What does your inbox look like? Because mine looks like this:

Now, ignore the 99+ unread messages and lack of organization. If you can look past that, you can see my inbox is littered with spam… from recruiters. I get it, recruiters have to grind, but it’s not just my email. I get phone calls too, and I’ve even gotten a cold text message from a recruiter (😎 included). I didn’t consent to this (well, maybe I did when I signed up for LinkedIn). So, I am proposing an initial draft of recruiters.txt

Inspired by the robots.txt file that tells search engine crawlers which URLs the crawler “can” access on your site, recruiters.txt aims to target automated recruitment campaign software (I have no idea what this is actually called). In this initial draft, only two elements are defined:

  • Comments (#), used for normal code comment-y things
  • No-Contact, a global declaration that the owner of the website does not want to receive any communications (in any form, phone, email, text) from automated recruiting platforms.

Obviously, simply posting a recruiters.txt file won’t do anything unless the companies implementing these recruitment platforms decide to respect it. I have no idea what the incentive would be for them to do so, but I’m not sure what the incentive for obeying a robots.txt file is either.