Recruiting’s Dirty Little Secrets

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One of the biggest controversies to rock the tech world over the past few years was the revelation that executives at Apple, Google, and other firms “fixed” the market for highly skilled tech workers by agreeing not to steal each other’s employees.

If the unveiling of that secret practice made you wonder about the true modus operandi of corporate and third-party recruiters, you’re not alone. Across the country, tech workers are wondering: Did that last recruiter deliberately steer me toward some jobs instead of others? Are my resumes really being kept on file? Are in-house recruiters giving equal consideration to outsiders?

“No Poaching” Tactics Are Common

Some companies will hire aggressive third-party recruiters in order to prevent them from stealing their staff, according to Erica Seidel, an executive recruiter and founder of The Connective Good, a recruiting firm based in Cambridge, Mass. “Companies protect their turf by awarding contracts with ‘no poaching’ clauses to hotshot recruiters,” she noted. “Most recruiters won’t source candidates from a client because it’s bad for business.”

Recruiters Follow the Money

When demand exceeds supply, recruiters increase placement rates and commissions by submitting top candidates to companies that offer competitive base salaries or lucrative placement fees. But a recruiter may not lobby for a higher starting salary if they’re paid a flat fee—in other words, their financial interests may not align with yours.

“Always ask a recruiter whether they’re making a flat fee or a percentage of base salary,” suggested Ronjon Bhattacharya, director at Kendall Staffing, a software recruiting firm based in Cambridge, Mass. “While recruiters represent companies and candidates, in some cases, they may encourage you to consider deals that benefit them or seem easy to close.”

Some Jobs Aren’t Really Open to Outsiders

Just because a job is posted on a job board or a company’s website doesn’t mean that you stand a chance. In fact, some 30 to 35 percent of open positions go only to internal candidates or recent college grads, said Shally Steckerl, president of The Sourcing Institute, a training firm for recruiters based in Norcross, Ga.

If that didn’t make things hard enough, referred candidates usually receive first consideration. In essence, only a small percentage of jobs are actually open to outsiders with no connections.

Rejected Candidates Can Be Blacklisted

Unselected finalists sometimes end up blacklisted by recruiters. “Either they prefer to work with fresh candidates or they forget to update your status in the system, so your name doesn’t come up when recruiters search the database,” Steckerl said. “Either way, you’re unlikely to hear from a recruiter if you go through the interviewing process and don’t receive an offer.”

Many Recruiters Have Activity Quotas

Why do recruiters pepper you with unsuitable positions? Why do they push for interviews? While the real pros won’t waste your time, newbies often grasp at straws because they’re judged on activity such as interviews and resume submittals, as well as results. Some recruiters also use interviews to gather market intelligence; they view the resulting reference checks as a way to meet new IT managers and solicit job orders.

Most Recruiters Want to Screen You Out

Most recruiters don’t read resumes. Instead, they scan resumes and cover letters for keywords before asking professionals a series of “knockout” questions. “They’ll ask if you have a certain amount of experience with a tool or software program,” Steckerl noted. “If you answer no to any screening question, that’s it.”

Will they really keep your resume on file if you miss a knockout question? Yes, it’s stored in the database for a year or two. But if you want to be considered for future openings, you’ll need to stay in touch.

You’re Locked Out Once a Recruiter Submits Your Resume

In most cases, you can’t apply for any job at a company for six to 12 months after a recruiter submits your resume. Having two or more recruiters submit your resume for the same position may force you out of the running.

Rejection Letters Are Boilerplate

Recruiters are reluctant to share the real reason why you’re rejected. And if they do come clean, they certainly won’t put the information in a letter. You should absolutely ask for feedback… but unfortunately, you may never know the real reason why you weren’t chosen for a position.

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109 Responses to “Recruiting’s Dirty Little Secrets”

  1. “Rejected Candidates Can Be Blacklisted”. This has always annoyed me. Just because you’re not a fit for one company for whatever reason doesn’t mean that you won’t be a fit for some others. They just stop calling you after one rejection.

    • Absolutely Ken! Totally agree! It isn’t done on purpose most of the time, its just the way the searches work in the ATS, or sometimes related to internal politics regarding candidates marked as “in progress.” Other reasons include reqs not actually closed in the ATS leaving candidates blocked as engaged on a requirement. We teach recruiters that “Silver Medallists” who didn’t get the job should actually be expedited into new requirements because someone may not have been the right fit for one job but perfect for another, in the SAME company!

      • At most companies where I’ve recruited, the silver medalists are the *first* pool of talent that recruiters consider. Any candidate who made it to the final round of interviews (which is a demanding process for all concerned) is likely a good corporate culture fit as well as quite skilled, even if they didn’t receive an offer, and we know they will only gain experience over time which should make them even more qualified. So I would say it’s quite the opposite of blacklisted in most cases!

      • Lynne Thompson

        I read somewhere that we should change/update our resumes that are posted to job boards on a regular basis, because most recruiters only look at resumes posted within the last 7 days.

      • Candidate

        Shame on the system that does it.

        Most times the candidates are much more qualified than the recruiters who are blacklisting candidates for what? For not clearing an interview.


  2. Alison Mackay

    Leslie- While an interesting insight into the “behind the scenes” of recruiting, I can’t say I agree with most of the points. Unfortunately, you’ve posted an article to a job board where a lot of quality tech candidates go to get jobs on a generalization of recruiters. From a industry perspective, there are a lot of recruiters who do take the time to build relationships and get to know their candidates. We need writers on our side to help us continue to make a better name for the “good” recruiters. Whether candidates like it or not, recruiters will always be around helping companies place talent because usually the hiring managers have much more important things to do than scan resumes.

    Ken- I can personally say that the “Rejected Candidates Can Be Blacklisted” is something that I find appalling. My philosophy as a recruiter is “you may not be looking for a career change now, but everybody changes jobs at some point.” I’m always open to a conversation.

    • Nightcrawler

      I have a feeling it’s the difference between a professional recruiter with years of experience, and a hack who, two months ago, was folding jeans at Wal-Mart or flipping burgers at Carl’s Jr., and whose “training” consisted of watching a couple of sexual harassment videos before being shown to their desk and told to hit the phone.

      I understand that everyone needs to start somewhere, but I’d put the inexperienced person in charge of recruiting data entry clerks and other low-level workers. After they’ve learned the business and shown proficiency, *then* they can be let loose on the professionals.

    • Leslie Stevens-Huffman


      I agree that there are plenty of hardworking, ethical recruiters who provide a valuable service to employers and IT professionals. However, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we intentionally overlooked certain aspects of the industry including its operations. I think job seekers deserve to know the pluses and minuses before they engage the services of a recruiter. If the benefits outweigh the negatives, you should have no problem attracting candidates.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Recruiters are parasites. They provide little to no service, then take a large percentage of your pay. the difference between a good paying job or being on food stamps is determined by whether or not a recruiter is taking a percentage of your paycheck. People have been finding jobs long before recruiters came along and blocked direct hires. Even if the service is considered valuable to a lazy few. The cost of the recruiting service is ridiculous. Why should a recruiter get 20 to 30% of my pay for the entire time i work for a company. The entire business plan is obscene..

      • Mike just FYI “fees” for recruiters vary quite a bit, and many models are no longer based on percentage of salary. In addition, corporate recruiters, those working directly for the employer, never get a “fee” for hiring you. They hire you because it is their job to do so, and they get paid a salary like many other white collar professions.

