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All that is wrong with the Recruitment Industry (voltsteve.blogspot.com)
90 points by Peroni on July 27, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 93 comments



What I am missing from this analysis is the underhanded methods used by many recruiters.

I've had recruiters publishing our job postings via various job boards in order to intercept potential candidates. I've had a candidate who was told the recruiters posting he responded to was no match for him, when in reality we had simply told the recruiter we had no need for their services. Luckily the candidate managed to Google us. I've had my own CV offered to other companies without my permission. Many a LinkedIn group is set up by recruiters as their own private fishing pool.

What actually surprises me most is the apparent naivety of these recruiters: a lot of these job postings and CVs are easily traced back to the source. Some are very recognizable (it's a small world), most are easily googled.


Good point. There are a few more I could add to that list that are a bit more controversial which I'll address in a week or two with a new blog post.

As for the ones you've mentioned, let me at least try and explain the method behind the madness.

I've had recruiters publishing our job postings via various job boards in order to intercept potential candidates

This happens all the time and I bet the recruiters version has a slightly higher salary too right? The bottom line is that this is actually an illegal practice, at least in the UK but it isn't policed. It's against the law to advertise a vacancy that doesn't exist or duplicate a vacancy that you are not recruiting directly for. Why do they do it? Like you said, they want the candidates to come to them first so they can then claim them and introduce them to you for a fee.

I had a candidate who was told the recruiters posting he responded to was no match for him, when in reality we had simply told the recruiter we had no need for their services.

This is just pure laziness. Most recruiters hardly bother to give negative feedback in the first place as there is nothing they can personally gain from it. I think all feedback is useful personally.

I've had my own CV offered to other companies without my permission.

Another ridiculously common tactic. The idea is to test out the CV, generate interest and if they get any bites they will then call you and try and get you on board. Lazy recruitment again.


The last is also illegal in the UK.


Oh one more story for you, about fake listings.

My same dodgy recruiter friend I mentioned in my other story created fake nicely tailored CVs and got an 900 number.

He applied to every big job he could find, even some in his own company. Ones he knew other recruiters would jump at.

I think he made around £500 before someone dobbed him in and they shut his account down LOL


Indeed, as such I've made a point to always try and identify the company from the advert, prior to contacting the agent.

I'd say in about 10% of cases this has allowed me to go direct to the company, via their own job listing. In about 30% it has allowed me to see other recruiters advertising for the role, and choose which one to give my CV to. 57% of the cases, I get nowhere.

The remaining 3%, every now and again, you find the same job description has been advertised for 9months +. The agency gets a mental black mark, as it looks like a fishing expedition.


Great to hear from a recruiter who's trying to do something good in a very broken industry. On the subject of horror stories...

One guy called me a while back (in my role as an employer) who, when I politely said that we weren't interested because we always recruit directly, told me that he had been responsible for someone leaving our company a few months ago and he would now actively try to "poach" more people away until we agreed to use him.

Needless to say, we won't be doing any business with him or his company even if we decide to use agencies in the future. If it weren't for UK libel laws I'd mention his name as a warning to others.


Is it illegal to mention his name because you can't prove what he said?

A lot of Britain's laws seem awfully strict to me, but I'm fully aware that that's a result of cultural conditioning by living in the United States for 17 years. (I wonder what most UK citizens think of America's laws regarding speech, libel and slander.)


Our libel laws are currently being rewritten, basically, due to huge demand for change. Yes, as they stand they are a bit unreasonable, you have to be able to prove you're correct rather than the other person prove that you're incorrect, which makes it dangerous to call out people like chiropractors.


Exactly -- if you publish something (which includes posting on the net) then you have to be able to prove it's true. I think the US does this stuff better TBH.


You can use spottiness.com to let others know about this guy anonymously


By posting him "the blackspot"...


Interesting, thanks!


I hear that a lot. It's ridiculous. I don't understand why recruiters feel it's appropriate to effectively threaten people. What a clown.


Indeed. Telling potential customers that you are thuggish and immoral isn't the best way to get them to do business with you. I have to wonder if it's ever worked as a tactic for him.


