I had a headhunter find me on LinkedIn, where I "build" my professional network, but he offered to come by my current place of employment to introduce himself and give me his spiel.

Is this standard practice for headhunters? And if this is normal, is it unprofessional and potentially problematic to have a headhunter come visit me at my place of current employment?

Personally I think its completely unacceptable, and think it insults and disrespects my current employer by having a headhunter come to me and on their time. But maybe I'm wrong.

  • 1
    Very related question.
    – enderland
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 16:49
  • I would declare that completely unprofessional, maybe he is trying to make it hard for your company so its easier to take you away
    – Marriott81
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 16:50
  • 4
    What's your actual question? This seems like a rant against this recruiter without an actual question.
    – enderland
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 16:53
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a rant about a recruiter not a question about navigating the workplace. Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 16:54
  • 2
    @C.Shaw I've edited your question to include that information, and rephrased it a bit to change it from a rant to a question. Please feel free to edit if further if I've missed anything, or to roll back the changes.
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


Unprofessional, or Just Very Bold?

This does indeed seem completely unprofessional. Possible explanations are:

  • newbie recruiter

    They have no clue and don't even realize that it's a bad thing to do, because nobody ever told them. Maybe it's not even the line of business they intended to go into.

  • totally incompetent recruiter

    They don't give a damn how rude they are and work by the law of large numbers. They don't care if they burn bridges or insult people, what matters are conversions and commissions.

  • scare-tactic

    They want to force you to get in touch to avoid this, so that they can have some time to sell your their pitch for that "awesome new job".

  • torched-earth tactic (extreme, but plausible)

    I'd still call that incompetent, but in their line of business maybe it's not and it's just a valid technique. your company already sees you with a foot out the door, so they won't want your environment any more welcoming. Though that could work to your advantage if they really want to keep you!

Personal Anecdote and How to Deal with Idiots Annoyances

I've had similar encounters with recruitment agencies. Especially in the UK for some obscure reason. Not all of them, just a few, thankfully (might be due to London's pretty active job market).

They'd actually call my company's switchboard and clearly say they're recruiters and want to talk to me about a new job. Always fun messages to get from the receptionist or from whoever picked up the phone during lunch hour. Especially if you were a recent hire.

Once I also even told them to not call and not annoy my coworkers, and one of them was rude to the receptionist for not putting him through.

I called back and properly yelled at them. Now we blacklist all agencies with unprofessional behaviors when we are the ones hiring. We don't want their business if it's not done right.

I also get lots of emails from recruiters every day and ignore most of them (most are automated or semi-automated spam). But some push the boundaries a bit too far:

  • False subject lines with a "RE:" prefix to make you think you were already having a conversation.
  • False claims of earlier conversations or recommendations from 3rd parties.
  • Overly weird and aggressive tactics that resemble marketing approaches (using urgency to lure you to react, etc...).

I kindly remind them that they're being rude and that it could be seen as unprofessional. If they strike again I contact someone higher up in their company, and generally mark as spam so their emails don't show up again. I'd advise you do the same, if you want to prevent them from bothering other people.

If it's obviously automated crap, then don't even bother replying.

  • 1
    If you disagree and downvote, it's nice of you to let me know why, so I can at least try to address it or knwo where our advices matter. Especially if there are no other answers: it'd be more constructive to suggest improvements or alternatives.
    – haylem
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 21:29

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