Overcoming Recruiters’ Most Annoying Habits

Recruiters are often the gateway to an awesome company and a high-paying tech job. But to get a recruiter’s help, IT professionals sometimes have to put up with some annoying habits.

No. 1: They Bombard You With Unsuitable Positions

“The first time a recruiter offers you an unsuitable position, firmly and clearly restate your criteria,” advised Scott Love, a recruiting industry trainer and speaker based in Washington D.C.

Being clear about your goals from the outset and partnering with a handful of experienced recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise can limit the number of calls you receive for mismatched jobs, he added.

Check out the latest technology jobs.

Scrubbing irrelevant keywords and experience from your resume, adding a very specific objective and updating your online profile can also reduce off-the-mark solicitations. If you’re bombarded by calls and emails from recruiters in the same firm, request a single point of contact and agree to touch base each day at a specified time. This strategy increases accountability, limits the number of calls you receive and fosters familiarity: the cornerstone of an effective partnership between recruiters and candidates.

No. 2: They Don’t Understand Technology

Your recruiter may not know C++ or how to develop a database, but he or she probably knows how to bond with elusive tech managers. Recruiters can even advise you on how to best win over that testy manager during an interview.

“View it as a challenge and offer to exchange information with your recruiter,” suggested Carmen Hudson, principal consultant for Recruiting Toolbox, a provider of training and tools for the recruiting industry based in Redmond, Wash. “Staying up with technology is a challenge, so keep plying your recruiter with information.”

Another option is to work with a former IT professional-turned-recruiter instead of someone with a general sales background. Or look for a recruiting firm that employs technical evaluators or advisors. These specialized experts work in the background and assist with the selection and matching process; they can serve as a valuable go-between if you’re having a hard time conveying your technical expertise or your ideal role to your recruiter.

No. 3: They Misrepresent the Company, Salary or the Job Duties

An occasional misfire should be expected, as job requirements and budgets sometimes change on a dime. But a spate of “interview surprises” may point to an inexperienced or poorly trained recruiter.

“Make sure you’re clear on all the key points before you agree to the interview,” Hudson said.

A competent recruiter should provide copious data and insights about the culture, the requirements and the manager’s hot buttons to help you prepare for the interview.

If you’re having problems, ask to see a written job description or a copy of the requisition that spells out the salary range, level and job title before you agree to the interview. If you do that and the opportunity still doesn’t pan out, review your high points with the IT manager and ask about more suitable openings. When recruiters give you lemons, make lemonade. (Or find another recruiter.)

No. 4: They Use You to Get Referrals

Don’t share the names of colleagues or references until a recruiter offers you a specific job or explains his motives. For instance, some employers require reference checks before they will even look at a candidate’s resume. Referrals reflect your confidence and satisfaction with a recruiter and the quality of his work. Let your recruiter know that you will be happy to recommend him to your network after you’ve worked together for a while.

No. 5: They Leave You Hanging

Ask about the hiring manager’s modus operandi before you accept an interview. A recruiter should be able to describe the company’s hiring process and typical timeline if he’s assisted the manager with other searches.

“A good recruiter will set the expectations with the hiring manager from the outset so the hiring process doesn’t linger,” Love said. “But to make sure you aren’t left hanging, I would leave each conversation knowing when you will hear back and what will happen next.”

“No news usually means there’s no news from the client,” he added. “But a recruiter should let you know the status even when he’s waiting to hear back from the client.”

Upload Your ResumeEmployers want candidates like you. Upload your resume. Show them you’re awesome.

Image: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

68 Responses to “Overcoming Recruiters’ Most Annoying Habits”

  1. Shantal

    One thing that is hard on applicants is when they submit 5 to 10 people for a single opening, this shows that they are primarily interested in their commission. Fortunately, this doesn’t occur often and most recruiters have more integrity.

  2. jgalt2000

    A lot of these “recruiters” are only calling you in order to fulfill their H1B regulatory requirements. In the end they have no intention of hiring an American for the job, but they’re quite happy to waste your time in the process.

      • Just Frustrating

        One thing I am highly annoyed with is the lack of respect East Indian (yes I am calling out a very specific group of recruiters) that immediately assume you ARE NOT a US Citizen. People scream for cultural neutrality, but when an E.I. tells you they read your resume, then have the audacity to ask this question when it is clear I’m a US Citizen. I guess certain clues, like US Military service 30 years ago, or a complete timeline for the past 35+ years showing nothing but US locations isn’t clear enough for them.

        It’s almost to the point where I have no patience with their insensitivity. I guess new labor laws should be written to aid in the discrimination of US Citizens’ by these H1B hungry recruting Aliens.

        They also want to immediately lock you into a rate, when salary should never be discussed before one knows if the opportunity is a fit.