I notice Peroni covers the ground between the recruiter and the employer (and for that, thank you); but is very quiet about what's going on between the recruiter and the target. I'm disappointed by this, because it affects actual developers in a very negative way. The constant unsolicited intrusions despite requests not to are annoying.

And there seems to be no way out other than delete everything on the web that makes any sort of statement that I am a developer with skills in {KEYWORD1}.

I currently have no desk-phone in my current role. This is deliberate. I do not want to be cold-called by recruiters. And yet, that doesn't work. They continue to wheedle their way through our receptionist ("being discreet") trying to get hold of me. Including one fishing for more information by pretending to have a package addressed to me that needs to be delivered at a specific unspecified time.

This continual harrassment is the same as spam. Unsolicited commercial approach that only benefits the sender. And so in my eyes, these recruiters are no better than spammers. Just more annoying because they don't limit themselves to email.

They are on par with the plethora of dodgy mobile phone renewal operators.


...but is very quiet about what's going on between the recruiter and the target.

When you say target, I assume you mean the candidate or potential employee? If so, I do reference how I think people such as yourself can help reduce the impact recruiters have on your day to day activity. Take a look at some of my previous posts.

And so in my eyes, these recruiters are no better than spammers. Just more annoying because they don't limit themselves to email.

That's an excellent comparison as that is exactly how we are generally viewed and rightly so. I've known recruiters to literally wait all day outside a companies building with a picture from linkedin in hand, waiting for a specific developer to walk out and approach them out of the blue on the street.


As a developer, I can't help but feel that this would be an ego boost and a really fun story! I know that's not what it's all about, just being honest. :)

It would NOT, however, increase my chances of working with that recruiter. It would probably diminish them because the recruiter would seem overbearing and desperate: neither traits I want in someone representing me to employers.


I have indeed deleted from my LinkedIn profile any reference to the relatively rare technology, at least in my country, I'm an expert in. This alone has reduced the number of recruiters trying to contact me from 1-2 per week to zero.


I was on the phone to a recruitment agency and genuinely heard a bull horn going off followed by cheering, I presume signifying a big "sale". This is one of the best companies I've had dealings with, too. The worst edited my CV before sending it to companies without telling me first - nothing like being asked "So why were you fired from your last position?" in a job interview when you left due to illness in the family.

Edit: Not to mention the INSANE amount of companies that claim to be "specialist developer recruitment agencies" (or similar) but only accept CVs in .doc format. Not even docx, they need the original proprietary .doc format. They refuse to believe that it's difficult for me to send one rather than a PDF, and apparently "[their] systems can't handle PDF files or DOCX files". Sorry, what?

Anyway, it's far more work than its worth for me to produce a Word document from a .tex, as the only solutions I've found are manual, but I doubt I'm missing much by not interacting with these companies.

I am actually currently looking for work so if anyone knows of UK recruitment agencies that don't entirely suck, please let me (and everyone else) know who they are!


I am actually currently looking for work so if anyone knows of UK recruitment agencies that don't entirely suck, please let me (and everyone else) know who they are!

Email in my profile


Bull horns, bells, etc have been present in every single recruitment environment I've worked in, including my current workplace however the bell here is gathering cobwebs as the team refuse to use it much to the delight of our manager!


The worst edited my CV before sending it to companies without telling me first

This is what happened to me when I first graduated from University. I showed up to my first job interview and they started asking me questions about my 4 years experience with Oracle and 6 years experience working on an open-source project that was critical to their business.

It left me shocked, depressed and seriously wondering if this is what it takes to get a job after graduating.

Luckily I had some other interviews at companies that I organised myself. Things went a little more smoothly.


I don't do hiring directly, but when I see a LaTeX resume it's a +1 in my book!


This is refreshing to hear, thank you :)


To be fair, the bull horn/cheering thing is part of the Agile methodology too (tho' we do it with a cowbell and clapping where I work).


My team is hiring. Contact me if you are interested in open source and virtualization. My email is in my profile.


