The Wolf Test
2 min read

The Wolf Test

The Wolf Test
Inquisitive wolf in a business suit, watercolor painting – Dall-E

Dealing with recruiter spam on LinkedIn, for good.

I've recently implemented a change to my LinkedIn profile, one that helps me filter out automated recruiter spam. I call it "The Wolf Test"

Here's how it works:

  1. Replace your first name with an emoji of your choice. I went with the Wolf 🐺.
  2. Fill in the last name field with your first and last name.
  3. Enjoy the hilarious salutations from automated messages:

As of this writing, Recruiters have a 1-16 record.

Why the Wolf Test?

I shouldn't have to do this. No one should. But the job market for developers is in a weird place and LinkedIn only exacerbates the weirdness. There's more demand than supply for senior-level engineering talent. Recruiters play a numbers game and reach out to as many developers as possible. The shift towards remote work has increased the volume; an increasing number of remote developers and remote positions equals more noise in the job market.  

Like most technical solutions, the recruiting tools LinkedIn sells don't solve a problem, they just make a process faster.

It's not easy for hiring managers to vet all of these candidates. Hiring is expensive and hiring mistakes even more so. False negatives are acceptable in the process,  but false positives are costly.

These factors combine to create a low-trust environment for developers. More recruiting and positions mean not only more interviews for developers but interviews of increasing time and rigor.

I call this the recruitment meat grinder. As a developer, you go through interview after interview, with people looking for reasons why you aren't good enough.

I understand this is a first-world problem. Woe is me with all of these job interviews and opportunities. I'm grateful for all the opportunity I have, but to be forced into a market of lemons to get it. It's exhausting.

Quality over quantity

After spending three months in the meat grinder, I decided I'm never doing it again. Instead, I'm focusing on quality over quantity. If I need new opportunities I am primarily focusing on what's available through my current network and meager audience. As for recruiters, I'll only consider talking to recruiters who will take the time to read my name on a profile.

They have to pass the wolf test.

Maybe if enough people do it, it'll decrease the effectiveness of recruiter spam and help eliminate it entirely.

We are legion

Why not come join us?