  3. I can’t stand out-of-state recruiters. Obviously they have no relationship with the proposed client. Another that infuriates me are the recruiters from India who send you an email and 10 seconds later call you… repeatedly… for a job on the other side of the country… for something completely NOT what you do for a living. You can’t understand them and I’m assuming they can’t understand you since you tell them you aren’t interested and they keep talking. I used to just play with them and ask them if drug use was ok, that I was going to prison, or use a million sexual innuendos or metaphors to mess with them. I stopped now that one of them has apparently signed me up for a massive amount of spam. So now I not only get garbage job spam, I also get a ton of viagra and vitamin spam as well!

  4. Michael

    Most annoying thing for recruiters?
    The AWFUL “updates” dice.com does to its resume search.
    This new update? Are you kidding me? Is this 1999?


  5. richard.highway@yahoo.com

    This article is ridiculous. First of all, there is no such thing as “work with a group of recruiters.” What no one seems to realize, is that you CANNOT hire a recruiter. It is impossible. Recruiters work for the hiring company. So for the most part, recruiters are ill trained and often have poor English language skills (i.e. Indians) and have no relationship with the companies they call you about. The result is a complete waste of time. Back in the 1980s recruiters may have been useful, but now they are a nuisance.

  6. I am constantly bombarded with job offers for physicians, and job offers to be truck drivers, and I even had an offer for “Senior Refrigeration System Project Engineer”. I write back to the recruiters constantly and ask them if they read my resume, because where in the words “challenging position as Software Engineer, Software Developer, or Computer Programmer with the possibility of career growth” or M.S. and B.S in Computer Science does it look like I would be interested or qualified for the job?

    I’ve also been bombarded with the calls from Indian recruiters trying to induce me to take some low-paying job 200 miles from home (they think I can commute?) and jobs asking me to move clear across the US and wanting me to complete 8 weeks of study in their facility so I can work for them, but expecting me to pay them for this study, room, and board!

    Needless to say, I don’t think very much of recruiters.

    • Arvind

      Probably they are stressing more on “challenging position” part of your resume.

      We all know by now: Software Engineering, Software Development, or Computer Programming are no longer challenging enough.

    • Just Frustrating

      Why is it they assume for a 3 – 6 month contract you are willing to relocate? Come on and think. There is no economic value to ask a person to pack up their family (not a 20something yo starting out in the business) and move out of state for a term that will end before one could even begin to complete a relocation.

    • Unca Alby

      In the Indian recruiters defense, remember they’re over there in India. They don’t know US geography. And hey, it’s mutual, right? Do YOU know how far it is from Mumbai to New Delhi? I didn’t think so.

      I’ve gotten calls where they want a face-to-face interview in San Jose, or Walnut Creek, etc. I am physically located between Los Angeles and San Diego, folks. “Well, that is in California, yes?” Well, yes, the way Sweden and Italy are both in Europe!

      And don’t bother trying to explain it. You can’t understand them, and they can’t understand you, so just ask for an email, say your goodbyes and hang up. Call them back if the position in the email looks interesting, or don’t.

      • “In the Indian recruiters defense, remember they’re over there in India. They don’t know US geography. And hey, it’s mutual, right? Do YOU know how far it is from Mumbai to New Delhi? I didn’t think so.”

        Thank you for writing, Unca Alby.

        Actually, they have told me they are in San Diego, or Atlanta, or Phoenix. Those are among the ones I received when I was living in Bullhead City, AZ, which is like a 200+ mile drive to Phoenix, and a 100+ mile drive to Los Vegas.

        As for the locations of Mumbai, New Delhi, or Bombay for that matter, I know which country they are in, and I am not interested in employment in any of those places, and I cannot be paid enough to even consider employment that would be outside of the US part of the North American continent. My resume does not indicate I am interested in foreign employment, and it does say USA employment.

  7. Austin

    I was almost laughing after some of the interviews I had with recruiters. They clearly know nothing about the job other than whats posted on Dice, and frequently misunderstand details. One who was interviewing me for a “software architect” asked if I was a licensed architect. I tried to explain what a software architect was. I got pretty far in being recruited for a “process engineer” at a metal company, even though I know (and claim to know) almost nothing about metal. I kept going, because I thought that I.T. was becoming a dead end, and here was an opportunity to sneak into another industry.

    My biggest pet peeve (of recruiters and HR people) is the scheduling of in-person interviews. After what seems to be a successful phone interview, the person you talked would like to schedule an in-person interview and will get back to you with a possible date. This apparently now means the same as “don’t call us, we’ll call you”, but I’m used to this meaning that you need to keep your calendar clear, and notify the person of any busy dates, and generally work together to schedule something.

  8. The whole recruiting process is pathetic and nothing is being done to correct any of the problems. What’s most upsetting is getting calls from Indian recruiters hiring Americans for American based jobs. This is insulting and must come to a stop especially when it comes from Indian mom and pop recruiters based in their homes somewhere in New Jersey.

