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The 33 worst lines ever said by tech recruiters

JR Raphael | Oct. 6, 2015
Tech recruiters say the darndest things. How many of these cringeworthy pronouncements have you heard?

The 33 worst lines ever said by tech recruiters

Everyone loves to talk about terrible pickup lines from the world of romance, but there's a far worse kind of misguided enticement going on right here in the realm of technology. I'm talking about the delicate dance of tech recruitment -- if you work in any area of IT, you probably know precisely what I mean.

The men and women tasked with recruiting tech talent go to great lengths to attract the attention of their targets -- (often unsuspecting) tech pros viewed as valuable "gets." While some recruiters prove to be invaluable in improving your career, finding exactly the right words to pique your interest in a new gig, far more seem to stammer, stumble, and elicit exasperated sighs.

You don't have to take my word for it. Several brave tech workers from around the globe have taken the time to share their favorite (if you can call them that) tech recruiter horror tales, and we have highlights for you here.

Ready to cringe?

(Note: Due to the potentially sensitive nature of this subject, many people preferred to remain anonymous in their submissions. As a result, we decided to keep all entries free from any names or other identifying info.)

Category A: The cliché-loving recruiter

From game- and/or world-changing concepts to oh-so-disruptive innovation, some tech recruiters resort to impressive-sounding catchphrases that don't actually mean anything. It's hard not to wonder how many of these cliché-inclined recruiters are relying on buzzword-generating algorithms to come up with their pitches. (Yes, such things do exist!)

I mean, really: For the love of vertical integration, can't someone think out of the box?

1. "We need someone who is bright and passionate. Our product is one of a kind and slated to be a total game changer."

2. "We are serious about changing the world."

3. "We need people who think so far out of the box that the box isn't even in the picture anymore."

4. "This will give you great exposure to big data in the cloud, and you will be working with some extremely intelligent technologists!"

5. "As a company that specializes in innovation, [we] want the best and brightest creative visionaries."

6. "I am working with the founders of a stealth mode startup disrupting the infrastructure/data center space."

7. "We are working on absolutely amazing things and will scale tremendously."

8. "We have a tight-knit dynamic team that is responsible for delivering consumer experiences."

Delivering consumer experiences, you say?! Well, tickle my toes and call me Charlie. I'm in!

Category B: The trying-too-hard-to-be-hip recruiter

It's crazy how many "ninjas" and "rock stars" work in the programming world. At least, that's what you'd think by reading some of the recruiter emails that get passed around.


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