Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?



  • So I've been looking for work for a couple months. (Unemployment is fun!) Since I've had bad experiences with recruiters in the past, and I believe the way they're paid doesn't benefit either the candidate or the company, I decided to try to do a job search without using any recruiters.

    This is apparently impossible.

    I put in contacts with like 130+ companies over the last couple months, and they're all black-holed. All of them. And probably 20 of those involved me contacting people in my network and talking to them directly about the position. The only company out of all of those that actually got back to me was Alaskan Airlines, and it was just to say the position had been filled. Sigh.

    So last week I gave up and started talking to recruiters. As a result, I had an excellent phone interview on Thursday and now I have an in-person interview scheduled. In less than a week of working with a recruiter, I have an interview. (I'm probably not going to take the job unless they REALLY blow me away in-person, but. Still.)

    What's the deal here? I still don't want to do business with recruiters, but is that even possible in 2017 Seattle area?



  • I've had a different experience. 4 out of 5 jobs I've had in my career were direct hires, and the one job that wasn't was a shitshow. Granted one of them was through a friend. I did use job sites to find them, but besides that middleman, the first person I talked to was the HR for that company. Also, most of the jobs that were direct were virtual-office jobs, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. I could see how those types of jobs might be more direct hire, since recruiters are often regional.

    I totally agree with you on how crappy recruiters typically are, though. I've found that the quality of the team suffers in companies that rely on recruiters, and the recruiter is usually pushier than a used car salesman at the end of the month. I've learned to be much pickier about my job selection, and have found finding jobs without a recruiter is usually far better.



  • That's a whole 'nother issue. I gave up on looking for remote/virtual office work after finding absolutely NOTHING. You read Hacker News and they act like 80% of the jobs out there are remote, you look for actual work and there's jack shit.

    I'd accept 20% less pay if I could get a job with 20 minutes or less commute time, which would be a great incentive for an employer were those jobs to exist. But no, there are no software development jobs in Snohomish County, fuck you for asking.



  • I wonder if that's just the situation in the .NET (and I presume Java) worlds.

    You get larger, more conservative companies. They have outsourced their recruitment because that's just what they are used to doing. They want their coders where they can see them, and not sitting home in their underwear, doing God knows what.



  • @cartman82 Maybe, but I've been avoiding the two giants in my area, Microsoft and Amazon. But I think I'm about to give up on that idea, too.



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @cartman82 Maybe, but I've been avoiding the two giants in my area, Microsoft and Amazon. But I think I'm about to give up on that idea, too.

    I don't think Amazon is doing .NET things.

    And Microsoft is scary, dude. Their tests aren't joke at all. You better hit leetcode.com...



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    That's a whole 'nother issue. I gave up on looking for remote/virtual office work after finding absolutely NOTHING. You read Hacker News and they act like 80% of the jobs out there are remote, you look for actual work and there's jack shit.

    Where are you searching? Granted, it's been about 4 years since I looked for a job, but I remember a decent amount of telecommuting jobs in software. Maybe not 80%, but it's a growing number for sure. There are even sites that specialize in placing remote jobs.

    The site I used to find my current job was Stack Overflow Careers. What I like about it is if an employer is using that site to find employees, it typically means someone who is actually technical is part of the hiring process, rather than a clueless HR person. When you go through Monster or Career Builder it seems all I get are noise from recruiters, some of whom are even trying to get me into the exciting world of insurance sales.



  • @The_Quiet_One It's a great job, if you can hack it. Most people can't, though.



  • I've never actually gotten a job via a recruiter. I still talk to them but things have always worked out that I didn't need them. I ignore the ones that are just mass emailing their lists.

    I do not want to talk on the phone unless I have a clue what industry and what technology and what environment I am going to be in.

    I'm in NYC so there are a couple of companies that do a matchmaking for start-ups in the NYC area.

    I am currently working on the coding assignment from a company that all engineers are remote from listing my resume at Vettery.com.
    Next week, I am going to a meetup for Crowded.com.

    I have thrown my resume at Amazon for the hell of it. They have some local to NYC jobs.



