Jul 202015
 

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go!

1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks.

This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially in writing.

I’ve had a couple guys yell at me (writing in all caps).  Someone once tried to tell me what kind of person he thought I was (it wasn’t flattering), just because he felt I owed him a call back.  Another guy shouted that I was wasting everyone’s time when I turned down the interview because I’d accepted another job in the meantime and called to tell him so.

Just don’t do it.

2. You don’t have a job for me.  You want to chat about my career goals when my profile and resume say what those are. You claim it will “only take 5 minutes!” and badger me into it, then won’t let me off the phone for 20 minutes of talking that is almost all you.

recruiter-illustrationRecruiters do this with the explanation that we’re forming a relationship that will bear fruit down the line.  It’s not true.  Not once have I gotten a job from this, in over 15 years, which is why I won’t do this, to the amazement of some recruiters.  It’s a recruiters job to talk and form relationships. It’s my job to code and avoid ceaseless, pointless blathering.  Yes, I know how it sounds, but it’s the truth.  The more I’m talking (or listening to someone else do it), the less productive I am.  It’s one reason coders hate meetings.

Besides, you’ll call me later, when you have a job for me, without this conversation having taken place, so there’s literally no reason for me to entertain this.  That you’ll talk my ear off is the real deal breaker here.  And the fact that plenty of other recruiters are contacting me about actual jobs at the same time that you’re doing this.  It really is a waste of my time.

Imagine if the 20-30 other recruiters did it. I’d literally be on the phone all day.

3. You insist on doing #2 in person.

Some firms want to tell their clients, “We interview everyone in person before even sending their resume so we know we’re sending good people.” This “selling point” for your firm (to your clients, not me) is more work for me and gains me nothing.  You’ll try to tell me that it gives me an edge over candidates that other firms are sending, but it probably doesn’t.

It is actually a big negative for me due to the hassle. Depending on time of day and distance, this can cost me an additional hour or two when you don’t even have a job for me.

I refuse to work with these companies anymore because there are so many jobs I can get without having to deal with this.

4. You tell me that writing a job description for me is a waste of your time when that’s actually part of your job.

I’ve actually heard this several times. It is hard to believe. Over 99% of your peers already provide one without me having to ask. It’s industry standard. In fact, when you don’t send one in your initial email, I’m very unlikely to reply at all. And never tell me my request is a “waste of your time.”  That’s just stupid and falls under #1 above.

5. You don’t tell me there’s a written or computer exam and I only find out at the interview when handed one.

This is something you always need to find out and tell people. These tech screenings are often unfair even with advance warning, but setting me up to fail/be broadsided tells me you aren’t looking out for me. Make sure you get it right, too (whether it’s verbal, written, etc., light questions versus very technical). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what to expect and it’s totally off. More often than not, probably.

6. You ask me questions that make it clear you haven’t read my resume.

Doing your homework will make you look good. Not doing it will not.

7. After I tell you that the job doesn’t meet my criteria, you say “Let me tell you about this anyway” and proceed to do so, ignoring my attempts to stop you.

This is just rude. I don’t get it. Do you just want to hear yourself talk? Are you lonely?

8. I tell you my hourly rate for contract work and you try to talk me down by a whopping $20-25 per hour, as if $40k less a year is no biggie.

Are you that ignorant of the pay cut you’re trying to convince me to take or do you think I’m desperate? I can get a job for what I quoted you. If for some bizarre reason I accepted your job, I’d keep looking and quit the second I got a less ridiculous rate, so what’s the point for you?

9. Your English is incomprehensible.

I have no issue with foreigners or thick accents, but if you’re that hard to understand, email will be better for you.

10. You act like you’re doing me a favor by contacting me when there are another 20 recruiters contacting me the same day, sometimes about the same job.

Maybe this accounts for some of what’s on this list.  It’s a competitive world out there and this doesn’t give you an advantage.  I suppose this could fall under #1, so here’s a bonus:

11. Bonus #1 – You already know the job is off target but send it anyway and ask me to forward it to people I might know, doing your job for you.

Some people consider this networking.  I don’t.  It’s a touchy area and since you don’t know how someone feels about this, you should be super nice when trying this.  Bear in mind that lots of people might be doing that to me and with repetition comes my dislike.  You might not think it’s a big deal, but if every recruiter did that I’d get thousands of emails a day.

It’s okay to ask when the job also applies to me. It’s another thing to send jobs that have nothing to do with me. Don’t do it.

12. Bonus # – You threaten to blacklist me because you’ve taken something personally, like this list.

Remember that in the digital world, something like a threat lasts forever. It’s beyond just unprofessional.

Another 10 Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go! 1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks. This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially […]

1 comment

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Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Recently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end. 1. After receiving […]

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Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter

As a professional programmer, I’ve interacted with technical recruiters for over fifteen years and have noticed that the good ones share certain traits.  Here are things I like in a recruiter, in no particular order: 1. You send me an email with the following info in the very first one: A job description A fairly specific location […]

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Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

 Blogs, Corporate Hell  Comments Off on Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter
Jul 132015
 

recruiter-editRecently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end.

