Headhunted - Not

2 minute read

So I haven’t posted in a while, not because there is nothing to write about, but more that I have been busy with starting side projects like Slinkybot, taking considerable amounts of work next to my actual work.

Yet today I want to take the time to tell you how to save your time. Around 3 hours in total I estimate. So let’s go!

It started when I received an email from @digital-systems.net, writing me that they were apparently given your name as an excellent software engineer and they would be happy to meet, exchange business cards, and build a long-term relationship. The mail was signed by name ommitted from Digital Systems Japan. Checking the interwebs, it turns out that there is no information to be found other than a small website on the domain of their emails. On the website it reads:

We are a Tokyo-based boutique headhunting agency that helps connect you with the top new jobs in Japan. We only contact you when you are recommended to us as a great candidate for a specific job.

So you might think the same I thought: Cool, I'm being headhunted. The fact that they pose as a tiny boutique headhunting agency and are nowhere to be found raised my interest and led me to follow up on the mails. Also the position description and possible employer sounded game changing.

After a bit forth and back a meeting was arranged and the instructions led me to an office in Ebisu, Tokyo. Being early I had a look at the company list next to the elevator, but Digital Systems Japan was nowhere to be found. Arriving at the place from the description, I found myself in the offices of Apex KK, a recruitment company in Tokyo, to meet the (polite and friendly) people from Apex and of course not the person who contacted me - was it an AI maybe? Claiming they had performed background check made me wonder why the initial interview was not well prepared (seemed they didn’t know anything about me or my background really) and the position proposed wasn’t really suiting my background. Together with what seemed to be some mixup with meeting rooms the interview was short and left me with the feeling of being scammed into handing over my information under the premise of being headhunted. After asking about the different company names and how they got my mail I was being told that Digital Systems were their research division and they actually didn’t really know how anybody found me/my mail. In fact, they weren’t even sure about the contents of the mail I was initially contacted with. We only contact you when you are recommended to us as a great candidate for a specific job.… hmmmm.

Headhunted. Not.

.. I thought to myself after the meeting when I reflected on all the red flags raised in my head. After talking to a good friend of mine who knows the industry I just got an You fell for the oldest trick in the recruitment book!. Well I can see it now too, but it was new to me. :)

Anyway, I would recommend anybody to save yourself some time and stay clear from that company as they won’t treat you with honesty from the start. And you deserve honesty! I have no idea how they can build a long-term relationships this way, but frankly am not interested anymore.

/end rant


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