I thought I would canvas opinion about an email I received today that I feel puts me in an awkward position.

Basically a recruiter contacted me via linked in with the following message:


I'm recruiting for a nationally recognised company in your town and you look like a great fit for.

How are things at Company X? No disrespect, but I've heard quite a lot of bad stuff about them. I know quite a few people looking at moving on.

Let me know if we can have a chat about it?

Thanks, Bob

Now firstly, I don't believe my company is a bad place to work but even aside from that I can see that this guy has a number of current and former employees listed as connections. My question is should I discuss this with my current and former colleagues? Although no one can prove who has been spreading rumours about my company, since he is cold contacting our staff I won't be the only one who can put two and two together.

Additionally should I contact our HR, since he is a recruiter in our field/area should they know that he is essentially defaming the company. I have no idea if we use his company but if I dealt with recruitment it would certainly influence my feelings if he came to us with candidates.

Personally i'm leaning towards giving the guys I still work with a quiet warning and just leaving it at that, but I am interested what people think.

Oh, I have edited his email to remove many identifying details. I don't think this is just a generic copy and paste job.

  • 3
    The recruiter is probably bluffing—he/she has no actual info on your employer and just wants to lure employees away.
    – robert
    Nov 11, 2016 at 10:30
  • 7
    This sounds like an asshole recruiter trying to convince you to move on. The best thing you can do is give him a proverbial middle finger and forget about it; there's a good chance he has no idea about the sentiment of your colleagues.
    – Erik
    Nov 11, 2016 at 10:30
  • 2
    If he knows quite a few people looking to move on he can go bother them and eff off.
    – rath
    Nov 11, 2016 at 10:51
  • 1
    @Dustybin80 I am blind. Wel you could let your HR blacklist that recruiter. Nov 11, 2016 at 10:57
  • 1
    Recruiters typically have "Premium" LinkedIn accounts (i.e., they pay a fee for their account). This lets them do all sorts of things you may not expect. Don't assume you have mutual connections unless they've been identified. Nov 11, 2016 at 18:40

4 Answers 4


This email can tell you a lot about this recruiter.

Spreading rumors about the company you're working for is a very bad thing, more so if a lot of your coworkers got the same mail.

I would try to check if more of your colleagues got the same mail, maybe talking to those that you trust more.

If the person in question is actually spamming your companing to lure employes out, and using such spiteful tactics while doing so, I would tell it to HR and let them handle that. This may also be illegal, or at least worth a formal mail from the company.

As a side note, maybe what this recruiter is telling you is the truth, but using rumors to make you leave is still bad behavior. You don't want to be associated to a recruiter that acts like this.

  • I took this advice and via a manager went to HR, basically they've challenged other companies about this and they thanked me for drawing their attention it. It is possibly one rogue recruiter as previous very similar emails have been received (that or they all use the same mail merge).
    – Dustybin80
    Nov 11, 2016 at 12:16

It's an email from a recruiter. And it seems a particularly bad example of a low life recruiter.

He doesn't know you. So his claim that you would be a great fit is nonsense. He doesn't know if you would be a great fit or not. First lie discovered.

What he says about your company is nonsense. He doesn't know anything about your company. He wants to put doubts in your mind so that you ask him for help to get a job elsewhere so that he can get his commission.

You can bet that hundreds of people in your town at dozens of companies will get identical emails. I don't know where you are, but in some places your legal department would be interested and might have a bit of fun with this recruiter.

  • Sorry, this is in the UK. I get quite a few linkedin contacts from recruiters but the combination of him having a connection with people who left recently and the criticism of my company raised concerns that this would reflect badly on colleagues/friends.
    – Dustybin80
    Nov 11, 2016 at 11:05
  • It is actually a good example of a low life recruiter.
    – Jeroen
    Nov 11, 2016 at 15:44

Let it go. No harm has been done. You don't know if he is telling the truth. Even if it is the truth you don't know if it is any of the Linked In connections.

  • Yeah, I'd just delete his email like I do with any spam that gets through my filters. Not my problem.
    – Kilisi
    Nov 11, 2016 at 12:54
  • There may be no harm in one instance, but imagine if many people at the company receive a similar e-mail. A few of them may start to wonder if there is something bad going on after all. This is the kind of harm the OP is looking out for.
    – Brandin
    Nov 12, 2016 at 15:58
  • @Brandin I would trust my own opinion about the company I work for over hear say from recruiter any day.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 12, 2016 at 23:24

From a recruiter, "I've heard" means "My boss told me to try saying", and "You were recommended by a friend" means "One of my friends at work told me this pitch works".

Assume they are lying. Their interest in you starts and ends with you being a product to be sold to companies who have hired them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .