Are You a Recruiter’s Worst Nightmare?

Most tech pros go out of their way to build effective, long-lasting relationships with third-party recruiters. But there are exceptions: candidates who unknowingly (or perhaps purposely) exhibit attitudes and behaviors that irritate tech hiring managers, derail deals and drive recruiters crazy.

In extreme cases, recruiters may even refuse to represent a prospective candidate who is difficult to work with. That’s a bad position for a tech pro, who generally needs all the allies he or she can get. Check out the following list of behaviors to see if you are guilty of being a nightmare job seeker.

Making Unreasonable Demands

You always want to strike the best possible deal with your target company (by the way, recruiters want that, too). But recruiters say it’s impossible to place a candidate who insists on making over-the-top demands.

“Some tech pros have unrealistic salary expectations or they won’t even consider a position unless they can telecommute or work flexible hours,” explained Kay Durkin, president of Phoenix Partners.

“I know what the market will bear and what clients are willing to pay,” she added. “There’s no point in submitting a candidate unless their salary fits into a client’s pay grade and salary structure.”

Not Being Fully Open and Transparent

Sometimes a candidate mistakenly thinks that being submitted for a position several times improves their chances of getting hired. They fail to realize that some companies automatically disqualify candidates who are “double submitted” for the same position, Durkin noted.

With that in mind, candidates should tell recruiters if they’ve applied to the same position before, especially if it was done through another recruiting agency. “Honesty is important,” Durkin added. “Make your recruiter fully aware of your previous activity so the two of you can decide if it makes sense to submit you for an opportunity.”

Ignoring Job Interview Tips and Advice

An experienced recruiter knows a hiring manager’s hot buttons, as well as the best ways to respond to his or her interview questions. Yet some candidates still insist on going rogue: they ignore their recruiter’s advice and say the wrong things during interviews, or go completely off-topic and ruin their chances.

Who can blame recruiters for getting frustrated under those circumstances? Receiving thorough interview prep that includes insights into the preferences of hiring managers is one of the advantages of working with a third-party recruiter. It’s no wonder that the prospect of such rogue candidates keeps recruiters up at night.

Dragging Your Feet

Recruiters put a lot of effort into taking a job order and finding a suitable candidate. They often refuse to work with candidates who don’t put in the same effort.

“Sometimes I’ll ask a candidate to update their résumé or provide additional details on a project so I can submit him for a position right away,” explained Kristen Stover, recruiting manager for Base36. “But occasionally a candidate stops communicating and I don’t hear back from her for three or four days.”

Being unresponsive extends the hiring process, makes a bad impression, and gives the edge to less-qualified candidates who show more interest in a position.

Not Honoring Commitments

Yes, it’s a candidate’s market at the moment, thanks to a generally low unemployment rate in the tech industry. And because many job candidates are currently employed, the best recruiters try to arrange interviews around your work schedule. Once you’ve committed to a time, however, you need to stick to it.

“You still need to impress the hiring manager and show respect,” Stover advised. “Asking to reschedule an interview after a manager has gone out of his way to accommodate your schedule gives him the impression that you feel entitled or may be difficult to work with.”

Not Treating Recruiters Like Valued Partners

Candidates often complain that recruiters don’t treat them with dignity and respect. But respect is a two-way street: nightmare candidates take recruiters for granted and treat them like subordinates instead of valuable partners.

Remember, recruiters decide who to present for a job (and who not to). They may hold the key to a phenomenal career opportunity. The bottom line is that even highly qualified candidates with hot skillsets can’t afford to alienate anyone.

60 Responses to “Are You a Recruiter’s Worst Nightmare?”

  1. Recruiters today are nothing more than ex-real-estate dropouts or ex-retail sales dropouts who couldn’t flip enough sales elsewhere and now come to the IT-gravy-train to flip candidates like they’re horses or houses.