    As for best business practices for recruiters, well, there are none. Candidates are treated like crap. I’ve told many recruiters to go blank themselves. I think there needs to be a set of legally sanctioned business processes put into play. These need to address the issues pointed out in this artical.

  9. The whole recruiting process is pathetic and nothing is being done to correct any of the problems. What’s most upsetting is getting calls from Indian recruiters hiring Americans for American based jobs. This is insulting and must come to a stop especially when it comes from Indian mom and pop recruiters based in their homes somewhere in New Jersey.

    As for best business practices for recruiters, well, there are none. Candidates are treated like crap. I’ve told many recruiters to go blank themselves. I think there needs to be a set of legally sanctioned business processes put into play. These need to address the issues pointed out in this article.

    Concerning the last point regarding leaving a person hanging and the company dragging their feet. This is called time to fill. it has been my experience that the more time that passes from the time the resume is provided to the recruiter to the time that you’ll get a screening call or an interview of one sort or another the greater the possibility that the job will deenergize. So the more time that passes, the greater the possibility of the job not happening.

    Ask the recruiter to be very clear about time to fill. This is critical because it affects your cash flow.

  10. Indian recruiters will low ball consulting rates. The trend is moving to all inclusive rates.


    I might ask for $135 per hour all inclusive. $100 per hour consulting rate plus $35 to cover air, hotel and car rental for the week. This will vary due to seasonal and other factors, sometimes cheaper and sometimes much more expensive.

    The Indian firm will state $75 per hour all inclusive. Your reaction is to scratch your head or some other body part. You ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture. They are telling US companies that they will provide resources at a much lower cost. This has got to stop!! This is making many competent and educated American consultants very, very angry. There are no outlets to complain and seemingly no agency to go to to plan and execute any actions to stop this.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what to do about this??

    • Unca Alby

      I have a suggestion. Hang up as soon as you detect a thick accent. Yes, I know it’s rude, and maybe it’s not Politically Correct, but maybe it’s become necessary.

      If enough of us start doing that consistently, we’ll at least get them to learn proper English.

  11. What about overcoming candidates most annoying habits? Like lying about education, salary, work history? Or stating languages programming languages they haven’t ever used? As for rates, most companies will pay a candidate what they think they’re worth during the interview. Though do get it, there are ton’s of bad to terrible recruiters out there. But please keep in mind, the hiring company pays the fee, so therefore, the hiring company calls the shots. As for client relationships, if you’ve been with a recruiting firm that’s been around since 1973, rest assured they have real relationships with their clients.

    • Unca Alby

      If you’re worried about it, why not write your own article? Dice surely has already published something along those lines already, several times, but maybe you have a fresh perspective.

      Or better yet, try being unemployed for 12 straight months, burn through your unemployment and savings, then see if you can resist the temptation to “stretch the truth” a little so you can feed your family.

    • Joseph I. Szweda

      If someone lies, and you know it’s a lie, that’s simple. Don’t bother with them.

      As for the company calling the shots, I disagree. When you have a recruiter that for whatever reason doesn’t want to present you, who in the company is calling the shots there regardless if the recruiter is justified or not?

      As for having a real relationship with a client, if you genuinely do, great. I can’t say you personally do or don’t-and I’m not going there either. The think that kills me is when you ask a recruiter about their client because something doesn’t make sense, so you want to know. So you ask them if they don’t know, can they ask. Poof! Nothing.

      The two times I got a reply from that, the one was wait for the interview. How about let me know before I waste time for an interview because I want to know what I’m getting into up front and damn the rituals? (shrugs) Other than that, I asked a place about the culture of the place. I got some pre-fabricated, feel good speech about growth and all this other stuff. They asked if that answered my question. NO. It was a managerial speech with buzz words completely unrelated to what I was getting at.

      Did I hear anything after that? No. Did I get an interview? No. Why? The recruiter said the hell with it-but the company is calling the shots in spite of the fact that most recruiters have a disproportionate amount of influence in the hiring process because….why again? Better stated, how again?

  12. Rich1234

    From my experience so far with recruiters the first one I talked to was pretty good, he gave me extensive details on the position, company and what to expect with salary. From there on I get calls from people who I can barely understand, I wonder at times if they are the same person when I get 2-3 calls in rapid succession but I hear a different name yet no difference in the voice. I also get bombarded with emails telling about the position but the person must have “x-years experience” and it is in a place I cant afford to move to. I deal with points: 1, 2 &5 on a daily basis. The upside is that it motivates me to code more, read more and work on improving my skills.

  13. Marcia

    Hard to work with only a few select and reputable agencies because if you upload your contact info many, many agencies reach out to you via phone or email. These tend to be mainly Indian agencies that operate in the U S or in India. My experience is that I have never gotten an interview from any of these agencies. They seem to want to tie up your resume so you cannot be submitted by anyone else, yet are probably not submitting you either. Such agencies will bombard you with phone calls. I have had some recruiters become bullying in an effort to talk me into moving at my expense (or lie about offering me relocation benefits only to rescind later on) for contracting assignments that are six months or less. It is also questionable if the agency will actually pay, especially if they are based in India.

