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Shutting Down Annoying Recruiters?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the make-it-stop dept.

Businesses 612

An anonymous reader writes "My company is under attack by the leeches and bottom-feeders of the IT recruiting world. They call into our company phone directory constantly — hundreds of calls per day — trolling for names, hawking their job candidates, and refusing to hang up or stop calling, even if we curse their mothers. Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal: there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment. Through education, we've gotten our engineering group to stop answering the calls or hang up, but I was wondering if the Slashdot community has any ideas for more creative solutions to make this stop, either through technology, US law, trickery, etc."

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ask if you can call them back (5, Funny)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340023)

Ask if you can call them back... get their number.

Post on /.

All interested slashdotters should then call this company asking about possible job and recruiting opportunities.

Re:ask if you can call them back (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340127)

i'll start.

Company Name: Convergenz
Location: McLean, VA
Target Area: Washington DC Metropolitan area
Target Market: IT contracting from Helpdesk to System Administrators to LAN/WAN Engineers
Phone: 703.584.3700

These fuckers call my office on a daily basis with "new jobs which you are a perfect match". Please say Tyrone King referred you.

Re:ask them to hold, forever... (4, Funny)

JrOldPhart (1063610) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340269)

don't go back. For grins time how long they wait. Waste their time.

Re:ask if you can call them back (1)

Dissenter (16782) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340375)

I agree. There should be a community list to call those companies back. The problem is that most are calling from call centers and when you call, you're just going to get a recording. The first part of the idea is good thought. A community list of numbers like this.

Why doesn't a company like Baracuda networks put together a call blocking system like they have for spamming URLs so that a community list can be linked to everyone's phone blocking system. It could then filter those calls to a recording that says "Your number has been blocked. If you believe this to be an error please mail a letter explaining the purpose of your call to....."

The obvious issue is that you can turn off caller id, but I would think that those calls could be routed to another message stating that this company requires calls to be identified before they are allowed.

Nah (4, Informative)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340409)

That will only encourage them.

Here is what to do. Tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not welcome to call. Now, if you have an ISDN PRI or similar system, you may be able to get the ANI (like the caller ID but not blockable). Then set up an asterisk box to do prefiltering. Have it recognize calls from that ANI, and route into an indefinite hold queue.

Let them have tit for tat and pay back lesing for lies.

Re:Nah (4, Funny)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340485)

Or better yet rout their call back to their number (if its local or an 800) It would be great to have them call their own receptionest..

Re:Nah (5, Funny)

Scaba (183684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340605)

Wouldn't the universe implode or something?

Re:ask if you can call them back (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340431)

I was on vacation last week. I got back to a stack of phone messages, one from the HR department at Nike. Yeah, on my work phone. Dunno if that puts them in the category of "bottom feeders" or if the recruiting efforts aren't limited to that category.

Re:ask if you can call them back (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340467)

Hire a college student at minimum wage.

Their job is to hold the recruiting company on the line as long as possible. Trying to go up the sales chain as high as possible. If you can afford it have a second college student for the calls to be transferred to as "someone with authority to deal with your call".

Re:ask if you can call them back (5, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340557)

Nah, ya just need one. Just tell him to put the call on hold for a few seconds, then speak in a different voice. It's especially entertaining when the intern goes from his "Tim the half deaf lumberjack" voice to his "Valry the heavy breathing transvestite" voice.


Re:ask if you can call them back (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340613)

Why bother with a different voice? Or even a different name for that matter? Just have the one person insist that they are in fact different people all with the same first name.

There's irony in this ... (3, Informative)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340043)

And that's that when you need someone to call and offer you a job or at least give you an interview, they don't return your calls. But when you don't want to hear from them, they don't go away?

Tell them you're looking for work and want an interview/offer and they'll stop calling for sure.

Re:There's irony in this ... (3, Insightful) (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340093)

Its like the saying goes - the best time to look for a new job is when you already have a job.

Re:There's irony in this ... (4, Funny)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340289)

The way I'd always heard it was that it's always easier to pick up girls when you already have a girlfriend. But I guess it works for jobs, too.

Re:There's irony in this ... (4, Funny)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340471)

Tell them you're looking for work and want an interview/offer and they'll stop calling for sure.

