Today, Etsy design lead Cap Watkins announced in a blog post that he was leaving LinkedIn because, among other reasons, the site was overrun with recruiters sending unsolicited job posts.
Sadly, he did not provide a screenshot of the emails he received about “exciting system operations positions (because I have familiarity working around coding languages) or sending obvious form mail designer inquiries.”
Those of us outside the technology industry will have to imagine an open position that was so hard to fill that recruiters would have to send out emails en masse.
Personally, I would be less surprised to find a connection request from a unicorn sitting in my inbox than a mass email sent on behalf of a company that was desperate to hire more writers or editors. (Unless the job was freelance and paid less than minimum wage. That, I could believe.)
But I am not an award-winning interface designer.
Watkins, who has also worked at Amazon, Formspring, and Zoosk, said that although he had scheduled a few interviews through LinkedIn during his career, the problems he had with the service were bad enough for him to delete his account entirely (and presumably without fear of never being found again.) He concluded:
Maybe I’ve just outgrown the service, but I think it’s something else. When it started, LinkedIn was about connecting you and the people you know (and endorse) professionally. It was the answer to not wanting to add your boss on Facebook. It was a place to source potential job candidates through your professional network. Getting a message from someone on LinkedIn meant that you were pretty closely connected to each other. It was personal. Useful.
Then they sold all of that to the recruiters. And as the usefulness of your Inbox went down, the “update” emails from LinkedIn became more numerous and varied (like trying to plug a dam with your fingers and watching more leaks spring up). I guess that’s what it takes to take a company public and to keep it profitable. It’s just sad the things we do to our lovely, useful products in order to take them to the next level. There must be another way.
I get it. No one likes being bombarded with email subscriptions, connection requests from strangers, or sifting through a million updates on minor changes to a friend’s profile. I’ve got a few issues with LinkedIn myself.
But will someone please tell me where these mythical recruitment emails are coming from? I’m not mad, just curious.
Image by justdd.