An open letter to #1 Recruiter From #1 Hedge Fund In The World

Recently, a recruiter (who I'm lovingly calling "#1 Recruiter") sent this gem on LinkedIn with the subject "I would like to talk to you":

I work at [Company]  (#1 Hedge Fund in the world), reviewed your profile and I would like to talk to you. Please let me know your availability to connect next week.

I tweeted and ignored the SPAM, but a few days later, #1 Recruiter followed up:

I am following up with you because I work at [Company] (#1 Hedge Fund in the world), reviewed your profile and I would like to talk to you. Please let me know your availability to connect next week.

Notice the expert use of copy-paste. To be fair, he did include a few extra links with information about the company, including their "Culture and Principles" web page. Nice touch!

This interaction neatly summarizes just about everything that's wrong with recruiting (and LinkedIn). So instead of ignoring, this time I wrote a brief reply, cc:ing the CEO of #1 hedge fund in the world:

[#1 Recruiter],

If you actually reviewed my profile, you would see that I know at least half a dozen people who currently work at [Company]. I am *quite* familiar with the company, and appreciate its culture.

One of the core tenets of your company's culture is radical openness and honesty. With that in mind, I'd like to be open and honest with you. What you've sent is SPAM. It reeks of mediocrity, the opposite of your company's "overriding objective [of] excellence". Stating only that you work for a company with money ("#1 hedge fund in the world") as the reason to connect will not net you people who "value independent thinking and innovation". I'd be weary of anyone who actually responds to your message (and I'd guess only about 1 or 2 out of a 100 do); they, like you, hate their jobs and are just looking for money.

If you truly are looking for people who seek and can create "meaningful work and meaningful relationships", why do you approach those you're trying to recruit in such an utterly meaningless, repulsive way?

Why not take the time to actually tell candidates what working at [Company] would look like? Why not take 5 minutes to highlight the specific parts of the person's background that stood out to you, and that would be especially relevant at [Company]? It would save you time in the log run, and help you find amazing candidates.

It's not difficult, but it does require you to make a decision about which business you'd like to be in: selling counterfeit Viagra, or representing (favorably) the #1 hedge fund in the world.