond JavaScript);

- please make sure your message is grammatical and contains no misspellings;

- please don't invite them to connect with you without making your purpose clear. When it's left unspoken, I'm always scared that the purpose is "to give me an air of legitimacy when I go on to contact your first-order contacts", especially in conjunction with a badly targeted or illiterate approach.

Also, please don't take offence if people don't reply. Someone who's not actively looking for a job may not log into LinkedIn very often, and it generates so much spam ("Congratulate X on his work anniversary!", "Here are four Groups we think you should join", "Y [who worked with you for a week ten years ago] has endorsed you for [skill you didn't use on that project]!", "Top people in your field are reading these articles!" etc.) that I can't be the only currently-happily-employed person to have filtered its notifications into a seldom-checked folder.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:15 AM on March 19


« Older What is the best way to take g...   |  I'm in a PhD program pursuing ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments