I received an email this morning regarding an “urgent” position that needed to be filled. I get these all the time, but what really struck a cord with me was the last part of the email where the recruiter actually wanted me to fill out all my information in an HTML form that he put into the email.

So I decided it was time about time to do this. Notice to recruiters, if you are soliciting information from potential candidates in the hope that you’ll grab a bite, you’re fighting an uphill battle. The reality is, you’ve already lost, and you need to go back to the drawing board.

I know you’re job is to find candidates, and I’m not saying you should stop doing that. What I’m saying is, you should be doing a better job. Let’s assume for a second that your opportunity is legitimate, and let’s take it a step further and say it’s a good opp. You should be doing your due diligence to find the right candidate, not just spamming a bunch of people’s emails that happen to fit the search criteria you used.

All those fields you want people to fill in for you? You should have figured them out already. At the very least, the ones that actually matter. For example, if you’re looking for “local only” candidates, then guess what, you should only be soliciting local people. Another example, and this one is really ridiculous, if you’re looking for a job with certain technology requirements (i.e. “X years experience with Technology ABC”), and then you proceed to ask what technologies the person you’re soliciting knows and how much experience they have in each. I don’t think there are words to describe how much of an oxymoron that is.

You should know what skills your candidate has before you contact them. That’s the whole reason why sites like monster, dice, careerbuilder, and careers @ stackoverflow really exist in the first place. Use them.

Also, this one goes out to recruitment firms: stop making people fill in another application form just because your recruitment firm is somehow special. Guess what, it’s not special at all. In fact, that pretty much means your firm is on my list, the list of firms not to get involved with.

I guess that’s about all I have to say. If this post only changes one person’s mind about recruiting, then I think it’s time well spent.