Stick your SPAM where the sun don’t shine…

Seriously, when will Recruiters learn?

The only good Spam is in aisle 8 at the local Woolworths… and even that requires half a bottle of vodka, a good slab of brie, a jar of pickled onions and a box of savoys… just to be palatable!

I hate Spam! It’s lazy… it’s impersonal… and it’s effing annoying! If we could just BAN Spam in the Recruitment Industry… it would make me happier than Bill Cosby on a casting couch!

spam1If you haven’t worked it out by now… I’m talking about email spam… not the delicious canned, precooked meat product… made from pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, sugar and sodium nitrate as a preservative…. Mmmmmm… tasty.

I’ve been back from my summer holidays for just over 2 weeks now. It was great… thanks for asking. Plenty of sun, surf and a little cold beer. I managed to debut my new go pro for some surfing fun. The video can be found here.

So, like I said… I’ve been back for about 2 weeks… and in that time I’ve been spammed by recruiters more times than I have been by the entire Nigerian Royal Family.

And this is spam from people who should bloody well know better! Recruiters who promote themselves as search consultants… as professionals… as people who research the market to find the best matches for their roles (presumably retained).

Enough of the ranting, let me give you an example… but first… context.

For those of you who don’t know my background I’m a 20 year+ recruitment veteran. For the last 7 or so years I have played specifically in the recruitment to recruitment specialisation (please don’t judge me). I also consult to the recruitment industry and train the recruitment industry. I co-write an ordinary blog and get the occasional speaking gig about… guess what? Recruitment. Get the picture?

So I received this email from… let’s say… Potsie Weber last week…spam2


This is Potsie from Arnold’s Consulting Group and I’m currently holding the position of Executive Search Consultant. We are an international award-winning executive search (headhunting) company that delivers the highest standards of professionalism to multinational and national companies in emerging economies around the world. Arnold’s brand is based on the principles of honesty, integrity and customer satisfaction through its commitment to excellence in executive search. The Company prides itself on its ability to recruit, develop and retain the best and brightest talent in the recruitment industry. By immersing in a specific industry, namely Consumer Goods, Health, Industrial, BPO/IT and BFSI, Arnold’s consultants are trained to become sector experts who can understand the evolving needs of employers and prospective job candidates.

 Please see attached list of our current retained vacancies that match your background for various Clients for your reference and review. This is non-committal. I am just encouraging you to look at this opening and see what it has to offer you. This could be a big break for your career and for all we know, this could be what you have been looking for. Should you wish to proceed, feel free to send copy of your updated CV to xxxxx

 Hope to hear from you soon!



Note the non-specific greeting… the lazy almost non-existent ‘call to arms’… the unprofessional sign-off… Oh… by the way… here are the attached list of retained roles that match my background…

Manufacturing R&D Director

Manufacturing Country Manager – Phillipines

Sales Engineer

Import Manager

Researcher Manufacturing

Country Business Manager – Construction Japan

Metal Fabrication HR VP

3 types of Vice President (Highly Confidential) – Engineering

Development Engineer

Marketing Manager – Construction

Plant Manager

Electrical Engineer

Technical Engineer

Top Management x7 in Waste, Chemical, Engineering, Metals, Refrigeration & Industrial

Supply Chain Manager

Project Engineer

The list goes on… and on…


spam4Pretty pathetic right? Below is my response and Potsie’s response back to me…


For God’s Sake!

How about researching before blindly spamming people?

Your approach is what is wrong with our industry!

Very poor & unprofessional



Dear Craig,


Apologies for the spam email. Rest assured that this wont happen again.




All I’m saying people is have a little dignity and respect. We are already viewed as the enemy by most. Be professional. If you are going to contact prospective candidates follow these 5 very simple rules:

  1. Use their name at the beginning of the message.
  2. Make sure they are in fact a close fit for the role.
  3. Point out those synergies in your message.
  4. Have a clear ‘call to arms’.
  5. Sign off by mentioning their name again.

So recruiters I have a challenge for you. Make 2016 your year of integrity in everything you do. Every time you have an interaction with Candidate, Client or Prospect put yourself in their shoes. Treat everyone with respect and do the right thing.

It will improve your personal brand and that of the industry you are part of… go on… I dare you.

Craig Watson


3 thoughts on “Stick your SPAM where the sun don’t shine…

  1. Naomi on Reply

    Great post!

    Absolutely agree about spamming and mass generic messages sent out via LinkedIn. It doesn’t take that long to read someone’s profile, and send them at least one or two personalised sentences! Executive search consultants should certainly not be sending out mass generic messages either.

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