Unwanted Advances

October 19th, 2015
ism
Someone who hardly knows you says they like you, they want you, won't you give them your time. Street harassment? Tech recruiting?

These are definitely not equivalent; as a minimum there's no fear for your physical safety in getting a call from a recruiter. But the parallel might be helpful for people who work in tech but haven't been catcalled, to understand part of why people dislike the latter:

  • Why do people dislike catcalling? If I got compliments on my appearance walking down the street I'd be thrilled to be so in demand!
  • Why do people dislike recruiters? If I got calls from companies looking to poach me I'd be thrilled to be so in demand!
If you hate recruiter cold calls, street harassment has everything you object to and more. What you imagine you would enjoy from "street affirmation" is exactly the part you don't enjoy about recruitment.

(There has been lots of writing online objecting to street harassment, and relatively little objecting to tech recruiting, probably because the latter looks like (and is) privileged complaining. Still, it's something that people who have very in-demand backgrounds often find frustrating. Read any Hacker News thread where recruiting comes up to see the grumpy comments. This post is aimed at the subset of that group that also doesn't think catcalling is an issue.)

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