I also posted this on my LinkedIn, but just to have some coverage I have posted it here as well.

I have a pet peeve. When recruiters/headhunters try to pitch me for a position at a certain client, they are always so skimpy with information. It is always generic terms like “a client” or “a big player in ” and some vague and incomplete description of the typical work involved, and usually some namedropping of some big clients. This does not entice me at all. In fact, I really wonder how this trend of withholding information came about. You are pitching me, so provide me with information. I will not tell other recruiters, honest. Not giving me all the information tells me that you don’t trust me, and that is no way to start a relationship if you ask me.

Here’s a worthwhile tip for you headhunters and recruiters out there. Provide full disclosure. If you want to really show that you are serious about trying to entice me to leave my current position for another one, you will have to provide at least the following information:

  • Who are you trying to recruit for? No vague statements. Name company names. I know how to Google, you don’t have to provide a complete bio for a company. I might know of them already, and otherwise, I will look them up.
  • What is the work? Tell me what they have and what they want. What would your client need me for? Give me specifics.
  • For how long? What is the initial time frame that they need extra FTEs for? Is there a possibility for a fixed contract? Again, specifics
  • What’s in it for me? What is the salary bracket you are recruiting for? What are the fringe benefits? How about insurances, compensations and the like?

Yes, I will treat all information I receive with the utmost confidentiality. I have worked with NDAs my whole career, so I know how to keep a lid on something. Instead of trying to entice me with summary information, just come out with it. When it comes to prospective new jobs, I don’t like surprises.

I hope this helps the recruiters and headhunters amongst you in finding valuable new people for your clients. The engineers you are trying to recruit will thank you for your candour.

PS: If you are worried that I (or someone else) will go to your client directly, well, I won’t. You are the guy with the “in” and the lead, so I will respect that. I won’t speak for someone else, but that is again dependent on something called “trust”. Most people will reward it, like yours truly. I am certainly not alone.

PPS: If you do send me mail, those 20-line signature blocks filled with disclaimers and whatnot are not doing you any favours. They are legally untenable, and not enforceable. So why bother.