    Combine this staggering wealth of ignorance from the recruiter community, who see it as a get-rich-quick thing, with the staggering wealth of ignorance of disinterested, bored “managers” ( babysitters ) who, as a majority of customers of IT resources have no idea how to resource the people they need, or how to even manage and lead people once they are actually hired.

    So it feeds on itself, the blind leading the blind. The only honest broker in the entire food chain are the candidates, who, after a period of time of being pushed further and further away from the table have nothing to say but their resume. You have no idea what is happening on the consumption side of resourcing as a candidate, other than being handed a really awful, pre-negotiated at-will contract that is basically meaningless beyond the terms of compensation.

    And people wonder why IT people are so disgusted with IT, it’s a complete shit-show. Your ability to negotiate is being ever more eroded as well as opportunities to engage directly with management, conduct negotiations, and get hired. Your OWN ability should be what gets you hired, not just software scanning your resume and this is who you are, that’s it, next horse please.

    If it’s a rigged game and the candidate is nothing more than just “variable labor”, it’s nothing more than the soft bigotry of wage slavery.

        • I agree, I’ve been in the business for over 30 years and have had enough. I’ve had recruiters ask illegal questions and not listen when you tell them what you will or will not tolerate. Im

      • Tim sounds like he has had front row seats to recruiter shit shows. He’s spot on. There’s too many overseas clueless recruiters calling me for jobs that they know nothing about. There’s too many inexperienced uneducated recruiters that I can only compare to a ghetto pimp. I’ve known about 4 recruiters in my 20+ years of IT that were actually worth a damn.

      • Reagan sounds like a recruiter that the article talks about.

        I’ve been forced for the last 7 years of my 20+ year career into contract work by the industry. I’ve seen the numbers that a recruiters company makes(unintentionally) Tim is right – this is a gravy train – currently I’m working for 50% of what my contracted employer is paying. What did the recruiter do for that? Almost nothing except to insert themselves into the industry and hiring managers bought into it hook, line and sinker.

        The fact of the matter is my skills, my resume, my interview gets me (and the recruiter) the contract. Not the recruiter. Remember that. All the recruiter does is act as a middleman for a company who only wants some tasks completed, then to discharge the contractor.

        I get spammed with literally 100’s of emails and phone calls per week about jobs more than 2000 miles from where I live – and to say we shoot ourselves in the foot because we ask about remote work?

        The software development industry is paying less, hiring for less time and the recruiters are the most passive cog in the machine. They have ruined the industry for the only people who bring value to the industry – the developers/engineers.

        • “I get spammed with literally 100’s of emails and phone calls per week about jobs more than 2000 miles from where I live”

          This. My resume has the city and state where I’m living yet I get several email a week for positions that are several states away and a job description that includes the restriction “locals only” and/or “no remote work” . Doing at least a minimal amount of homework about the position beforehand would make everyone happier.

    • Tim is absolutely right on. Most recruiters are nothing more than flesh peddlers. In my 20+ years in IT I’ve only known 1 IT recuiter actually worthwhile. Sadly he retired now. He actually took the time to understand the position he was filling and understand the candidates he’d recommend. He was the only one I could trust implicitly and counted him as a friend. All other recruiters I’ve ever dealt with at some point has misrepresented me to potential clients or spent my time trying to get me to apply for a job that’s way beyond my capabilities or way way under my current skill level.

    • Thank you to everyone that replied!

      I just wanted to add to all the great stuff real tech professionals are commenting on here.

      As I see it over the past 30 years, the IT business went from basically a professional career, either in management, or as a contributor, investing in progressing, and understanding technology, contributing to a companies’ success with technology, to people now simply getting “gigs”.

      The recruiter business, now fueled by every kind of greedy flipper, seeks only to turn your career into simply “variable labor”, where the VALUE of your labor is not important, only the COST, and only when software is used to resource people for the work. You’re not allowed to even negotiate or change the cost, or even talk to the hiring manager unless the cost is first worked out.

      MANAGEMENT IS COMPLICIT please remember the dumbass recruiters wouldn’t be having fun without lazy suckers to pay them.

