Unsolicited Emails: I See Spam – Some See Bacon

Spam As I’m sure you do, I get tons of email – much of which is spam or
unsolicited – but I’ve come to accept that as something that goes with
the territory of having a pretty public presence on the internet. So I spend a portion of each day eliminating
the junk. Unsubscribe. Block. Delete. You know the drill.

rarely give these unsolicited emails much attention after the first
sentence or two, but recently, one pulled me in – at least long enough
to annoy me more than usual. I’ve included it below for your reading

Dear Jennifer,

The title “HEADHUNTER” is often gratuitously adopted by some within the employment industry.

be blunt, I’m reaching out to you for one of two potential purposes
while illustrating an important differentiation within the recruitment

1.  To solicit you for search assignment business.
2.  To inquire with you about your current personal career status as a potential candidate for future search assignments.

that understand the real intended meaning of the word “headhunter”
don’t view it as a slur. In fact, recruiters like myself view this
title as a “badge of honor” because it suggests that real search is
done by the recruitment practitioner.

Many in the employment
industry adopt the title headhunter when in reality they are in fact
just “Head-farmers”. “Head-farmers” don’t do active research and/or
cold calling to accomplish their mission. Head-farmers primarily use
advertisements to attract candidates and in essence operate as
advertising campaign managers. In fact and ironically, the seemingly
benign usage of the word “agency” can be more offensive to a true

What’s the point?

Sometimes the best
candidate isn’t “looking” and they must be HUNTED! Sometimes there’s a
need for a “silent search” where discretion is paramount and
advertising can’t be done.

We certainly would like to be of
service.  While we are somewhat flexible in the assignments we will
take on, we focus primarily on the IT professional services, IT
consulting, management consulting, ERP software, specialty applications
software and IT solutions marketplace.

Generally, our
assignments have packaged compensation programs ranging from $150K to
$1MM. We are usually looking for the consulting director, executive
deal maker, subject matter expert or sales professional. Often our
assignments require candidates with specialty vertical market
expertise.  Depending on the assignment, we will work upon either a
contingency or a retained basis.

I welcome your inquiry and would be very interested in elaborating on our capabilities at your convenience.

Best regards,

President you’ve never met from Unknown Recruiting Firm

Here’s What Annoys Me About This Email

It’s impersonal and not at all targeted.
Even though it was addressed directly to me, there’s
no mention of how this person got my name or why they thought I might
interested in receiving it. They also didn’t take the time to do any
research on who I am – a Recruiter (not a potential client) who has never once been confused for an IT professional (their stated focus).

Lots of words – but none of them about results.
All the smack talk about being a Headhunter? Whatever Dude.
Clients don’t care what we call ourselves. They DO care about results.
How about listing successful placements made in recent months, touting your candidate
to placement ratio or mentioning the percentage of clients who do repeat
business with you? Now THAT would potentially be interesting.

What Do You Think? Does This Approach Ever Work?

Maybe there’s some business development magic in this formula I’m missing that only the “true headhunters” mentioned in this email know.

If so, I’m open to being educated – and I do like Bacon – so please school me with your thoughts.

Spam with Bacon uploaded by srqpix

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “Unsolicited Emails: I See Spam – Some See Bacon

  1. I too receive a great deal of unsolicited emails. I delete most without reading them because I recognize the name & I know by now it’s not important. And because whomever sent it (assuming it is really a person) did not personalize it. Plus there are too many words that say nothing.
    I have wondered the same things myself. Why do they solicit their business this way? Does this really work? Because it is not working on me. Actually I will have the opposite reaction and never want to do business with them.
    But much like other junk correspondence, I assume it must work for some businesses. Otherwise we probably would not continue to receive it. I believe there must be a science or ROI study on this: throw “x” amount at the wall and “y” amount will stick.

  2. I’m more “offended” by the fact that this is the type of icky response or approach that HR professionals cringe at !! Vendors who are “all about me” creep me out !! This person is looking out for one person only – himself.
    Spam is bad enough, but when people use it as a guise to promote themselves – it’s worse.
    It would outstanding if all e-mail were great. Hopefully people will see this and take note.

  3. @pasmuz – I’m with you! These types of emails must generate some results, or they’d stop. But, I agree, it’s more brand damaging to me. I’d never do business with this person after receiving something like this.
    @Steve – You made a great point that I left out in what annoyed me about this email. It’s all about him. Yuck.

  4. According to my in-box today, I’ve not only won a lottery abroad, but I have a mistress that I’ve never met in another country and apparently this one pharmacy seriously think that I need Viagra. It seems these e-mails will never stop.
    I agree with your opinion on the message you received. I hate fluff-messages, as I call them. My response to them – tell me some results!

Comments are closed.