Current situation in the Netherlands is really good for software developers. But a bit too good. (There is always something to complain about, first world problems... sorry)

I would not update my LinkedIn with my mobile number because I think I will be flooded. So I am considering to buy a cheap prepaid phone so I can share that number because all recruiters want to call. All of them have job offers. All companies are working with the latest tech according to the recruiter and all pay a normal market value or above average.

So everything is the same. All companies work with the best and latest tech and pay the same. My current job is only 30 minutes commute from where I live and the pay is nice. So all job offers that I see in my mailbox pay less. According to the Stack Overflow salary indicator, I should get paid more https://stackoverflow.com/company/salary/calculator I have once told a recruiter about this indicator and they told me that it's too high. Seems to me that there is a high demand of software developers, but the salary is not increased, only the demand for more developers. Another proof about the current situation with recruiters for software developers: https://blacklist-recruiters.nl/ sorry for the dutch language, but the URL says enough. It's a site, listing complaints over recruitment companies.

I have read similar situations How to avoid recruiters and I am ignoring recruiter mails for a long time. I have over 500 connections on LinkedIn and have met only 10% in real life I think. I accepted all those LinkedIn invitations because I thought it would be good if I would lose my job that I could easily get a new one. But now I am flooded and I do not know what the next step would be to narrow it down.

I want to stay nice to recruiters and not sound too harsh or spoiled. But due to my (probably) high demand of salary I have to turn down a lot of recruiters. Perhaps I should start doing freelance work so that they can contact me with an hour rate offer. But how should I start this while having a job. This can't go unnoticed I think.

Thank you for taking time and read this long story. My question is: advice to start doing freelance work or do you have advice how to limit the amount recruiters or have them only contact me for suitable jobs? One more thing, about my work history. I have been a freelance when I finished school for a while and stopped to get a mortgage. I switched to a stable job and have the same job at the same small company for a while now (9 years)

If someone thinks that my question is too broad, please let me know what I could do to narrow it down. I do not want the mods to close it or put it on hold.

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    "I do not want the mods to close it or put it on hold." The mods won't, but the community probably will as your question isn't very well defined. Career advice, including whether it makes sense for you to move to freelance is off-topic here. And limiting contact with recruiters has been extensively covered here and especially here. The linked questions are probably also worth checking.
    – Lilienthal
    Feb 9, 2017 at 10:49
  • Trim your linkedin connections to only recruiters you know. Get yourself a 2nd email address and a 2nd phone number (like the prepaid phone, or if in the US like Google Voice). 3rd party recruiters work on commission. First apply to real companies, to allow those companies to hire you without having to pay their commission (which usually means more money for you). If recruiters can offer potential employers that you haven't applied to yet. That probably means that they're using Angel's List or another database that you're not keeping tabs on yet. The same advice applies to contract work. Feb 9, 2017 at 10:56
  • Keep in mind that anyone with a phone and access to the internet can call themselves a recruiter. There is no barrier to entry. Cheap international calling plans make that barrier to entry even lower. So don't be flattered by all the attention you may be getting. If some of those guys were not doing recruiting, they would just be selling viagra through email spam. The only recruiters worth responding to are internal recruiters, or recruiters with an exclusive contract with a company, or recruiters that you personally know, or that your friends personally know and recommend. Feb 9, 2017 at 11:08
  • Use the blacklist to remove anyone related to any of the recruiters on it from your LinkedIn connections. I don't know what the freelance work has to do with the recruiters. If you don't want to be called, set up a second email (as @StephanBranczyk already said) and do not give a phone number. The ones interested enough will contact you via mail or LinkedIn, you only have to answer if you are interested in the job or interested in working with a specific recruiter to find a more suitable job. If the recruiter is not nice to you, you have no reason to not ignore them.
    – skymningen
    Feb 9, 2017 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


I'm in the UK as a software developer. I know your pain. Recruiters are desperate for commission so will contact a lot of people.

I turn the job search on it's head. Don't upload contact details to LinkedIn. Don't put your CV on Monster. I would even dare to say ignore LinkedIn messages.

You need to apply to roles that you think you want. It's likely you will speak to a recruiter, but it's then you limit your contact with recruiters to roles you are applying for. Save those numbers, reject all other calls.

It is hard as you think you may be missing out on roles, but they all post their roles on Monster/Other Job Sites. You will find roles you want. If you haven't found it, then you don't really want it.

You can't avoid recruiters. IT based jobs are full of them. But you need to control who contacts you. You can only do that by rejecting all calls apart from recruiters you have applied for a role through.

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    So get a prepaid phone and look for jobs myself. I thought that most companies only gave assignments to recruiting companies to get developers. So that dealing with a lot of recruiters was necessary. Feb 9, 2017 at 12:39
  • I'm talking from a UK software dev perspective. I'm assuming people in The Netherlands post jobs on Monster (or it's equivilent) out there? Recruiters need to fill the role, so they get their commission. So they will advertise the roles. So rather than wait for recruiters to ask, see if you can find them. The employer ask the recruiter, and you will still deal with them, but you contact them when you see a role you like, not waiting for them to call you with roles you may/may not like. Feb 9, 2017 at 12:42
  • I also have UK recruiters mailing me for jobs. Also in the Netherlands. The funny thing is that there is a cultural difference about commuting. They offered me jobs on distances that Dutch people won't consider to bring up. (because of the commute distance). Thank you for your advice! Turning it around is a nice eye opener for me! Feb 9, 2017 at 12:46
  • No worries. Dev recruiters can be annoying as hell, but they are so ingrained in the industry now, you simply have to deal with them. It's hard work getting through all the noise though, and be cautious about fake jobs (ones that look too good to be true), but I have found it works much better. Feb 9, 2017 at 12:49
  • I've had good luck with in-house recruiters recently. People that are on staff at the hiring company seem to be usefully selective - they aren't going to waste their time, my time, or the hiring manager's time with some of the absurd mismatches the independent on-commission recruiters try to push on me. Feb 10, 2017 at 0:57

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