      There is now and has been over the past 20+ years a concerted effort to reduce you to simple algorithms based on key words, to refine your cost down to simple metrics. The value = cost in this new race to the bottom. This is why you get calls for a bill rate of $35/hr when only last year you were getting calls for $85/hr and up. You’ve been reduced to buzz words shoveled into software, run by recruiters and HR “people” ( they’re not humans ) who can’t tell the difference between SQL and SSD. Until MANAGEMENT wakes up and actually participates in honest, active, connected participation in VALUE of people vs simply their cost, IT will continue to decline as a place to work if your lifes work matters.

      You’re the only honest broker when management doesn’t care about anything but the cost. Yes, the recruiters are to blame, but it takes customers to complete the cycle. I’d start a UNION for tech pros but I’m not sure anyone would join–but maybe now is the time.

  2. I believe the article is well-written and helpful. While I’ve had some bad experiences with recruiters on the east coast, now that I’m in the midwest I’ve found them to be extremely helpful – one even gave me a 20 minute description of the job market in the area I’d just moved into – including some of the salary weaknesses of the larger employers. The article does not deal with the largest recruiter problem – offshore 2nd tier recruiters who have no clue about geography – because 1) that’s not the point of the article, and 2) Dice’s job search process actually exacerbates the problem. I get a dozen calls a day (some after hours) from spamming recruiter groups in India about a job opportunity three hours away on the other side of the state, even though I’ve clearly indicated “NO RELOCATION” in my DICE profile. Perhaps someone in India thinks a U.S. state is the size of an Indian city (or worse yet, that a state IS a city). For this reason, job sites should store geodata for an applicant along with their max commute distance, as well as an anti-abuse system where job seekers can submit complaints for abusing recruiters so that after so many strikes, the over-zealous, 2nd tier recruiting group loses their account. My name, email, and phone number should not be shared with anyone unless the receiver can be held accountable for their actions with that information. In the beginning, abusing recruiters would just open new accounts until more anti-abuse measures are drafted – but that’s how a battle is started. Sites like Dice don’t seem to have taken the first step in that battle, probably because they’re profiting from the problem. I believe they’d profit more with better controls and happier applicants. Employees become employers, and we have memories.

  3. I agree with Tim. This article is clearly written from the perspective of recruiters, most if whole don’t even bother actually reading resumes. I get so many emails from recruiters (clearly in India) for positions that have nothing to do with my experience and that are located thousands of miles away. Lately It’s been programming positions in Idaho, I’m in Boston and am not a programmer.

  4. It would be nice if recruitment agencies actually spent the time to understand the roles and requirement before contacting candidates. Every day I receive hundreds of e-mails from agencies saying rubbish like “We think that you would be ideally suited for this job” when it is blatantly not the case.
    Fed up with being given the run around by agents who are full of enthusiasm but no knowledge or understanding of the industry that they are recruiting for.
    The subjects, Making Unreasonable Demands, Not Being Fully Open and Transparent, Dragging Your Feet, Not Honouring Commitments and Not Treating Candidates Like Valued Partners are applicable to recruitment agencies.

  5. Loyd Enochs

    Tips for recruiters:
    – use your real name (not an Anglo name like Bob, Jane or Scott)
    – learn how to pronounce US place names
    – use city names, not just the state name (FYI, California is big)
    – understand what is mandatory in the job listing, don’t fake it
    – if I ask about the rate, tell me; don’t ask for my rate instead.

    Tips for recruiting companies:
    – post the rate or rate range on your listing
    – give each recruiter their own email address and phone number
    – give each recruiter a cubicle (if I can’t hear the recruiter over all the background noise, odds are I’m not taking the call seriously)
    – don’t let multiple recruiters contact the same candidate about the same job in the same hour
    – if the client rate is for locals only, only recruit locals
    – teach your recruiters that followup is NOT optional.