  14. Oh my God! I had to quit providing my complete contact information when I post my resume. No time to explain why so many inappropriate jobs descriptions have nothing to do with me. And yes it is mostly from Indian nationals. Recruitment seems to have been taken over by Indian nationals. Who can take on the responsibility of teaching every caller his job. If the word “the” shows up on a word search I get a hit. Please please please stop it

  15. Sarah Eitel

    My biggest frustration with recruiters (well one in particular), is when they just ignore you. Phone calls and emails go unanswered. It’s unprofessional when they tell you specifically to get in touch with them, but they can’t be bothered to reply.

  16. I happen to be a recruiter, business owner, software developer/business analyst and I can say with all honesty that I strive to be as open and transparent with candidates and third parties that hold H1B’s. I will not sign nor force my candidates to sign non-compete clauses. To me that’s slavery. I take a 7.25% cut on a 1099 agreement and for W-2’s adjust accordingly so that my end net profit matches. I work hard to make sure candidates resumes match the requirements and often spend many hours rewriting resumes for free or at a very low cost to the candidate. If I am unfamiliar with a software tool, I look it up and find out what I can. I know I’m unique in having software and database development skills, but I don’t always pass that on to the candidate. That said, don’t think that the candidates are all angels either. Countless times I’ve gotten the contract from the direct client only to have the candidate play me up until and sometimes during the first week on the job by accepting an offer they were waiting on and using the one they had to negotiate with. Real nice. Now I look like a jerk with my end client. Many of my requirements have deadlines and I need paperwork from the candidate who has promised to send it. I happen to guarantee that if they meet the requirements I will submit them. But then in reality they lie about their skills and I’m left with no one to submit. Thanks so much! And finally, although I could add more, is the constant badgering to lower my cost by dollars so the candidate can make more. Really? Do they not realize that on a $80/hr job the $5.80 take that I get translates into about $2.90 per hour that I can actually use to support myself after taxes and business expenses? Granted, I’m not your ordinary recruiter, but the pool of job seekers could show more respect to those of us that are really trying to be open, honest, fair, and helpful as it’s a win-win when it works. Thanks.

    • Thank you for your Honesty

      Thank you and I appreciate your honesty here. You’ve stated many of the reasons why candidates have in essence turned on recruiters (as shown in many of the comments on this article). I think that much of a candidates behaviors stem from the lack of respect they appear to get from >95% of the contacts they get from India based recruiters. I don’t mean they are actually in India, but, they do present a cultural attitude towards US based workers, that when a US based job seeker finds a US Citizen recruiter that is fair and responsive, they don’t trust it as it must be too good to be true.

  17. Interesting article and good responses. Glad to hear that I’m not alone in dealing with this crap. In reply to Jeff’s “Overcoming candidates most annoying habits”… I found that I need to consistently lie about my education, salary and work history. Not only is it a sad state when we need to deal with poor recruiters, the spam, the ridiculous requests for relocation and overall just the “Indian” experience but we also live in a time when “more is less”. I’ve cut fully 15 years experience off my resume and lied about my past salary just to get in the door…..

  18. Michael

    My frustration is with the “shotgun” recruiters, who seem to use the “spam” approach to fill positions.

    I’ve tried politely responding and asking that they only contact me with relevant positions, or even remove me from their database, but I still get the emails.

    In my case, I’m employed full-time, and I’m not actively on the market. The typical email that I receive are so-called “fresher” jobs, such as entry-level testing, and it’s almost always short-term contracts located hundreds of miles away. Do they really think I’m going to quit a full-time permanent position to relocate my family halfway across the country so I can earn a fraction of my current compensation on a temporary basis? They’re smoking crack!

    It’s a HUGE pet peeve for me, and I’ve started reporting those individuals as “spam” to my email provider.

  19. Tim Christensen

    I have been looking for 6 months. I have been contacted by just about every recruiter that handles IT opportunities.

    What kills me is they all say “you’re our #1 candidate . . . we are submitting you RIGHT NOW!” And I never hear back from them.

    I am fortunate to live in an area that has several IT opportunities . . . I probably don’t get interviews because I refuse to lie on my resume to fit specific opportunities.

  20. Harold

    >> “No news usually means there’s no news from the client,” he added. “But a recruiter should let you know the status even when he’s waiting to hear back from the client.”

    They NEVER get back to me unless the client wants to progress to the next step. Once I send them the resume, they REQUIRE two references before they even send it to the client. NO exceptions. I have been turned back just at this point alone. I am left hanging each and every time, even though they GUARANTEE they will contact me. They only do if I get the interview, and after that, only if I get the job.

