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What It's Like to be Recruited (codebrief.com)
56 points by ghempton 2384 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

"As I write this, all in all I have received: 266 emails and 96 voicemails. This roughly equates to 12.7 emails and 4.3 voicemails per workday."

I just went through this myself and it was nuts. The phone rang from 8 am - 6 pm almost every 30 minutes for a week when I updated my resume on monster. My skills are back-end Ruby and SQL, both seemed to be high in demand in Chicago last month. I didn't capture detailed notes like you, but I wish I had.

"For the first week, I actually answered all incoming calls, but this eventually became unmanageable. I used the opportunity to hear them out and also sometimes give them a reverse pitch on GroupTalent for feedback."

Ha! I did the same pitching my start-up Vouched ( http://getvouched.com ) and doing impromptu Lean Startup style customer interviews. There is quite a range of talent and process in the recruitment industry. Some are real professionals, others are just playing on volume. I spoke to one recruiter who makes around 70 calls a day to get 3 possible candidates. The reasonable ones called 20 people at most and actually tried to develop relationships instead of dialing for dollars.

It's an interesting space, or as Charlie O'Donnell put it... a bad neighborhood. http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2011/3/21/five-reason...

Best of luck to you.

Ruby has been in ridiculous demand in Chicago for at least a year. I blame Groupon. :) They've hired big chunks of three or four consulting shops and are building their own internal teams.

One of the Obtiva owners (consulting shop) wrote: http://nuts.redsquirrel.com/post/2680658687/chicagos-ruby-de...

In Boston, it is absurd for Rails developers also.

It doesn't help call volume-wise that "Quantronix" seems to be outsourcing calls to india and calling about positions in Texas regardless of my stated Boston-only preference.

I'm in the recruitment process right now, the signal-to-noise ratio with recruiters is so low that I've basically stopped paying attention unless they are an internal recruiter.

Is it just me, or is it far more productive to simply make it known to your network that you're looking, and let companies come to you? That's what I'm doing this time and it seems to be working quite well.

For one thing, my friends won't refer me to bullshit positions, and more often than not I'd already know someone working there, or formerly worked there, who can give me some inside scoop about the work environment and any gotchas.

I honestly can't imagine trying to find my way through the meat market that is Dice and Monster.

I'm currently unemployed.

I would say that some recruiters are great, just like some internal recruiters are poor. The worst experience I've had this round of interviewing has been with an internal recruiter, where there was both no personality fit between me and the managers/recruiters and the job was not what they had advertised.

I alerted my network that I was looking for work before I resigned. I didn't get an attractive offer through my network so I have to look through ads on various job boards.

By replying to those ads with applications I eventually got interviews or recruiters calling me back about positions that they had not advertised yet.

You are correct in that your friends won't recommend you to a place where they aren't enjoying working or where they don't think you'll enjoy working.

Good recruiters are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. Of course, the problem is always finding the good ones.

If you have a local networked base definitely use it first. If you don't then recruiters are usually the best way. Research them though and pick a few to apply directly to and work with a recruiter there to specify exactly what you want. If you can't stand the recruiter walk away, you're going to want this like this person and maintain a relationship with them. I've been on both sides(posting jobs on big general job sites and posting my resume) and its never been a very good experience.

Of course it would be if that network is available / viable and helpful. Most recruiters suck (I'm a recruiter). Most internal recruiters don't know how to head-hunt or source candidates (or, many are generalists, which is why third-party vendors exist (for one variable)). A decent technical recruiter won't send you mechanical engineering positions because your resume listed "engineer" in relation to software, and "machine" in relation to Machine Learning.

But, most of us suck. You are in the luck of the draw with Dice / Monster. And it is indeed mess mostly because the war for talent IS very high (at $90-$140,000 levels of base, 5-15 years of experience), so, even if your stated "no relocation" is noted, most of us will still call you to see if we can talk you into relocation.

I would suggest leaving off your contact info except a throw-away email address. Leave instructions in your summary (such as Dice, "About candidate: I am only seeking _technology_ in _area_ at _rates_ and am not open for relocation. Thank you.") Do not put it in your resume, as it is unprofessional for anyone who isn't a "cruddy" recruiter.

I do think it is silly to discount all positions if they are not from internal recruiters, since, many companies do not employ FT recruiters, or, they have generalists who sift through submitted resumes and third-party vendor submittals. Many Technical Recruiters will actually know just a tad more about tech then a HR Generalist.

I used to source for the top 2/3 finance firms, 4/5 top eCommerce which was spread throughout the country. If you were a good talent, I could get you 4-5 interviews with great companies. But, its very recruiter / company dependent.

Ergo: Use a network if you have one. A lot of people do not have a network at every "target" company they are trying to reach. Remove most of your contact information and filter through an email (throw-away).

If you find a "good" recruiter, keep in touch. Recruiters move around a lot in companies, which can mean exposure to different industries / companies. Don't be a dick. A "good" recruiter many times has the "ear" of a employer when giving more feedback between two candidates they represent at the offer stage. This is a more general advice tip on life, with "don't be a dick."

If you find a "good" recruiter, get feedback on your resume. The majority of people are awful about their resume, or, a company may want specifics removed on the resume. EG: top finance firm, would not even look at any resume with a first-page "skills" section that took up an ENTIRE page. 1) you have not the ability to be an expert in a pages worth of tools and technologies, 2) it is not representative of your most recent experience. Small example.

Edit: grammar.

