Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Few Good Men & Women

I just read a blog article called What It's Like To Be Recruited and the sequel titled Recruiting Is Broken: The $2400 Face to Face Interview.

The author wrote...
    As an experiment, I submitted my resume to Dice, Monster and CareerBuilder seeking a Ruby on Rails application developer position.
He got 136 calls, 46 voicemails, and 115 emails in three days. Holy crap, congratulations! It's really hard to find a decent job, and it sounds like you've got a lot of leads. I'm happy for you. It's nice to feel wanted. You must feel like this guy...

I was hoping to read on about how grateful he was to be in the spotlight, but my takeaway is that he got really frustrated by the experience. Here's a few of thoughts I have in response...
  • You are highly employable. The is extreme demand for software engineers in San Francisco, and you are one of the better ones. Most companies writing software want to interview you. If you put your resume up on public job boards for all the world to see, that feels to me like a pretty woman walking into a bar and buying all the guys a drink.

  • If you want to use job boards and manage the flood, set up contact information that relates only to your job search. 1-800-AVAILABLE and looking-for-work@gmail.com are your friends.

  • I'd recommend not taking time off of work to interview unless you are serious. That way you'll feel good about the time you spend interviewing. You don't feel like you are pouring money down the drain when you take a vacation, do you?

  • There are a lot of recruiters. A few are excellent, many are good, and more are something else. That distribution is true of any population, including software developers. Work with the ones who provide value for you and don't spend time with the rest.

  • The fundamental problem that aggravates your job hunting experience is a shortage of good engineers. We're in the tightest job market for tech talent in San Francisco in over ten years. Companies are going to fight over you because they are desperate. No software solution you come up with will eliminate third party recruiters. Recruiters exist because even companies with truly powerful tools (Google, Facebook, any company using Jobvite) can't get enough talented people to apply.


  1. Very cute, ct_recruiter.
    Say hi to Curtis for me.

  2. This is a great response. The email specifically for a job hunt is an excellent idea.

    What actually is aggravating me is that I'm treated like a piece of meat to be bought and sold and bartered over.

    I am a veteran of the previous dot-com boom and crash. When I really needed a job at about 2002 and 2003, where were you guys? Instead, there I was, out of work for a year. There I was getting my first job in a year at Planet Weavers. It was humiliating having been a web coder that made bosses millions of dollars in bullshit exits stacking candles at Planet Weavers.

    I've used recruiters twice and both involved being removed from work without warning.

    Right now, I'm not in that position. My question is ultimately: What is the better pay off in this dog eat dog world? Do I work with a recruiter, especially one that graduated from Stanford, so that I can finally break into that elite social circle, and maybe even learn some golf? Or do I stick with what I have now? A middle class background with blue collar social connections? Can I hustle myself out of that?

    Thanks for writing this, and I see you're Sponsoring SF Night Owls. I'll be there tonight. Feel free to say, "Hi."

  3. Like Barce, I'm a recurring project-seeker in the Bay Area, and I really enjoyed his blog posts, since I share the same frustrations with so-called recruiters.

    These people aren't recruiters at all, but just inept salespeople. They do minimal to no research on their prospective customers, who are both the developers they're cold-calling and the companies that are desperate for those developers. They're like those tedious guys in bars who try to hit on every woman who walks in the door, with really bad, transparent pickup lines...and end up spoiling it for everybody.

    Is there no way to regulate or certify who gets to call him- or herself a "recruiter?" I really want the ethical, hard-working Captain Recruiters of the world to be distinguished from the piranha-like salespeople. You probably do as well.

  4. I've seen this commercial before. Let'se be honest, it is very effective