I get anywhere from 2-5 recruiter e-mails a day. Even though in 75% of the cases I have already heard about the job from my private network or the New York CTO Club, I decided to find a way to make them useful. Today I don’t want them to stop. I reply to anything appropriate with a polite canned response, which I have developed over the years.
By always replying I am trying to achieve the following goals.
- Find out the name of the company hiring, their team, size, growth, especially if it’s a competitor.
- Learn more about the market and, when appropriate, the competition.
- Find out what the job pays, which helps me establish trends for hiring for my team.
- Spot companies that aren’t doing so well and flag teams that have trouble filling executive engineering positions for a very long time.
- Help my peers by referring them if they are interested, and thus strengthen my own personal network.
- Humbly promote my team by subtly placing information about the awesome work they have been doing.
- Avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth, phone calls and such.
Here’s the text. I adjust it slightly depending on the request.
Thanks for your email and thanks for thinking of me.
I’m not currently looking for a new position (Artsy has recently raised a series C and is doing very well), however I may know someone who is. Happy to refer candidates if you can, please, name the company for which you’re hiring (please don’t write that it’s “confidential”), give me an idea of the team and target compensation (please don’t write that it’s “competitive”).
Please understand that I also do get a very high volume of solicitations, and don’t have the bandwidth to take phone calls or meet in-person. Nothing personal.
Also, Artsy is very fortunate to have a large pool of Engineering candidates coming via our personal networks and extensive open-source work. We therefore don’t work with recruiters or agencies.
9 out of 10 times I get a response back that includes the comp target and a bunch of information. And I always get a thank you. I think this works for everyone.