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recruiter e-mail

Hi,
Just got an e-mail from a recruiter, saw my resume on workopolis, wants to talk to me and discuss as soon as possible, but did not mention the topic. I guess I won't be talking till after the weekend.I don't have much experience dealing with recruiters.Anybody get any of these types of mails from recruiters?Does it mean it could be an opportunity, or is this standard type of mails sent by recruiters?

sr
Saturday, January 11, 2003

My experience has been that most recruiters are too busy (even if they are not productive/successfull) to worry about basic courtesy (like telling you what they want to talk about).

Eric Moore
Saturday, January 11, 2003

Don't expect much, if anything, from contact from a recruiter.

Recruiters are shallow.  They are the types that beat up the smart kids on the playground, grown up as adults. They don't care what you know or what you can do. They can and they will abuse you in order to profit themselves. What they do for a living is collect money from the client company in exchange for finding the cheapest acceptable candidate for a position.

Recruiters will blow you all kinds of hot air. Most these days are simply collecting resumes, most have no jobs, and almost none of them have any sort of special relationship with their client company despite their claims.

Most recruiters are basically liars. They may be useful for your purposes but distrust everything they say.

Won't Work With Recruiters
Saturday, January 11, 2003

I have had very positive experiences with recruiters.  I have been offered at least 3 excellent opportunities because of the hard work of a placement agency.  It would seem as though my experience is not the norm, based on the responses here.

So, in short keep an open mind, but be aware that there are some unscrupulous agents out there.

Chad R. Millen
Saturday, January 11, 2003

Be very wary of giving them references, they see your references as potential clients.

Tony E
Saturday, January 11, 2003

In my experience, recruiters (as a whole) are similar to police officers in Los Angeles - there are pleny of good, hard-working people out there, but a small percentage of them have done such shitty things to people that it's really easy to lump them all into one category.

Be skeptical, but don't write someone off "just because" they're a recruiter.  You may get lucky and find a good one that will really help your carreer.

Jeff MacDonald
Saturday, January 11, 2003

But generally, if a recruiter contacts you, does it mean there is a genuine opportunity?

sr
Saturday, January 11, 2003

I have received emails that are, quite cleary, bulk messages sent out in an effort to harvest resumes/email addresses, but that hasn't happened for a while.

Sometimes you can tell from the email whether or not it's spam, but other times you can't tell until you contact the person and they have no idea who you are, what you do or why you're calling them.

Keep in mind that work is tight for a lot of people these days.  It wouldn't be prudent to ignore a (possibly) legit email because it "might" me spam.  A phone call to the recruiter will take, what, 5-10 minutes out of your day? 

It's definitely worth the time to follow-up with them on Monday, IMO.

Jeff MacDonald
Saturday, January 11, 2003

Yes, there is probably a an opening. Unfortunately there is also very little chance that you want it.

A recruiter has hundreds if not thousands of resumes available. If he is contacting a stranger  then there is something difficult to fill about the position. If he sounds enthusiastic then he is trying to generate excitement in you so that you will overlook the flaws.

When a recruiter has good opportunities you must pursue them. When they start looking for you either they are desperate or you have some unique skill.

On four times I have been contacted unexpectedly by head hunters, each a silly story:

First, 25+ years ago, a Sunday night 8pm, the phone rings.

        "This is xxx from yyy agency. I've got a position for you. Can you be at an interview at 8am tomorrow?"

        "OK. Where is it?"

        "<an industrial park on the outskirts of a different city 50km away>."

        Hmmmm, I don't recognize the company and I don't have a car, this had better be good.

        "Tell me more about it."

        "It's a 3 month contract, $60/hour."

        Wow, that's a little above my league, I'm unemployed last job paid $33K/year.

        "Sound great, tell me more."

        "That's all I have. Don't worry you'll be perfect!"

        "Do you have a job description?"

        "No."

        "What???? I am not walking in there cold. You must have some piece of paper."

        "Maybe."

        "Find it and read it to me!"

        "Cellular phone developer requires: engineer, radio frequency and analog/digital design, 5 years radio or telephone exp., familliarity with Pascal and VAX/VMS an asset."

        "Have you read my resume?"

        "Yes."