        • @Shally Steckler. Of course, I mean the recruiting service not the employees that work there. Although they do have some real scum bags working there. I know most of them are doing what they have been instructed to do. Which proves my point that the entire business plan is obscene.

        • i am discussing recruiting services not, recruiters that work directly for companies. I have no problem with recruiters that work directly for companies. Many recruiting services pretend to be the HR department for a company. I have had recruiters tell me they work for a company. Then after the interview they sent me a contract from a different company. It is a very shady business. I have even had a recruiting agency require me sign a document agreeing that I would not sue them. I have had clauses in contracts that prevent me from using other recruiting services for 6 months. Clauses that require me to give them 30% of my pay if I find another job within the same company. I hope you are not training these people to act like this.

        • I have used agencies and have had some good luck. Although agencies charge large fees because they say that they have taken the time to recruit, screen, test, train which is a bunch of crap. One agency a big corporate one got me a good job in 2008. After I was hired the agency accidentally sent me their fee invoice for $32,000. The agency did nothing but setting up an interview for me. I still had to go through the wringer with the employer. Filing out application, getting references, doing background check. Agencies are parasites

      • You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. For a full time direct hire, a placement fee is typically 20% (30 to 33% for executive level retained search) of the candidates *first year* salary, paid by the employer. As a recruiter who has worked both third party agency and corporate HR side, I can confidently say that the salary offered is NOT affected by whether the candidate came through an agency or not.

        • @Hal. Do you even know what direct hire is? That means no one gets paid except the person who gets the job. A direct hire is when a company hires you directly with no recruiter involved. I have spoke with my company.They told me the job pays $20 but you are getting $15 because the recruiter is taking $5 an hour from you. That is the real dirty secret. Recruiting services are parasites on hard working Americans.

          • You are incorrect. A “Direct hire” is a term used by recruiters when they are asked to DIRECTLY hire someone. Meaning they get a percentage of the salary that the candidate gets for the first year. I personally work on temp to hire, meaning I hire people who go on contract first. You really are spewing a lot of misinformation! If you make 70k and I place you as a direct hire, then i get a percentage of your 70k salary. It in no way shape or form affects your pay, you are STILL going to get 70k. On top of that, most percentages of a salary are NOT 30%. Most direct hires we do come with a percentage of 15-20% of their first years salary. You are probably working with larger recruiting firms who have a quota to hit (just like ANY OTHER sales job or other job requiring you to hit Key Performance Indicators) rather than working with a smaller firm who has a more hands on experience. Some of my recruiting friends who do this “shady business” as you claim are people who are 23 just making 60k a year as a recruiter working long hours to hit their KPIs (key performance indicators.) This job is no different than any other job that has a quota to hit.

  3. “When demand exceeds supply”, companies increase outsourcing to cheaper countries. Labor arbitrage. Cheap conclusion.
    It would be great to know companies that consider software on what side of the balance sheet goes.

  4. I get really annoyed when recruiters ask what I made in my last position. I ask them what the max hourly rate is the position. Then the recruiters claims they don’t know the Max rate for the position. I then tell them what I require for an hourly rate. Then the recruiters says that’s to much because the position pays $20 an hour. They say this after they claim they don’t know what the max rate is. It’s just another way to low ball the talent. It’s very rare when anyone gets a job with a recruiter. I think most people would be more successful selling themselves directly to the employer.

    • It appears you have worked with some bad recruiters. If your resume clearly conveys strong tech skills and experience, but recruiters are contacting you about $20/hr jobs, then the recruiter has not done their homework and they’re just calling everyone with a resume in the target metro with the right keywords on it. They should get your bill rate up front and politely end the conversation if their pay range is nowhere near, or perhaps get your referral recommendations of more junior talent in that area. If the pay rate is a little lower than your expectations but you are being offered a full-time role with a good company that offers a real, long-term career path (e.g., ongoing paid training and certifications, policy of regular performance reviews with solid bonuses and potential for rapid advancement, great benefits plan, etc.), then it may be in your interest to consider the lower base pay offer. As for pitching yourself directly to a hiring manager rather than going through a recruiter, no recruiter would honestly disagree with that strategy–if you’re willing to invest the research and time to find and connect with them. That’s one way recruiters can save you time!

  5. Joe Smith

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I get 20 calls a day from recruiters when I’m not even looking. I wish they blackballed me. No agency is going to tell you how they are getting paid, so there is no point in asking. The reference checks are what annoys me. They want to check your references before they submit you to a job not to really check, but to see if there is an opening. I also hate not getting any feedback. 90% of the time they won’t even tell you when you didn’t get the job.

    What this article really should say is that recruiters are really slimy people. Don’t trust them at all.

  6. The timing of this article is perfect for me. I decided to start looking for a new position in I/T about a month ago. Every time I update my resume’ on I get phone calls from recruiters. At first I was excited thinking that there are tons of jobs out there, everybody wants me and I can double my salary. After about a month of phone calls and emails I became skeptical of all of the attention. Knowing that you are locked out of applying for other positions at a company for 6-12 months is good information. I’ve been submitted to several companies but I’m going to stop future submissions for now until I see if they result in any interviews or job offers. Don’t provide the recruiters with references or expected salary requirements. Make them tell you what the company is willing to pay. Do your research on salaries. Look at the 2013/2014 Dice Survey for average salaries for your position. Then research online for salaries that other people have reported for similar positions in your area. Don’t let them low ball you. If any of my submissions do turn into interviews or job offers then I will post another comment about the results of my submission. For now I’m going to submit directly to companies, work on my networking skills and see which approach results in a job offer.

    • Actually, they are not allowed to lock you out of the entire company if you have been submitted for a specific job. This is the reason I always get the job number and have them sign off on the specific position they are submitting me for. I agree that you should not be submitted more than once for a position, since this looks bad. This does not mean you are shut out of that organization for the next year or the next day for that matter, if it is for a different position.

      I also find it annoying when these recruiters low-ball you on a position (after hedging about what the rate is). I generally get the same job description sent to me by several recruiters and ask each what the rate is. I know how much these jobs pay and to want to pay you the lowest rate, so that they can make more, will cause discontent in the long run. Finally, I am annoyed that the recruiting companies have out-sourced all of the recruiting to India. I hate when I can not understand what the recruiter is saying to me or that they know nothing about the role, what it should pay, the company, and the type of work that I do. I received a call from a recruiter not long ago and the girl left a voicemail. It started off with her giggling, then she reeled off her name and what she was calling for, and the number to call her back on at at top speed, mumbling, and with a very strong accent. Needless to say, I did not call her back.

      • They can and do lock you out of hiring. I have personally spoken to the actual head of hiring at 3 companies. Once you apply to any position you are black listed for 6 months to a year. Permanently if you spammed their site for multiple positions at once. They can do whatever they want. How can you force them to give you a job? You can’t.

        • I’m curious what companies or industries have this policy. My resume was submitted to a certain large software company for a dozen jobs in the space of a few months. Then I was hired for one of them.

          The policy against multiple submissions for a single job is common in the software industry, but I’ve never heard of a company saying that once you’ve applied for one job, they don’t want to talk to you about any of the other jobs they post in the next year.