    I don’t know what world this writer comes form, but here where I live, it is a STARK CONTRAST compared to this article. All you can do is give them the references they want (90% I feel that this is the ONLY reason why they call, and they jump through the rest of the hoops FOR these.), and just go on. If they call me back, they call me back. So far, unfortunately, I have been unemployeed since December. Welcome to Phoenix, AZ.

  21. Gregory L Hart

    Hey H1B and off-shore recruiters: take heed! The American way of good business is RELATIONSHIPS! Your way is cheap, inferior, and childishly silly. Being here is not the same as thriving here. You are clutter in the isle, litter on the sidewalk.

  22. Rodney

    “These tend to be mainly Indian agencies that operate in the U S or in India. My experience is that I have never gotten an interview from any of these agencies. They seem to want to tie up your resume so you cannot be submitted by anyone else, yet are probably not submitting you either.”

    These comments by the post above resonate with me. Recently I’ve had multiple instances of recruiters requesting permission to submit me for a position. After weeks of no response back, I reach out to them only to be told the position was filled. I thought I was the only one that had this feeling that something was not right.

  23. Having read this article, and speaking from about two decades of experience, these things simply do not work-period.

    These people don’t understand the first thing about anything technical. Irrelevant jobs? I had to create an automated reply to clarify my objective. Why? No sooner I tell anyone what it is I don’t want, they smile, shake their head, and proceed to tell you about the very thing you just got done telling them that you don’t want. The point here is that basic English and geography are lacking-and that isn’t a reference to anyone from abroad. I am talking about people whose native language is English.

    Every last job I’ve had in the Charlotte, NC area has been misrepresented-tech or not. Can I blame the recruiters? Not really. The recruiters are no better than the managers. I’ve learned that the hard way. Have I had other recruiters misrepresent a job? Yes, I have.

    I remember talking to someone who manages a staffing agency. I told him all of the things mentioned in here and then some. He simply told me that they are not professional people. In that case, the odds of finding someone professional are less than 1 in 1000-2000. Needless to say, not a single recruiter in years has yielded anything fruitful.

    To give people a real world example of how they work, here is what it boils down to. Suppose you drove a cab for a living, but there was an opening for a terrorist (No, I am not one of those but for illustration sake, I use that example). Since you’ve driven the cab, that’s on your resume, but suppose you got some training to be a terrorist, you talk to a recruiter. They ask of your experience. If you detonated a device in front of them and gave them an instruction manual as to how to do it, these same people would say you’re not qualified for the job and proceed to tell you that you’re full of it.

    All these people understand are keywords like a 1st grader. They know how to associate a keyword with absolutely no deviation at all. If you don’t know their buzz word, but have something equivocal, they fail to see that. Why? It’s not a 100% match for a buzz word. Therefore, since they have to think, their supervisors tell them that if they can’t understand it from the word go so they can present it, move on.

    Here is another example of “buzz words” and recruiters. In an old resume that someone had somewhere, I made mention of data compression. The keyword being “compression” came up. That’s why I got an email for a pharmaceutical blender. When I asked how one got that from what it is I do, they told me the keywords and that 100 matches came up. There is no such thing as manual review.

    After years of things like that, and they don’t understand or care, nobody gets me an interview. As a result of the thinking of these individuals, I am then labeled as unemployable. They ask why and what is wrong with me. The problem is having to deal with idiots who are behind on the Piaget model. As a result, being out of a job is a reason to keep you there only to be labeled by the same people who don’t get anything relevant at all.

    • Very good points, in particular “All these people understand are keywords like a 1st grader. They know how to associate a keyword with absolutely no deviation at all.” Spot on!

  24. There are a lot of negative sentiments in this thread about recruiters, and I agree with virtually all of them. Today’s “recruiters” are generally a misnomer; cheaply paid, poorly trained, exclusively commission-focused, non-detail oriented, and generally bereft of understanding about work realities (for example, the idea of commuting 200 miles is ridiculous, as is the idea of relocating for a low-paying 6 month contract). They are the lowest rung of the inside sales ladder, rating slightly behind the retail store person who sold you a blender last month. The thing is (and there’s a lot of iron here), the state of the recruiting industry today is largely a function of the technology landscape which we have created over the past 20 years… To elaborate, most recruiting (if not all) nowadays is done through keyword search, with sites that attempt to parse nuanced data on job seekers, but generally do a piss-poor job at it (I’m talking to you, Dice, but Monster and the rest are equally woeful). So – hiring companies have sought the lowest cost solution, and now they have wound up with recruiting solutions sourced in India or the Phillipines (whoever has the cheapest call center will do the trick), and then the recruiting co’s only nominally train their people, with the idea being to spend the least amount of time possible reviewing your C.V. , and then they try to jam a square peg into a round hole. Why are any of us surprised that this system sucks, and produces frustration on both sides??? (the labor pool is frustrated, but so are hiring managers like me) In years past, real recruiters cost a LOT of money, but they also did a superior job at matching skills to hiring needs, and they built real relationships with company hiring managers to ensure that no one’s time was wasted. I’m sorry to say, the process today is a helluva lot more cost effective: and it completely, abjectly, 100% sucks. (and no, I’m not a recruiter, nor am I looking for work right now!)

