Author Archives: recruitingfail

About recruitingfail

I don't know if it's just engineering, just my friends, or just this year, but recruiters seem to be getting worse. Much worse. It doesn't help that they can make upwards of $20k a year off one candidate, so why not just throw a bunch of emails at the wall and see what sticks? I'll collect my friends' and my Recruiting Fail examples here. Feel free to send your own! Without further adieu, here's: How NOT to find good people.

Recruiting Troll

Someone out there is taking matters into their own hands, for a little vigilante recruiter-trolling justice.



This is not the cold email tactic you’re looking for

Recruiter writes: *force persuade* You will respond to this email...

From the submitter:

“Actual email I got from a recruiter after I ignored his three previous emails. Looking for suggestions on the best way to respond to this.”

Humans vs Mutants

"Human?! You dare call that... thing -- HUMAN??"

Panel from X-men: God Loves Man Kills 2. via

We might have another record for strangest recruiting fail! Sent in by an alert reader we’ll call V.M., since they wished to remain anonymous.

Subject: Exciting company is looking for Full Stack mutants!
(full email and screenshot after the fold)

Continue reading

“Pretty Arousing”


Every once in a while, the recruiting fails just speak for themselves:

Subject: these are pretty arousing

Hi Joseph,

Hi. I like you.


Let’s talk,

Ben H*****

Misleading Title Fail

What companies do you think of when you hear the phrase “highly backed start-up in San Francisco”? Maybe well-established companies like Square or Dropbox? Color, after they announced their $28M series B in 2011?  Coursera, with their new $43M round?

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that the “highly backed start-up in San Francisco” was in Mountain View. Or that they IPO’d more than two years ago. Or that their founder & CEO left 4 years ago and is now a venture capitalist. By all accounts, LinkedIn is a great company. But they’re not in San Francisco. And at some point, you have to stop calling a company a startup. I’d wager you pass that point some time before you IPO.

Company Description Fail

Add that to the non-work email address from the 90’s and the many non-capitalized proper nouns, and we’ve got a winner for this week 🙂

Best. Form letter. Ever.

So far today, four people have reported getting this enticing form letter fail in their email this morning. Below are two examples of Samsung rep “B.G.” earning his recruiting fees:






Though in a way, Travis said, ” I kind of appreciate the directness [..] no attempts at weird flattery (you came highly recommended to me through a colleague!)”

It’s all about increasing the top of the funnel and total transparency: We might be looking at the future of recruiting here.

Michael Buffer is a Recruiter Now?

Most recruiting emails don’t make me laugh out loud just from reading the subject. This was not one of those emails.