    • “– use city names, not just the state name (FYI, California is big)”

      Also realize that some /cities/ are big as well. Commuting around Chicago could be a two-hour trek each way depending on the endpoints. And doing a Google map search while we’re on the phone at 2PM doesn’t tell me anything about what the commute is like at 7AM. Maybe I shouldn’t expect someone calling me from a location pretending to be in New Jersey to know that. But I do.

  6. I’ve had too many bad experiences with recruiters. They might end up derailing your own job search by distributing your resume to companies. They post fake jobs. They waste your time. When a job posting starts with “our client …” I skip over it.

  7. Frustrated

    Tim is exactly correct. Most local recruiters are just out of school and nothing more than telemarketers who are clueless about how to negotiate for a position. Foreign recruiters need to be vetted since it hard to tell whether they are trying to steal your identity or fill a position or both. Bottom line is recruiting in US has become a joke…

      • Joe Tomson

        Someone raised a question that how this Indian Companies are having so many requirements and are calling from India (voip calls with Local American Phone Number) but not a single call from Local American Consulting Companies.
        Very good question that inspired me to write something on it. I am not sure how many of us know the real job market scenarios since last 5-7 years. I
        More than 70% of Government Big IT Projects, Most of the Big IT Companies Projects are captured by Indian Giant Companies like Tata Consulting Company (TCS), L & T Infotech etc. and when they have or expect to hire anybody, they only inform their Team Member Companies in India like IDC Technologies, Diverselynx etc. They collecting resumes from different websites, like Dice, Monster, and some other and start calling and bargain with pay rate starting $30 an hour or less. Because they have competition of getting people lower rate and they make good commissions.
        Sometime these recruiters cannot even pronounce the city name or technical requirements, sometime they ask so odd questions like “you have 5 years of Agile Experience but you did not mention how many years of Scrum Experience you have”.
        Again, I agree with the whole Team who said “33 emails and Phone Calls are coming for One position and from the Same Company and same phone Number( Most call comes from Area Code 408, 732, and 631.
        These callers from India with fake American phone number will ask for your SSN number (last 4 digits) and date of birth (mm/dd), some even may ask your driver license photocopy.
        Finally I agree with every one here and would like to say that IT Job Sickers are getting bonded to all these foreign recruiters. Now the question is when and how we will get rid of this situation, any idea?????

  8. Here’s where I stand on the unrealistic salary expectations. It will take A LOT for me to leave my current job. I’m not about to start applying for jobs below what’s required for me to leave, just because it’s more beneficial for the recruiter.

    Recruiters are not valuable to REAL professionals who know how to market themselves. They’re only valuable to companies and to job-seekers who aren’t skilled enough to market themselves.

    I would MUCH rather directly apply to a position than go through a recruiter. This notion that I need to tailor my professional needs to their expectations is bullshit. The IT professionals are the ones with the skills, not the recruiters. Unfortunately, some positions are only available to recruiters. I’d love to see that go away.

  9. You know, the only “nightmare” I see is that most recruiters stop talking to you when they realize they aren’t the only one with “demands” on the table. It is not unreasonable to have a few non-negotiable terms on the table as well.

  10. James Reinknecht

    As others have said:

    What about the flipside? What about the offshore/indian recruiting firms who want to submit you to jobs you aren’t qualified for? What about the ‘technical recruiters’ who have ZERO idea about the technology you are applicable in?

    I ask all of the recruiters: What is the difference between java and javascript?

    A non answer gets an immediate hang up.

    • “What about the offshore/indian recruiting firms who want to submit you to jobs you aren’t qualified for?”

      I get this all the time. Most of the time I will have an email from the recruiter that I can refer to while we’re talking though sometimes I have to ask that they send me a copy of the darned job description. It’s annoying the number of times the recruiter gets pushy about wanting to submit you to positions where you may only meet a handful of the 27 `requirements’. Amateurish keyword matching strikes again.

