The New Age of Recruiting Spammers

I definitely echo the sentiments of people who say that recruitment is like sales; however not with the side-effects that it brings to the table. After all, recruitment is all about people, relationships and building network, isn’t it?

I have been using LinkedIn quite effectively to broadcast (advertise) job requirements as well as headhunt candidates. I am also very much active and open networker and sincerely believe the power of networking within and outside industry. This means that a big part of my network consists recruiters and HR professionals. While I understand the value of creating a powerful network within my industry, I am professional enough to respect the network and communication within the network.

Lately I have been observing an emergence of new breed of recruiters who think “quantity” and “visibility” of their messages through LinkedIn (or any other network for that matter) is the best way to broadcast their requirements. In short, these so-called professionals are spamming status messages and job posts put in LinkedIn with their own requirements. While it is expected for recruiters to network with one another to advertise their requirements to collect referrals, putting unsolicited messages (a.k.a. irrelevant job postings) is definitely not professional networking.

Here are some examples

I posted my rant as a status against this spam and even this did not stop the spammers from commenting on that rant itself. I wonder if they read the message at all before spamming?

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Here’s my take:

  • Recruiters need a serious training on the very basic concepts of social media and networking. As they say: power comes with responsibility.
  • Social recruitment seems to be mistakenly considered as substitute to use a heavy advertising medium without considering anything to do with networking and people.
  • Recruiters are one of the best brand ambassadors for their own companies – either agency OR in-house recruitment teams. These spam messages do not reflect positively for these brands.
  • Yes – social media is indeed a best tool for broadcasting your information to masses. However, one needs to understand why, how and where’s without losing a professional touch.
  • A recruiter commenting on another recruiter’s status message really does not work anyway. It is like recruiters exchanging their own requirements with each other rather than targeting right audience; hence no outcome.
  • Finally, it might be a better idea to ask your network to help you with your own requirements separately. They may choose to put your message in their network to expand the reach. Nevertheless, it’s a more original idea to build your own network with relevant people rather than using someone else’s. Value in social media does not give results in day or two – you need to make it work.

My sincere intention here is not to pinpoint anyone and I apologize if I sound like it. I would like to emphasize on the fact that though social media opens up a huge platform to reach out to literally everyone on internet, one should not neglect professionalism and core networking protocols while doing so. As recruitment professionals, we should take pride in what we do but with greater responsibility.

At least now, I can hope no recruiter will put his or her requirement as reply to my status message for this post.

Sarang Brahme has been in sourcing for the last seven years. He began with job board sourcing and networking and gradually found his way into the magical world of sourcing. He has enjoyed wearing different hats, including sourcer, recruiter, team lead, client servicing manager, pre-sales, executive hiring and social media / training – but beneath all that, sourcing is what makes him happy. Currently, Brahme is part of Sourcing COE at Capgemini India and leads Social Media and Sourcing Training. He is a firm believer in the recruitment sourcing concept and always thinks that sourcing as a function has immense power to change the way recruiters recruit.


13 Comments on “The New Age of Recruiting Spammers

  1. Where there is Marketing there is SPAMing. Remember there
    are even courses titled Guerrilla marketing taught on respective institutions.
    Now where there is Branding, that is a completely different story. So you will
    get SPAM from the Agency Recruiter, but rarely from an in house recruiter.

    1. I
      hate the recruiters that send me e-mails saying “after reviewing your
      resume you seem like a good fit for a technical position in XXX.” They
      just search key words and blast away. Yes, I am a technical recruiter and have
      those key words in my resume. Sometimes they even call and I ask them if they
      are looking at my resume and they say yes. I either reply saying go ahead and
      submit me or send them a reply saying you need to see an optometrist with a
      blind link to a Google search of Optometrist in their zip code saying this link
      will help them find their candidate.

      are turning off candidates to all recruiters. 
      I try to put something relevant, either former employee or school in the
      subject line of e-mails now, so candidates do not delete without out even
      reading the e-mail as well as follow up with a voice mail immediately or prior.

  2. Good read and like the advice, shame that it wont be absorbed by the spam recruiters that need to read it. 

  3. Wow, whats it like up their on your high horse??? Surely as a succesful and experienced recruiter you would know that creativity and tenacity is key when your are sourcing – particularly niche roles – and these guys are using all the tools at their disposal. If they get one candidate from their “Spamming” then it’s been worth their while.

    1. Hi Paul, while I understand your PoV here, it’s pretty “end justifies the means,” and though getting one candidate may seem like a win here, I think the recruiter ends up winning the battle and losing the war because by spamming 100 prospects to find 1 candidate, chances are the other 99 people are annoyed/pissed off/irritated and now have a bad taste for not just the recruiter, but for the company itself.