It's interesting to read this stuff and I'm glad you're doing your best to improve UK recruitment. One small thing: all-caps is unnecessary (unless it was a play on RFC should), italic (or bold if you must) is better. Your text is bit of a wall, it might be better unjustified, slightly darker and with some paragraph spacing. I see you're composing it in what looks like Word. Blogspot probably has better defaults if you copy-paste in plain text instead (or use the eraser on the toolbar).


Thanks for the feedback. I've changed the font colour and eliminated the caps. I find the readability & aesthetics better if the text is justified although I will have a play with paragraph spacing. Thanks again!


That looks better. A few more paragraphs and it'll be a joy to read.


I don't know how it is nowadays compared to 2~3 years ago when I searched for a job in UK but imagine that with stackoverflow careers, coderstack, linkedin (not groups), github jobs, monthly hn who's hiring posts the situation improved at least slightly.

Weirdest experiences I had were when recruiters would call from a blocked number and leave fart noises or some other idiocy on my voicemail. Or when one guy flat out said (and one implied) that if I don't give him all the companies I ever talked to, he'd not give me the "offer" he "had" for me.

Minority of recruiters were good but most pretty scummy.


Or when one guy flat out said (and one implied) that if I don't give him all the companies I ever talked to, he'd not give me the "offer" he "had" for me.

Please tell me you're exaggerating?


I've met more than a few recruiters who do that here too.

In fact, I think I have even worse stories to share: one recruiter who shall forever remain in my email blocklist took my resume, promised she'd ask me before sending it to any company, and then, naturally, sent it to a place where I was already having discussions, which led to quite a bit of unpleasantness all around.


I'm afraid I'm not. Guy was really pushy, when I didn't budge, he just said "good luck" and hung up. Then called me again in a month or so. Truth is I probably would've given him some leads if he didn't start off with demands and being a douche.


They want to make sure you haven't already applied to them, which rather than just telling you the name up front, they do by asking for a list of every company you've talked to. Logical, I know.


StackOverflow careers isn't massively popular in the UK, although there are some damn cool jobs on it.

The impression I've gotten so far (and please correct me if I am wrong - I am not long out of university) is that development just isn't treated the same way in the UK as in the US. When I talk with my similarly-aged peers across the pond, the situation is very different for them. (But perhaps they're just a lot better than me!)


Dear Recruiters,

One of the biggest problems I've had with recruiters is the sheer amount of them I was called by, half of them very hard to understand, another third being very pushy about the amount being offered being "set in stone", and a slim sliver of the rest being genuinely decent recruiters trying to do an honest job. This is one of the biggest turn offs I have regarding recruiters. Be honest, try to do your due diligence in regards to the person you are calling (don't call a DBA about a web dev position), and you will already be largely ahead of the game. I have had multiple recruiters call me up about positions that I didn't want even after I SPECIFICALLY told them I was not interested in positions of type X (don't repeatedly call me about QA positions when I said I was not interested in them).

One of the best ways I found to get my attention was to SLOW DOWN. First, mention the name of the company. Second, mention what position this is for and what product I'd be working on. After that, mention the technology stack if applicable. After that, ask if I'm interested and/or if it is okay to send me the job description (if you send a job description or email, thank me because this makes me feel less like a slice of meat that you are trying to use). After that, ask when is a good a time when you could call me back (the next day is my preferable choice). THEN HANG UP. This should take about 5-15 minutes.

In the first phone call, I should not hear "this is for X amount an hour/year/whatever". I also should not have to wait until the end of the conversation to hear what company this is or what position this is for.

What I will do is review the position and when you call back (if you say you are going to call back, do it), I will give you the yes/no.

This is the best way to get your foot in the door in my opinion/experience.


"First, mention the name of the company."

No agency will give me this, I assume because they're worried I'll apply directly and skip their fees? Please chip in if you know why!

It's super-annoying, because there is a lot of cross-over with local agencies and they know it, so they want to know a list of all the agencies I'm currently engaged with to avoid this (ostensibly), which is completely backwards.

I agree with all your points. It's amazing how many businesses that contact people by phone get the very basics wrong, so many companies I deal with always have terrible line quality for example.