        "And what part of it makes you think I could do this job?"

        "It says VAX...."

        "It says 'Software Engineer: C, Fortran, 4.2bsd/VAX, RSX-11m+/PDP-11.'."

        "You need an ELECTRICAL Engineer, I am in COMPUTER SCIENCE. I am no more qualified to do this job than you are to be a recruiter. <CLICK>"

The third time was one my wife nick-named 'Spacy'. She called several times. She very excited about me. She wanted to "market me".

But first I needed to change my resume. Several more phone calls later. Several more revisions of my resume. I finally extract from her what changes she wants.

I am supposed to eliminate all the technical junk (80% of my resume) and punch up the management (5%) to replace it.

Turns out she's trying to fill a PM position in a non-tech company.


Fourth time, I return to my desk around 7pm on a Thursday and find not one but three messages on my voice-mail.

This is interesting since I never put my work number any where near my resume, I don't even name my current employer.

So next day I ask around the office, discreetly, and find that some ex-employee was trying to get finders fees by leading head-hunters to our stars.

But what the hell, never hurts to hear their offer. I go out to lunch and return the call on my cell-phone.

        "Hi, returning your call, what do you want?"

        "I've got the perfect job for you, can you start Monday?"

        "No. My contract does not require me to give them notice, but as it requires them to give me 30 days, I'd need a very good reason not to give them the same."

        "They are very enthusiatic about you. For you they will wait. By the way you do have an MCSE, right?"

        "MCSE+I, MCDBA, MCSD, etc..., but you had better tell me about this job I am not sure I want it."

        "It's a great job, it's in networking you'll love it."

        "Lets start with the basics, shall we? What do they pay?"

        "It's great they'll start you at $40K/year."

        "I make $80K/year here and this year's bonus was 20%."

        "So your not interested?"

        "No. <CLICK>"

Anonymous Coward
Saturday, January 11, 2003

OK, more assertions to back up my general animosity toward recruiters.

First - pay attention to the accounts posted here of recruiters talking up positions that are non-fits. I had my own stories, but I knew that someone else would easily post stuff to outdo my own material.
Secondly, be extremely skeptical about providing references to recruiters. Many recruiters these days use the lists of managers and their companies that candidates provide for their own sales purposes. The easiest way to get a good reference to refuse to speak for you is to allow them to get bombarded by recruiters making sales pitches to them.
Third - recruiters are NOT there to help your career. If they say so they are flat out lying. They are there to make a buck for themselves.

Fourth - I dispute the assertion that recruiters are similar to a police department's crew. Quite the opposite. My experience has been that most agency recruiters are shallow nitwits and are not terribly honest or forthcoming. The ones with good character who mean well are exceptions, at least from the standpoint of the candidate's interests.

Fifth - recruiters ARE looking at a very thin market and some excellent analyses have been posted to this thread. The jobs that crooters are pushing are the jobs that there is *something* the matter with - either a bad employer, or a bad location, or a low salary, or lousy work. Basically, if the position is good, the company will have *NO* problem filling it in this economy.  The rest of the open positions are handled by recruiters.

Basically, to put it in context - think of the worst you've heard of lawyers and of used car salesmen, and combine the attributes into one person. THAT is an agency technical recruiter, in the majority of cases.

Dishonest, manipulative, condescending, player of head games, and as far away from your best interests as you can get, THAT'S a recruiter.

Won't Work With Recruiters
Saturday, January 11, 2003

I have only ever had bad experiences dealing with recruiters.  I have never managed to find a job using them yet they like to present themselves as the sole gateway to employment.

Only ever talk to a recuiter as an absolute last resort, they are not your friend, they are not interested in finding a suitable job match.  They have no problems lying to present any lousy job as your dream job.  It's all about finding warm bodies to fill cubicles.

I'm willing to believe there are some that are good but I've never met any.

Stay Away
Saturday, January 11, 2003

I've met a quality recruiter in SF, though I've never actually worked for any in the end.  They used to be called Trilogy, though I heard on fuckedcompany they changed their name to something disturbing like "Thinknicity."  Very intelligent; though I had experience with other languages, they astutely pointed out that a Python job was the best to go for.