          • Sometimes this is not a policy but simply to do with technical specifications of software (called Applicant Tracking Systems or Vendor Management Systems). Other times this is a process issue where recruiters are told not to reach out to candidates who are already in progress under another requirement with a different hiring manager.

          • —-Sometimes this is not a policy but simply to do with technical specifications of software (called Applicant Tracking Systems or Vendor Management Systems). —

            Shally, thanks for the information–it’s always good to hear about what’s going on behind the scenes.

            I would think that any company whose tracking software is blocking large numbers of eligible, qualified candidates from consideration, needs to make a high priority of finding some better tracking software.

            —Other times this is a process issue where recruiters are told not to reach out to candidates who are already in progress under another requirement with a different hiring manager.—

            That seems understandable enough, I guess. But it’s different from the problem people are describing, which is that candidates are barred from applying *at all*, even directly or through a different recruiter, for a fixed period of time far beyond the time needed to process a job application. The original article said:
            —In most cases, you can’t apply for any job at a company for six to 12 months after a recruiter submits your resume. —

            Perhpas that statement is referring to companies with the deficient applicant tracking software you described.

          • Laura, many ATS and VMS are set up to customer specifications, so its often not a fault in design but an oversight in implementation. Switching to other software, therefore, may not address the issue. The candidates are not blocked from initial consideration, they have already been considered. The problem as I described it to Leslie when she interviewed me for this piece is that once a candidate is attached or considered for one job opening they very often are looked over, locked into or otherwise prevented from being added for consideration to other openings. This is made worse when companies have told their recruiters not to submit a candidate to more than one hiring manager at a time. Because they don’t want to get in trouble they will avoid candidates already “in play” even though the opening may have been put on hold, filled, expired, or something else unbeknownst to them.

            As for the 6 to 12 month hold on candidates submitted via agencies, that is there to protect the vendor or agency who first presented the candidate from having another agency earn fees for “re-finding” a candidate the employer already has reviewed. This policy is only for candidates submitted by external vendors. During that 6 or 12 month period the candidate is available for consideration by any internal hiring manager with open jobs barring any of the issues mentioned above. So yes, you CAN apply for any job during the 6 or 12 month period but the vendor who first submitted you would receive their fee if you get hired.

            Hope that clarifies?

        • Usually, the recruiters in India or Pakistan speak in low volume. Forget about accent, you can not even hear the voice. Some will tell you honestly, they are in India. Many have US phone numbers on caller IDs, but when I called the number, the ringer tone. The phone number redirects to India. One recruiter company at India is very terrible. I never picked the phone call, so the recruiters left voice mail of phone clicking and background noise. That happened couple times a week for 6 months. Couple recruiters asked my SSN along with my resume. They said with that info I had a better chance of getting interviews . I never give SSN over the phone. No I am not going to give my ssn to the whisper voice that i have no ideas where they are

      • Spot on about the recruitment companies. It’s annoying as hell to get these calls from someone you can’t understand and more and more of them seem to be this way. Do we really need half of India recruiting engineers in the US?

  7. Nightcrawlers

    The practice of running a job ad for Affirmative Action purposes only has been going on as long as AA has existed.

    ——–Why do recruiters pepper you with unsuitable positions? Why do they push for interviews? While the real pros won’t waste your time, newbies often grasp at straws because they’re judged on activity such as interviews and resume submittals, as well as results.———–

    I’ve long suspected that the reason why temp agencies push applicants to come in and sign up is that the recruiters had some sort of quota to meet. I’ve recently begun looking up recruiters who contact me for wildly unsuitable positions–i.e., I have no IT experience, and they’re asking me to apply for a senior-level position with 10+ years of experience required–on LinkedIn. *To the man,* every single one of them has been a recruiter for six months or less…and, before becoming a “recruiting professional,” their previous work experience consisted of fast food, retail, or maybe a telenuisance job.

    ——–Some recruiters also use interviews to gather market intelligence; they view the resulting reference checks as a way to meet new IT managers and solicit job orders.———-

    I’ve noticed an uptick in job ads, across all industries, demanding that references be sent along with the applicant’s resume. I recently read elsewhere that if an employer demands references at the outset like this, and especially if they are running an anonymous ad, RUN, because they aren’t actually hiring anyone. They are building a marketing list, and your references will end up inundated with sales calls hawking everything from office supplies to SEO services to vinyl siding.

    Think about it: an employer has absolutely no reason to need to check an applicant’s references until after the interview. A company that asks for them up front is seedy at best, and an outright scam at worst.

    • Some government agencies are actually asking for references on initial applications. I’ll either put “will provide after interview”, or if I really want the position badly enough I may provide a misspelling of the actual name and make a “mistake” in their phone number. I never provide an email address of a reference. I figure if they actually try to call the reference with the “mistaken” number they will contact me for a correction if truly interested in my services.

  8. I’ll start off by saying I have been recruiting for over 11 years and have recruited for companies ranging for $10 million to Multi billion. I have a few disagreements with this article, and I think it is based on recruiters with 0 – 2 years of experience and/or recruiting firms which are unsuccessful and/or short lived. 1. Candidates are only blacklisted if they decide to do something erroneous on the interview (i.e. become aggressive and rude towards a client/hiring manager), or decide to just bail on the interview without any notice. 2. The only quota that truly counts and placing people, so if I’m not making submittals, reviewing resumes, editing resumes, taking the time to prep candidates on for the interview, then my family isn’t going to eat and shame on me. 3. “Screen out” questions…this is typically a waste of time. Maybe your not a match for this position, but I have you on the phone so lets see what else I can find you…I dont make money unless you are making money. 4. Double submissions – yes, if your resume is sent to the same job by two, or three different agencies, it makes us look bad just as it makes you look bad, but it never precludes you from being presented to that client/company again unless its something you are deliberately doing. 5. Rejection letters – managers almost never give us the real reason you’re rejected, and if they did, they may even face legal reprecussions. Bottom line, it takes three to get the job; all I can do is identify your skill set, help you tailor your resume, prep you for the interview, and bang on the hiring managers door to interview you, provide feedback, and extract an offer…you also have to want it, and want to work with me, and hiring manager needs to get off his ass and move to the next steps before you go off the market. Also, i see some of the comments, and it looks like you’ve been dealing with junior level people…I dont care what you made on the last position, I care what will keep you happy and what the market/client is paying…if it matches, great, if not, then I will look for something else; why would I want to place you in a job where you’re going to leave in a month for one that pays your market rate, or bitch and complain everyday?…Dumb. Also, leads by calling your references…almost never work….not sure why people take the time. If I am lucky enough to place you, I’ll ask where else you have interviewed; this gives me the real idea of where people are hiring, if you dont want to tell me, i dont really care. Yes, I am a slimy person who calls you about a job, makes sure its a match, helps you edit your resume, take the time to prep you, hunts down the hiring manager for feedback, sends you a care package when you start, and calls you every so often to see how you are doing, then gives my commission check to my family.

    • You actually give your commission check to your family?!? You heartless scoundrel. Seriously though, I’ve worked with a handful of recruiters lately and they’ve all been pretty fantastic. Maybe I’m naive, but this article sounds like some urban legend mixed in with some worst practices.

    • I am happy that you have so much experience. However I believe that 90 percent of the recruiters have considerably less experience than you. Therefore we only have about 1 in 10 chance of getting a recruiter of your caliber, meaning that most of our complaints are valid.

