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I have been working at the same company for 6 years now. Every so often I have recruiters call me and whenever they do, it's like a broken record. The script is always the same or near the same:

hello this is [recruiter name]. I tried to reach you at [a month ago] in regards to new opportunities; wanted to give you a call; see how things have been going as far as your employment; phone for me is [phone number]

I started ignoring their calls. But if I pick up and talk to them, I explain that I am working and have been working at my company for 5-6 years now, and I am happy there and not currently seeking new opportunities.

Recruiters follow up by asking me if I know anyone who may be seeking employment and I usually don't, so I say no, I don't, and the sometimes the conversation ends here, or sometimes the recruiter asks me if they can give me a follow up call 6 month later. I sometimes say "sure", part out of superficial politeness, part just in case.

But this is getting boring, and since I am not actively seeking employment for years now, it seems like a waste of time to me and I'm sure the recruiter as well. These calls are an annoying nuisance. What do I do? Do I just tell them to stop calling and take me off their list?

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    How frequently does this happen? Every six months times how many callers? Other than the annoyance, what do you find problematic about how you are handling it? I find what you are doing perfect. – Damila Jan 23 at 19:59
  • It's every few months, like 3-4 months. Thanks – Chris Jan 27 at 19:03
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What do I do? Do I just tell them to stop calling and take me off their list?

Yes, that's exactly what you do with someone when you no longer want them to call.

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What do I do? Do I just tell them to stop calling and take me off their list?

Yes, if there is a human on the line.

"Please put me on your do-not-call list. Do not call me again." [hang up]

Personally, I give absolutely zero information about myself, I've stopped even listening to them, and I'm the one who has become the broken record. On a side-note, if there is no actual human on the line (that I can tell), I'll say nothing and I just hang up the phone.

In the future, consider using a secondary throwaway Google Voice phone number and a secondary throwaway email address for any job search.

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I'll dissent from the other answers. You need to practice and become better at answering them. Look at your manager or the VP of your company. I'm pretty certain that when they receive those calls, they:

  • stay polite
  • make it appear as if they're happy to receive the call
  • convey a strong no
  • end the call in less than a minute or two

When you manage to do this, the extra social skills you'll have mastered will be a huge boost professionally. Those are the same skills that make a strong leader.

So aim for politely, firmly telling the recruiter that you appreciate their call, that you are happy to hear from them but that you'll keep with your job. Tell them you'll talk to them in the future and move on. Do it gracefully.

Don't worry. They'll realize soon enough you are in control and will stop calling. In the meantime, see the lost time as an investment in leadership and social skills.

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  • I concur with my Canadian colleague. If you're in Canada, take one minute or two. If you're in the US however, it shouldn't take you more than 10 seconds. Personally, I'm located in the US and I get 3 or 4 unsolicited phone calls a day on my unlisted cell phone number (registered on our national do-not-call list). And I would understand if Canada has a better handle on unsolicited calls than the US. – Stephan Branczyk Jan 23 at 23:09
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You said,

These calls are an annoying nuisance. What do I do? Do I just tell them to stop calling and take me off their list?

While that has a very straightforward answer: yes tell them to stop calling, and/or just ignore their calls - you mentioned earlier in your question that you may potentially want those recruiters to check in 6 months from now "just in case." And whether or not that's actually the case, it's pretty much a given that if you put your contact info (email and/or phone number) out in the wild, recruiters will find it, and will contact you. So, if you job hunt with your real contact info, you can be sure that recruiters will find you and bother you eventually.

This is why I use a "divide and conquer" strategy for my personal contact information. I have a separate email address and phone number that I use only for my resume and job hunting. Getting these is easy, just sign up for a new account at gmail or your favorite email provider. And, you can sign up for a Google Voice number for free, or use any other similar provider.

By segmenting out your contact info like that, you can avoid the hassle of recruiters bugging you when you're not interested - you just stop paying attention to those accounts when you're not actively looking. If you ever get curious, you can always go check - Google Voice transcribes phone messages to text, so you can just quickly read through messages once a month if you'd like.

Then, when you decide you're actively looking, you can forward the job-hunt email and phone to your real email and phone, and you're all set.

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