Recruiters who call during working hours

By Sidney Liebrand on Aug 31, 2018  •  5 min read

So far I haven't been bothered too much by recruiters but every once in a while some moron decides to call me at work in the middle of the day. They probably don't even care about the fact that I'm already working happily and full-time at a company, they just call me up and say something like:

Hi Sidney! My name is [insert random name] and I want to talk to you!
— every recruiter ever

The first time I got a call like this, it came from the company phone. Someone had asked specifically for my help with a certain issue. While uncommon to get a phone call like this, I thought it was probably something small and took the phone.

I had a small conversation with this guy, he had all kinds of "interests" in all my "skills". He was unclear about what he wanted exactly. I actually ended up giving him my phone number 🤦‍♂ 🤦‍♂ 🤦‍♂ so that he would at least stop bothering me at that moment.

Big. Freaking. Mistake.

He called me again some three to four months later. I think I was awake for roughly ten minutes and just getting ready to eat my breakfast and have a cup of coffee before heading off to work.

I can't recall what he said exactly but I do remember that he called to "check up" on me and see "how I was doing". What a mug — I thought and I killed the conversation quickly because he just went on and on about stuff I didn't care about. I was just trying to wake up and eat my breakfast…

Then after another three to four months he started calling me during working hours. I never answered simply because I see "Amsterdam" as location on my phone and already know it is a recruiter. He actually tried calling me multiple times a week at which point I blocked his number.

But this guy didn't actually stop there! Oh no, of course not… This was the moment when he thought it would be a fantastic idea to start calling anonymously. As in "No Number". Yeah…

Keep hanging up

This was my tactic, I had zero interest in speaking with a guy like that again. Up until now, all his efforts had been a tremendous waste of my time and focus. Honestly, I thought he would get the hint after pressing "Decline" on about 6 more calls. Boy was I wrong…

First, let me tell you that I am not the type of guy to explode on someone. Usually I am quite calm and controlled. I see no benefit in destructive arguments, I much rather prefer a constructive discussion.

This guy however… had pissed me off so much by now that when the next call hit, I walked out of the office, answered the phone and just started shouting that he'd better piss off and never call again. Then I ended the call without even listening to what he had to say.

To my surprise, he actually listened. After cutting conversations, blocking his number, ignoring him and finally even raging at him, he too decided it was time to call it a loss. I am not proud of this behavior but when you treat me like a dog I'll treat you like a tree and piss all over you.

One down, infinite more to go

Unfortunately, the battle did not end there. I did say "first time" at the start of the post and as you have guessed correctly, I received another call recently.

This time, I was better prepared though. I saw the location "Amsterdam" with a number that I hadn't blocked. I don't have any friends in Amsterdam whose number I don't already have so I figured the only logical explanation was that this was another recruiter.

See my first quote for what he opened with. I told him "Ahhh — you're a recruiter, aren't you?". He stuttered while trying to come up with a tactical answer to this simple question.

Failing miserably he replied: "Well, you sure are direct…" to which I replied: "I'll be even more direct. I have zero interest in what you have to offer so I'm going to hang up now okay?".

He backed off instantly and I gave him his farewell without exploding in his face. Despite the fact that we had a semi-normal ten second conversation, why do recruiters call in the middle of the day? Why can't they just leave me (or anyone for that matter) alone at work and call in the evening? Better yet, why don't they stop calling all together if you're already working somewhere?

I mean, what is wrong with you recruiters…

I always think to myself that even if most recruiters are just leeches moving people from job A to job B, taking a grain of their monthly pay in the process, they would at least respect the fact that who they are calling may already have a full-time job and instead, call after working hours if at all?

The worst offender here is still the first man-child who actually called on the company phone. I mean what the hell. How does one even come up with the idea to call on the number of the company that you're trying to rip a piece out of? He must have been pretty desperate and probably didn't have the resources to buy my number online. And then to continue with such stalker behavior as well, sigh… 🖕


Despite all the cumbersome experiences I've had with them I do still have faith that there are recruiters out there that haven't gone mad. Those that actually try to do what is best for both employer and employee.

Most however, are just plain leeches that only move people for their own benefit. They usually don't know what you do or which technologies you are familiar with. Sometimes not even where to move you at the moment they decide to contact you. And even if they do provide some level of detail, it's not their brilliant research. It's some algorithm which scrapes web pages for public information.

I just ignore them and if that doesn't work, I pick up the phone, dominate the conversation and end it in roughly ten seconds making sure to opt-out of any call-list in the process.

Until next time.

Sidney Liebrand