  11. Joseph cordeiro

    I agree with most of the comments above. I receive calls from (Mark, John whatever) for jobs nowhere in my vacinity or country. Some for jobs that don’t even have anything to do with it for that matter.
    I think it really comes down to the fact that these resume software readers is a joke as well as the recruiters. To get a good job lead in it these days its who you are networked with. Word of mouth on available positions and unfortunately hopING the company has a decent it manager that does thier own recruiting.
    I have been in that management position and t g e on candidates I found came from local refrences.

  12. Have 35+ years of clearly stated accomplishments in my resume, 4 earned degrees, and success in a variety of settings and positions . Yet the first question is always, “what’s your skill set?” Makes me feel like a nonperson and tells me the recruiter does not respect me enough to read my resume. Very off putting.

    • I Rarely Comment but-

      I am quite sure Dice understands the problem. This is an article written by a former staffer, published by Dice to ‘help’ two of their main stakeholder communities get along. Given my recent but fortunately limited experience to the current generally poor IT recruitment organizations, the article comes across as: –

      Dear Meal Ticket,

      Please be a little puppy dog that doesn’t bite.

      Is $ per hour ok?

      When we tell you what the salary range is, don’t ask for more. You might not be in the race to zero but to make sure we can make as much money as possible we are. We cannot win the deal if you ask for what you think you are worth.

      Please sign my representation agreement right now!

      We couldn’t possibly risk you talking to the other recruiters trying to fill this position. They might actually listen to what you have to say and that would surely be bad for us.

      Please honor your commitments even if we don’t meet ours! Your time isn’t valuable to us!

      Be ready for the interview in the afternoon in two days time. We’ll let you know what time. After you have kept your calendar clear you can call us and confirm there is no interview scheduled. Then we will call you out of blue three weeks later and expect you to take the interview tomorrow or the next day. We’ll then stammer into shock and silence when you tell us you have already found another position. Pleasantries will be issued once our voice returns. Then we’ll hang up the receiver. After that who knows what we’ll say…

      You couldn’t possibly have a life of your own at the weekend, could you?

      We would like you to interview at any time our client thinks is convenient for them. In this case, the video conference will be scheduled for 6am on Sunday morning. We’ll be just as surprised as you when the client doesn’t turn up. We’ll just reschedule the next one for when you normally drop your kids off at school.

      And now little puppy dog, I have to play fetch the resume updates with some other naive innocent little puppies.

      Have a great day!
      Head of Meat Division

      With that said, there are some great recruiters out there who are a pleasure to work with. They know the industry, they know the technologies and they know what a reasonable discussion about compensation looks like. They listen when you have a comment or question on the job posting and are trying to help them.

      As for companies that disallow the duplicate application resulting from multiple agents? Would you not buy a house from one agent because it was represented by two on the market. Sometimes we have to go to a second or third agent to work with. We have no idea if agents that didn’t respond, relayed the submitted resume to you or not.

      Those that have a suggested a union, that’s a great idea. Hopefully, it will have the same power and clout that the actors’ equity union once did.

  13. Recruiters need to be fully honest about exclusivity agreements.

    I purposely have asked end-clients that I work with if they have a problem with receiving the same resume from multiple agencies. Their answer is always, “of course not”. They are not going to hold it against a candidate for going above and beyond to advertise and promote their talents. The exclusivity agreement is a scam. Let me explain as it has happened to me more than once.

    Once you have signed the agreement, the recruiter can hold your resume to keep you out of the market for the position while promoting someone they favor (in both cases with me, it was someone with the same home country as the recruiter). In both of these cases I knew someone on the inside who said they never saw my resume. In both cases the client disengaged from future business with the recruiter. But by then it was far too late to be considered for the position.

    Recruiters also need to learn the courtesy of follow-up and closure.
    If they are truly serious about establishing lasting relationships. They need to get better at returning calls after they’ve gotten their hands on your resume.

  14. Try to get an American recruiter. I usually have good fortune with people here , stateside. I get the inyterviews and when the mesh occurs, the assignment.