You sir, are brilliant. Yes, every time they call set up an interview over lunch. Preferably somewhere you have no intention of going for lunch. Have everyone in the company do the same. After a week or so of chasing false leads they will turn their attentions elsewhere.

Use caller ID... (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340053)

and block their phone numbers?

Re:Use caller ID... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340515)

Better yet, put that fancy PBX to use and redirect all calls back out to incoming number.

Even better still, redirect all these calls to their competitors numbers.

DNC list? (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340055)

At one point I worked in IT support for a telemarketer. AFAIK, from what they told me, if a company tells them to stop calling, they're supposed to add you to their own DNC list and they are not to call you anymore for fear of fines. The laws could vary from state to state, so YMMV.

Harass them .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340081)

Call the main number for the company harassing you and ask them if they're interested in purchasing 'x' number of units of whatever product your company supplies... keep this up until they stop.

Lie to them (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340087)

Tell your employees to answer the calls, give interviews, and when asked their current salary, give a number twice what they really are getting paid.

If your employees are still being poached, then hey, you deserve it for underpaying them.

More likely, the recruiters will stop calling your employees. (But they might ask for a job themselves.)

Sincerely (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340091)

Joe Smith
IT Director

Re:Sincerely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340355)

yeah really. maybe his employees put themselves on the list. "what... uh.. no, I have no idea why they're calling me!"

Hold Just a Minute... (1)

Brian The Dog (879837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340119)

Tell them you're interested, but need to get off the call on your other line (or some excuse to put them on hold, set the phone down). Then put them on hold until they hang up themselves. It will take up their time so they at least can't make as many calls. When they start wising up to that, keep a bull horn next to your phone and just try to deafen them.

Re:Hold Just a Minute... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340313)

That'd work. Don't even give them a chance to talk, once you know who they are...

"Hold on a sec, I'm on the other line..." Say it quickly and press hold.

Re:Hold Just a Minute... (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340319)

you can achieve the same results by speaking at a slightly higher volume with your mouth close to the phone's mic. the analog to digital conversion will distort and hopefully they will have their volume at a high enough volume to be in a split second of pain before they pull the phone from their ears.

something tells me you didn't think this through before posting. possibly in a (failed) attempt to be first post.

Waste their time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340129)

Tell them you're looking for a "make up the engineering position" and to send resumes to a specific address. When they start asking why candidates aren't suitable, string them along further. If they get testy, tell them you really aren't interested and just want to waste their time so they stop bothering you.


91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340421)

Also demand illogical requirements that any candidate will see as ludicrous. Skills in chmod, ASCII and INTERCAL, or 5 years experience in some technology that's less than 5 years old.

what to do (3, Funny)

miowpurr (1004277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340135)

Airhorn into the phone? Nah, too harsh...

Re:what to do (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340415)

Loop of black paper through their fax machine.. A man who cannot fax, cannot recruit!

Re:what to do (5, Funny)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340611)

At my last job, I got a lot of telemarketing calls trying to sell me toner cartridges. I'd always say, "Let me forward your call to the right person," then forward them to a fax machine. If they called back, I'd apologize and do it again - repeat as necessary.

Perhaps a sting operation (3, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340137)

Have somebody ask for an interview. And go to it. And explain the situation to the company the leeches are shilling for, and that because they are using such an annoying headhunter, neither they nor anyone else in the company would ever consider working for them. Then just walk out.

no federal DNC, but private ones (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340139)

> there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment.

Correct, there is no Federal Do Not Call list. It's also irrelevant -- if they are told to stop calling, they must stop calling -- period. Anything else is harrassment. If you're a big company, just ring up your legal department, tell them the problem, and they'll craft a nice Cease and Desist letter. They live for that sort of thing.

Re:no federal DNC, but private ones (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340277)

Good point, but remember that not all corporations are giant behemoths with an underworked legal department. In fact, the primary beneficiaries of the hated privileges of incorporation, are small businesses. Will UPS invoke the corporate veil to avoid a payout when one of their drivers hits you? No, because UPS can already afford it and they'd have to lose all assets for that to be relevant. Will an incorporated mom-and-pop business invoke the veil? Hell yes.