    • Recruiters are parasites. The services are unneeded and a burden on hardworking Americans. Many jobs would have good pay if recruiters were not taking a percentage. Nobody would need a recruiter if you guys did not block direct hires. Who wants to be a permanent temporary. I work with a guy who have been a temp for 15 years. He has probably paid you guys over a $100,000 in 15 years. All the recruiting service did was block him from getting direct hired. How can 1 job interview be worth over $100,000. He could have got the job by himself. Nobody needs a recruiter unless they have blocked the direct hires with a contract.

        • The industry need to be regulated by the government. It is the wild west right now. I have turned down several jobs because the company told me I had to go through a recruiter. They could not hire me because they had a contract with a recruiting agency that blocked direct hires. I am not giving my money to anyone else. Especially for a useless service.

      • Recruiters have no way of blocking direct hires, the very idea is silly. Companies sometimes prefer to hire contract rather than full time employees for a variety of reasons. Contract rates are usually quite a bit higher than what a FTE receives, even after the contracting company’s “cut”. You are being paid a premium because of the inherent temp nature of contracting.

        • @Hal I have spoken to several companies about direct hiring me after I was referred by a recruiter. I was told they had a contract with the recruiter and they were not allowed to direct hire. Don’t try and BS me. I have first hand experience.

  9. Some years ago I was contacted about “a position that is perfect for you.” I requested the specifications. One of the non-negotiables was an active TOP SECRET security clearance. I called the recruited and asked about that and was told it was a requirement. I asked the recruiter if my resume contained a mention of such a clearance, and was told “No”. I then asked why I would leave out such a qualification if I possessed that qualification. Silence. Click.

  10. Sean Landis

    These aren’t secrets if you’ve been on the hiring end working with recruiters. Always put a no-poaching clause in your contract and let your employees know about it. Often the “new guy” at the recruiting company will start making calls. When I find out, I inform the recruiter and s/he will let the “new guy” know.

    Always pay as a percentage of salary, not a flat fee. Unless, of course, you want quantity and not quality. Recruiters are only interested in quality if it improves their bottom line.

    This article is spot on. I’d also add that if you are working with a recruiter that has activity quotas, get rid of them. Any recruiter that is not giving you what you’ve asked for, is just wasting your precious time. Hiring is an expensive process in time and money, and needs to be as efficient as possible.

    If you want good results from your recruiters, manage them well. Be picky about the ones you engage with, never enter time-based contracts, always work closely and regularly with your recruiters to help them understand and meet your expectations. Set up trials with new recruiters, make clear your expectations, give them feed back, and if they modify their behavior and give you what you are looking for, keep them. Otherwise, dump them fast. 90% or more of the recruiting companies I’ve worked with are not worth doing business with. When you find the 10% (or less) that are good, be loyal, treat them fairly, and maintain ongoing feedback and relations building.

    Here’s a few things I do, that are secrets. Do share why the candidate didn’t get the offer. This helps the recruiter understand better what you are looking for. Do encourage the recruiter to share that information with the candidate. A surprising number of candidates will take that feedback, work on it and come back in a year or two, and get an offer. That’s the kind of employee you want! Instruct the recruiter not to modify resumes (other than putting their banner on top). I want to see the candidate’s work, not the recruiter’s. If we find out the recruiter is changing the resume (which isn’t hard to do), they are gone. If we have the candidate fill out a questionnaire, we insist they do it in their words, not dictated to a recruiter.

    As far as hiring, if you like my ideas above, you might be interested in my book: “Agile Hiring.” I am a Software Architect, so my approach might be unorthodox, but it has proven to be very successful.

  11. Technical Tater

    I have found the whole job search process has become completely de-humanizing. In fact I am considering creating a whole fake persona that is 20 years younger, same skill sets, just to see if my suspicions are true that older qualified people are truly getting f**ked over. The idea of getting a boiler plate rejection for a job you are highly qualified for that they made you jump through all sorts of hoops to provide information and now all you have is an completely impersonal email that tells you nothing. Of course the worse is commuting in , paying 30.00 for parking, not getting re-imbursed , taking tests, and then crickets**. Then there are the recruiters who waste your time every three months for the same company. They get your hopes up, ask for info, and then you never hear back from them again. There really needs to a rating website for recruiters like GlassDoor is for companies!

  12. Great comment Kevin, as a person that has been on all sides(candidate, agency recruiter, corporate recruiter, hiring manager) I can see some merits in this article but at the same time it just seems out of place.
    These agencies and companies pay Dice for access to their databases and your resumes. Bite the hand that feeds you much Leslie? If Dice really wants to root out this type of behavior by recruiters, they could easily use a merit system like LinkedIn Recruiter does and suspend those accounts. Right?
    I’ve seen a lot of bad agency recruiters, and I’ve seen even worse corporate recruiters and hiring managers.
    Recruiters in general get a bad rap, but the agency recruiters are working their butts off to match you to positions they have with their clients. They don’t get paid unless you do, but then again, that’s another conundrum. I’ve had agencies in the past that charge a bill rate that’s double of what their candidate’s pay rate is. The candidate will do a great job with their client, ask for a raise, and the agency will drag their feet. There’s not enough incentive on the agency side to reward their consultant and their client thinks that the consultant is getting compensated well. Just a vicious cycle altogether.

    Before you agree to being submitted by an agency, tell them you need to think about it and will get back to them in 24 hours. Look the agency up on Glassdoor or other means before making your decision.
    Oh, and references? As a person that has been on every side of it, no one checks references any more for getting a reference. Have you ever given anyone a bad reference? They’re worthless to anyone but staffing agencies looking to find more business.

  13. Jobster Seeker Meister

    I’m sure there are some responsible recruiters out there, but I’ve run into my fair share of waste-of-my-time-recruiters. It’s like living in a big city or being an immigrant in a foreign country – you have to be careful… period! So watch out for certain web sites that take your info and don’t deliver squat; be alert for people who are trying to take advantage of you knowing your job seeking; they love bait and switch meaning you get hired for the job and then by the end of the first week wellllllll they need you over here to do this and that instead of what you got hired for – be prepared to walk; if you can’t understand the recruiter, don’t try they’re wasting your time – learn indian and go work there if you’re so inclined; don’t bother figuring out why they didn’t choose you – who cares(?) you’re trying to find the person that will choose you not waste your time on those who did not choose you; they don’t really read your resume – it gets scanned and flagged for key words and they send out generalized emails and they’re mainly surprised if you respond and then they want you to work for them by giving them your associates/colleagues names so they can badger them; they’ll hire you for a position with a staffing company that sounds like the one you’re looking for and then when you get to the client it’s not what you’re looking for – be prepared to walk on bait and switch scams; you’ll probably get as many if not more calls once you get hired – they wouldn’t hire you but since you were hired why now they are reallyyyyyyyyy interested in you; gosh i could go on about my experiences, but everyone is going to have their own hassles so best of luck to you!!

  14. Michael Roberts

    I agree with what as been said about recruiters having quotas. They don’t seam to care about using someone and wasting their time and money. People that are out of work waste money they don’t have on traveling for F2F so recruiters can justify they are working. The recruiters gather Profiles to fill their data base. The only F2F that is worth the time and the money is with a hiring manager from an actual hiring firm. Robert half is known for this. Many recruiters advertise jobs that don’t even exist.