The one other recruiter I've met was the complete opposite, with people who just didn't want to work there.  I almost would have wanted to work with Trilogy/Thinknicity, since it was obvious how bad some of these work farms were.

Tj
Sunday, January 12, 2003

My experience has been bad. Around 12-15 resumes, i have sent but no response

anon
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Looks like I'm out of the norm here, but I have generally not had bad experiences with recruiters, though it's been over 2 years since I've been on the market. Might be different now.

I would say, however,  that if you do happen to come across a good recruiter, one you trust to tell you straight, one who gets to know you well enough to counsel you about how to handle a particular interview, and who's not simply a biological regex like so many are, then you might want to keep that guy's number at hand in the future--you've found yourself a gem.

I've come across a guy like that and actively maintain contact with him, though I'm not currently on the market. Especially if the guy's been able to place you (and therefore get his fee) once or twice before, then he knows you're marketable and he's likely to work a bit harder for you.

Anyway, I can't counter anybody's recommendations of caution in dealing with recruiters, so do be careful.

Best of luck to you.

anonQAguy
Sunday, January 12, 2003

"My experience has been bad. Around 12-15 resumes, i have sent but no response "

That's not bad experience of recruiters; that's no experience.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, January 12, 2003

one thing to avoid:

if they ask inocently "have you been applying for other jobs?", tell them flatly "no".  If you say yes, even if you say it isn't their business, they will worm it out of you.

You see, any job you get that isn't via them, they won't get a commission for.  If they can find out who else you've applied for.  And there might be an opportunity for them to place one of their other candidates there, so they'll probably cold call and offer some resumes to that lead you've just given them.  And this means you to have no options but to take a placement they offer, so it is win-win for them.

This nasty trick was told to me by a drunk recruiter who is actually a nice girl away from work; but I'd never be placed by her professionally!


Sunday, January 12, 2003

No. Generic contact by a recruiter means nothing. He probably thought you might have some marketable qualities which would make it easy for him to convince someone to hire you, thus earning him a commission.

The other part of his job is to get you to accept a low rate ( if it's a contract) so he gets more profit, and to get you to change jobs.

If he was trying to sell you a used car, what would you think? It's the same deal.

Must be a manager
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Personally, I've lost faith in recruiters and do not trust them. All they do is raise my hopes and leave me hanging.

I've had recruiters contact me of Monster and Workopolis; and they are all talk.  The truth of the matter is that there is nobody better to seek and hunt down a job then yourself. I've had recruiters send my resume to a certain company with no effect.  But when *I* sent in my resume, instant response. I think recruiters are marketing people who couldn't get a real job in their industry.

Once after you've dealt with many recruiters, you'll understand their tactics and their real worth.  But give them a chance to talk; there still might be something to learn from them.  Don't be afraid to interrogate them as they do you.

Good luck.

sedwo
Sunday, January 12, 2003

I believe in doing the work of the recruiter myself (I am a programmer).  I am the best marketer and leverage point for my career.  Cold calling can help you build a network of friends and contacts when times get tough. 

Peter Hutchinson
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Considering all these posts, has anybody found any work through recruiters?

sr
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Three times I have found work through recruiters.  A recruiter typically works for the client company, so unless they are on retainer (which they usually aren't) you have nothing to gain by using them.  You are better off calling the company yourself.  You can get lucky (like I did) and find a placement, but don't count on it.

Peter Hutchinson
Sunday, January 12, 2003

My 2nd job was obtained via recruiter.

Bob Greene
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Recruiters love to fill up their database of "prospects" and they rarely let go of a name once they have it.

In the mid 80s I had a couple of weeks helping to tidy up a recruiter's database.

One guy had an availability date of June 1995.

"Isn't that rather a long notice period?" I asked.

"No", said the recruiter, "that is his earliest realistic chance of parole."

Mathematical Dunce
Monday, January 13, 2003

I've had 4 jobs in about 25 years, spending 15 years of that at DEC.

I used two recruiters to find my third job. One had a reputation for finding good matches. Did a very good job, also went the extra mile to get me a second round of interviews when I almost blew the first one (because of a misunderstanding of what they wanted). The other one I worked with was passing my resume to companies (without my permission) over two months after I told her I did not want to work with her anymore.