Re:no federal DNC, but private ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340295)

from TFsummary

Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal: there is no 'do not call' list for US corporations, and it's not harassment.

Re:no federal DNC, but private ones (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340451)

I'd get a new attorney then. If they have been asked to stop calling and continue to do so, it most certainly is harassment. It is wasting your time and resources, and the company is losing money because of this. These calls, once requested that they stop, are most certainly not 'perfectly legal' anymore.

Fire that lawyer (4, Informative)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340411)

>>...just ring up your legal department, tell them the problem, and they'll craft a nice Cease and Desist letter

Right, that's precisely why they're there. However, OP said "Our attorney says the calls are perfectly legal" which leads me to believe the company attorney is the one who should be looking for new employment!

As you said, Harassment is illegal, and making many, many telephone calls which interrupt business after being told to stop is the very definition. This headhunting company has been instructed, verbally I presume, to stop contacting your company. It is time to put this in writing and start building an evidence chain so they can sue the pants off of the caller for lost productivity, misuse of resources and harassment. I'm sure a competent attorney can think of other charges to bring. But first OP needs to find one. IMO, the current attorney doesn't sound like he's earning his retainer.

Toy with them... (4, Insightful)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340143)

Recruiters make money by getting candidates hired. Eat up their time, pass them back and forth. They are just like telemarketers. If they can't sell, they don't eat.

It's been successful where I work.

How much does that cost? (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340579)

>>Eat up their time, pass them back and forth. They are just like telemarketers. If they can't sell, they don't eat.

It might be effective, but why should your employer pay you and your colleagues just to convince a telemarketer to piss off? How much is it costing your company to deal with these jerks? Hundreds a day? Thousands?? At $40 or so per hour, it doesn't take long for the figures to add up! A large employer might not notice, but a small shop would definitely feel the pinch of paying salaries in exchange for no real work product.

The caller is at fault here. They've been told to stop. Bring in a competent lawyer and dash off a letter or two. If that doesn't stop the calls post haste, sue them for damages and recoup the legal expenses and lost productivity.

I am pretty sure. (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340145)

I am pretty sure that if you ask them to not call you back and get the company name that you can stop then from calling.
When they call they are using company resources so they are a cost to you. A simple nastygram from your lawyer should telling them to stop or accept that you will charge them by the hour for the time they waste should work.
Or hire someone for minimum wage to waste their time. When ever they call just forward them to the min wage worker and have them just eat up as much of their time as possible. Summer is coming up so I bet some employee at your company has a teen that would like a summer job.

Re:I am pretty sure. (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340541)

Why weren't there jobs like this when I was a kid? I would have loved to waste someone's time for cash.

Be (somewhat) thankful.... (1)

confusednoise (596236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340153)

I dunno, as someone who lived through and managed to stay employed in IT in the early 2000s after the dot bomb, it's nice to be back in a position where job offers are coming to look for me rather than the other way around. I still remember how incredibly easy I got my position in 1999 when things were insane and then how hard it was to get the next job after that place folded in 2001...

Maybe there are worse things than being called by recruiters? (not saying they're not annoying, of course)

Meow (3, Funny)

aarku (151823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340155)

Act completely insane, or just meow. Works for me. Acting... yes, just acting..

Re:Meow (5, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340373)

Mac: All right, how about "Cat Game?"
Foster: Cat Game? What's the record?
Mac: Thorny did six, but I think you can do ten.
Foster: Ten? Starting right 'meow?'
[Mac laughs - they walk up to the car, and Foster taps on the driver side]
Larry Johnson: Sorry about the...
Foster: All right meow. (1) Hand over your license and registration.
[the man hands him his license]
Foster: Your registration? Hurry up meow. (2)
[Mac ticks off two fingers]
Larry Johnson: Sorry.
[the man laughs a little]
Foster: Is there something funny here boy?
Larry Johnson: Oh, no.
Foster: Then why you laughing, Mister... Larry Johnson?
Foster: All right meow, (3) where were we?
Larry Johnson: Excuse me, are you saying meow?
Foster: Am I saying meow?
[Mac puts his hands up for the fourth one, but makes an "eehhh" facial expression, as he is considering the last one]
Larry Johnson: I thought...
Foster: Don't think boy. Meow, (4) do you know how fast you were going?
[man laughs]
Foster: Meow. (5) What is so damn funny?
Larry Johnson: I could have sworn you said meow.
Foster: Do I look like a cat to you, boy? Am I jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree?
[Mac is gut-busting laughing]
Foster: Am I drinking milk from a saucer?
[feigned anger]
Foster: Do you see me eating mice?
Foster: [Mac and the man are laughing their heads off now] You stop laughing right meow! (6)
Larry Johnson: [the man stops and swallows hard] Yes sir.
Foster: Meow, (7) I'm gonna have to give you a ticket on this one. No buts meow. (8) It's the law.
[rips off the ticket and hands it to the man]
Foster: Not so funny meow, (9) is it?
Foster: [Foster gets up to leave, but Mac shakes his hands at him, indicating only nine meows] Meow! (10)