    Sad thing about the industry, the hiring managers are nothing more than talent poachers. If you have all the skills and tools acquired and happy where you are at, why leave? Hiring managers should get the experienced guys who are looking to land somewhere and ready to contribute.

    PURPLE SQUIRRELS do not exist. THEY exist in fairy tale land. The managers probably believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

  15. Janitor of the Lepper Colony

    Ladies and Gentleman, we’re all equally slime balls in the eyes of those at the tippy top. All of us are pond scum compared to those making tens of millions, hundreds of millions, or even billions every year — the new global oligarchy. Have you been to a major airport lately? Notice the stunning increase in the number of private jets as they land and take off, carrying who knows who, anonymous billionaires, whose identities are revealed only by the Paradise Papers. Meanwhile, you and I are increasingly the property of those oligarchs, members of the growing ranks of a new and emerging exploited class of digital serfs, a global peasantry for the 21st Century, a massive international labor pool exploited with more ease and efficiency than ever before, thanks in major part to the IT infrastructure YOU are now developing and maintaining. Have you noticed how people now speak of the once proud and stable American middle class in the past tense?

    • It is sad what things have come to. Even if you are employed directly you can expect little in raises, if any, and the trend is to reduce benefits. If you are older you are targeted for abuse and subject to dishonest employee evaluations. They want older employees gone and document your so called poor performance so they can shove you out the door without fear of age discrimination lawsuits.

  16. Bill Bohan

    The Recruiter’s worst nightmare, is also them!!!
    Every time in the last 15 years, that I have Interviewed, HR asks a really important question. “Are you using a Recruiter”? That is a FEE, that is considered excessive in most industry! That is why your starting Salary is Lower, Benefits too, like Stock Options.
    Besides your Salary, every dime that is spent, is a Factor.
    HR Personnel tell me this directly!!!
    In other words, if you want to maximize your chances of being Hired, do not use a recruiter!
    Use your best people Skills.
    Never be negative about anything.
    And Interviewing Skills, get rusty, if you do not practice first.
    Short, positive, 2 minute answers are best.

  17. Bruce Edge

    Asking for remote work is not unreasonable. Talent starvation and the resulting real-estate prices in tech areas make it difficult to live where you work.
    Why do any of us need to spend 10% of our lives commuting? How much time do you really need face to face?

  18. This basically reads as “Wah, I’m a recruiter who can’t find a qualified candidate because I don’t know what I’m doing.” My inbox is constantly dinged with recruiter cold e-mails that demonstrate both a total lack of understanding of the advertised position and my skills & experience. I also don’t want to leave my job, so it’s not crazy to ask “Oh are you going to pay me five times my current salary?” if you’re seeking a reason to leave. I love my job. Why would I ever leave it for a salary at 75% of what I make in an uncertain place with uninteresting work and no benefits?

  19. I get emails from the same company, for the same position, that is (if you can read a map) a 5 hour daily commute. That is an immediate No. Then they send the job requirements and they are not even close to what my resume reads as my skills/experience. I asked one of these ladies how she matched my resume with the position she was looking to fill and she said they use a program that scans resumes and uses an algorythm to find the match. She apologized and said she would keep my resume in her database for future opportunities. No thanks. I have a few recruiters I work with because they treat me like a person, can hold an intelligent conversation and actually send me on interviews ONLY if they think the fit is there. It is embarassing to walk into a company, all suited up and ready for an interview based on requirements provided by the recruiter only to find out there was an important requirement missing or hours or location misrepresented. It wastes time and money.

  20. I thought it was a well written article. Lately, I have been Blitzed with overseas recruiters asking if I would be interested in a position, one most likely I have no experience or no interest. I put them into the same category as spam phone calls from auto-dialers. They should not be confused with real recruiters. I recently retired and dealt with a highly regarded recruiting company. I was not looking for permanent work, but wanted a decent salary and a stress reduced environment. They found me a perfect position. I have used recruiters throughout my career and have found a few wonderful positions. I suggest one find one or two recruiters and stick with them.Look on your own too. Remember, some companies still will not hire permanently and will use a recruiter to hire a employee temporarily to see if it works out. I agree also that the market is much stronger for qualified, degree candidates. That can change. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Remember, the suggestions here help you get hired, which is the goal for both you and the recruiter.