I used four recruiters during the height of the .COM boom (my fourth and last job). One did a good job, I'd happily work with her again. Unfortunately she's left the field to go back to being a labor lawyer. The second one had problems understanding that someone wanting a J2EE job doesn't want to interview at a company that is 100% 'C' coders working on embedded systems :) The other two were scum.

After I got laid off I've worked with over a dozen recruiters. One seemed to have my interests at heart, but seemed incompetent. Another seemed  reasonable, but plagued by bad luck.  For example, the HR person asks me to come in for an interview on a Saturday and then doesn't show up or respond to the call to her cellphone that I get the guard to make.  I eventually manage to introduce myself to the architect when he showed up to interview somebody else, and later on get an interview after cooling my heels for three hours. The interview went very well and he was going to have the HR person set me up for a second round of interviews. Monday the HR person calls my recruiter to say the job opening was canceled. A week later the company posts the same job, again.

All of the rest were shameless scum.

I have extremely low expectations of recruiters, I would prefer to go direct. It is very hard for me to identify which recruiters truly add value due to real working relationships with hiring managers, normally I have to work with them several weeks to discover they are lying through thier teeth. Unfortunately, some startup or small companies rely upon recruiters to do thier screening for them, while some others strongly prefer to go direct (to avoid paying fees)

This causes me a lot of grief because I have to micro-manage for each potential employer do I go direct, or via which recruiter, while trying to avoid multiple recruiters pitching me to the same company. I lost one good chance at a job where I contacted them directly, because without my knowledge  (or permission) one of my recruiters also pitched me to them two days later. The company wasn't willing to interview me unless I got a written waiver from the recruiter of thier fees, which of course they were not willing to do.

Of course nowadays this all seems a moot point since the job market in Silicon Valley is so bad :)

Eric Moore
Monday, January 13, 2003

I heard that some companies use recruiters for their weeding out process.Any comments on that?

sr
Monday, January 13, 2003

"I heard that some companies use recruiters for their weeding out process.Any comments on that? "

Serveral of the companies that I worked at only looked at resumes that came from approved recruiters or from employee referals. It wasn't work their time to look at all of the random resumes that came in the [e]mail.

The companies were always selective about the recruiters they used. If they started sending too many resumes that obviously weren't suitable candidates, they'd get warned that their company would be dropped off the list (and several were).

jeff
Monday, January 13, 2003

I've had great experiences with recruiters, and terrible experiences.

First, the terrible story:  I had a recruiter call me up about a position at AOL.  It sounded like a pretty good match for my skills, but first, I had to take an AOL-based online test.  The recruiter was very enthusiastic, and told me he'd e-mail me with information.  I never heard back from him again, even after I called him repeatedly.

Later, I had a recruiter call me about a job that fit my skills nicely.  She was extremely responsive, and was the absolute pinnacle of professionality.  She landed me the job, and sent me a postcard on my birthday.  Very, very nice.


I have heard that a lot of companies are using recruiters to hire "temp-to-perm" employees.  These employees start out as temporary employees (usually employed through the recruiting agency), who will be converted to full-time status after some period of time has passed, unless there's a significant problem with the employee.  This gives the company a convenient way of dropping dead wood early; they can just decide not to pick up the contract.  It's a lot "cleaner" than having to fire an employee a few months into their job.  This is more a little more stressful for the employee, but ultimately, only dead wood is hurt by it.

That's how I was hired, BTW; I was hired as temp-to-perm at a nice little company, and should be hired full-time in a month or so.

My experience?  If a recruiter comes calling, be cautious.  Don't rely on them, but don't blow them off either.  Respond to their inquiries professionally, and treat them as a possible job lead, nothing more.

Brent P. Newhall
Monday, January 13, 2003

What a coincidence - I hadn't received an email from a local recruiter in quite a while, and what pops up in my inbox today:
(Just to give some basic background info on me, I'm a software developer)

"Giorgio,

I came across your resume in our database and was impressed with your skills and experience.  Can you please send me an updated copy of your resume?  We have an IT Specialist position open that may be of interest to you."

