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How do I stop recruiters from contacting me?

I'm working for a high profile company and have gotten recruitment firms calling and emailing - presumably by blagging switchboard and guessing email addresses - looking to place their (software engineering) candidates in the company through me (a software engineer).

They seem to have my name from LinkedIn or their CV databases and should know that - as a contractor - I have never had hiring authority, but interrupt me anyway in the hope of a referral. I find the interruptions damaging to productivity and would rather they never called. However, I am reasonably likely - as a contractor - to be looking for a role myself through companies like the ones spamming me.

What's the best way to make it clear I do not want them to interrupt me? And is it worth spending time making it clear that I feel they have done something inappropriate?

There is a similar question here, that I have read. In that question one recruiter is calling many times, but that's not my issue. I see a pattern of different people calling and each individual is rude. Another way of phrasing the question might be "how do I deal with random inappropriate calls".

  • 1
    How is this any different than the question you've linked? What are the differences?
    – enderland
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 12:25
  • He doesn't want recruiters to use him to help place other candidates, but wants to maintain a relationship so they'll help him get a job in the future. A very unique twist.
    – user8365
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 12:28
  • @JeffO - It is essentially the same question. When the OP does want to get recruiters to get in touch, that's not difficult ;)
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 12:34
  • 2
    @JeffO I could copy almost all the answers from the linked question to here and they would be equally as relevant. Additionally, the question makes it clear he wants them to stop contacting him multiple times - find the interruptions damaging to productivity and would rather they never called. and What's the best way to make it clear I do not want them to interrupt me?
    – enderland
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 12:35
  • @enderland - many of the answers (mine included) will burn this bridge.
    – user8365
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


As much as I wish @Darhazer's answer was best, my experience has been that attempting to refer recruiters is fruitless. Inevitably, you get put in the contact list as "someone who can help" and when/if HR doesn't get back to the recruiter, the recruiter will be back on your door step.

My approach has been:

  • Don't take the call, let them leave a voicemail. Keep interruptions to a minimum
  • Screen the calls/emails
  • If the recruiter is cold calling you, ignore them. If you get a call multiple times, tell them to take you off their calling list. This isn't someone who is going to help you - they care more about placing people than figuring out who you are.

  • If the recruiter is not a close contact, but has been slightly helpful or a good contact in the past, then give them the publically available info for how to contact the actual recruitment POC.

  • If the recruiter is a close collegue - someone who you feel has been personally invested in you in the past and a high quality collaborator - go the extra mile. Talk to your hiring manager, see if you can find an internal POC in the company who is willing to be introduced to a useful recruiter. Find the POC and ask if it's OK to share the info, and if it is, make a personal mutual introduction, speaking positively of both sides of the connection. Then step out of the middle.


Ask your HR department if you may transfer the calls to them, and then give the recruiters the appropriate contacts within the company.

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