licensed to illLicensed to Ill is a record that changed everyone’s mind about what hip-hop was, especially coming from three white guys from NYC. Now mind you, I’m no hip-hop historian. I’m a 40-something white guy so I’m well aware that I don’t know everything about hip-hop isn’t exactly all there is to know. What I do know is that the Beastie Boys changed things up. They broke the mold in the midst of hair bands and pop legends. A mold that rippled through rock and rap stations alike, making them question their musical lineups and seek out new styles to keep audiences tuning in.

The bottom line for me is that the Beastie Boys made being a rapping, white kid awesome.

4 and 3 and 2 and 1….When I’m on the mic – just kidding I have no intention of freestyling the gods of the 5 boroughs. But, I can do simplistic math, and those numbers added equal 10. Which is about how many new-style spam emails I get before 11am each day. What’s the new-style spam, you say?

Ah, spam. It used to be so easy to spot, a pleasure to filter out, and one of the many reasons you drink Brass Monkey when you work in recruiting. When spam was a rebellious ‘to-hell-with-your-feelings’ preteen Spam, it was just simpler and so obvious. She hurled Nigerian princes promising riches and invaded our inboxes  blaring banner ads toward every email address we had. But we knew her wily ways, and thwarted her at every turn we could.

Spam drifted from your sight for a while, but she’s back. She left those awkward developmental years and morphed with the technology. And she’s back with a whole new look.

For the TL;DR crowd: I’m not going to talk about anything groundbreaking here, but rather give you a few hearty laughs at the expense of what might be your competitors. Enjoy. 

Rhymin’ and Spammin’

beastie boys

“Because mutiny on the bounty’s what we’re all about I’m gonna board your ship and turn it on out” 

Chances are you’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of these gems. They usually begin the assault with your standard spammy template, and continue on from there. I’m omitting the names of the guilty, because that’s my choice. Given the non personalized nature of this, if you copy and paste the text into a search in your email, you’ll likely find it too.

It’s no secret that in the Staffing/Recruiting industry, cash flow is integral. It’s unfortunately also no secret that receivable financing has proven to be a very “expensive” means to access that capital for some staffing companies.

With such a competitive market your margins may not be what they used to be. This means that in the end, you need to make sure you are getting the cash you need to grow your company at the price that makes you money. That’s why I wanted to write you and introduce you to my company, Xxxxxxx Capital. For years our clients have told us that we’re consistently the best deal for receivable financing available in the market while still maintaining the best customer service they have experienced.

It goes on from there, but if you’ve spent more than 10 minutes in recruiting, you likely already know what the rest says. But he wasn’t going to be dismayed by my silence, no sir.


Please don’t mistake my persistence as pressure, but I wanted to try you again regarding working capital. After all, we offer the industry’s most aggressively priced terms, guaranteed.

(yadda yadda…)

Ok, the follow up. I’m very used to seeing 2 attempts from someone before they peel off to the next letter in the CRM database or the next page of Lead411. But alas, our hero just knew I had been dying to get back to him – probably for the aggressive pricing – but my archaic HR leader was restricting my free time to get back to him. Rather than making me frantically search outlook for his past emails and contact info, why not get to the top of my inbox?

It’s Xxxx again.

I’m sorry I keep missing you. (My last two emails are below.) I wanted to try you again regarding any potential need for working capital. In short, we offer the industry’s most aggressively priced terms, guaranteed. Consider the following:

(EXACT SAME yadda yadda…..from email 2 and several following)

There are 3 or 4 more from him, but they all are small word variations on the previous attempts, so you get the idea. But this is it gang, this is the New World Order in spam, and it’s going to be here until the masses begin eating their young and a new form of spam arrives. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of what I find in my inbox on any given day:

I was hoping that you had received my email which I had been sending you from the past few weeks along with my old voice messages too.

(the guy he sent this to no longer works here, I just get his emails, and this joker never called)

I’m not sure if you had a chance to address my below email due to your demanding schedule. Can the privilege be ours to grab a time slot for a call in coming days/ weeks to discuss regarding our IT & Staffing services and see how our transformed expertise can be of help to you and how we could assist you in your upcoming business needs.

