Every once in a while, I get a recruiter sending me an e-mail or pinging me on Skype. I turn most of them down simply because they fail at reading; it shouldn’t be hard to understand the simple sentence “I am only available for contractual or part-time work”.
But what irks me the most is how they follow up the inquiry:
Do you know of anyone who is available that you can refer for recruitment?
At this point, I politely respond that everyone I know is busy with their own work and hopefully the conversation ends there.
Why am I so annoyed at random people asking me for referrals?
First of all, I’m not lying with my “polite” answer. In the cutthroat market today for senior developers, you probably won’t find an available developer. At least, not for cheap.
But the real reason is that my conscience cannot allow me to refer other people to a company whose culture and practices I am not familiar with.
I came from a company who milked me for what I was worth then fired me for insubordination. Even now I am still suffering from the psychological effects of the whole ordeal.
So why would I risk dooming someone I know to a similar fate?
In short, if I am not familiar with you or your company, don’t expect any referrals from me anytime soon.