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I created a bot that talks to recruiters for me (and it's sooo good!)

whokilledkevin profile image kevin_kevin ・4 min read

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My name is Kevin, and I’d like to tell you a story about an easy way I stopped recruiter spam.

I am a Front End Developer, I have a good job, and I lead a team of 7 developers. But I receive so many letters from recruiters that sometimes I just don’t want to check my inbox. I know that they are there saying, “Hope you’re well!” and asking, “Would you like to have a chat?” No. I would not. I want to be alone with my tasks and my real job.

Sometimes recruiters even try to attack me on Facebook. Look at the Message Requests:

Requests

That’s how I decided that I would rather have a bot than read all these annoying letters again. I’ve decided to use the Messenger platform for my bot creation, because all recruiters use Facebook, and it will be easy for them to chat with my little digital brother.

There are tons of useful tools for bots, and, of course, you can do it yourself using no constructors. I’ve decided to stay on Chatfuel. It was easy to use it, especially when you understand the logic. I spent a few hours creating my bot, and here it is here it is, shining bright!

What was important to me?

As I get a lot of proposals every day, I know exactly what is important and what is not. I am a rockstar (hello, recruiter!) at finding the information I need from these huge and stupid letters:

Location: I currently live in Chicago, and I would prefer to stay here as long as possible. Therefore, I am not interested in relocation (only if it’s like… Bali). That’s why I added the question for recruiters about job location. This way, no matter where the jobs were coming from, I could just filter proposals later.

Skills: Seriously, recruiters, stop asking me about Java. I AM NOT A JAVA DEVELOPER. I wanted to add a small test or comment on the difference between Java and Javascript. I think that would be good for me… and for the recruiters also. See, I’m not evil. Something else about me — I am really interested in cool projects that can help me improve my React skills, which was another reason I added this question.

Experience: I have 4 years of experience, so it’s weird when I receive letters with 5 YEARS written in black and white. Stop using this as a criteria, or know exactly how many years of experience you need.

Salary: One more important thing. I added a filter at first, but it seemed impolite, so I got rid of it.
That was all it took to set up my bot — easy to use and hopefully setting me free from a garbage storm in my inbox.

But how to make recruiters use it?

I took the link and put it wherever I could — on my LinkedIn page, on GitHub, on Facebook, on Slack, on Instagram. I also made a Gmail template which answered recruiters something like this:

“Hi, dear recruiter!
Thank you for your interest.
If you want to tell me about some career opportunities, please use this bot:
It’s nice for both of us: I receive useful and structured information about your job proposal and you don’t have to spend hours writing letters and trying to find personal details that will make me open your letter.
Thanks,
Kevin”

Afterwards, I started to receive the first job proposals via bot.

This is how it looks on Chatfuel:

Chatfuel interface

Inside it looks like this:

Chatfuel interface2

What is the best thing about receiving job proposals like this?

I can receive job proposals and job descriptions the way I want them. As you can see from the screenshot, on Chatfuel you can sort by the fields you want to see.
My inbox is less attacked by recruiters.
I can mass-message them! And leave everyone with feedback.
It’s now much more likely that the recruiter won’t disappear, because I have his or her Facebook profile, and I can see if we have some friends in common.
After a month of testing, I analyzed what had changed:

I am not as annoyed as before by recruiters. I have my work email and sort letters there as I want.

I received 4 interesting proposals.

I now know much more about the job market, skills needed, salaries, and so on. I have the stats of what recruiters offer me.

It’s kind of fun! Recruiters told me that they loved the way I solved the problem.

Could I live without it?

Of course. But it makes my life better. Details and time matter, so I definitely recommend you do the same.

P.S.

Later I found Reply.id on ProductHunt Upcomings and seems to me these guys made the tool for people like me. Maybe will try it later.

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Discussion

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Well, this is certainly more constructive than my approach of trolling annoying recruiters with nonsense questions...

  1. What is the full stack trace for this role?
  2. What is the time complexity of the environment?
  3. Do they use Bash or Gash for their deployments?
  4. Does the product integrate with any SPITEful APIs?
  5. Does the architecture use implicit or explicit cookie collection?
 

"3" makes me think of hammering a nail into particle board.

"4" makes me want to write sarcastic error messages for missing an API endpoint.

"5" makes me think of Cookie Monster in a developer role.

 
 

Nice, JS is indeed at demand.

But I see jobs proposals on Facebook? Thats so wrong on many levels 🙄

 

That's not wrong, that's desperate.

 

I would make a bot to report all their messages as inappropriate and spam, just to be sure :))

 

The funny thing is that the recruiters also use bots, or at least send pre-defined templates to a mailing list that consists of nothing but email addresses with an array of skills.
I bet less than half of all addressees never respond.

So it's only fair. Plus telling them you've written a bot to handle recruitment inquiries is good advertising for yourself as well.

 

Bots talking to bots! What a world!

 

It's a pretty good idea when you think about it. Right now google duplex is able to make appointments for you by calling various businesses. That's great, but it would be even better once businesses have their own bot that can answer the phone and write down reservations.

Up until now, if we want to do that kind of thing we use an API. It works but there's one huge caveat : each service needs to be specifically developped to use the API of other services it wants to talk to... With chatbots talking to each other "English" becomes a universal API that can be used by any service.

 
 

This is simply awesome!

 

Do not sell yourself short on years of experience,. If you have the qualified skills, GO FOR IT. I have done a lot of technical interviews, and the years of experience speaks more to your intuition on problem solving in a business environment. Concrete examples where you demonstrate your knowledge or problem solving capabilities is sufficient for most technical positions.

 

Oh wow! Thanks for this and the Reply.id recommendation. Will try them out for LinkedIn since I'm not on Facebook, and I get bombarded with LinkedIn messages daily.

 

this is simply genial. i stopped using facebook a while ago and i don´t know if i was ever contacted by recruiters with it but with Linkedin and Email it´s become really annoying. Especially when you explicitly tell them you kindly and firmly are not interested at the moment and they start nagging you to just have a quick chat ( which is never under 30 minutes long really) just in case i change my mind or so that they have a clear picture for the future...

At first, i thought you used your bot pretending it was you, but then i was surprised to know that you clearly stated it was a bot and they accepted in going on with the conversation. awesome.

Will definitely have a look at reply.id. thanx

 

Bravo! Love it! Today, I found out that Facebook is used by recruiters too . Good thing mine is private and not searchable hehe

Kevin, a LinkedIn bot is needed too ;)

 
 
 

You can monetize this, Kevin!

 

Hi Kevin, that is very interesting. Are you willing to let us juniors have a peek at your bot in chatfuel?

 

Serious question: did you open a facebook page for that matter? It seems like chatfuel does not support personal fb accounts (sry if that is a basic question, no experience with bots 😉)

 

yeah! i did