Darren Nix, founder of 42Floors.
If you've ever worked in a managerial role at a tech company, chances are you've been bombarded with spam from recruiters. The market for tech workers is so tight right now that employers are desperate for new talent. They're paying huge amounts, and recruiters bombard anyone with a job with offers to move elsewhere.
For one startup, the problem became so irritating and persistent that its founder came up with a solution.
Darren Nix, founder at the commercial real estate search engine for tenants 42Floors, has invented a "black hole" for spammy recruiters.
The concept is simple. When an unsolicited recruiter persists, whomever is being contacted would tell that recruiter to contact "a very patient individual" named Derrick in the human resources department at 415-534-6560.
Derrick would then proceed to share job requirements in excruciating detail from five random jobs listed in Indeed.
The catch, however, is that Derrick isn't actually human.
"You would swear it's a real individual," Nix said to Business Insider.
The 38-minute recording explains the details for five jobs listed on Indeed over the span of 11 minutes. He then starts again from the beginning and covers the jobs he already mentioned.
Nix said he came up with the idea after recruiters continuously bugged him and his coworkers at 42Floors multiple times a day.
"Occasionally, you get these bad actors who can't get through the gates so to speak," Nix said. "So they try to get around the back and try to contact others directly by guessing their email addresses."
Here's an example of the types of emails employees at 42Floors receive on a daily basis, as Nix posted to the company's blog:
That's not to say 42Floors is against using recruiters. In his blog post detailing the "black hole," Nix specifies that there are great recruiters out there who have helped the company gain some key hires. 42Floors hires recruiting firms and has a long list of reliable firms that have already been vetted.
When 42Floors wants to work with a recruiter, the company typically reaches out to these sources. But recruiting agencies that try to track down members of the 42Floors team typically present resumes for candidates that aren't qualified for the advertised position — in turn their wasting time.
Nix referred to these types of recruiters as "spray and pray" companies, meaning they bombard managers with a bunch potential hires without verifying that they're the right person for the job. They then hope that one of these candidates gets hired.
After a company hires a candidate selected by a recruiter, that recruiter typically gets compensated 20% of the hire's first-year salary, Nix said. He cautioned, however, that this is just based on his understanding and may not reflect the standard practice of all recruiting firms.
42Floors has been using this "black hole system" for several days, and Nix said he's pleased with the results so far.
"It's working," he said. "They never call back."
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