I couldn't help but chuckle.  "IT Specialist."  In other words, about as specific as having a job opening for a 'Volkswagen Farfignuggen Specialist." at a VW dealership.  *Sigh*  I think I might sign this lady up for some good old fashioned porn-right-to-your-inbox ;-)

GiorgioG
Monday, January 13, 2003

" I think I might sign this lady up for some good old fashioned porn-right-to-your-inbox ;-) "

If it's free sign me up for it; the Saudi's block it all on the web.

Stephen Jones
Monday, January 13, 2003

Passing thoughts:

I've had good experiences and bad with recruiters. It depends on the recruiter and/or the recruiting company.

Some companies don't hire directly, as was mentioned here before. Right after it moved from Virginia to Colorado, I interviewed with MCI; they wanted Forth programmers. They offered me the job, but said they wouldn't hire me as an MCI employee. I'd have to work for a job shop that provided them with workers. I turned them down.

Some recruiting companies are slimier than their recruiters. A friend of mine at an earlier job got laid off (this was during the downturn in the early 80's). He joined a local recruiter and started calling friends, acquaintances, and anyone else he could get contact information on. A few weeks later, just before anyone he set up was hired, the recruiter fired him, thus getting the benefit of his efforts without having to pay him the placement bonuses.

Steve Wheeler
Monday, January 13, 2003

What a load of sanctimonious drivel.

I would say most IT jobs are incredibly overpaid, there's lots of recruiters out there who don't even make a fraction of what most IT people earn.

But no, you people all see yourselves as victims, what a bunch of losers.

You poor, poor underpaid IT people, gosh it must be hard, to be so noble, not caring about your 'rate', just working to serve the greater good.

I need a bucket
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I've had bad experiences with recruiters, and really bad experiences with recruiters. Never got a job with one (though I've had numerous interviews) - always been through cold calling via friends who work at the company.

The trick I've found is to keep on bothering them, and see if they can slip out the name of the company as well. If they do that, look up the company on the web and get as much information about them as you can. When I was unemployed last year I made a point of hassling recruiters into submission, and got several interviews as a result.

Some recruiters are nothing more than glorified spammers; good thing I used a throwaway email on my resume last time I went job hunting.

Better than being unemployed...
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

To "I need a bucket":

*All* you need to be a recruiter is a phone, a rolodex of phone numbers, and the time and inclination to continually make a bunch of phone calls over and over. That's all. You could be a high school dropout, you could literally fall off the turnip wagon and do recruiting.

Most of the recruiters I've dealt with don't appear to be capable of doing much else but blabbing on the phone and acting pretentious about their supposed (but almost always non existent) "special relationship" with the client.

In order to be a proficient SW developer, one needs years of experience, and preferably a degree in one of the hard sciences - more work and preparation yet.

I *choose* to do things with my time that are more productive to society and my clients than make phone calls. If the latter is all you can do, then more power to you...

>> What a load of sanctimonious drivel.

No, it's the truth.

>> I would say most IT jobs are incredibly overpaid, there's lots of recruiters out there who don't even make a fraction of what most IT people earn.

"I would say" - who are you?

"don't make even a fraction" - You see, clients and companies assign *economic value* to job duties.

*Any* ego pumped, self important, coarse nitwit can get on the phone and call people. It requires creativity, hard work and expertise to develop software. The salaries reflect these *facts*.

One job function is common, and requires a basal metabolism. The other function requires much hard work to even be a contender.

Telemarketing boiler shops pay, what? $10-$15/hr? Less to start? There's a reason.

Won't Work With Recruiters
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Recruiting is the classic middleman business: it relies on intercepting jobs then arranging things so candidates must work through the recruiter, who takes a disproportionate cut.

Recruiters hide information from the people who do the actual work, to asssit the recrutiers in gouging the maximum possible commission. They do this explicitly.

By intervening in the hiring process, they also rob candidates of many negotiating opportunities.

Believes in ethics
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

dealt with 7 recruiters so far.

4 frm wall street, 2 frm a consulting firm, 1 frm a tech company.

only positive response was from 1 wall street recruiter, all other were collecting resumes, and claimed to get back later. The consulting firms were no better.

The tech company outsources all the travel, answer questions part, and the recruiter I dealt with sucked big time.

Prakash S
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

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