Linkedin and the war on talent

Not that long ago -and probably still in most industries today- applying for a job was or is a stressful event in your life. Especially if you trying to start a career in the social, healthcare or education sector. I have a lot of friends that work in these sectors, and they all had -or have- a point in their life where they would feel somewhat like this when applying for a job:

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And at some point in my life -as a starting programmer- I might have had the same basic answer :).

The table turns

Once you become a senior in the IT business everything changes. The amount of mails, messages and calls I get from recruiters and head hunters is absolutely baffling.

At the moment of writing I have 27 'open' messages when I open my Linkedin page.
My Linkedin headline reads: Competence Manager, Developer and Coach at Team4talent. And anyone with a brain -or who cares enough to just take a minute to go through my public profile- can tell that I'm a talented .NET developer that can do backend stuff, architectural stuff and frontend stuff. And that I'm more than just another developer.

And how do I love the job offerings I get! They really are matches made in heaven!

  • SQL Engineer for Brussels
  • Junior PHP developer (hey, at least they got the 'developer' part right)
  • BI consultant
  • .NET developer
  • Java developer
  • And the list goes and on and on

Don't get me wrong. It is always flattering to get job offers. It's even nice to get in touch with recruiters and talk about my future and the future within my company.

To be clear, there is a BIG difference between head-hunters and recruiters. I tend to mix them up sometimes. When I mention the word 'recruiter' in this post, most of the time I mean 'head-hunter':

Recruitment refers to the overall process of attracting, selecting and appointing suitable candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization.

Headhunting is the practice of taking and preserving a person's head after killing the person. (maybe a bit much, but you get the point)

You get to a point in your career, or at least I have, that you start to get annoyed. I get more mails from recruiters than actual spam in my inbox. I get more calls from recruiters than some of my friends, family and colleagues. Recruiters that don't know, or want to know, or care about my life and goals; that don't know anything about the technologies I work with, and have absolutely no respect for me as a person.

It has now come to a point that every mail I receive from Linkedin gets forwarded to my SPAM folder automatically. Unknown callers get blocked automatically. I use truecaller to identify recruiters and ignore their calls all-together.
I know everyone is just trying to do their job, and I respect that. But enough is enough. It would take up half of my day to answer each of these offers. For jobs that don't even apply or interest me.
I simply don't have that kind of time, or care about it that much.

I'm not going to call out specific companies or persons right now. Dragging someone through the mud is really not something I want to achieve with this blog post.

But, it's not all bad

There are exceptions to this story. There are a couple of recruiting companies that I do work with. Because I know when they call, they will always have something interesting and special to offer. Through the years they gained my respect and earned my attention when they try to contact me.

And, I guess, that is my advise to all of you IT-professionals out there.
Find a company that tries to match candidate profiles with company profiles as best as possible. Companies that treat people like assets and not bags of money. Companies with an honest vision and that are striving to innovate the market in awesome and unique ways. Find a company that takes the time to get to know you, what you want, what you stand for, and who you would like to work for.
They'll probably contact you only four times a year, at most. But when they do, it will always be with an offer that matches your profile 100%.

If you feel the same way, have thoughts or comments, have companies that match the description I gave above, please don't hesitate to use the comment section below!

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Tim Sommer

I'm a Web Developer with +7 years of experience in the .Net framework, with a focus on HTML5 and JavaScript.

Belgium, Antwerp
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