  21. “They fail to realize that some companies automatically disqualify candidates who are “double submitted” for the same position, Durkin noted.”

    Yeah – here’s the problem with that. Suppose I see a job listing for an Angular-4 dev in Seattle, Washington. I apply. A week later I see another opening for an Angular dev in Seattle. Is it the same job? Or a different one? The job listing doesn’t say what company it is. How can I tell if I’m “double submitted”? What if a company has TWO jobs with similar descriptions?

    The current state of recruiting is a disgrace.

    • Another gotcha is when you see multiple postings–sometimes from the same recruiter or from different recruiters at the same recruitment firm–for the same job with “their client” but stating that the location is in cities neighboring the actual location. Always ask who that “client” is before agreeing to let them represent you so you can avoid the double submission problem.

  22. I get calls from emails from Indian recruiters too. Often for jobs hours away. I respond with a simple “the opportunity is outside of my commuting range”. If the job is a reasonable distance from a stateside recruiter, I would more likely express an interest in future discussions than with a foreign recruiter.
    Recruiters out of India are hired because they are willing to work for peanuts. Then they resent the people they are recruiting because the US recruits make so much more than they do. Indian firms often will try to recruit candidates for lower pay. To them REASONABLE salary demands is THEIR worst nightmare.
    In general I agree. Avoid Indian recruiters and Indian contracting firms.

  23. Mark Eastman

    I get bombarded by the offshore recruiters like all of us. Most are presenting opportunities already posted by the offering company on sites like dice. Here are some tips to weed out the flack. Be wary of calls come from New Jersey. Many offshore firms route their calls through there. If the English in an email is poor, ask yourself if you want that person representing you. If you’re unsure, search for similar postings on dice. Many offshore firms simply repackage listings you could have found yourself. Many companies that post directly won’t work with recruiters or vontract firms.

  24. Rick Franklin

    Don’t use indian recruiters, period. The only way to get rid of these basturds is to starve them. If you are an American and enriching or encouraging the presence of indians in the industry, you are betraying the industry. And your country.

  25. CTGandIBMsuk

    After the way multiple (arrogant *and* obnoxious) recruiters disregarded the value of my time in the 2007-2011 timeframe — as well as made ridiculous demands and otherwise screwed me over repeatedly, I’m now having a ball returning the favor. Love to string them along and waste their time every chance I get.

  26. Ironically when I read the article I thought the same thing as most of the comments – the recruiters are the ones usually guilty of those practices, not the candidates! As a Senior Technical Recruiter with 20+ years agency, corporate, and free-lance experience, I find that we need to work twice as hard as we once did to gain and keep candidates’ trust, because of all of the bad apples out there…

  27. Wonderful feedback by all. You nailed it on the head.
    Recruiters are not looking out for applicants best interest in the IT industry. They are after the “sale” and quick money.

    I have countless stories of recruiters contacting me. My favorite story is the recruiter who contacted me via phone, insisting that I submit my resume for a position that was 5 hours away from my home. When I asked the recruiter if she would travel 10 hours a day for a job, she said, ….”well just drive faster.” Seriously??

