Like many of my colleagues in the tech / web dev industry, my phone rings around 2-5 times per day with cold calls from recruiters wanting to convince me to leave the job where I am happily employed and move to some other job that they think I would be more suited to for some reason. Nowhere on the internet have I listed myself as being in need of work.
I struggle to find the best way to respond to these spammer/recruiters. My options are:
- Politely explain that I’m not looking, thank you very much
- Hang up without saying a thing
- Try to explain why I think cold-calling people is unacceptable
I usually go for the last option, though I’m afraid I never seem to get through to them. For posterity, my argument is this:
When a marketer or recruiter calls a person without being invited to, they are a spammer – pure and simple. You (the recruiter) are stealing my time. If a person wants help from a recruiter, they will reach out for help looking for a job. There is no circumstance in which calling someone’s phone uninvited and for profit can be considered polite (or even acceptable).
Unlike email spam, phone spam steals our time. Refresher course on Kant’s Categorical Imperative:
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
In other words, only do things in life that you would want everyone else to do in the same circumstance. Ask yourself what would happen if every person who had something to sell was allowed to call everyone who has a telephone, at any time. No one would be able to get anything done, since our phones would never stop ringing. If you don’t think everyone should be able to cold-call everyone else, then no one should be able to do it.
“Ah,” you respond, “But I’m different because I’m trying to help!”
Sorry – you’re not helping. If I had posted somewhere that I was looking for a job and needed help, then you would be helping. But with me gainfully employed, your relentless calls are nothing but a nuisance – one that gets more annoying every day.
If you are a recruiter who cold-calls people, please stop. Just stop. When we need help, we’ll reach out to you. As long as you are in the business of cold-calling, you’ll just continue to generate ill will.