      • Rodney

        I agree with your statement “the state of the recruiting industry today is largely a function of the technology landscape which we have created over the past 20 years”.
        Many large companies now use procurement or vendor management departments to engage temporary workers. They keep adding layers and layers of gatekeepers for these jobs.

  25. My tactic with Indian recruiters, be they domestic or foreign, is to tell them I have already been contacted for the job and am aligned with that recruiter. This news seems to stun them. They then start asking questions about the recruiter I am “working” with. It is good fun to listen to their off teleprompter responses. I refuse to work with Indian recruiters. Out of the wastes of time in this world, one of the biggest is Indian recruiters.

      • Harold

        “My tactic with Indian recruiters, be they domestic or foreign, is to tell them I have already been contacted for the job and am aligned with that recruiter. This news seems to stun them. They then start asking questions about the recruiter I am “working” with. It is good fun to listen to their off…”

        Yep. Most still bulldoze over my comments with a stock statement saying they are sending me a “Right to Represent” form, and while I am telling them I have someone else I am working through, badger, and push me to IMMEDIATELY sign it and send them two verifiable references. I find myself just abruptly hanging up on these drones. I discovered where I live (The Phoenix Valley area, help me Moloch… :- ), 80% of jobs (and all of the GOOD ones) are acquired through Linkedin, so I am going that approach, and will cease all efforts on these stupid job sites, and these Staffing agencies.

  26. Srtester

    It is a relief to know that everyone is experiencing the same unwanted and unnecessary difficulties with job hunting and recruiters, especially the Indalish-speaking recruiters. On the positive side, there are still a lot of responsible hard-working recruiters doing their best to find a good fit for skills at a fair rate.

    • Michael

      I’m curious for the reason behind the Indian recruiters and their “shotgun” approach. I had noticed this issue several years ago, and I never really said anything about it because I didn’t want someone to make an incorrect assumption that I’m racist or biased against other cultures. That’s absolutely NOT the case.

      Is the issue cultural? In India, is it just accepted that people want to hear about every single job out there? Or is this somehow related to the H1-B visa process? I am genuinely baffled. I have some friends who are (American) recruiters, and they claim that the Indian recruiters are just lazy, but it’s so endemic that I don’t think that’s the case.

      I have tried responding to the Indian recruiters and telling them that I’m not interested (and point out why), but they never reply back and apologize. The jobs they send are almost ALWAYS short-term contract jobs located far outside where I currently live, and I’m almost always overqualified for them. If the positions were somewhat relevant, I wouldn’t mind, but the jobs they post might as well be fast food or retail positions. 😛

      • In all honesty, I fail to see a whole lot of difference with recruiters from India as opposed to anyone else. I had one job where an Indian recruiter panned out. It didn’t last, but I don’t fault the recruiter at all for that. The job was flat out misrepresented by the managers-which is typical in my locale.

        I get the shotgun style recruitment from people from there. I also get it from people in this country. So when I say I want permanent or contract to hire, in Orlando, and nothing to do with finance, what do I get?

        “Hi! My name is so and so. I have a contract position in Charlotte for this gig and this skill set that is completely irrelevant to you, and it’s with a finance place”. After years of that, it gets old.

        I had one woman where I told her what it was I did and didn’t do. I told her no finance. So what does she do after an hour of me talking to her? She gives me the very thing I told her that I did not want.

        When I tell people Orlando, and they tell me about Jacksonville, that irks me. They say it’s in Florida. That’s beside the point. They don’t understand when I tell them Jacksonville is nothing more than an extension of southern Georgia.

        When I tell these people about .NET, and they start on java, what am I supposed to do? This is coming from people here in the US that fluently understand English. Other than the fact that one has a dialect from their part of the world and the other doesn’t, I don’t see a lot of difference.

        • UncaAlby

          One piece of advice — do NOT add what you DON’T want to your resume.

          They use keyword matching systems, and none of them are smart enough to recognize a “negative match”, e.g., “I do not want X”. All it does is match the “X”.

          And the recruiters just start calling/emailing from the list those systems out. Since most recruiters don’t understand the tech in the resumes, there’s no point in actually reading any of them. If they did, they might accidentally catch your “not” expression, but they don’t so they won’t.

          So yah, if you say “Anything But Finance”, expect to get calls about jobs in the “Finance” field, the “Anything” field, and the “But” field.

          • Joseph I. Szweda

            I see what you mean and I agree. The problem is I NEVER mentioned what it was I didn’t want. That’s the thing. So I’d tell these people that would email me, sorry but this is not what I am looking for. I am looking for “this”.