    When jobs are this hard to find and many people are available, it is better to go directly to the company websites. There are too many recruiting agencies. They screen for positions that they don’t even understand the technology involved. It costs the companies more money to use recruiters and the recruiters use bad tactics.

    Another good one is when they require references before an actual interview with a client takes place. Imagine the 10 applications sent out a day, 7 days a week. Now 70 places have your references phone number. If all of the seventy call, many times just to have a new manager to try and bother for possible work and not even to check on your reference, how long do you think your reference will want you to use them any more? In order to get around this with required recruiters test this by giving your friends or relatives as a reference and watch how many times they get called. You should always be able to change your references after you interview and decide if you even want the job.

  15. Michael Roberts

    I believe we should share information about the recruiters that are known for suspicious tactics. Its our only revenge. Insight Global cold called my relatives and Robert Half wasted F2F interviews. I discussed this with others that were leaving Robert Half’s office.

  16. When one recruiter whose firm had repeatedly promised to stop spamming me wrote to say “congratulations, we have submitted you for position X at company Y”, I contacted company Y directly and found out that *two* recruiters had submitted my name and resume there for that position without my knowledge or consent.

    My LinkedIn profile now carries a warning that I may have been submitted fraudulently by those recruiting companies but that does not do much to make companies willing to hire me if it may get them sued for a fee.

    I am sure that there are good recruiters out there but they are massively outnumbered by the drones who do nothing more than run pattern-matching software without actually reading resumes or understanding anything about the requirements of the positions they are trying to get commissions on.

    I am so tempted to put up a site like glass door where people can rate recruiters…

  17. Horrible article highlighting outdated and bad recruiting practices.
    Bullet point time.
    Some jobs aren’t open to outsiders. This has 0 to do with recruiters. In CA all jobs must be posted to the public, even if the company already knows who they are going to hire. As a recruiter, I hate to see this as well cause I will start looking for people just to find out they hired someone internally. Usually after I have put hours of work in.

    Rejected Candidates are blacklisted. If you are a recruiter reading this and this is something you do…. YOU are the problem. Just because someone does not fit one position, does not mean they will not fit for another.

    Activity Quotas. As it has been mentioned, the only quota should be putting butts in seats. If you are a recruiter and your boss makes you send “x” amount of emails, make “x” amount of calls, get a new boss or get a new job.

    Recruiters want to screen you out. Yea, BAD recruiters do. I work hard to screen people in. People are looking for all sorts of jobs and their resume only reflects a small portion of WHO they are and what they are capable of. Call them, get them on the phone, find out WHO they are and what they want to do. 0% of recruiters can determine 100% about a candidate from a piece of paper.

    You are locked out if you are submitted. Not true. Usually that agency gets “credit” for you for a time period. If you see a job you want, go for it. If a recruiter previously submitted you for a different job at that company, you can still apply. Either call the recruiter and tell them to submit you or call the company and tell them you want to submit yourself. Most companies use software tools to receive and track resumes. Don’t let a piece of software get the better of you. Having two recruiters submit you just makes recruiters look bad. This typically happens when one recruiters finds a good resume and instead of taking the time to call you, just sends it in hoping to “get credit” for you (see above) without having to speak to you because they are lazy.

    I am not the best recruiter in the world. I miss things, stuff falls through the cracks etc.. I am human just like everyone else. This is a business about people working with people, we all make mistakes, but if you spend time building a relationship with people, the little stuff can be worked out.

    Do business with people you are comfortable working with. Like anything there are good recruiters and bad. Sitting back and calling ALL recruiters parasites and making generalizations puts you in the same boat as the recruiters you are complaining about.

  18. As a recruiter for almost ten years I have to add my ten cents. One, I love what I do. Yes I do what I do to earn a living but I also get to watch people’s lives transformed by finding a job that takes them out of the rut they are stuck in. Sometimes I have to tell people they didn’t get the job. It’s the worst part of what we do. I have a rip it off like a bandage mentality when telling people they haven’t gotten an offer which I wish didn’t have to be the case but for every 5 call where I’ve tried to give constructive feedback, I get 4 often bad tempered or defeated reasons why what I’m saying is wrong. I’ve never in my years of recruiting agency or corporate gone back to my hiring manager/client with clarification from a “cut call” and miraculously made an offer, all this to say that I am guilty of the boiler plate rejection emails. I always give feedback when asked but I sometimes wish I could say “maybe next time don’t say … Since it comes across as cocky and offensive”

    The idea about an angieslist or glassdoor for rating recruiters is brilliant! But I guess that’s a lot of what LinkedIn is. Recommendations are a good sign you’re working with the right people. I love the dialogue here. To some people recruiting is a job. To me recruiting is a lifestyle.

    • Charlton

      LinkedIn is not good for ranking recruiters like you said, because you cannot trust them to be 100% honest. There needs to be an actual website to make up for what Glassdoor lacks. There’s been so many recruiters I would have steered away from had I been warned. Also, once the bad recruiters lose business because of bad ratings, the job market will improve (no more ten recruiters trying to fill one single job).

  19. Solid article Leslie and happy to see Shally, Glenn and others with serious experience and knowledge weighing in to correct some of the misunderstandings.

    While there are an incredible number of 3rd party recruiters who balance their incentives from employers with their responsibility to the candidates they touch, we can’t forget there is no minimum standard for someone who calls them self a ‘recruiter’- as their might be for an engineer or doctor. And so, it falls on the prospect who has encountered the recruiter to tell whether he/she is running a scam or whether the recruiter might be helpful short or even long-term partner in achieving his/her career goals. Perhaps a blog check list for a candidate on qualifying a great recruiter might be in order.

    Institutionally however, the opening point Leslie made…the collusion between Apple and others is a serious blow to the profession I care most about because it reaches to the highest levels and causes the most damage to the lives of IT and other professionals whose career options were cut short or limited without their knowledge. Recruiters who crossed the line to seek out the best candidates in’ offlimits’ firms were, in fact, fired by their Recruiting and HR bosses under pressure from C-level business leaders…and even Jobs himself.

    I’m sympathetic to the recruiters who buckled and caved under that pressure but I would still blacklist them myself for some of the reasons noted and if I knew them I would encourage them to find success in another venture outside of recruiting. I would go out of my way to outright fire the HR and Staffing leaders who led those recruiters- and it does influence my assessment of folks whose resumes include recruiting leader at those firms during that time. Finally, had I been in one of those firms and seeking or considering a position in one of the competitive firms I would join or create a class-action suit in civil court and specifically name ALL those firm’s business leaders (especially the ones with the most options) whose hubris set this up. Then, I would feel a bit better. Just sayin’

  20. I received an email recently regarding a “hot position” with a government agency. I asked the recruiter if the agency had asked that recruiting agency to provide candidates for the position.
    I have not received a response.

  21. I must get a couple dozen emails every week, and maybe 10% of them are for positions I feel I mostly qualify for. The remaining are for positions that tangentially match my skill-set, if that much.

    They are usually “Immediate” openings, “urgent” positions, and now I see some “Very Urgent”. Seems the English language doesn’t have enough adjectives to describe how desperate these companies are to hire people.

    The government unemployment statistics must be all hooey.

