One would think that in this age of technological advancement, finding a job and interfacing with companies or recruiters would be an easy thing to accomplish. When I was searching for a job in 2015, while still employed, I was meticulous in where I submitted my information and which positions I actually applied. The laser focus of my actions apparently shielded me from the unsavory underbelly of what I have experienced the last four months while searching for a job while being unemployed.
I followed all the mainstream advice given to me by my mentors and colleagues that I’ve kept in contact through the years. My resume profile is listed on LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed. The first 8-10 weeks were postive and yielding a lot of good results, especially after I replaced my resume with the updated one that the career management folks helped me write. These positive results unfortunately were not to last following the holiday season as I found my “profile” popped up on quite a few other job boards without me actually ever creating accounts for them.
The red flags started flying when I started getting calls by different people, from different recruiting companies I’ve never heard of before, for an opportunity with the same company, location, duration and description. At one point, during a few days in mid-February, I received more than a dozen calls for the same job. I called back a few of the ones that left messages and asked how they received my information. A few gave me the runaround once they realized I wasn’t serious about the position but a few gave me solid leads as to how it happened. My details had been uploaded into a massive database from an export of one of the legitimate job seeker boards. This database is then accessed via subscription by recruiter farms that are hired by large corporations to fill non-permanent positions quickly and efficiently. It’s too costly for these corporations to vet these candidates, so they pay a fee to the recruiter farms to present a list of a dozen candidates and they just pick a few and get them onboard to get the job done.
For the job hoppers that make a living doing this sort of work, its all well and good. For the job seeker that likes stability, it’s a reminder that technology can be just as much of a pain in the arse as it can be an efficient augmentation to our lives. I have no way to remove my information from this massive database and have resorted to manually, and tediously, marking these “recruitment” emails as spam. I downloaded an app on my phone that lets me rate and block these calls, some get blocked, some don’t.
As soon as I start my new job, I’ll be removing my profile from everywhere except LinkedIn, which is the way I had it before. I never received these stupid recruiter farm calls prior to my job search in November of last year by just being on LinkedIn.