Number recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340163)

Use number recognition.

With this you can block them,
Or send all calls through to a person/ tape that just says aha, yes and then waits till they hangup.
Or if you are mean, post the phone number on a dating site as a female blond looking for a good .....

If they don't give the number, tell you are interested but can't talk now, and if they have a number you can call back to later.


Easysauce (2, Informative)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340173)

Sure you can hang up on them... Or you can waste thier time. Put them on hold. TELEMARKETER: Hi, I'm Calling From ---- Me: --- I'm So sorry, can i just put you on hold for like 2 minutes. TELEMARKETER: Uhh... Then you just see how long they are willing to wait.

Re:Easysauce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340315)

make a game of it with a prize to the one who gets them to hang on longest.

Derogitory sexual comments (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340179)

If it's a woman, start talking about how bad you want to drill her ass. Be very explicit. If it's a man, same thing. Just come up with the most vile stuff you can think of. If that doesn't work, bring some animals into your verbal fantasies. Try to make a game of it within the office to see who can come up with the most disgusting stuff or who can get the headhunter on the other end of the phone line to break down and start screaming.

Re:Derogitory sexual comments (2, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340351)

that might cause problems with passing by HR (they'll say you're language constitutes sexual harassment of any coworkers in earshot made uncomfortable). So farm it out, tell the recruiter in a hushed voice to call your cell phone number. Give them the phone number of an adult theater in a major city that has recorded message listing all the films and plots. Or whatever cranks your tractor, the possibilities are as numerous as your yellow page directory!

Outsource.. (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340191)

..the calls to your operation in India...

The plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340197)

1) Put a paper bag containing dog shit on their door step, light it on fire, ring door bell and RUN!
2) ...
3) Profit!

Harlan Ellison's remedy. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340513)

The theme of this Ask /. question is that the marketer is exceeding the bounds of etiquette. It also assumes they have been asked to stop.

Harlan Ellison had a better answer to this type of problem than the one above.

Locate a dead gopher from a highway. Send it to the offending place, with a recipe for Dead Gopher Stew.

Two words (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340199)

Air horn.

"If you are a bottom-feeding IT recruiter . . ." (5, Funny)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340201)

press 1 now.

The Other Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340203)

If your thinking about blocking based on caller ID or not picking up when a particular person calls, here is some food for thought:

I work in an IT department for a large I.T. recruiting firm. We have our own PBX, so I can pretty much set my (and when desired, our recruiters) caller ID to whatever I want. Occasionally I call my friends as the Devil, 666.

I dont think anyone here is harassing people, but what do I know, Im just the IT guy. I do know requests to change peoples caller IDs happen seldomly. Perhaps once a month.

PBX? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340215)

I imagine a PBX like asterisk would let you block incoming calls from any particular numbers, assuming the caller ID info is provided.

I'm surprised this isn't legally harassment. They're unsolicited calls costing you time, and therefore money. What if they were to fill up your lines so no one else could call into your company? Is a phone DDOS attack legal?

How about putting up a short message to all callers that you have the right to bill for phone time. Don't bill your customers but bill these recruiters for thousands of dollars an hour.

Easy (1)

arse maker (1058608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340219)

Get everyone at your company to call them back two times a day each, maybe 10 if you are very annoyed. They soon will stop doing the same to you.

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340347)

Company Memo: All down time shall be spent calling xxx-xxx-xxxx and asking for jobs at twice your currently salary. If you get one, go for it.

Keep them on the phone (5, Insightful)

Sargeant Slaughter (678631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340225)

Act interested, put them on hold for 5 minutes. Act interested again, put them on hold for another 5 minutes. Act interested again, put them on hold for another 5 minutes. Then tell them they are suckers and they just wasted 15 minuted of their life on a fruitless venture.

It is fun, rewarding, and it hurts their bottom line.

The answer is "UUCP" (3, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340239)

At a certain large veteran's hospital, telephone solicitors used to call every phone in the building, one after another, trying to sell stuff to the patients.

As it happens, the local sysadmin looked after quite a number of machines which updated each other via uucp, so he added an aggressive contact schedule for the number the telephone solicitors were calling from.

After a few hours of autodialing by a pool of uupcds, he commented out the new number and called them by voice, to see if they would now agree not to call the patients.


Fight Robo with Robo (2, Interesting)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340577)

I was getting hangup robodialed calls about 10x per day, all hours. Sometimes it would fail over to a recorded message with an 800 number. Once when I was home during the call, I picked up and someone asked for a person with my first initial and last name. Different first name. I was so mad I had my modem dial every 60 seconds for a week while I was out of town. It made me feel good.

Now that robodialers are becoming more and more of a nuisance, I want to enhance my counterattack. Anyone know of a free app that'll dial the offending number and play an audio file of me ranting? Maybe I can robodial every member of congress nonstop until they pass legislation banning robodialers!

thats how recruiters operate (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340241)

Recruiters are clients of the companies they are trying to hire for. Ask them about the job, then get the company its for. Call that company's HR department and complain and tell them the recruiters they use are harassers. Ideally, if you expose these bottom feeders as being bottom feeders most rational people would drop them. What kind of candidates are they trying to get by using this method? Probably not very good ones.

These recruiters are incredible. I used a few a few years back and I STILL get a phone call 3 or 4x a month from a breathless desperate guy who really needs to fill soem shit 2-week temp contract. I also submitted a resume or two fairly recently only to find they went through a recruiter who told me that job doesnt exist anymore and offered me to interview for some temp job. Bait and switch?

The industry really needs to take a good look at recruiters in general. I cant see them being more efficient than in-house hiring.

Re:thats how recruiters operate (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340473)

I cant see them being more efficient than in-house hiring.

Outsourcing? Inefficient? NAAAAAW!

Re:thats how recruiters operate (1)

MinutiaeMan (681498) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340483)

The problem is that some recruiters might not tell you the name of the company up front. When I got a call from a recruiter a few months back, he wouldn't give me the name of the company until I agreed to pursue the prospect and he got the ball rolling on his end. He wanted to get the credit for me, rather than have me go directly to the company themselves.

And from what I can see, there IS a benefit of external recruiters: they work basically like temp agencies. With a huge list of contacts and recruits, if someone doesn't get hired for the initial job prospect, the recruiter can then recycle that same recruit to another company instead. This benefits the hiring companies in aggregate because they each have access to a potentially larger pool than individual, in-house recruiting departments. It's annoying for US, but it's still practical.

Just put them on-hold... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340245)

forever, if you have 2nd line.

Right (3, Informative)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340247)

"...and refusing to hang up..."

That's only a problem when YOU refuse to hang up, but I see that you've "trained" your guys to hang up. Problem solved.

Change your 'on-hold' music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340253) Exit by Hypnoskull.

They'll never call back again.

Make demands of them (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340259)

Not sure about recruiters, I usually had good luck with demanding swag before I would talk to vendors. Telling them to stop calling wouldn't work, but telling them they had to send me pens and coffee mugs with their corporate logo before I would talk to them usually did.

Easy way to do it (1)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340263)

If they are calling from a central location like a business, it most likely has a "LDN" or listed directory number. Have your PBX check the ANI of incoming calls and route the offending LDN to a dead end "ring no answer" point, or to a message telling them to jump in a lake. You could also match on part of the number, ex: re-route calls that match 904-358-52xx

If the calls are coming from a host of individual numbers you could do the same, but it would involve harvesting the numbers as they are identified. This is the simplest and closest to the source way of blocking these types of calls.

Good luck!

What I don't understand.... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340267)

Why do they keep calling? Non-different from a telemarketer: if they're calls aren't fruitful they'd have no reason to call.

Get A New Attorney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340283)

Since your attorney appears to know not of which he speaks. It can qualify as harrassment, file for ROs prohibiting phone calls from the recruiting companies.

Waste THEIR time (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340287)

trolling for names, hawking their job candidates, and refusing to hang up or stop calling
Give them fake names and numbers.
Give their candidates fake appointments to fake addresses.

It's perfectly legal and their clients are going to stop dealing with them after a few trips to a vacant lot at 9am sharp (it sucks having to make their clients suffer, but they're the ones dealing with these jerks, it'll be a life lesson in karma).

Re:Waste THEIR time (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340571)

Yes, yes... I have a great candidate for you... guy named I. P. Freely... let me get you his number...

easy fix (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340293)

block the assholes at the PBX.

Depending on the state, (1)

fishyfool (854019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340299)

Wouldn't continued phone calls be considered harassment of sorts after you asked them to quit calling?

Do what my dad does... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340307)

... respond in Chinese (or any other foreign/fake language).

Re:Do what my dad does... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340385)

If they don't speak Klingon, they're not worth talking to...

Re:Do what my dad does... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340503)

When I get solicited for surveys at the mall, I stop dead in my tracks, look right in their eyes and say, "I don't speak English." :D

Add them to the "do not hire" list (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340317)

Ask them their company, and then tell them that if they wish, you will be happy to fporward their name to HR to be put on the list... of vendors who were banned from ever dealing with your company again.


You're on the right track... (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340331)

You've gotten your engineering team to block their calls. This is about all you can do, sadly. The first time you get a call, kindly re-direct them to your HR recruiter. Second call, do the same and tell them that if they directly call someone that's not an HR recruiter, you'll blacklist their number and block it. After the third time, block it, and flat out refuse any candidates from that agency. Legitimate agencies will play by the rules, whereas the shady / spammings ones will find themselves blacklisted.

Treat your employees better (2, Insightful)

PackMan97 (244419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340335)

The best way to get them to stop is to pay your employees what they are worth and treat them well. They'll stop calling once they realize no one wants to leave your company because they are fat and happy.

Re:Treat your employees better (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340437)

Lurn to read:

hawking their job candidates

It would seem they are on the other half of the pipe where people might want to go.

Block the calls (1)

shrikel (535309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340353)

I guess it depends on your phone system's capabilities, but I set up a call-blocking system for one of my customers (using Asterisk) where, if an unwanted caller calls in, they can hit a key combination and the system flags the call as not-acceptable. In the future, if any calls come in from that number, they get sent to a generic message telling them that they have been added to a "reject call" list, and giving them instructions on how to be removed from that list (i.e. send a letter explaining why you should be allowed to call) in case of false positives.

"even if we curse their mothers" ... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340381)

you must be working in an interesting environment there ...

Recruiters Raise the Pay Table (2, Informative)

genghis_1971 (711867) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340407)

The practice of recruiting aligns positions more closely with skillsets. They also assist employees in getting fair market value and job satisfaction. The aggressive recruiting practice that is spoken of is a sign that market conditions are 'correcting' for employees. Further correcting in the job market will eventually make this practice too costly.

Death to spammers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340413)

I've been there but my previous head of dept used to encourage it and make it worse, absolutely never tell these tele-spammers that someone is unavailable because then they'll keep harassing you. If you (or your boss) is foolish enough, it'll begin interfering with your work.

The solutions are simple, either leave voice mail on and only respond to valid calls or unplug the phones. If spam carries on the way it's going we'll all have whitelist-only email too.

Do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340447)

Ask for the person name, call back number, and whatever else they will give you, then ask to talk to there supervisor, and give them the 1-2 over the phone...

I Love Leaches -- Recession is worse (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340459)

Those "leaches" saved my arse during the Great Tech Recession (2001-2004). They did the digging and embellishment better than I could or wanted to. Yes, they are slimey, but when you are desparate, you love those phoney little slugs like family. He'll, they probably kept my family together. Hug a Leach! (Just make sure to take weekly pay instead of monthly when contracting, because often your last paycheck goes into a black hole.)

Extension 101 (5, Funny)

gpuk (712102) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340491)

At our company we have a special extension we use for all suspected marketing calls, known affectionately as extension 101.

This extension is hooked up to a CD player and is programmed to auto answer incoming calls. One of our audio guys has mixed up a CD containing endless "on hold" muzack and promotional messages for our company and this is left to play repeatedly in the CD player.

End result - all unsolicited calls get responded with a "I'll just connect you to the person responsible for that department" and are then transferred to extension 101 where they remain until they hang up. The best bit is that a red LED lights up on the line the marketer has called in on (indicating line in use), making it possible to time how long they spend listening to the 101 CD before disconnecting. The record so far is just over 18 minutes :o)

I suppose if you wanted to be even more devious you could set extension 101 to divert to a premium rate number and make a bit of extra cash for every minute the dumb marketer stays listening to the 101 CD - this is probably illegal though (as most fun things are)...

Company Directory? (1)

StickyWidget (741415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340495)

First some assumptions:
1. Your company directory is automated (you know, "Please spell out the name of the person you wish to call on the keypad...")
2. It's on a seperate number than your front door. (This is what you should be doing...)

First off, change the telephone number that the company directory is on and keep it unlisted. Ensure employees know that it is not a public number. It's obviously been compromised somewhere along the line, and these -hats will continue to abuse it. Second, add a disclaimer to the message that is used on it. Something like "The company directory may only be used for authorized business, the following activities are prohibited: soliciting, debt collection, yadda yadda." Check with legal on what you should say. Third, awareness is more than hanging up. Teach your employees to get name, company, contact info, and have them write down how much time they spent handling it (probably a minute or so). This way, you can take it up the chain as a time waster and justify FIXING it. Better yet, make it a web application... :). Additionally, you now know what companies you can prosecute once you've done #1 and #2.

Lastly, get yourself a better lawyer. This joker sounds like he should be chasing ambulances. "We have no options, there's no such thing as a Do Not Call list for companies." There is ALWAYS a legal recourse, but it requires you to be attentive, up front, and document everything. Any responsible lawyer working for a corporation knows that, so get this slacker off your payroll.

You'll probably have problems with the -hats who keep records, and you may need to change your extension system. Once they are in, they will be in for a while.

StickyWidget AKA, Gizmo Glue

This calls for an old trick (3, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340511)

Here's an oldschool fax machine DOS prank that should at least inconvenience them as much as they have you. There's a good chance the company has a fax machine, and since they're a business you should be able to get ahold of that number very easily. Worst case someone may need to pose as a prospective IT hire and get the fax number in order to "send in your resume".

Once you have the fax number just put together about 6 or 7 pages of whatever you like within reason and the bounds of law (i.e. don't send death threats or pornographic images), usually something inane and anonymous, perhaps lolcatz pictures. Tape all the sheets together end-to-end then insert into your fax machine, once the first part of the now super-length page comes through, loop the top around and tape it together, forming a nice infinite paper loop in the fax machine. Let this send all day if you like. On their end it will either eat all their paper, toner, or at the very least render the fax machine unusable!

Important! You obviously want to remain anonymous with this "fax" so be sure to prepend *67 to the fax number, this is the command to block caller ID. :)


Start a phone-spam list (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340519)

First, get caller ID at your incoming switchboard so you can log the numbers for all incoming calls. Second, contact the phone company and ask them if they can start blocking a list of phone numbers that you give them. (Everything should be available for a price.) Failing that, have your IT folks find a way to setup your own switchboard for incoming calls, and have it block calls from the offending locations. Any phone calls with caller ID blocked could be either blocked automatically, sent to a recording, or automatically redirected to a secretary who filters them.

I have never worked with such systems, but in the era of IP phones and other such solutions, there has to be a way to have a customized software featureset on a switchboard if these features are not already commercially available.

You're talking to the wrong people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19340521)

The folks on the phone have their marching orders. They make the calls on their list. That's their job. Arguing with/swearing at them might feel good, but it's a waste of time.

If they're hawking services/staffing, find out what firm they represent. Then find out who their VP of sales/business development is (googling is a good tool here). Call the VP of business development, and let them know, nicely, that if they want to be considered as a potential partner for your future staffing needs, the cold calling needs to stop, as does the poaching of your staff. If they're willing to work with you, you'll contact them when you have need for contract staff. If they can't agreee to those terms, then you will take all your staffing business going forward to their competetors, and they will have cost themselves any possible future business. And that you won't give favorable reviews of working with them to others who ask.

Deal with someone who understands and is empowered to maintain a positive business relationship with you. Staffing companies aren't stupid, at least not at the higher end of the spectrum.

I had to remove my resume from, sheesh (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340525)

I was getting anywhere between 3-10 calls (+ emails) per day from recruiters. I specifically listed the 2 cities that I was willing to work, and the technologies that I work with (linux/bash/perl/php/mysql/oracle/etc.), yet 1/5 of most of the calls were for .NET related jobs (which I have no interest or background in), and 98% of the time, the jobs were far from the cities that I specifically stated I'd work in. 2/5 of the time, the jobs were out of state.

Recruiters are the leeches of the IT world, no doubt!

I've met perhaps 3 (out of about 50, over the years) that actually took the time to understand the differences in the technologies and job descriptions that they are recruiting for. I've been sent on wild-goose-chase interviews, and have endured verbal harassment in a few cases by a few IRATE/over-caffeinated recruiters who would be far better off working in a used car lot.

One recruiter from Manpower Professional (I don't remember his name, but that company I won't forget), called me about 2-3 times a day, for 3 days straight. He left 1 message each day, and by the 3rd day, he was yelling and cursing my voice mail for me not calling him back. I'm sorry, but that's just pathetic. Get a new job, buddy.

Since removing my resume from, I now receive perhaps 2-5 offers/week (but still don't fit the criteria I'm looking for), and I've since given-up trying to find a new job (for now).

Good riddance, psycho over-caffeinated dice recruiters! Good luck!

*lose my #, plz. thx*

Get a decent phone system (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340529)

Our voip phone system allows me to add in "blacklisted" phone numbers. that dump them to a generic mailbox. they cant access anything but the leave a message function. If your phone system cant do that, I strongly suggest upgrading as it's a function that is worth it's weight in gold.

Pass them off to purchasing. (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340539)

"Hi, you're from where? Oh, sorry, you're not on our preferred vendor list, yeah, I couldn't work with you even if I wanted to until you are. Call (sourcing/purchasing/whatever) and see if you can get set up." And then walk down to purchasing and tell them in no uncertain terms that, whatever criteria they need to not put them onto the list of approved vendors, they fail somehow.

Tough nuts... (1)

Distan (122159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340553)

The definition of telemarketing in 16 CFR 310 says "..induce the purchase of goods or services.."

Recruiters are not telemarketers, and are therefore not subject to the "do not call" regulations.

You need to get more creative.

I would first ask "why is this a problem"? Do your employees just find the calls annoying, or have you lost any employees to the recruiters. If you have lost employees, then I would say the recruiters are performing a valid service of helping people find jobs that they are more satisfied with. In this case, you need to address the problems that encourage your people to leave. Doubling their salaries might be a good start.

If your employees just find the calls annoying, and not a single employee has said anything encouraging to the recruiters, one has to wonder why they keep calling. You would think that if nobody ever talks to them, provides a resume, takes an interview, or moves to a new job, they would eventually move on to greener pastures.

How about holding a contest? Encourage your employees to record the calls and curse the recruiters in the most explicit language possible. Play back the recordings in your next company-wide meeting, and give cash rewards to the employees who are most insulting to the recruiters.

Our Method (1)

unapersson (38207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340593)

All calls from agencies get redirected to one person who manages an approved short list of agencies. The list gets populated through a tender process.

We used to get tons of these, now they simply get pushed off to /dev/null as soon as they call. It completely wrong foots them when they phone.

Have your PBX call their PBX (1)

sevenoftoine (556762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340595)

Assuming the phone charges won't hurt, if it's a call from the recruiters, have it go right back out and call *them*. So the more they call you, the more they call themselves.

Hire Grandpa Simpson (5, Funny)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19340619)

"We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere -- like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you'd say.
        "Now where were we? Oh yeah -- the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."
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