  22. I hate Indian recruiters. They call and have no idea that the job is 3000 miles away. I can’t understand them because of their accents and crappy phone connections. If I hear another guy name Chuck with a thick smell of curry that you can smell over the phone I will puke. I want to write a plug-in for Firefox or Chrome that automatically screens anybody with an Indian sounding name. Also all their emails say URGENT. Urgent is when you have to take a dump and can’t find a place to do it. Really, it is Urgent for them to get a placement. I am sick of it. One company sent me out about 100 miles for an interview and called me halfway there to tell me it got switched to the next day. No apology. I went the next day and they never followed up with me about how I did. I had to call up and they only would say “the position is still open”. Fuck those Curry eating , arrogant, no-nothing, uncreative, bastards. And that goes for the females. They are worse.
    I feel better now.


  23. Serena Sly

    No one has commented on the big problem mentioned in this article- that 30% of positions are filled by barely qualified, fresh out of school kids. I am losing out to the cheaper option. Of course, 3-6 months later the company re-posts the job cause the kid can’t perform. So I get the last laugh but….not very satisfying. Also, the government recently owned up that the actual unemployment rate is anywhere form . 20-30%. I left my last job cause the government said the unemployment rate was 6%. My job sucked so leaving was a calculated risk-at 6% unemployment, I thought no problem to get another hopefully better position. Here I am 8 months later- no job, all this [expletive] including inappropriate emails from recruiters, no more unemployment. …..losing good jobs to kids who will work for peanuts ( whether or not they can actually do the work is to be seen). Tryinh hard to keep applying and fend off terror and depression. …

    • Here’s a life lesson for you, even if it’s a little late, but you’ll know for next time.

      Never EVER leave a good paying job without a solid offer in hand at another job. I don’t care if the boss verbally abuses you and insults your Sainted Grandmother; if the cheques don’t bounce, stay put.

      It’s like climbing a ladder. You don’t let go of one rung until you have a good grip on the next!

  24. I also must say I was contacted by recruiters from several states away for something I absolutely do not know how to do and is not on my resume. I think staffing agencies and recruiters used to be awesome years ago now the majority of them are rude and do not read your resumes or match you with jobs you should be matched with.

  25. I hate to say being person of Indian origin myself living in US. Most of the “Indian” recruiters who annoy you on daily basis are not actually situated in India and it is not just Americans who are annoyed by them, the Indians who are here and are working in real companies are also annoyed by them.
    Most of them are using VOIP from a state in India known nas Andhra Pradesh and they will have a small 1-2 bedroom apartment or condo probably somewhere in US which they call as their US office and if you ever go there you will find some guy from that state is probably living over there (works for some IT company) and uses this as side business, a “job shop” if you must say.
    As I have seen in other forums and blogs, they are not skilled enough to talk to people who are out looking for jobs and definitely do not understand anything technically. One of my Polish friend who is network security specialist was called by a recruiter to work as a security guard in the mall for 25K. They operate in the same way the job market in India where they believe that by calling someone with a job offer is doing them a big favor and the client they are hiring for can do without resources.

  26. Craig West

    Silicon Valley is just Hollywood for tech. It’s often more how good you are at making small talk (AKA “networking”) than your skills. And employers can discriminate against anyone by saying “Not a good culture fit.”

    At least in Hollywood people have agents, not recruiters. I have a degree from MIT and a great work history, but after two failed attempts a recruiter will give up trying to place me because they expect me to be an easy buck, and when I’m not they move on. It’s not about how they get paid or how much, it’s how SOON they can get paid.

    And I have never, ever, gotten a job from an offshore recruiter, despite their taking up 90% of the calls and emails I get. I feel racist just saying “No thanks.” and hanging up, but my time is worth more than that.

  27. I was hire by a company through a recruiter. Around 45 days into my employment, my recruiter called me because he was concerned that he had not yet received his payment from the company who hired me. He was supposed to received it within 30 days. He also informed me that he had been told through other sources that the company I was working for had recently hired a manager who was notorious for firing his employees before a certain period was up so that he would not have to pay the recruiter at all. (90 days)

    I though that it had all been settled because my boss told me not to worry about it and that I was doing fine. He said he would take care of the issue with the recruiter. Well, here it is, just days before the 90 day period and…yep you guessed it.. I got fired. The recruiter did not get paid. They are refusing to pay me the $5000 moving allowence that I was supposed to receive after 30 days. Now I still owe on the lease from the house we had in our previous state. This new lease will cost us $6000 to get out of. I have a new job but it is in another state with a company I had previously worked for. Isn’t this a scam? Isn’t it illegal for a company to do this? I have a wife and two kids. My savings is depleted because of these crooks. My contract says I will get the moving allowance. I will sue for that If I have to. The contract also says that they can release me for any reason and I can quit for any reason.. So I’m SOL.. And my family suffers because they didn’t want to pay the recruiter. It sucks!

  28. Sneaky Recruter acsicorp

    So I just found out that a recruiter (#1) contacted me saying, Hey I’ve got this employee that needs someone like you and they need to fill the position by early next week. Everything was legit, but they rush to get me to agree for them to exclusively represent me and I cannot go with anyone else. I said sure. The following week came and went and I heard nothing back. Another recruiter (#2) contacted me a week later and told me about the same contract. I said someone else submitted me but he said he didn’t see my name in their client’s resume job portal. I reached out to the recruiter(#1) and they were pretty short in responses and said that I was submitted. Long story short, I found out from another recruiter (#3) who knew the hiring manager personally that I wasn’t submitted. This other recruiter(#3) ended up submitting me and then I hear back from the first recruiter(#1) that they liked me and want to pursue an interview. Well recruiter (#3) informed me that recruiter #1 submitted me after they did, which meant over a week and a half of time had passed. This meant that recruiter #1 lied when they said they submitted me. My assumption is that recruiter #1 rushed to get as many candidates to exclusively represent and then submitted candidates that were lower cost than me, once they were rejected by the employer they finally decided to submit me. This is completely unethical…and has to be illegal in some way. Anyone else know or what can be done?

  29. Ken Nguyen

    I received a call from an aggressive recruiter that offered me a position at a big four firm. I thought it was a scam, and when I asked how they got my number, he told me that I was “referred” by another colleague. He then stated, “it’s $30K more than you’re making now.” Apparently they had my salary info. Fast forward two weeks later, and my listed references have received multiple sales and recruiting calls. The job itself that was paying $30K more than I was making? Apparently it had “just been filled, we do have a better role for you making about $3 – 5K more than you’re making now.” Sorry, lesson learned.

  30. Thomas Tulinsky

    If you think recruiters do anything useful for their money, apply for jobs directly. Every company I know would prefer direct applicants because they won’t have to pay a commission. But you have to spend hours searching through jobs on a site like Dice, an hour or two filling out applications for each company, plus a cover letter for your resume. Or you can talk to a recruiter for 10 minutes on the phone, email him the resume, and your done. If you are working full time, there’s no question which to do.

    Recruiters do some bad stuff, but they don’t do nothing. They provide a service that saves you time, and time is money.

  31. Craig West

    I’ve been in Silicon Valley for 15 years, and in all that time I have never gotten a job through a recruiter. I have answered hundreds of their calls, done dozens of interviews from them, but every single job I got came when someone from inside the company reached out to me.

    Based on the track record, I think the only value there is in me answering recruiters calls to keep me busy while I’m job hunting, or rather waiting for the company that is going to hire me to email me.

    And this includes sites like Dice and Monster. I got my last job because someone saw my resume on Indeed.