(sent to my co-worker, FIVE TIMES)

Given your busy schedule I am not sure if you’ve had time to address my earlier email. I wanted to circle back to you and see if my team and I can get on your calendar to discuss potential Agile IT staffing and Outsourcing needs for comScore.

(Thanks for “PERSONALIZING”.  Does Agile IT staffing mean that they only staff in 2-3 week sprints? 

She’s Crafty

crafty recruiting

“Well this girl came up to me – she says she’s new in town, But the crew been said they seen her around”

Sometimes even those who mean well make an egregious gaffe. This one comes from one of the major social/recruiting aggregators in the space. You know, the ones who are ‘revolutionizing the talent space’? I rarely get something so wildly off-base that it makes me slide back in my chair and read it 5-10 times. I really struggled digesting what what in front of me in this pure WTF moment.

Hi Pete,

This is NAME from XxxxxxXxx.

I Hope you day is going well and I saw in the news that Comscore was recently acquired by Adobe Systems. Congratulations on that! I hope this leads to big opportunities for you going forward.

You last spoke with XxxxxxXxx over a year ago while you were still at NPR and from my notes, you were pretty excited aboutXxxxxxXxx, but you switched companies. It seems we dropped the ball thereafter with follow-up.

I hopped on your jobs page and saw that you’re still hiring quite a bit, and thought it would be a good time to catch up!

Since we last spoke, we’ve added a number of new features and completely re-vamped our search engine.

(yadda yadda…)

For the relative succinctness of this email, there are so many issues I have with it.

  1. It took me 10 minutes to digest the poor name of the rep. Think….massive global terrorist group. That must be one hell of a tough ice breaker.
  2. Crap. We’ve just been acquired, what the hell am I going to…..oh wait a second. She’s got this all wrong. Sigh. If only you had a place to go do research on target companies. Double sigh.
  3. I never spoke with anyone from this company about their product. I’ve been a vocal supporter of their main competitor in the space almost since their inception.
  4. They re-vamped their search engine. Yawn. That’s the new “we have over 300 million resumes in our database that the competition doesn’t have”.


recruiter sabotage

“You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage, I’m trying to tell you now it’s sabotage”

And while these examples above are poor plays by those in the Staffing and/or HRTech space, it doesn’t exclude the similar things that go out to engineers or others with in-demand skill sets. And all the #FightSpam movements in the world can’t stop the onslaught. I’m sorry, but that’s the harsh, unenviable truth. What we can do is to raise the awareness of this epidemic to those who are new to our industry, and those veterans who are open to change.

Look, we can’t change the past, but we can use it as a compass for how to do things better in the future for ourselves and our industry. Denying ourselves that opportunity only allows for the same mistakes to be repeated in the future.

unnamed (11)About the Author: Pete Radloff has 15 years of recruiting experience in both agency and corporate environments, and has worked with such companies as Comscore, exaqueo, National Public Radio and Living Social.

With experience and expertise in using technology and social media to enhance the candidate experience and promote strong employer brands, Pete also serves as lead consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consulting firm.

An active member of the Washington area recruiting community, Pete is currently a VP and sits on the Board of Directors of RecruitDC.

Follow Pete on Twitter @PJRadloff or connect with him on LinkedIn, or at his blog, RecruitingIn3D.


By Pete Radloff

Pete Radloff is a veteran recruiter, sourcer and consultant, who has been in the industry since 2000, with experience in both agency and corporate settings. Pete’s passion stretches across several areas of talent acquisition, including recruitment and sourcing, social media, employment branding, recruitment operations and the training and mentoring of recruiters. Currently the Principal Technical Recruiter for comScore, and a Lead Consultant with exaqueo, Pete has previously worked for high-growth organizations such as NPR and LivingSocial. In addition to recruiting top talent both in the U.S. and abroad for these companies, Pete has developed successful recruitment and sourcing frameworks, recruitment processes and procedures, and enhancements to the candidate experience to enhance employer brand. Being part of the local recruiting community in Washington, D.C. has always been important to Pete. He was a member of Board of Directors for recruitDC since for six (6) years, and has also been a speaker at several recruitDC events. He's also a contributing writer at RecruitingDaily and SourceCon. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter, or at his site, RecruitingIn3D