The recruiter rings twice -- and still gets it wrong

A company's sloppy recruiters waste employees' time with false flattery and slipshod research

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again -- if you're a tech recruiter who hasn't done one jot of research. An IT pro's day is busy enough without taking meaningless calls from lazy recruiters.

Is it too much to ask for them to do their work?

Mistaken identity

I was employed by “Acme Corp.” as a system administrator. It was a midsize organization, so by no means were there a large number of employees to keep track of.

One day, I was sitting in my office and received a LinkedIn request from a recruiter from Acme Corp. He waxed eloquently about how great my skill set looked, how great the company was, and what a great fit I’d be in the IT department. He then asked if I’d be interested in applying for a system administrator position at Acme Corp.

I reread the message a couple of times to make sure it was for real and I wasn’t missing anything. I was not.

In my reply, I enjoyed breaking the news to him that I was already employed at Acme as a system administrator and had been for a couple of years. The recruiter apologized, and we had a good laugh about it.

I left that company after a while due to gross negligence by HR in dealing with multiple personnel issues across the departments, along with a large outsourcing push that dragged an already tight schedule even further behind. It was a tough final year, and I was happy to move on, close that chapter in my life, and settle into my new job at a new company.

Invalid research

A few months later, I received a new LinkedIn request from a recruiter at Acme Corp. It was like déjà vu as I read the recruiter’s message, which said I'd be a great fit for Acme Corp. in a system administrator position. My experience and background looked terrific, and it was a great company to work for. Would I be interested in interviewing?

It was a different recruiter. And this time, I didn’t even double-check to see if I had misread the message. I replied, saying, "That was my old job. I recently left the company!"

His answer: "Oh, so you're looking then!"

I couldn’t believe that he had clearly not done his research before he contacted me. My LinkedIn profile listed my previous position at Acme Corp., including title and dates. My new position at the new company was listed as well.

I like to give the benefit of the doubt when appropriate, and one mistake I can perhaps understand. But twice? How can you overlook such basic and important details on two separate occasions? I guess it’s the approach of “send out a bunch of emails and hope that something sticks and don’t even bother to look.” Please, don’t waste my time.