  32. Most recruiters ‘swarm’ younger ‘cheaper’ potential workers. The first idea is to throwem in and they will stay all kinds of hours to learn it or Bust. The Recruiters are looking for cheap. I’m in Austin, TX and at certain meetings that Recruiters attend, they scour the crowd looking for young, naive faces. Hope to get one and they work out. Far, far too often they don’t. And the hiring company is behind the 8 ball, in trouble all because, for starters, the Recruiters knew nothing really about what was required in job, especially if its Engineering or Software Engineering. Recruiters are out of their ball-parks. The employers ‘thinks’ the Recruiters actually ‘screen’ people; nothing is further from the truth. A companies HR Dept. simply doesn’t want to mess with this chore.


    It is their job along reviewing it with the hiring group. Everyone ‘shrugs’ this duty then screams and complains about how ‘they’ got hired. Companies, save your money and do the homework and these issues will disappear.

    And, for the big H1B issue. When an Indian Recruiters calls you they are looking for a similiar H1B. They are shoved into a job in a Indian Call Center and just do what they are told. They are in the ‘Fog’. Many represent ‘sweat shop or body shop’ approaches. And the companies that hire the people they send them DESERVE what they get period.

    If hiring is the most important function of a company, then these companies should do some sweating and just Do It. Seems we have a lot of really lazy HR people pawning their job off on Recruiters – and, to a lesser degree, the hiring manager. Oh, there are so many people.


    Sweat it out now or pay through the nose big-time latter.

    I also see a buck-passing issue about making decisions. No one wants to get caught making a decision. Companies need to kick themselves in the REAR and get down to business. Much of this flows back to, again HR and the Legal Dept. They should both take a flying leap. They are designed to spend money for the company avoiding non-sense not making money.

    The hiring systems is broke and I mean broke. A house cleaning is required. Companies like to pass-the-buck all through this process. This has got to stop. Take the responsibility and do it right and HR and Legal will disappear….

  33. Many of you have valid points. Been in the bizz for 10+ years and needless to say, I’ve seen and heard it all. To share some insight on the management side of a recruitment firm, there are agencies out there who train their recruiters to pull these Reference-gathering-tactics just so they can get a sales lead. Unfortunately, due to their activity quotas this has become a common practice for many recruiters, especially those who are employed by big name agencies who have the working capital to churn & burn staff with ease. However, do not let the topic of “reference-upfront” give you the impression that this is an automatic indication that this is one of those situations. We have several State agency clients who absolutely require at least 2 professional references to be accompanied with each resume; sending without them would deem the submission invalid. For those of you who are concerned that your references would be called upon prematurely, should feel rest assured that the client (hiring manager) would not bother wasting their time calling references of a candidate whom they have no intention of hiring. The process of reference checks takes place “after” the interview round(s) and will be one of the last components that will be verified. The reason for such request acts as a) a gauge of how sincere a candidate is about pursuing the position, and b) a measure of the quality of his or her character as evidenced by another individual whom should have firsthand knowledge of his or her performance on the job; all of which aid in the overall evaluation of the candidate proposed. Also, with regards to the SSN – we do have a client who requires the last 4 of SSN which would represent his/her authorization to submit to the client and is intended to address the discrepancies associated with duplicate submissions. Submission that do not have the last 4 digits will not be considered and duplicate submissions that have the same unique number will result in automatic disqualification as this is evident of foul play.

  34. Kevin Davis

    It seems to be valid points. Also, my experience with recruiters has been negative. I’m trying to find a certain position, however, I’m beginning to think that they don’t read resumes or they assume that I want a certain job based on pass experience.

  35. They should write an article on all of the recruiters that waste your time. The ones that call 20 people, ask for resume updates, your time to speak and then you never get the courtesy follow up they promise. They know that they may waste the time of 20 people knowing only 2-3 will get real consideration. Many recruiters get commission on how many resumes and interviews they collect and set up. Recruiters are a dime a dozen who are competing with other recruiters to maybe….get you in front of a perspective employer.

  36. Janet Jenkins

    I get called by recruiters who want a SSN to initially SUBMIT. I say NO WAY. You don’t get that until I am hired and have to provide it for a W-2 or I9. (Or I make one up). Also get called by bad recruiters who want me to “come in for a quick 30-minute chat” before they will submit me….another way to discriminate against…(pick one!). None of the previous recruiters I’ve worked through have ever said either one of those to me before hiring or interviewing. The current crop are bad and unprofessional. Run to the nearest exit…!

    • Dan T Mann

      Hey Janet,
      I see your frustration. In my own experience, recruiting is a definite double edged sword. The thing is, I don’t really trust any recruiter that WON’T ask me to do a skype call or come into the office in person. A recruiter that I’ve worked with in the past, would want very personal details as to why I want to leave my current company or why I’m looking for a job. I was looking to move on from a company that person has staffed me at several years ago. He really wanted me to give him the dirt on the place. I was naive enough to tell him why I wanted to start at that company several years ago, and it was like he was trying the same coercion tactic with me again. I tried working with him again thinking that this time would be different and what did I have to lose. Well that person lined me up with some pretty ill fitting companies and I ended up declining to move past a phone interview for one company. The recruiter expressed their frustration with me and we had a couple of very awkward phone calls. After that, I get really depressed when having to deal with recruiters. I don’t want to lead someone on and have them get p*ssed because I find out that a job isn’t a good fit for me. I really don’t know or think that there is a good way to handle this situation. Its easier when you’re a fresh developer out of college. But for someone who has 5+ years experience, a lot of companies are a mixed bag. There are times in your career when its better to go your own way.

  37. Robert Half tech has been using many of us as secondary sales tools. I’ve done direct hire searches with RHT on my resume, the company calls RHT to confirm employment, then RHT calls them back within a few days to sell their “services”. They recommend a better candidate (inexperienced) at a lower rate on a trial basis. I’m doing the leg work and they attempt to poach a job out from under me. Bloody poor practice. Unethical to the letter.

  38. Janet Jenkins

    That’s right, Thom. Robert Half has gone down into the mud also. They want to now do “one-way video interviews” where I am on skype camera being asked questions but I cannot see who is asking or any of the recruiters. NO one-way vid interviews for me with these turkeys.I want to see IN PERSON or ON THE PHONE the hiring manager, not the consulting company.

  39. Rob Ross

    How about this for a reason: It is a cover for h1-b visas to ultimately fill the job which ensures that the corporation maintains its low cost work pool at the expense of American Jobs. In order to qualify for an h1-b visa the position must be posted in the US to ensure that there are NO QUALIFIED residents before the job goes the h1-b visa candidate. To expedite the process and keep costs low to the company in need, rather than have corporate recruiters ‘attempt’ to fill this ghost position a shill Indian company that is related to the Foreign Sponsor goes through its sham verification system to ensure that ALL Americans are weeded out thus bringing about an ‘artificial’ need to bring in an h1b visa to fill a skills gap need.

  40. FlukeLSX

    Recruiting agencies are a cancer to the job market.

    On occasion some are helpful or good to work for, but ultimately they all contribute to the same problem.

    I’ve had recruiters contact me, about a job for $15/hour, and I literally ask them, “Why should I work for you when I can work for McDonald’s directly for the same money?”