      To me, getting one candidate via blanket emails is not worth the fallout it creates.

  4. @730d733151086664cd02515e972c17bb:disqus My firm works with recruitment companies all day, every day and I’d like to point out a flaw in your reasoning. Imagine 2 guys at a bar, chatting away about the weekend’s rugby. In runs another guy running around, shouting aloud, asking if anyone would like to buy some double glazing. Sure, he may find one person that needs some new windows but the far more likely outcome is that no one wants windows and he’s annoyed everyone in that bar. That’s what recruiters do every day in the online space.

    If that same guy walks quietly to the bar and over hears a conversation about the rugby, interjects in the correct manner with a relevant comment about that rugby match then he will be accepted by the group and within 5 minutes, they will not be able to help themselves and will ask what he does. The fact that he replies ‘I sell double glazing’ doesn’t matter anymore as he hasn’t forced it upon them. That’s the essence of what we teach at eSocialMedia, listen first, then engage properly.

    In the second scenario, he hasn’t annoyed anyone in that bar (read forum) and can quietly approach the rest of the people in that bar if he has something to add to their conversation.  – here is a relevant blog post. Hope this helps,



    Any questions please feel to e-mail me on

  5. Sarang,
    While I would agree that spamming doesn’t help anybody and least of all spammers themselves, I doubt that posting here on SourceCon would reach any spammers and stop them from continuing… Platforms such as LinkedIn and search engines such as Google all take serious measures to prevent spam, but it is inevitable. 

    We should take control and moderate public posts where we can, such as on our forums and groups. Otherwise, setting up email filters, removing spam comments on your status, and continuing good work and being role models in the ways the social media is used seems like the way to be. I don’t think we will ever be able to control what others do with powerful tools like email and LinkedIn, and that’s OK. Good work still stands out and brings results.

    1.  Hi Irina, while I agree that posting at SourceCon may not reach to the target audience; SourceCon is a learning platform for newbies in sourcing and it could benefit them in understanding basic does and don’ts in their early days for social media. It’s all part of learning.

  6. Gareth, I like the analogy!  Connect first and the interest will develop naturally.  I’ve worked with candidates that way throughout my career and it’s paid me back tenfold.  Check out my blog on that: it’s on my profile and I’m the only BillBarnes on LinkedIn (stayed up until 1:00 AM to claim that).

    I have to admit that I’m new to using Social Media for recruiting, but even I have noticed that a lot of the activity seems to be non-productive.  Like a networking group for salesmen who all end up trying to sell to each other.

    But the tools will evolve as they want; I don’t think there’s really much we can do about that.  Maybe take Irina’s viewpoint and hope that the equivalent of email spam filters eventually develops.  I’m a huge fan of Gmail only because their spam filters work so well – I was a Beta user (I don’t have a clue why, but one day when I opened my browser there was an invitation to sign up, way before it was released to the public).  The others; not so much – though they have improved.

    I hate to use the term “adding value” because we’re discussing people, not computer systems.  But if you add value to the rugby conversation by joining in with new rugby factoids, then you’re on the right track.  Because it all comes down to selling your opening/company/self.  And the best way to sell something is to give something away first.

  7. A very nice post, i admit that in every field the recruiter should be proper.He should fulfill all the qualities which he deserves.As in the recruitment the pride is there but the responsibilities should also be fulfilled.

  8. Yup pretty sick of this sort of spam on linkedin. 4/5 linkedin messages in my inbox are recruiter spam. I did have a bit of a chuckle at their spammy response to your post though; people who are clueless enough to ‘like’ their own posts can’t be expected to be advertise for great brands or have the sense to stay the heck away from rants about recruitment spam. Just flag them and move on.

  9. The new recruit will have to get more clients from whom he will get some profit.The Malaysian government has decided to open its labour market for Bangladeshi workers who will be recruited on government-to-government.

  10. Is it just me or will Alexander Loveridge from Computer Futures only be happy when he sends SPAM about every role he has to every man, women and child (or working age or not) in the UK? I’m pretty sure even my dear old Mum (aged 67) and my 10 year-old nephew got his creepy spam circular about the Junior Java Developer role in Coventry. Please, Computer Futures, tell this lazy chump (Alexander Loveridge) to actually do some proper candidate research rather than spam the entire UK workforce.

  11. You may want to take a look at . It gives details on how to filter out some big offenders. The way I did it used cPanel filtering but damned if it doesn’t kill 95% of these cockroaches. In my case that was Job Diva doing all the spamming.

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