1. After receiving your email/call, I respond with my resume and the information you requested, but you ignore me, even when I follow up.

Ignoring people is seldom good, but it depends.  Whoever initiates contact risks getting no reply from the other person if the recipient is not interested. It’s just the way it works.  But when the contacted person replies, a dialogue has been opened. It must now be completed without ignoring. Otherwise, the next time you contact them, they may not reply because you’ll just leave them hanging again.

2. We go back and forth with emails and calls and then one day you just ignore me and I never hear from you again despite repeatedly following up with you.

See #1, but if the job has fallen through or something else has happened (or even if you don’t know what’s going on), you should communicate something to me about this.

3. You send me a first email that says no more than “I have a job for you. Contact me if interested.”

That’s not going to cause interest.  I can tell you’re not trying and you’re probably not going to respond to me anyway.  Your peers are doing way better than this.  You must try harder than that.

4. You send me emails calling me “candidate” instead of my name.  Repeatedly.

You should always use my name. This impersonal approach sounds too much like headhunting, which is one the recruiting elements you should downplay.

5. You send one email to me and 20+ other candidates, and I can see their names and addresses (and they can see mine) in the address field. Repeatedly.

See #4.  Spamming is bad.  I do expect you to take the time to contact me personally, even if you’re pasting the same email you just sent someone else. Don’t make me think I’m just a body in a seat to you. And don’t give out my name and email address to a bunch of strangers please.

6. You send me jobs that are for skill sets/technologies that aren’t on my resume (not even close). Repeatedly.

I’m not expecting this and it’s not okay. This tells me you aren’t good at your job and I probably shouldn’t work with you when you do send me an appropriate job. It should be obvious that I’m not going to answer you.  You’re spamming me.

7. You don’t know what the technologies listed on my resume are and how they relate to each other.  Example: not knowing that .NET, ASP .NET, C#, and Visual Studio are all basically the same thing.

Knowing these things isn’t complicated and takes a few minutes to learn, so it really is required knowledge. Not knowing means you’re unqualified to be a technical recruiter for positions I’m seeking.  You must do your homework.  I might answer you if the job sounds good, but I don’t respect you.

8. You send me jobs that are between 100 and 3000 miles from my house when my online profile/resume clearly says I do not relocate.

I can’t fault you for taking a chance that I’ll change my mind, but with lots of recruiters doing this, I just don’t reply anymore. It comes off as desperate and spammy. If my resume had only a couple years experience, suggesting I’m young, single, and mobile, that’s one thing, but when I’ve got 15 or more years of experience, all in the same region, that means I’m probably in my 40s, married (wife has a job, too, and would need another), have kids, a house, and my whole life is here, the odds are just not good for you, especially if you’re talking about a 3-6 month contract. I’m not going to answer you.

The exception is Hawaii.  Always send me those jobs!

9. You send me contracting jobs when I only want FTE, or vice versa, and my profile/resume says so.

This isn’t that bad and can be an innocent mistake, and you can be feeling me out to see if it’s still true.  On the other hand, I’ve owned a consulting company for years (this is listed on the resume) and am only doing Corp-to-Corp (resume also says this), which means I’m all set up with 401k, insurances, health care, an accountant, website, and more.  I realize you likely don’t quite understand this is important.

It’s good to acknowledge that you’re aware of my requirement but that you’re taking a chance; otherwise it seems like you aren’t paying attention and haven’t read my resume.

10. You won’t discuss even basic details, like location, technology, FTE vs. contracting, unless it’s over the phone, even after I tell you this is difficult for me (can’t talk at work, while driving, or I’m watching a loud toddler once home, etc.). And you’re so set on this that you blow me off.

Respecting the preferences of candidates is a good thing. Your peers will do it and I’ll end up talking to them instead of you.  Insisting that I meet your preferences comes across as self-important and disrespectful, and why would I want to get on the phone with you when you can’t tell me such basics without me asking – or even after I do ask?  You’re hard to work with and I won’t do it.

Another 10 Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go! 1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks. This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially […]

1 comment

Ten Signs You’re a Good IT Manager

Since we’ve looked at reasons someone can be a bad IT manager, let’s look at reasons for good ones. 1. You ask staff opinions about technical concerns before trying to make a decision This is relevant if you’re less technical/current than your staff.  It shows you respect them and are a team player. It’s also smart because […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Bad IT Manager

Life in the corporate world is hugely affected by managers, so we’ll take a look at ten reasons managers can be terrible.  If you’re a manager, watch out for doing these things and earning a bad reputation. 1. You throw me under the bus Managers are supposed to look out for their staff, not screw them […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter

Recently I did the Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter.  This time we look at ten mistakes technical recruiters can make so that programmers don’t respond favorably (or at all) to job postings and calls/emails.  And what recruiters can do to mitigate these issues. If you have comments, please add them at the end. 1. After receiving […]

0 comments

Ten Signs You’re a Good Technical Recruiter

As a professional programmer, I’ve interacted with technical recruiters for over fifteen years and have noticed that the good ones share certain traits.  Here are things I like in a recruiter, in no particular order: 1. You send me an email with the following info in the very first one: A job description A fairly specific location […]

0 comments