Recruiters, Please Stop Playing the Guessing Game

Nov 29, 2021 · Brittani S Avery


A few days ago, I received an email with the subject "The hiring Director of Engineering is interested in your technical expertise." It's nothing uncommon for me to receive an email or LinkedIn message with a similar subject. For the past several years, I have gotten a message from a recruiter asking if I'm looking for a new position at least once a month. With the Great Resignation still going strong and companies having plenty of positions to fill, I sometimes get messages every week. I try my best to reply to each recruiter since I know what it is like to get ghosted, but time may get away from me.

This particular email is an exaggerated example of a style of message I and other professionals have received. See if you can notice what's missing from this email. The name of the recruiters and the recruiting company have be changed, but everything else is completely and absolutely legitimate.

Hi Brittani, are you still open to new opportunities?
My associate Larry at ABC Recruiting forwarded me your info and the hiring Director of Engineering at a successful company I'm currently working with is interested in your technical expertise for a Senior position.

Typically, they do a 30-minute interview.
He is available this week Tuesday, Wednesday between 1 pm to 6 pm.

Please let me know what day and time are good for you and I will forward you the details.

What is the best number the hiring Director can call you at?

The salary is excellent with great stock options, bonus, 401K, full benefits and more.
This is a great opportunity.

Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Bob Smith
Client Account Manager
ABC Recruiting

Can you tell what's missing? Honestly, it's easier to list the things the email did tell us. A male director of engineering is looking for a senior developer (maybe?). His availability is Tuesday or Wednesday 1PM through 6PM and the interview will probably be 30 minutes. And...that's it.

We don't know the name and industry of the company, the type of position (frontend, backend, both?), the technology and languages used by the company, the location of the position (remote or in office and if so, where), and the "excellent" salary and benefits. In order for me to get these details, I would have to agree to an interview with an unknown company for an unknown senior position. That doesn't make sense to me.

As I stated at the start, this is an extreme example of a recruiter message with missing information. However, many of the recruiters that are attempting to recruit me do not list the company's name. They may state the industry and general product(s) of the company, which often allows me to google the company myself. It's like a secret that is only revealed to those who are deemed worthy. Shouldn't recruiters be proud of their clients and let potential candidates know who they may be working for in these "great opportunities"?

I realize that most recruiters are just keyword-searching and throwing a bunch of lines out into the water, hoping for bites. However, it would be nice if a bit more effort was done on their part. Give me the full job description—company name included since that must be stated—instead of getting me on a call that doesn't go anywhere because I don't have the right skills, the right experience, or the right culture fit.

This isn't, of course, every recruiter. The recruiters from specific companies always state that they're from Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, etc. That is to be expected. The truly rare recruiters are the ones that take an interest in me as a person rather than their next chance at a big payout. One recruiter reached out to me explaining that he enjoyed my 30 for 30 post. After our discussion, which lasted almost an hour, he joined my newsletter. Another reached out to me since we are both Black and in tech (a rather noteworthy combination) and he wanted to make a connection, not just sell me a job. I would love to connect with more recruiters like these gentlemen, people who see more than just the positions I have held or the languages I know.

While I doubt I'll get more personal interaction with recruiters, not having to play the guessing game would be more than enough for me. So please recruiters, give me the full details of a potential job: company name, salary range, location. kthxbye!

Title graphic: "Who's that Pokemon?" template from DesenhosdoReu on DeviantArt


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