Good match or major irritation? Contact requests recruiters are flying around your ears

Especially in sectors where the need is great, such as engineering, consultancy and ICT, employees receive contact requests all the time. About 60 percent of employees in those three sectors were contacted at least once in the past quarter, according to research by the Intelligence Group.

One of them is Mary-Jo de Leeuw. She even receives dozens of contact requests via LinkedIn every day. Often from recruiters, who claim to have a suitable job for De Leeuw, who specializes in cyber security, who works as an interim.

no match

“I have already turned off on LinkedIn that I am interested in career opportunities. It drove me crazy. Leave me alone. But nobody cares about that.”

Often the jobs they offer have nothing to do with her resume. “For example, I was asked to be director of education and development at a university of applied sciences and as a DevSecOps consultant, even though I have no idea about this at all. The recruiters talk about a potential match, but usually I see zero leads.”

508 messages in a week

She speaks of ‘a great source of irritation. “I often get the question whether I know other suitable candidates. I have sometimes asked what I get if I provide the golden tip. A bottle of wine, was the answer. While such a recruiter gets twenty percent commission.”

Not viewing the invitations that come in via LinkedIn, WhatsApp and mail is not an option. “I also work as a speaker and sometimes there are interesting requests. But it takes a lot of time to separate the wheat from the chaff.”

In March, she didn’t check her message box for two days. Then she had 508 messages. “That is impossible, I have now hired someone to look at everything, but that will cost me money.”

De Leeuw is a well-known name, because she performed as a tech expert in the 5 hour show at SBS 6. “But other colleagues who are less known are also constantly being approached, even though they do not want to.”

Still, not every employee is dismissive of recruiters’ requests. Stephan Kooyman, senior consultant at consultancy company HSO, kept his current job as a result. “I indicated on LinkedIn that I was open to new challenges. Then the floodgates opened. There were also requests for that, but after that there were several a week.”

Job found thanks to contact request

Not everything was exciting. “There are companies that only put something about the fence and companies that really do their best. Many positions have already been dropped because of the salary or because something did not suit me”

In the IT world, a lot of work is done with recruitment companies. “I talked to two of them. They looked at my interests and CV. And some recruiters who approached me also asked if I knew other candidates, then you are actually used as a contact list.”

Shortage on the labor market

His experiences were not always pleasant, but in the end a job came out that suited him. “I knew this company, but if they hadn’t approached me, I probably wouldn’t have seen their vacancy. But the position suited me well and it matched my resume.”

Kooyman was approached by Brigit Barink, recruiter at HSO. The company has nearly forty vacancies on its site. It is difficult to find suitable personnel, says Barink. “The IT market has been tight for years, but this year we notice it even more. So it is certainly a challenge to find good people.”

Via via

The company posts job opportunities on its own site and on the Indeed job site. “But we find that this is not the right channel for senior positions. We have had the most success hunting suitable candidates via LinkedIn and of course candidates via colleagues. About 40 percent of our placements come through colleagues,” says Barink.


If you approach someone as a recruiter, first thoroughly immerse yourself in that person. Nils Vermeire gives the recruiters that tip. He works at the intersection of IT and communication and receives a contact request several times a week.

“Either from recruiters who offer me another job or from recruiters who try to approach the HR department of Shell through me for which I work as a self-employed person. Then they see that Shell has vacancies and want to fill them.”


With the jobs he is offered himself, it is sometimes clear why they end up with Vermeire. “But often not at all. Sometimes automatic e-mails are also sent to multiple candidates, where only the name is changed.”

He has now added an emoticon to his name on LinkedIn. “Excel files cannot handle that well, so if you are approached by several candidates via a mail bomb, you will immediately see code behind your name.”

coffee talk

He is only interested when he receives a nice personal e-mail. “If you delve into me, I will delve into you. You must have done a little more than looking at the name of my employer and position.”

Striking: just when Vermeire had temporarily switched on LinkedIn that he was interested in another job, he received fewer offers. “As if you are less interesting then. Then there must be something with you, they might think.”

Now that it is turned off, there are several contact requests every week. “I do look at them all, otherwise I don’t think you should be active on LinkedIn. I work part-time at Shell, so maybe it’s a nice assignment. Once or twice a year there is a coffee meeting. But more often it doesn’t work out. “

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