My pet peeve is how pushy they are. If I say no, I don't want to work for that company, then why push it? I often have good personal or technical reasons for turning it down, and it's a complete waste of both our time to spend 30 minutes pushing it on me - and it looks really, really desperate.


I agree with you. It's INCREDIBLY hard to get this information out of some recruiter. I've made it a personal policy that I tell the recruiter I need to know at a bar minimum the company's name and the job description before I discuss anything else with the recruiter, send them a resume, or give them the OK to submit me for the position. A majority of the recruiters that I have told this to either refuse to give me the information, hang up and pass me to a coworker, or INSIST on why I want to know this information. If they ask why, I respond with something like, "You don't buy an unknown car based on the color and price alone, do you?"

For the really pushy ones, I make it a point to tell them I'm not willing to work with them because they are making the process a high-pressure environment. I also tell them to take me off their list.

I've had one recruiter call me up, give me his 2 minute spiel about the job position, and ask me when I was available for the interview all before I had said another word other than "Hello." I told him I wasn't interested, he stuttered, then asked if I was interested. I responded that I was NOT interested. He hung up, called me back 10 minutes later, and repeated his spiel. I told him that I was not interested. He was shocked that I was not interested and asked again if I was interested. I responded that I was not. He asked when I had time available to be interviewed. I was IRRATE at this point. I asked him for his name and his company's name and after he supplied the information, I told him not to call me again and that I was blacklisting him in my search for a possible new job.

All the while, I was happily employed and was just seeing if I was interested in anything else.


I've been talking to a friend who works in recruitment for the last couple of hours and the biggest thing I've gotten out of it is: Slow down. Even though I used to work in sales I've failed to spot that a lot of recruiters are basically doing a sales push on me, and rushing me and making things far more stressful. It's almost 11 at night and I'm frantically editing my CV because a recruitment agency I've been in contact with for less than 12 hours wants me to send it over ASAP, tomorrow at the latest? He's introducing me to the (to me revolutionary) idea of slowing down and actually /using/ the recruiter's skills, getting CV feedback from them, finding the right jobs, etc.

I'm actually looking forward to dealing with recruitment agencies with this in-hand now! (although I will of course like you not be speaking to those that insist on being high-pressure).


In the Netherlands the situation is pretty much the same. I personally never use recruiters to find a job. I had put my CV shortly up on a website and got harassed months after with job vacancies that didn't even relate to my CV. Most developers around me also hold a grudge against recruiters and see it, like mentioned in your article, as a necessary evil.

It's not nice being treated as livestock.


In the Netherlands, the recruitment market has in the past few years been flooded with extremely aggressive recruiters from the UK. The majority the recruiters I encounter are British, even though they are recruiting Dutch developers for Dutch employers.


It's a global issue. A lot can be done to change it though. Have a look at my previous post 'Questions from my experiences as a recruiter on Hacker News' for tips on how to deal with sub-par recruiters.

http://voltsteve.blogspot.com/2011/07/questions-from-my-expe...


I think the advice you give is interesting, though i'm more curious to hear why you think people should use a recruiter in the first place? I can see the potential training or retouching of a CV, but i feel somewhat confident that i got that right. So then, what's left?

And isn't the harassment a trade-off for, as what i perceive, being too lazy to find a job yourself?


Assuming you are dealing with a relatively decent recruiter:

EMPLOYER BENEFITS

1. Access to candidates who aren't active on job boards.

2. Significant reduction in the amount of time spent screening candidates.

3. Some companies want to keep a low profile and don't want to advertise the fact that they are hiring.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

1. Good recruiters will have the ear of the top CTO's & Directors so your details can be put directly in front of the right people.

2. A huge amount of work isn't publicly advertised so you need a recruiter to connect you to said roles.

3. Career & CV advice. Recruiters should be advising you on what you can do to improve your chances of getting a better job or salary.


Recruiters for the tech field in the US are no better. My recent experience is that a large number of them have absolutely no clue about the industry they are recruiting for. I am a Web Designer/Client-Side Developer. I work in HTML, CSS, Javascript and pretty images. But I kept getting recruiters insisting on submitting me for jobs involving .Net development, SQL and other various server-side technologies. I kept having to tell them I didn't want to have interviews for jobs I had no business applying for, heaven forbid I actually got the job. So far I only had a good experience with one recruiter out of many in my area.

