I’ve got a role as a CTO (among other things). In this role one of my duties is finding and acquiring talent for our engineering team. Functionally this duty involves posting job applications, reviewing resumes and candidates. Additionally it involves fielding emails from recruiters from companies such as CyberCoders, TopTal, various boot-camps and others.

Finding talent is hard, there is a good book about the problem: Smart & Gets Things Done I find myself agreeing with Joel more often than not. These “flashy” recruiting firms don’t make it any easier – quite the opposite in fact.

I don’t respect the work of CyberCoders. It’s not recruiters that bother me. In reality, good recruiters are totally worth the money they earn – which is true of anything: Quality has Value. Durrrr. The problem with CyberCoders specifically is this email footer.

The candidate identified in this email is a recruited candidate of CyberCoders, Inc. If the candidate is hired for any position whether part time or full time, as “Contract”, “Direct Hire”, or in any other capacity by your organization or any affiliate within 12 months from the date of this submission, your organization will owe a fee in accordance with CyberCoders’ standard Fee Agreement. If you have any questions about our standard Fee Agreement, please check our web site www.cybercoders.com or contact 949-885-5151.

Look at that. Read it again. CyberCoders has now injected themselves into any financial transactions I may have with this candidate for the next 12 months. “Oh, but they need to get paid for their services” I hear you saying. People should be paid for services rendered. However, we’ve never engaged CyberCoders. We’ve requested many times for them to stop sending us this spam. We have rejected their solicitations multiple times.

Shit got real today. Yet another spam from CyberCoders identified a candidate for us. This candidate is a person I’ve known since 2012! We are directly connected on LinkedIn. Now they are blocked. It was embarrassing to tell them that I couldn’t consider them for any position for at least the next 12 months. At this point any candidate who arrives via CyberCoders has to be immediately rejected – and blocked for the next 12 months. We’ve had to start keeping a spreadsheet.

It also makes me wonder if CyberCoders is just surfing my LinkedIn and sending me links to folks I already know, maybe with some algo to identify specific connections. I mean, I could write this code, so I’m sure they could too.

for C in djb.connections:
    if is_viable_candiate(C):
        send_recruit_spam(djb)