A while back I did the experiment to see if recruiters are worth it in the tech world. But I felt the story on recruiters was not done yet. I wanted to find out how to deal with recruiters. I’ve proven that most messages from agencies are not worth it. And your best bet would be an in-house recruiter. But I kept wondering. Would there be a way to minimize the effort, and get more valuable results?

My friend Bart, was a big fan of the first experiment. He sent me a link to a Github repository with an autoresponder for recruiters. And an idea was born. What If I send all those recruiters an autoresponder to see if they can provide the company name and salary range. And basically answer a question I had for a while: how to deal with recruiters?

The experiment

For every message that I will get from a recruiter, I will respond with the autoresponder. I thank them for reaching out, but due to the volume of inquiries, I cannot respond to all. I ask them to provide:

  • Company name
  • Job description
  • Total compensation package

I collected answers for the entire month of February in 2022.

What I look like using an autoresponder

How to deal with recruiters?

The main goal of this article is to answer the question: How to deal with recruiters? Let’s take a look at the data and see if an autoresponder is the way to go.

During the experiment, I received 14 messages from recruiters. Most of them replied to the autoresponder. Only two recruiters did not respond. This is more than I expected.

Did they respond to my message?

Out of the 12 responses, there were 6 that contained all the information I required. Unfortunately, two positions were already closed.

Did they provide any details related to the job opening?

4 recruiters were unable to provide any details. And they all wanted some form of personal information to continue. Either make a phone call to discuss my preferences, or receive my personal email to send the information to. To the recruiters that required my personal email for the information, none of them had an answer to the fact why that was not possible to share in the Linkedin chat we were having.

When asked why I noticed most of them did not have a job opening and were just hunting for possible candidates to find a job for. These are the worst kinds of recruiters. And I do not recommend using them, to not give them the satisfaction of earning money off you.

Where they able to provide details about the compensation package?

As a side note, these recruiters were the ones that took by far the most time in getting the info I wanted. Recruiters that have an actual opening were able to send me the details in <15 minutes.

Salary data

I gathered all the salary data of the recruiters that did respond to the autoresponder. The details are visible in the table below:

PositionYears of experienceCompensationRemote
Scrum Master5+Max €70K per yearHybrid: 50/50
Scrum Master to become Agile coachUnclearMax €68K per year, including bonusesHybrid: unclear
Scrum Master1+Max €55K with an option for non disclosed bonusHybrid: 1 day/week at the office
Scrum Master8+ Freelance: €500 per dayUnclear
Scrum Master8+Freelance €550 per dayUnclear
Scrum Master5+Max €51K per yearHybrid: 1/2 days a week at the office
All salary data

According to SalaryExperts, this is right around the industry average of €62K per year for The Netherlands.

Noteworthy responses

In this “how to deal with recruiters” experiment, I’ve gotten several responses that were either too funny or surreal to keep from you. My personal favorites:

  • A recruiter starting with “First of all, I do understand you. And I am 100% not spam“. That sounds like something a spammer would say.
  • A recruiter trying to sweet talk me, “With you profile I expect you to get at least 5+ messages per day
  • I had several recruiters reach out, stating they had a interesting position for me. After the autoresponder they insisted on doing a call, because they where not sure on my preferences so it would be difficult to find me a position. As I thought, some recruiters don’t really have an open position and will try to pull you in their network.
  • I received an offer for an oddly specific amount of working hours. The salary offer was based off 173.33 hours per month.
  • Two recruiters reached out on the same position, offering a different compensation package.


The goal of this experiment was to answer the question “How to deal with recruiters?“. Is using an autoresponder the way to increase quality job offers without having to put in much effort?

Using the autoresponder was easier than I thought. Just copy it from a previous message, and it takes about 30 seconds per recruiter message. Unfortunately, the fully automated replies are only available for premium users.

I was surprised by the number of recruiters willing to share the information I asked for. My assumption at the start of this experiment was that it would be difficult to get recruiters to share more information. Or at least be required to get on the phone. This turned out to be not the case. With just about 30 seconds spent per message, I was able to get at least 5 clear offers with a total compensation package provided upfront.

I am surprised how easy it is to get compensation details

Spotting recruiters that do not have a clear job opening and want to lure you, are also easier to recognize. They open with “an interesting position”, but are not able to provide any details. They usually follow up with a request for a phone call or ask for other personal information.

In the previous experiment, 13,33% of experiments were quality job offers in which I could be interested. With the autoresponder that is increased to 42.86%!

Can I answer the question “how to deal with recruiters?”. Using the autoresponder is a low effort way to filter on quality job offers. I was able to rule out spammy recruiters without positions, and am able to see compensation packages. That allows me to filter out any jobs that don’t have a compensation package relevant to me. In conclusion, I can wholeheartedly recommend using an autoresponder.

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