Of course, some of the employers weren't much better. No one can decide on a job title nor job description so you get a bunch of different postings and you have no idea if you qualify. I can't tell you how many job postings I saw that required three people (designer, client-side developer, server-side developer) in the one position that paid below the going rate for just one of the skill sets. It's as if they hope to find that rare individual that can do EVERYTHING and is willing to do it for just a cup of coffee a day. Often times I would discover that the employer thought they wanted Skill Set A when they really wanted the non-related Skill Set B of which I did not qualify.

Sometimes it seems as if an employer finding a good employee is by pure luck.


I am not sure I buy the thesis. Greed and money are universal, yet most businesses don't need the call centric approach. Not even companies which sells very expensive things like, say, diamonds.

My guess is that recruitment doesn't generate much value, which is a bigger problem than being greedy. After all, what does recruitment do that a job board can't? Looking through a resume for keywords is easy to do with a computer and most recruiters doesn't provide more than that.

Hopefully the recession will kill recruiters.


My guess is that recruitment doesn't generate much value, which is a bigger problem than being greedy.

You're right, there is very little value when the recruiter is just another salesman and the industry is incredibly self-aware. Most recruiters know that they have little to add but why should they care if people continue paying ridiculous fee's for their services? The only way to counter-act a lack of value add is to take the cunning sales approach and convince you that their is more value than what you have been led to believe which is generally just smoke and mirrors.


I disagree with recruitment not adding value. Imagine a recruiter that sent you 5 qualified candidates who were all interested in your job. You would spend a little bit of time in the interview to verify they were qualified, but mainly you just have to decide who is the best fit for your team. Compare that to hours of reviewing resumes, tens of hours of interviews on unqualified candidates, etc.

A recruiter could offer a lot of value, the problem is that it's difficult to show that you're a useful recruiter. This is an econ problem[1], where you have people offering something valuable and people offering something not very valuable and you can't tell the difference. What's needed is a way of signaling that they're going to be a good recruiter.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons


Sure, if a good recruiter was better at sorting resumes than one of your developers, they'd add value. hell, even if they were only slightly worse, they'd add some value.

The thing is, to justify current prices, a recruiter would need to be rather a lot better at picking good prospects than your in-house hiring manager, and many times better at sorting resumes than someone who actually does the job you are hiring for. My understanding is that the fee charged is in the tens of thousands of dollars; for that, you had better save me a lot of employee hours, or get me a dramatically better candidate.


In theory, recruiters can save a lot of work by sorting resumes once and then using that sort to give some subset to companies A, B, and C - rather than the sort being repeated at each company.


I agree that it is possible for a recruiter who knew the job well enough and that had multiple clients looking for people in the same field to more efficiently sort the resumes, but even if you could find a sufficiently skilled recruiter, I don't think there is 1/3rd of a year's salary worth of value in that alone. I mean, maybe if the recruiter charged me a week's salary, it'd be worth it for the time I'm saving, but 1/3rd of a year is a lot of money; that's a lot of time I or my people could spend sorting resumes.

I mean, if the recruiter knew more about the position than I did, that'd be different. I mean, this would be very unlikely if I was hiring someone in my own field, but hey, sometimes you need to hire outside your field. I can see using a consulting recruiter for that, but most of that value is teaching me what to look for in an accountant (or whatever I'm hiring for) and they'd need to sit in on the interview. Really, in that case, I'd be looking more for a consultant than a recruiter.


A lot of very expensive items are things people want because they visibly signal a certain level of wealth (diamonds, big homes, expensive cars, etc). You don't need to employ an outbound call center to sell Ferraris because they people who can afford them (and many people who can't) will seek out places to buy them so that they will be able to send signals to others about their wealth.

No CTO gets to show off their expensive developer to other CTOs and brag about it.


What a recruiter can do that a job board can't is access passive candidates.

For example a recruiter might have a pre-established network of candidates who aren't actively looking or might cold-call people working at your competitor to get them to come and work for you.