            No sooner I say that, what happens? I get the same thing-time and time again. What I put or don’t put on my resume makes absolutely no difference. That’s been my problem for YEARS.

            If I put anything on my resume, nobody reads it. If they read it, they don’t understand it. If they don’t understand it or care, what use then is anything I try to convey only to be labeled as something adverse?

  27. I just had to comment to this post – after reading all the comments from candidates who are complaining so much about recruiters – I think the time has come for me to walk away. The reason you are getting bombarded by Indian Recruiters is because we US based recruiters are leaving the IT Space and working with other niche markets – After spending 25 years of attending User Group meetings, being active in the community – for offering people good jobs – it just seems to be wasted time and effort in this market – I am exhausted and frustrated. There are candidates and clients who appreciate the hard work that we do to help them find good talent – that’s where I plan to invest my time.. Best wishes to you all.

    • Joseph I. Szweda

      Uhm…let’s look at some real world facts here-IT or not. I say this with all due respect to you.

      Say a given company hires an agency like one you might work for, and they’re willing to pay $60 an hour for a position. Maybe the candidate gets half of that or thereabouts. You get your commission-whatever that is. Fine.

      Now, if someone goes to Mumbai and says, ‘I’ll pay you 30 rupees an hour”. BOOM! If that’s more than the other guy is paying, he or she will walk out the door and start in the next 30 seconds. Now, go look up what the exchange rate is for rupees and a dollar.

      Now, if the market is willing to pay $60 an hour for something, unless the company doing the staffing can find a way to bill less than that and make more money, they will. So, pay you so you can live well and meet your needs-whatever they are, or hire someone across the pond for a few hundred a month if that-bill everyone the same and pocket the rest.

      Oops…those “niche” markets are going to other places over seas where they can pay less. That’s all there is to it.

  28. What makes me crazy are recruiters with terrible phone manners. They call my house line; I screen my calls, because I don’t want to waste time picking up charity beg calls. When they get no answer, they hang up without leaving a message, then immediately call my cell. Since most recruiters’ numbers show up labeled “spam” on my cell, I screen there as well. They hang up, again without leaving a message. Then the house line immediately begins ringing again.

    I had one do this for half an hour, calling approximately every three minutes – all without ever leaving a message, and every successive call made me less interested in ever speaking to whoever was bombarding me.

    Another called to discuss a position, and I explained that I had to do something in about five minutes, which was going to take me a half hour, and I would send the response to his confirmation email in half an hour when I had done that thing. He proceeded to call me every 10 minutes until I sent the reply – after the half hour I had specified.

    I am trying to be patient, and kind, and not prejudiced – but the recruiters who do this do not seem to understand what I’m telling them when I indicate that they are being rude and making me less interested in doing business with them.

    What’s a hard-working tech writer to do?

    • UncaAlby

      What to do? Remove your phone number from the job boards, STAT.

      Sooner or later, the database entries with your phone number will go stale, and they’ll be forced to contact you via email. Then, if the description looks interesting, you contact them. If the recruiter appears to have more than a couple grams of common sense, you can leave your number and work on building a relationship.

      Some boards force you to enter a phone number, but they’ll take 999-0000. I did that a couple of years ago, and I haven’t been bothered except on rare occasion, but my email “rings off the hook.”

    • Joseph I. Szweda

      You make a good point-and speaking of tech writing, that reminds me of a recent experience I had with a recruiter.

      I am trying to get into technical writing as I’ve been told by a number of people that I have a writing ability-and some have suggested technical writing. Me and code writing are done for.

      Since I’ve been out of work for ever, I get beat on for that. I didn’t go to college, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything upstairs. So, I wrote a very formal and technical paper-complete with Bayesian statistics, formal mathematical notation, etc.

      The job was for an analyst with a background in MS SQL. research, charts and graphs, and being able to write the same about whatever. So, I figured I’d send them a sample of what it is I do. That way, they are forced to see the explicit thing they asked for.

      I got a beating for that. It appears that when you present proof of being able to do something, that’s no good. When you deal with that for years on end, it’s like your being pushed into a no win situation. You try everything in the book, but when you get people like that-CONTINUALLY, what are you supposed to do?

    • Joseph I. Szweda

      Actually, I did try that.

      This is going to sound like a bad comedy, but I swear to you that it’s the truth. I’ve responded to a few ads seeking a recruiter. Some of them were specifically for IT recruiters.

      They said they weren’t interested because I had no recruiting experience. Despite the fact I had first hand experience with the very things the job entails, the recruiter doing the hiring said that meant nothing at all to them.