I'm curious as to how much overlap there is in those Emails and Voicemails. My experience is that 10-15 Recruiters will all be recruiting for the same position and they monitor for new resumes and blast them with automated emails the minute you post your profile.

> Additionally, and importantly, I had indicated that I would be willing to relocate.

IME recruiters pay absolutely no attention to this field.

That agrees with my experience as well. The don't know or seem to care where I live. I had a company arrange a call with me and at the end of the call finally ask me if I was willing to relocate. I had to (silently) shake my head at that, because my address was right there on my resume. I lived half a mile from their office.

"Seeking freelance or short term contract iPhone and Android development positions."

That's a dream guy for so many emails I get daily and I'm not even looking for work. From my perspective it looks like everyone wants to hire someone for a 6 month contract in a city nearby (which in Texas seems to mean 3 hours is nearby) for a company whose name they won't disclose. If he said he wanted full time employment and relocation reimbursement I think the number would have been much smaller.

Edit: looks like I didn't read closely enough and I ended up venting rather than seeing that this was a research and discovery project and not an after thought while looking for a job

The objective meant little: majority of the positions were for contract to hire and full-time.

My biggest problem with recruiters comes to my SharePoint skills. I get a ton of calls, but they don't seem to understand, "No, I don't want a SharePoint job. I dislike it intensely."

Ugh. I worked at Stellent (now part of Oracle) after they acquired a company I worked for. I don't have their product Universal Content Manager on my resume, but I constantly get emails about UCM administrator positions in BFE.

I've de-emphasized Stellent on my resume but sometimes I think about deleting it entirely.

I posted some numbers last week from the viewpoint of a passive candidate (my resume is on the internet and in innumerable recruiting company databases, but I do not have a Monster, Dice, etc profile):


For me, I got more enquiries in 2010 than 2011 so far, but I didn't keep track of LinkedIn requests, which could skew the numbers.

Most enquiries are very keyword spray-and-pray spam but I occasionally get a "smart" recruiter who will look me up on GitHub or Stack Overflow. The best one was a startup co-founder who evidentially spent considerable time reading up on me, and referenced something from a talk I gave.

I've had much better luck with the 'Hiring Freelancers?' threads here than with any job board or recruiter service. For one thing it seems like people actually read posts rather than just looking for keywords.

"My profile on StackOverflow careers was viewed by employers a whopping 1 time and had 3 search hits."

I've had similar experience with StackOverflow Careers. Even though my skills listed and location are in the top 5 for each, I have 31 views of my profile and 6 inquiries. And I've been on the site for over 6 months.

I get the feeling that while SO Careers has the right idea it's really a matter of where the recruiters are.

My company advertises on Stack Overflow and have had very interesting results. We get very low volume, something on the order of 1 to 3 responses per posting. However, the quality of these applicants is very high, which is great because we are not looking for commodity programmers.

I think SO Careers is currently a sort of high-end site for programming jobs, and Monster is a meat market.

As someone who also has his CV up on SO Careers, this is interesting to see that it is designed like that. I was also concerned about the very low number of views and times appearing in search results.

Can anyone here share some ideas about how all that recruiting activity can be automated?

It is already partially automated (keywords search), but that's obviously not enough.

Better matching algorithms are needed, so neither job seekers nor recruiters would be overloaded with poor matches.



Dan Arkind from JobScore here. We have spent some time on this. Check out our stuff at www.jobscore.com or holler if you have more specific questions - dan@jobscore.com

The crux of what we do is a parse and clean pattern with a relatively straightforward resume fit scoring (or matching if you prefer, tomato, tomatoe).

You can enter weighted keyword terms (useful), but we also FILTER based on location, experience level (employers, job titles) and education level (schools, degrees). We've found this does a decent job of "wheat from the chaff" separation when you receive a lot of job applications.

The reality when you are hiring is that you definitely want to actually read and review ~ top 25% of inbound applications.

Finding matches in larger data sets (100M+ LinkedIn profiles) is obviously harder... but filtering one level down in structured data (degrees in education, job titles in employment) makes matches relatively precise.

There's a non-trivial challenge in normalizing job title information (javascript ninja vs. front end software engineer vs. awesome developer!) and degrees that could make matching more precise, but we aren't aware of anyone who has really taken this on (bueler?)

Variables that aren't typically captured (like salary) are really strong indicators of a match as well...

LinkedIn's (interesting) secret sauce here is relationship metadata (who you know) as a filter. LinkedIn also captures reputation metadata and the folks over at www.honestly.com are doubling down on this. We have an (undisclosed) secret sauce angle to matching at scale... but we'll need a heck of a lot more data for that to really matter...

In general though, you don't want or need an exact match (who you are going to hire), you just want what's close (who should I call).

Give jobscore a whirl & see if you have any additional input!

I'm going through a similar experience. I haven't posted my resume anywhere and I'm not even really 'looking' right now. But I've got a ton of emails from people who've seen my tweet on leaving MSFT or better, from a post on HN about it.

Off topic but I love the link design used on his site.

I would love to know how many job postings and recruiter calls there are per actual job. I seem to see a number of suspiciously similar job descriptions anytime I look.

I've had to completely obliterate sections of my resume because keyword-searching recruiters would glom onto them like flies on a turd.

Oh, and one tip: never, ever go to a recruiters office because they "might have some positions for you". I relented and did this once. It's a phenomenal waste of time where they try to pump you for information and contacts.

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