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I want an agent, not a recruiter. Yes, sort of like the ones hollywood actors have (but hopefully less sleazy).

Let me describe to you the what I'd like to see out this hypothetical agent, named "Sam":

* Sam knows me and my personality, not just my resume bullet points.

* Sam of course knows the technology more than just the buzzwords and has at least dabbled in writing code in the domain for which he recruits.

* Sam has a sensitivity to the fact that I would like to progress in my career. I don't want a gig for which I'm "well-qualified"; I want a gig for which I am barely qualified, and can grow+learn in.

* Sam will keep tabs on me even when he doesn't have anything for me, and I don't want to move, just to learn what I'm working on, what I'm excited about or would like to work on, and how I feel about my career at the moment.

* With the above knowledge, Sam can be my advocate and will not try to wedge me into jobs that are clearly dead-ends, either from technology or career perspective.

I readily admit that this might be too much to ask. However, both the demand and pay are quite high for good developers at the moment, so I think there is room for an ongoing relationship, and a more personal touch.

If you had this relationship with your developers, word of mouth might be a satisfactory means of getting more.

However, short of that, there might be some opportunity in promoting your developer's work (as much as is possible, at least) on a blog or somesuch, and become a brand that other developers would like to be part of.

Hope that helps.

I think having an agent would work if you're doing contracting, or consulting.

That's why we have agents for Hollywood---the deals are so big, but they're transient. No one expects to get signed onto a TV show, then still be there 10 years later.

Also, agents help renegotiate contracts year to year.

I completely agree.

I think there's too much in the way of recycling canidates because we can't look past their past work.

That is very helpful, thank you!

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