Want to recruit me? Please follow these rules

I get 15-30 calls/emails a week from recruiters (not counting the dozens of auto-generated emails I get).  Being a contractor I’m always trying to build relationships with recruiters so when my contract nears an end, I have plenty of job opportunities to choose from.  I’ve talked with hundreds of recruiters and have come up with a list of rules that I wish all recruiters would follow to help prevent wasting both of our time:

  • Don’t call first.  Send me an email.  Talking takes way longer than emailing, plus I can quickly read the email to see if it’s something I might be interested in.  If so, then we can talk
  • When you do email, send a description of the job, and indicate the pay rate and job location, start date and contract length.  If that info is not included my email back to you will ask for that info (see Email Templates for Recruiters and Questions)
  • Don’t ask me if I know anyone who would be interested in the job.  Just consider it implied.  Your referral fees are almost always so low it’s usually not worth bothering my colleagues
  • Read my resume…don’t send me job descriptions for jobs I don’t want.  If you are not going to put in the time to read my resume before you contact me, you are not a recruiter I want to work with
  • Don’t ask if I am a US citizen.  I am, so if you are looking for H1 visa candidates so you can pay a lower rate, look elsewhere
  • Learn at least a little about the technology so I don’t have to explain it all.  At least know the basics
  • Don’t send me full-time exempt positions.  I am only interested in contract positions
  • Don’t call my home phone.  I wish I could figure out how some of you get that number
  • Don’t call outside of 9-5 CST on weekdays, and never on weekends.  If I want to talk during those times we will setup an appointment
  • Don’t ask for references until I at least have an interview lined up
  • Don’t ask me to come to your office so you can meet me.  Offer to buy me lunch at a place close to me
  • Don’t ask for my resume unless you have an actual position you are recruiting for
  • Don’t tell me your staffing company is “different” and you treat consultants like “family”.  I have a family.  I just want you to find a job for me
  • I am open to travel as long as my expenses are paid.  But I can be just as efficient, and likely even more so, working remotely and saving you all that expense money

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
This entry was posted in Career, Consulting, SQLServerPedia Syndication. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Want to recruit me? Please follow these rules

  1. Shawn Melton says:

    Amen brother!!!

    I keep getting phone calls (that I let go to voice mail) that tell me “I will send you an email too”. Then with LinkedIn, as soon as they call me they find me on there and immediately send a request to join their network.

  2. James just put your rate up there in BIG BOLD LETTERS that should reduce the spam by about 99% ! No more Indian recruiters asking for $35/hr. 😉

  3. Adam Cash says:

    Well I like the list….@Garette: No point generalizing the Indian Recruiters….I am getting constant calls from Fortune 500 companies (Accenture, KPMG etc…offering $70k in a place like California!!)

    • James Serra says:

      Good point Adam. I see a lot of firms from India offering low rates because there are so many layers of companies taking a piece of the rate: A company wants to hire a consultant/contractor, so they have a staffing firm try and fill the position. That staffing firm can’t find someone, so they sub-contract out to a large staffing firm in India. That large staffing firm then sub-contracts out to a smaller staffing firm, and on-and-on. If contacted by a recruiter, the first question to ask them is if they are working directly for the client. If not, they are one of many layers and the rate will be low. As for those large consulting firms offering the low salary, I find that a lot too. Those firms pay a low salary and then bill you at triple (or more) what you are making. The result? Lot’s of junior programmers doing senior level work. That is why so many projects fail or go way over budget. Stay tuned for a future blog post on this topic…

  4. sb says:

    Dear James, your site provided me with invaluable, priceless advice, wisdom, knowledge. As corny as that sounds, I appreciate you being there and publishing all that. Thank you Sir.