  28. In this world of AI, has anyone written a program for us yet, that can reply to the recruiter on our behalf. I would love to be able to have something that
    – answers my phone or email
    * also, during off hours, goes to my preferred job sites to see what new jobs might interest me, and automatically applies with the proper resume and cover letter

    – cross checks to see if similar positions have recently been submitted to me, and if so makes a note to request client name from recruiter

    – cross checks to see if the recruiter is working from one of my approved companies
    * if disapproved, either ignore the recruiter or send standard “regrets” email
    * if unknown or new company, research to determine if it easily is qualified (if so or if unsure, then treat as qualified but highlight to me the pros and cons of this company, via my tracking mechanism)

    – tells the recruiter how I absolutely do or don’t match what they are looking for — and if so,

    – asks them, whether all negotiations must be finalized before the client has spoken with me
    * if negotiations must be finalized prior to meeting the client, decide whether the job is worth it. And if so, then it completes the negotiations on my behalf.
    * if negotiations can be finalized over time, then address each item at the proper time, but instruct the recruiter to start the biddgin process using the dollar value, location, work-hours, etc. that seems fair, with the understanding that there may be several rounds of negotiations.

    – takes notes about how I need to revise my resume (then immediately makes those updates & forwards a copy back to the recruiter in 15 minutes)

    – notifies me of the call / email and logs what was decided, and stores a copy of the revised resume for my use

    – responds to the additional queries from the recruiter, until it is time for me to prepare for the interview (if one ever even occurs) or if there are situations, which need my personal attention
    * pings the recruiter and asks for a status update, if they have not gotten back to me within a reasonable amount of time
    * prepares me for the interview

    – accepts my post interview information and provides the appropriate response to the recruiter (acceptance as is, further negotiations, additional interviewing, declining)

    – schedules all my meetings, trade show events, certification testing, and makes my airline arrangements

    – stores everything in a secure location, so non-authorized personnel can’t hack in and mess with my AI program, criteria, negotiation results, etc.

    Isn’t that the world we are building – where we can have the machine do our interfacing for us? And all we need to do is sign the contract, enjoy the work, then get complimented for our brilliance and dedication.

  29. Experienced and Wiser

    I have encountered different types and qualities of recruiters over the years. The very worst are pushy, demanding all sorts of commitments to travel for interviews, harassing references, even though you are getting no positive feedback from the employer at all. This egotistical “I can serve anyone up on a platter at a moments notice” type is not respectful of the candidate’s time, experience, and really has no concern for you. This is the result of the cheapening of tech labor in this country, and the H1B visas at a major contributing factor. If a recruiter does not show you the proper respect and civility, do not get involved with them no matter what they promise they have. You will do better without them.

  30. Recruiters are the most worthless yet highest paid group within the IT industry. None of them even know the technologies they are recruiting for and provide no real value to the process. They are simply middlemen taking their cut from someone with actual skill. Companies looking for someone just need to post their position online. Qualified IT professionals will find them. NEVER WORK WITH A RECRUITER!

  31. Don Park

    Many of the comments on here tend to bash the overseas recruiters – they definitely deserve to be held accountable for their unprofessional behavior, but there are just as many onshore recruiters that are just as bad.

    From what I see, I see there are two distinct camps:
    1. The millennial hunter that wastes everyone’s time with empty posts and even emptier promises blaming candidates for not doing their work for them (yes I expect the recruiter to write something about me after a 30 minute conversation; it shouldn’t be up to me to do YOUR job)
    2. The old-timer who misleads candidates with opportunities (“You look like a great fit for this executive job — you mean that executive assistant isn’t a leadership role?!”) and fails to follow up or worse yet, provides the wrong information from either direction (“Oh yes, Mr. Client – my candidate will take a massive pay cut to work for you for that menial job *AND* will be happy to take a last minute interview request in the middle of the day!” or conversely “Oh yes, Mr. Candidate – I see you are a chief architect — but you told me that you wanted that junior engineer job – what’s wrong with you?!”)

    It’s scenarios like these that make me think that there should be some sort of licensing framework in place for recruiting agencies.

  32. I get these calls and emails all the time from IDC Technologies. The recruiter always comes up on the cell phone as “unknown” with the 408 area code, but they are in fact calling from India.

    I don’t know if I’d trust an employer that can’t use recruiters that I could go see in person, where I’m located. It seems that they’re cheap, using foreign labor or what not. To each their own I suppose, but I feel much more comfortable talking to someone here.