LinkedIn, GitHub, blogs, and online "presence" in general have been opening up more passive candidates to the average hiring manager (from whom, when a passive candidate, I'd much rather take a call or e-mail than a recruiter).

However, I agree there are still people not adequately accessible by online social tools, so a good recruiter could add value in this regard.


Thanks for all the attention folks! I'm always keen to hear feedback & thoughts or even suggestions for future posts from HN.


Thanks for taking a stand. Trying to write a nice reply without going into a recruiter rant.. I've deleted my response 3 times now :)

One thing you left out was laziness and stupidity. Recruiters that can't understand requirements and blag into an interview you aren't skilled for. Or won't get a JD so you have to go to the interview to find out what the hell the position is about. Wastes everyones time, so many of them are like that as well.

London recruiters generally have a special place in hell :) But if you want a good recruiter story...

I was in London during the end of .com boom and the aftermath. I ended up making good friends with a recruiter who couldn't place me as I was young and times weren't the best.

He had an allowance for smoozing premium clients, several hundred quid a week. So he jacked up my CV, altered my records in the system, and we'd blow that huge recruiter bounty you mentioned on dinner, booze, strip clubs, smoozing other clients. It was awesome (and fraudulent) but still awesome.

Another good story is same guy introduced me to a client, we got drinking at lunch as part of the interview, turned into an all nighter, client broke out the coke stash, partied like the .com bubble was collapsing around us. Best interview of my life.

Next day I got a call saying I couldn't have the position because we got on to well and it wasn't good for boss worker relations... but was I keen to hit the town in the weekend LOL

Ahh.. the good old days, god bless London. But I'll never go back.


He had an allowance for smoozing premium clients, several hundred quid a week. So he jacked up my CV, alter my records in the system, and we blew that huge recruiter bounty you mentioned on dinner, booze, strip clubs, smoozing other clients. It was awesome (and fraudulent) but still awesome.

You'd be surprised how common this is. You'd also be surprised how many people got fired for the exact same reason!

London is...special. I love working in the City but it can be a bit frustrating at times having to deal with the egos.


Don't recruiters usually only get that "bounty" once you've been there 3 or 6 months?


Yep, but some of that bounty goes into a fund to head hunt new placements. You've probably encountered yourself without realising, when a recruiter meets you in town and buys you a coffee. He doesn't pay for that coffee the agency does.

Im not sure what its like ATM as i avoid recruiters like the plague these days, but it went nuts in the .com days. I remember people getting given cars as joining bonuses and all ksorts. It was mental.

Spending £200 quid a month on me, at the time didnt even raise an eye lid. It probably would now, but so much then.


Do you think there's a recruiting board somewhere where they complain about snarky coders?


I love the relevance of the username! I'm not aware of any particular recruitment forums, mainly because I avoid them like the plague however the general consensus is that a lot of coders, particularly the more experienced ones are arrogant and self-centred. Most recruiters don't realise that the attitude they face is primarily based on the fact that coders don't like dealing with recruiters.


Thanks, I've been an executive recruiter for 15 years and only read HN because of the thought leaders who write here. I recruit and work with high level execs who actually understand and respect the value of a good recruiter. Your posts are interest generating because they showcase the low underbelly of the industry and not the well respected recruiter. Still thanks for writing.


I recruit and work with high level execs who actually understand and respect the value of a good recruiter.

The difference between executive search & volume recruitment is chalk & cheese. The two are mutually exclusive.

Your posts are interest generating because they showcase the low underbelly of the industry and not the well respected recruiter.

As I stated categorically in all my posts, there are plenty of good recruiters out their however there are infinitely more bad recruiters that drown them out. I'm not claiming to be a lone ranger in a rogue industry, I know there are plenty of others out there just as fed up with the self-inflicted negative attitude towards the industry, the difference is I am making my opinion heard.


Perhaps you should provide equal time and write about good recruiters and the value they bring to candidates and companies alike. Maybe "All that's right with the recruitment industry"

I fail to see how speaking negatively about an industry helps promote it's value.


It would only make sense to devote equal time to the good recruiters if they were 50% of the general population of recruiters.


