I was discussing recruiter spam with a friend of mine the other day. He mentioned a recent message he received soliciting his interest in more than a dozen open Director and VP-level gigs. Cool, right? Except here’s the problem: virtually all of the positions were based in San Francisco (or NYC), which made him instantly hit “Ignore” on the recruiter message. We had a good laugh about this, because I always do the same.
Recruiter spam is nothing new, but the idea of doing nationwide candidate searches for non-executives strikes me as awfully weird. The dominant narrative, after all, is that SF and NYC are the most talent-rich places in the country for tech. So why are those of us in flyover country still getting inundated with solicitations to relocate?
The answer is that while recruiting is difficult anywhere, I think it has gotten harder than ever for many firms in these two mega-metros. A big reason is that the numbers just don’t add up. What I’m going to do in this post is break down what a big salary job offer actually means in practice for someone in a smaller city contemplating a move to SF/NYC, and why it doesn’t really make much practical sense to move. Recruiters and HR pros, take note.