How I Handled Extortion by a Recruiter

How I Handled Extortion by a Recruiter

The recruiter business is broken -- at least in San Francisco. I get multiple calls each day from recruiters and they're all pitching the same "exceptional candidate" that's perfect for our company's needs. I always politely tell them to take me off their lists, but yesterday I had a recruiter refuse to do so. Then he sent me the email below, extorting me by saying he would take me off his list only if I'd look at his candidate. Below is how I responded to him. I cc'd a manager at his company, and Lowell Isom & Erica Jarmen at the National Association of Executive Recruiters.

If you're a recruiter and you're reading this, you need to re-think your approach. It's not working. And because of bad apples like the guy below, I won't use any recruiter.

If you're an entrepreneur looking to hire top talent, what I do recommend is AngelList's Job board. It's very, very good. And you cut the recruiters out completely, which is a nice bonus.

Here's the extortion letter I received, with my response at the top:

EDIT 3/20/13: This recruiter called me, apologized, and asked me to blur his name and company name out, as it was causing him trouble. I told him that if he participated in a conversation with me on this blog so we could use this as an opportunity to better understand what the problems in the recruiting space are, I'd agree to blur all his personally identifiable information out, which I've now done. He's posting under the pseudonym "Timm" below; feel free to ask him questions directly if you'd like to learn more about what drove him to send this email to me.