> thought leaders

Bingo!


If only the bad recruiters are calling you what do you think that says about you?


What? I was referencing Buzzword Bingo.


That is what I though.


My apologies. I read HN b/c intelligent people write here.


>If you currently engage a recruiter and they fit the description of the above to the letter then congratulations. What you have found is an individual rarer than a quark.

Rarer than a quark?


I understood it as rarer than a free quark, as that was the way it meant sense.


I think he means a boson.


Doesn't work either - either bosons exist, and are plentiful, or there are none of them. Being rarer than one is either not special, or impossible!


I need to work on my analogies. I've been using that phrase for months, trust HN to point out the error! To be fair, I base the analogy on the following:

Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation; they can only be found within hadrons


"Rarer than a free quark" would save your analogy.


Rarer than a magnetic monopole would also work, but doesn't quite have the same ring.


Yes, but hadrons basically make up a lot of matter :-)

You want free quark, or if you want obscure-physics cred, you could say 'rarer than an odderon'. The (non?)existence of odderons has been an argument in particle physics for about 30 years...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odderon


What? Bosons, such as a photon, definitely exist in the sense that they are part of the Standard Model of particle physics. They are as 'real' as electrons or quarks or, in some sense, a table.


My mistake, it's not something I've been following closely - I was under the impression there was debate re: their existence.


Higgs boson! Jeez! :-)


That may work this year, but I wouldn't bet on using that too long in 2012.


'there are plenty of good recruiters out their however there are infinitely more bad recruiters...' I know there are plenty of others out there just as fed up with the self-inflicted negative attitude towards the industry, the difference is I am making my opinion heard.'

Perhaps you should provide equal time and write about good recruiters and the value they bring to candidates and companies alike. Maybe "All that's right with the recruitment industry"


Perhaps you should provide equal time and write about good recruiters...

No is the short answer. The purpose of the blog is to expose the flaws in the industry and motivate people to start making changes. The mere existence of the industry is testament to the fact that it's a necessary service and it wouldn't succeed if some people weren't doing a good job. A multi-billion pound industry doesn't need any more champions.


'...purpose of the blog is to expose the flaws in the industry...'

Judging from the activity there's plenty of recognition of the industries flaws. Unfortunately, negative press is more interesting to read.

'...expose the flaws in the industry and motivate people to start making changes.'

Sooo you propose 'dark' without 'light'....'up' without 'down'?


Has anyone stopped to ask, 'Why do I only get calls from bad recruiters'? "Why am I not on the radar of good recruiters'?


The same reason companies hiring developers get mostly bad developers applying. The bad developers are on the market the longest and apply to the most jobs.

The same applies with bad recruiters, they're desperate and will try and hit as many people as possible to work the numbers game. Hence you're much more likely to get called by a bad recruiter than a good one.


I've yet to hear anyone make that claim. The issue is that most of the calls are from bad recruiters, not all. The reason for that is because most recruiters are terrible, not all.


I doubt you will hear anyone make that claim, but only b/c it's not a flattering revelation. Truly I do understand your points and they are valid.

How about a post then on how to attract good recruiters? Seems constructive....doesn't it?


That's an interesting (and uncomfortable) idea, but a deeper problem is how to tell the "good" and "bad" recruiters apart. This is the same problem of telling "good" and "bad" candidates apart, and the irony is not lost on me.

What is your constructive advice about how a "good" developer should get your attention, while simultaneously discouraging contact from bad ones?

I suspect that the answer is something like "be an experienced executive", which is obviously not an option for most people in the early part of their careers.


Good question and difficult to answer...truthfully I hadn't ever given it much thought until this article.

But first, I can tell good candidates from bad by what they've accomplished, who they've accomplished it for, what they say, and what people say about them.

I'm a good recruiter not because I never talk to the wrong candidate, I'm a good recruiter because I know the difference between the right and wrong candidate.

So yes you are still going to have to talk to bad recruiters. However, the best way to attract great recruiters is to be great at what you do!


...perhaps we should demand to see recruiters' resumes in exchange. :D Asymmetrical relationships tend to create feelings of resentment.


Funny and true.




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