Despite the news stories about tech company hiring freezes, rescinded offers, and layoffs, recruiting emails don’t seem to be slowing down. My role is not the most in-demand (it doesn’t include “ML”), but even I receive around one email a day asking if I’d be open to a quick chat.
I decided years ago to apply the Golden Rule and to review and reply to every single recruiting message. Depending on how interesting the role sounds, I may check out the job posting and the company website to get a feel for what the job would be like. And then 99 times out of 100, I respond with:
Thank you for contacting me but I am not looking for a change at this time.
In some ways recruiting letters are a cold sales pitch, and I would not respond to every marketing message I receive. But individual recruiters, no matter how copypasta their message seems, are people. As a fellow people, I appreciate that each recruiter is doing their job and deserves a response, no matter how simple that response might be.
And I even type it all out every time, no copypasta here.
Since my kids are working fast food jobs, I see first hand the stark contrast between jobs that wouldn’t even feed—much less house—my family and the well-paid career I’ve been fortunate to enjoy. I don’t ever take it for granted that not only does one company think my contributions are valuable, but many companies are willing to compete over me. It’s a vast departure from where I started adulthood, and every recruiting email makes me grateful to be on the path I’m on.
Now I just need to stop lying to all those recruiters. If I were to be open to a change and I’m just not open to that change, how would I word it? I’ve been debating something like this:
Thank you for contacting me but the change I’m looking for is not represented in your email.
That sounds a little melodramatic. What about…
Thank you for contacting me but that sounds boring as fuck.
That’s definitely what I’m thinking many times (NFT, blockchain, fintech 🥱), but recruiters don’t always get to choose what they’re selling, so I’ll be kind.
Thank you for contacting me. While I am considering a change, this role does not sound like what I’m looking for.
There we go. That may encourage some recruiters to try again, but it’s more honest. People deserve honesty.