Why I don’t pick up the phone

This happens to me all the time – recruiters trying to call me or sending me emails or messages on LinkedIn, telling me about a great role available and asking me if I’m available for a quick chat over the phone.


My answer is NO – I don’t want to have a quick chat with the recruiters over the phone, at least not at the very beginning of the recruitment process.

I don’t want to make recruiter’s life difficult, but I feel that most of the times it’s a complete waste of time (no offense) – mine and recruiter’s time. Why? Here are some of the reasons:

  1. I have no interest in new opportunities. This is quite obvious – if I’m not interested in new opportunities it makes no sense to have a chat over the phone. No need to waste time.
  2. There’s no concrete project. Recruiters need to add profiles to their systems/databases and many times they will call candidates even if there is no opportunity available at the moment. Please don’t waste my time, send me an email when there is a concrete project and we’ll talk about it.
  3. I want to save the message for future reference. This is one of the most important reasons for not wanting to pick up the phone – it’s impossible to remember most or all the details for each role that recruiters send! Having an email with a job spec and other details such as benefits, salary, etc makes my life easier.
  4. I want to have some time to analyse the role. “What do you think, Rui?” – over the phone there is more pressure to give a yes-or-no response, at the moment. Having an email with the description of the role/company/etc means I can take a look at it when I have some spare time, and take my time to analyse it and even do some research about the company, etc and then decide if it is of interest or not.
  5. Role doesn’t match my profile. Sad but true – I receive many messages from recruiters regarding roles that have absolutely nothing to do with my profile! Java, PHP or Python opportunities? QA roles? Sysadmin roles? Network engineer roles? Seriously? I’m a .NET software engineer!
  6. Role is of no interest. Even if the role do match my profile, it doesn’t mean it is an interesting one. For example, I have absolutely no interest in support roles or roles that use old/obsolete technologies.
  7. Location is of no interest. There is a shortage of IT candidates with good experience, so recruiters will try to find talent everywhere, not only within their local recruitment market. I get messages from not only European but also other countries such as the United States! Most of the people won’t be available to move to other cities or countries without a very good reason.
  8. I’m at work. Recruiters need to get in touch with potential candidates and many times they will call during working time, but if I’m working I cannot (or shouldn’t) pick up the phone 3 or 4 times a day to talk with a recruiter – I have work to do. Also, that wouldn’t be very professional, don’t you think? And a complete lack of respect to my current employer. Just leave me an email and I’ll get back to you.

I believe there are many other IT guys like me that feel the same way about this. Let me say it again – I don’t want to make a recruiter’s life difficult, I just want to avoid wasting time (mine and theirs).

So, ideally a recruiter will send an email or LinkedIn message with a good job description (containing a quick description of the company, location, industry, summary of the role, responsibilities, skills and experience, salary, …) such as this one I saw on jobserve.com:

If the role is of interest then yes! I will be available for a chat over the phone, to ask for more details or clarify any doubt 🙂


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