      • Why does this NOT surprise me? I have to confess one thing, however. Though the Indian recruiters are very curt and pushy, even when you have shown them they merely typed ENGINEER for someone, and you had “Product Engineer” on your resume, and they were trying to fill “Pharaceutical Engineer” positions, they were NOT the worst experiences. my WORST ones were staffing agents here in the USA who tell you IN YOUR FACE, and IN PERSON, that if you do not get the position, they will call you. Of course, you NEVER hear from them again, and for ANY REASON. The other thing I hate is when they schedule face to face interviews with you, you come in all dressed up, you give them copies of your resume, as requested, on 100% cotton paper, they make you fill out forms for an hour, including a W4, (after you spent TWO hours filling out forms online.), then they ask questions that make you think, “WHY is this person asking me THIS?!), then they send you on your way, and you hear NOTHING from them again…Of course, WHAT was not discussed during this? A JOB OF ANY KND. When you call them back…VOICE MAIL! And they never call YOU back. COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME! Too bad I can’t get any work in my area (PHOENIX), in Film/TV, because I did go to Film/TV school during my 2 year unemployment, using my 401K…Makes me want to get a cheap job just to save up money to move and leave IT.

        • Joseph I. Szweda

          Please tell me for the film place that you didn’t go to that scam artist place in Florida that I won’t mention. Long story, but I digress.

          School and me has not worked out largely because schools don’t seem to like thinkers like me. I got tired of the beating time and time again, only to be told by some that it was no good. So when I wrote something to fight brain rot in (ahem) “school” that not even the 4 year places are teaching, that doesn’t count. Why? They don’t understand the buzz words, make an erroneous assumption and act accordingly while having a complete lack of understanding as to what I did and what it entails.

          Your experience with the one place sounds familiar. Why is that? Oh wait, I know! Did you go to Robert Half by chance? That’s EXACTLY what they did to me, and the woman wasted my time. To top that off, I was told to park in THEIR parking deck-for a premium. Did they validate that? No. Then on the way out, I had to walk back to an ATM-which meant more time on the ticket. Then I had to pay a fee to use the ATM.

          These are the same people that talk about people skills and the like-and when you’re unemployed, and that happens, that’s a problem. Later when I got an email from that place again-and I got the very thing I told them repeatedly that I did not want after telling their manager as much, that was it.

          I told them what happened. Then I told them that was THEIR manager who did that. She then replied and started to get personal and nasty. I simply told her at that point that some people are like some diamonds. They’re not cut out right, a little shallow, and as a result you can see right through them. I told her don’t be one of those people. Call it what you will, but after being screwed with, and ignored almost to the point of being stood up for the interview after I arrived, that was it.

          The best one of wasted time intervals was with Insight Global. The guy completely misrepresented the job. Had I known what I learned during the interview, I would have never have gone for it. I got an interview with an HR manager. It was HR trying to do a tech interview with buzz words specific to their culture. After 15 minutes-that was the end,

          Here is the kicker! It was on my dime, my hotel tab in South Beach plus the 1500 mile round trip to drive there and back. The HR guy got really peeved at me for not living in Miami! The recruiter told him that I did. I didn’t. So now, I must not be serious.

          How the freak does one live in Miami of all places with no income? So for that I get bashed? I was just trying to find a job. If someone botched it up, didn’t give someone (including me) the whole story, don’t chastise me!

          As for quitting IT, let me put it to you this way. After a year of being out, even if the economy went to hell in flames (like it did after 9/11), you were sick and nearing an organ transplant while trying to find a job the same, outsourcing took over, and you had to take care of a sick family member-guess what? Something must be wrong with you. You’ve been unemployed and gotten a raw deal on life. Let’s hold that against you so that you don’t get submitted and don’t get a job. Then the same people ask why you haven’t worked in forever. Read the above, repeat in continuum.

          I haven’t seen a dime of income since 2008. I didn’t qualify for unemployment, but if I did, they wouldn’t give it to me anyways. If I applied for 20 jobs a week online, that’s no good. Unless you physically showed up to the place in this back ass state, it doesn’t count. If all you have is a blind email to send a resume to, talk on the phone, what more can you do? In this state, if that’s how you look for a job, they’ll deny your benefit.

          After “everything” I’ve been through to try and find a legitimate job since, if it involves code writing, forget it. I can’t do that and hold it together at this point. If someone understood what I was trying to convey then and listened, a lot of headaches would have been avoided.

  29. The most important piece of information is to find out if they have an exclusive with the client. some recruiters are actually competing for the same listing that many other recruiters are also trying to fulfill.

  30. Steve S.

    This is incredibly, highly inflammatory…much more than can be ignored. Way more. Pretty upsetting to most Americans…

    “March 04, 2015 at 2:09 am, Arvind said:

    Time has changed since 1980s. Probably, time to learn INDIAN English to get a tech job.

    World is catching on, where were you?”


    What the hell are you doing in my country slamming us Americans?

    We were here first. Americans invented nearly all the technology and you guys are taking all our jobs.

    That’s just way more than I can stand.

    Get out of here!