Do not do business with Northwest Talent Search

A depressing number of computer industry recruiters cannot be bothered to read the very first paragraph of my LinkedIn profile (which is now also the first paragraph of the contact information page of this very website—probably should have done that years ago), or else they think they are ~special snowflakes~ and it does not apply to them. For reference, this paragraph reads

I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB. DO NOT CONTACT ME WITH ANY SORT OF JOB OFFER.

I get unwanted solicitations about once a month, and I reply with a polite but acerbic note about how they should’ve noticed the paragraph in ALL CAPS that says don’t contact me, and usually that’s the end of it.

Last week I got one from an outfit calling itself Northwest Talent Search, Inc. (They don’t have a website.) It does just about everything wrong:

Hello Zack

I am working with one of the fastest growing startups in the world on a Aspiring Software Engineering Manager search. They just landed a major partnership with a fortune 500 company. If you have an interest in joining a world class team and an incredible opportunity what would be a good time for a phone call and a good number to reach you at?

Thanks
[REDACTED]
[REDACTED]@northwesttalentsearch.com

Besides ignoring the request not to contact me: Why would anyone not want to know which startup, which megacorp, and at least the executive summary of the concrete job description? If you’re going to cold-contact people with job offers, these things should always appear in the initial message. And anyone who has done their due diligence on me should know that I’m not the right candidate for any sort of engineering management position and I’m allergic to startups. So I was less polite than I usually am, when replying:

Thank you for your interest, however:

  1. I have made it abundantly clear, both on my personal website, and everywhere recruiters typically trawl for interesting people, that I am not looking for a job and do not want to be cold-contacted with job offers.

  2. I have neither any interest nor any qualifications for an engineering management position, and I do not understand how you could possibly have gotten the impression that I might be an appropriate candidate for such.

  3. As a matter of basic courtesy, in your initial message you should have stated the name of the company you are recruiting for and given a couple sentences’ description of what business they are in and what the job responsibilities are.

Never contact me again. Do not even reply to this message.

Now, if that had been the end of it, you wouldn’t be reading this post. Today I received this:

Hello Zack

I am working with one of the fastest growing startups in the world on a Backend Engineer search. They just landed a major partnership with a fortune 500 company. If you have an interest in joining a world class team and an incredible opportunity what would be a good time for a phone call and a good number to reach you at?

Thanks
[SAME PERSON]
[SAME EMAIL]@northwesttalentsearch.com

The only change is the job title. Backend Engineer is less wrong than Aspiring Software Engineering Manager, but it’s still wrong. And sending another instance of what is evidently a form letter, after having been told not to contact me again, is both disrespectful and unprofessional.

Hence what I dearly hope will be my final reply to them, and this post.

You sent me a message last week which was word-for-word identical but for the job title. In my reply, I made it plain that I was not interested and I did not want to hear from you ever again.

Your continued solicitations are unprofessional, as are the vagueness of your cold-contact messages (as explained in the previous reply) and your clear lack of research on me prior to contact.

I have directed [MY MAIL CLIENT] to treat all further messages from anyone at your company as spam, and I have filed an abuse report with [YOUR BULKMAIL SERVICE]. I will also be publishing all of our communications on my website as a warning to others not to do business with your company.

My previous reply, for reference: [etc]

If you’re a company looking to hire: Don’t do business with these clowns, there are people who will do much better by you.

If you’re also getting these: I strongly suspect you don’t want any of the jobs they are soliciting for.