    Oh, and the foreign recruiters are the cream of the crop. It’s so bad right now in the Recruiting agency market now that they are “OUTSOURCING” recruiting to foreign recruiting firms. These firms are the number crunchers, they are the ones who fill up the quotas for Recruiting agencies, and they get paid by volume. It’s why you get so many contacts from them.

    If you get a call like that from one, you can guarantee there’s no job offer waiting for you.

    I have been working on contract for over 10 years now, so I have more than a little experience working with Recruiting agencies. Now I flat out ask them who the client is, then research the client to find out if there is a position available and apply directly for it.

    IF this country wants to advocate recruiting agencies, the simple fact is they have to be government regulated. They have to have placement deadlines imposed on them. This forces them to actually place people they recruit instead of throw them into a database for safe forgetting.

    If they fail to place a certain percentage of the candidates they contact they lose their ability to do business.

    Recruiting agencies are there to work for you, not the other way around. If Recruiting agencies don’t want to work for their candidates, then they need to close up shop and let the candidates do what they have always done before Recruiting agencies became a thing.

  41. Has anyone reported any of these “Indian” recruiters to the Federal Trade Commission or the state where the company is registered? This practice has to be stopped, and if it’s not reported by us who will know any better?

    Is the govt aware of these practices, or do they really think we need all these H1B visas?

    What is really going on here?!? Frankly, I’m tired of these scammers. I’m ready to do something about it.

  42. Tia Peterson

    I completely agree with you, Allison. This article seems as though it’s meant to discourage applicants from working with recruiters at all.

    Many years ago now, I landed a great job as a business analyst through Dice, and it was by way of an excellent headhunter who passed my resume to a contract to hire company. Six months later I was offered a permanent position. I would have never gotten that job without the help of the headhunter – who met with me personally for coffee – or the agency, who was brilliant in the handling of it all.

    Now as I set out to become a headhunter independently, I’m optimistic about the industry (because of my own experience as a candidate).

    I hope that job seekers reading this do not come away with a sense of hopelessness. Recruiters can open up a world of new opportunities. Give it a chance.

  43. Frederick A Frenz

    I applied for a job through a recruiter, signed a Right to Represent, and some one, without my knowledge, submitted me for the same position. Now I’m disqualified for the position. What can I do?

  44. I’ve works in both corporate and agency for 20 years, Big Four Consulting, large Fortune 100 high tech companies, and the necessary evil is competition; that is the purpose of agencies.
    All companies have overhead.
    Corporate HR and Recruting is part of that and cost a lot. I’ve directed these orgs. As any otter function in a corporate environment, overhead of pushing paper, talent acquisition, management, all cost money.
    These people aren’t free.
    Such as, when you have an agency charge a fee to the client, your potential future employer, that is how they are paid, as well.
    A good or bad recruiter comes from corporate or agency.
    They all aren’t working for free.
    However, competition keeps them on their toes.
    In addition, with more and more employment compliance laws, companies have to just keep beefing up their departments to comply, as do agencies.
    So, the next time you’re on the phone with an agency or corporate recruiter, it is your responsibility to ask the right questions, stick to the point of what you want/need, don’t sign crazy agreements giving your personal info, until you have a viable company and a real interview. Don’t go drive in your car across town to meet some agency recruiter who may or may not have a job. Let technology work for you.
    Overall, there are good in bad in every function of a profession. Don’t let anyone waste your time.
    All the best!

  45. Nancy LaNeve

    “America First”…..that is been my motto way before the orange hair man with a tweeting addition ever won the White House. In my book, if a company is so greedy and self righteous to either out-source to India or to another country or import foreign workers from another country to fill jobs in US then that is just crappy in my book. First of all, I refuse to talk to these recruiters I don’t understand them and I always request for an American. LOL…they get totally confused cus they read from a computer script. We need to first, get people off federal and state assistance programs. A woman with children and retirees can easily do recruiting jobs at home. We need to get people that were homeless and train them with new skills like telemarketing and recruitment. I have been out of work several times during end of contracts, I would have been happy to have a telemarketing recruitment job but NO…greedy companies outsource to India paying less than $8 hour then hire an American $10+ cause the CEO’s want to buy that 2nd home on the beach or send their kids to that expensive private school. I’m 50…I know what’s going on. So in short, if you want to support Americans first and bring back our jobs to the US, DON’T talk to these outsourcing job scams from India…talk to Americans.

  46. I apply for local jobs and then I get a call from someone from an office that’s 45 minutes to an hour from where I live. I always apply locally to make sure I can get to the job. I even apply for work-from-home jobs to assure there is no issue with driving too far a distance away. I honestly think these are recruiting scams. You apply for the job close by and get a call from a temp agency instead of the actual company you applied to. She used a different name but sounded EXACTLY like the last lady from a temp agency over 45 minutes away I got a call back from a couple months ago. Definitely fishy.

  47. Sorry but the apply above me is RACIST. And EVERYONE isn’t interested in telemarketing. Try finding out what people are interested in. And some people NEED that public assistance and also work very hard. If you don’t want people using it quit CREATING situations that cause them to NEED it! Fascist much?

    Anyway, I apply for local jobs and then I get a call from someone from an office that’s 45 minutes to an hour from where I live. I always apply locally to make sure I can get to the job. I even apply for work-from-home jobs to assure there is no issue with driving too far a distance away. I honestly think these are recruiting scams. You apply for the job close by and get a call from a temp agency instead of the actual company you applied to. She used a different name but sounded EXACTLY like the last lady from a temp agency over 45 minutes away I got a call back from a couple months ago. Definitely fishy.

  48. Sorry but the reply above me is RACIST. And EVERYONE isn’t interested in telemarketing. Try finding out what people are interested in. And some people NEED that public assistance and also work very hard. If you don’t want people using it quit CREATING situations that cause them to NEED it! Fascist much?

    Anyway, I apply for local jobs and then I get a call from someone from an office that’s 45 minutes to an hour from where I live. I always apply locally to make sure I can get to the job. I even apply for work-from-home jobs to assure there is no issue with driving too far a distance away. I honestly think these are recruiting scams. You apply for the job close by and get a call from a temp agency instead of the actual company you applied to. She used a different name but sounded EXACTLY like the last lady from a temp agency over 45 minutes away I got a call back from a couple months ago. Definitely fishy.

  49. Steve Sybesma

    Blacklisting in a way that is coordinated so that no company ever hires you should be illegal.

    They might as well be giving you a death sentence. This is cruel and unusual punishment and I cannot imagine anyone would deserve this. Even criminals have to be given a second chance and almost nobody committed a crime who got on a blacklist, just that someone doesn’t like them. That is hatred in the extreme.

    This is the kind of thing that makes people distrust technology because it can be abused to such a devastating extent. No laws currently prevent this from happening to you, but there should be one.

  50. susanf

    It’s against the law to ‘Blacklist’ people in employment. There is a blacklisting law in Texas which is part of the Texas Labor Code – LAB § 52.031. Blacklisting Offense.
    The law states: ““blacklist” means to place on a book or list or publish the name of an employee of an individual, firm, company, or corporation who was discharged or who voluntarily left that employment, intending to prevent the employee from engaging in or securing employment of any kind with any other person, in either a public or a private capacity.”

    Recruiting firms and recruiters found doing this do not belong in employment. The recruiting industry makes its money by placing candidates interested in their employment opportunities
    not by burning them or making their competitors (businesses or contractors) look bad.

    There is a difference between reverse marketing and slander.