  • @Karla and all, I got my current job via a recruiter that happened to blind call me if I remember correctly. That was 10 years ago, and I'm still there. Been quite happy, and would do it again if I wasn't so happy with my current job.


  • BINNED

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    I've been avoiding the two giants in my area, Microsoft and Amazon.

    why?

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    But I think I'm about to give up on that idea, too

    Good. Also there are Google and Facebook, recently doing lots of hiring



  • @dse said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    why?

    I aim for the sweet spot between "company is too small to have an HR department" and "company is so huge you spend half your time engrossed in corporate bullshit".



  • @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Where are you searching?

    Mostly LinkedIn.

    I signed up for Monster but it's complete garbage nowadays.

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    There are even sites that specialize in placing remote jobs.

    I tried Hired and some place called WeWorkRemotely, but Hired "rejected" me (makes it easy to hit their guarantee when they can arbitrarily say "you don't get to use our service), and WeWorkRemotely had very few listings. I need to try it again.

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    The site I used to find my current job was Stack Overflow Careers.

    I don't have a Stack Overflow account and I'm not keen on creating one. Plus I imagine people on that site ignore you unless you have a certain number of moronic internet fantasy gaming pointzzz. Frankly I don't want to interview with anybody who thinks StackOverflow scorepoints has anything to do with being a quality software developer.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    I aim for the sweet spot between "company is too small to have an HR department" and "company is so huge you spend half your time engrossed in corporate bullshit".

    I used to work with a guy whose previous job was at Amazon. From the stories he tells, you're probably making the right decision here.



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Plus I imagine people on that site ignore you unless you have a certain number of moronic internet fantasy gaming pointzzz.

    I got an interview from an ad there with zero of their points. It's worth looking.



  • @masonwheeler To be generous, I'd call my feedback on Amazon "mixed".

    @wharrgarbl said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    I got an interview from an ad there with zero of their points. It's worth looking.

    Hm. Thanks for the tip, maybe I will then.


  • BINNED

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Mostly LinkedIn.

    I got my last job through LinkedIn. But I was not actively looking for a job, and the recruiter contacted me. Then there was a phone interview and later 6 hours of onsite interview (not counting 1 hour for lunch).



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Where are you searching?

    Mostly LinkedIn.

    LinkedIn is great if you want someone you knew in a prior job to hook you up. Besides that, recruiting through LinkedIn is a dead-end.

    I signed up for Monster but it's complete garbage nowadays.

    Agreed. Monster used to be great, but it's basically become a second middleman for recruiters.

    I don't have a Stack Overflow account and I'm not keen on creating one. Plus I imagine people on that site ignore you unless you have a certain number of moronic internet fantasy gaming pointzzz. Frankly I don't want to interview with anybody who thinks StackOverflow scorepoints has anything to do with being a quality software developer.

    I had a similar experience to wharrgarbl. I have less than 10 points and the guys who hired me from the site didn't care. I'm sure there are employers who do care, of course, but not everyone there cares. They see SO Careers as just a good source for software engineer candidates.



  • I know recruiters down here go crazy whenever I update anything on Dice. That can be enough to preemptively start up the annual call frenzy.



  • @masonwheeler said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    I aim for the sweet spot between "company is too small to have an HR department" and "company is so huge you spend half your time engrossed in corporate bullshit".

    I used to work with a guy whose previous job was at Amazon. From the stories he tells, you're probably making the right decision here.

    I used to work with someone who worked at Amazon also. His comment about that company is not appropriate for delicate ears.



  • In my experience - yes, but it's much tougher. You need to hit the right combination of knowing someone and hitting the right company at the right time with the right approach. Having a network of contacts can help, but unless your contact seriously loves you and is a major big-shot at the company, the best they can do is move your resume near the top of the pile if the company is actually looking to hire somebody right now. You still gotta pass all the levels of screening and interviewing, including the clueless HR people maybe dropping your resume because it doesn't have the right buzzwords on it.

    Recruiters can be sleazy, but if there's a recruiter involved, that tells you that the company has a position and wants to fill it badly enough to pay recruiters' fees to do it. Recruiters can also be pushy on the company side too, which helps get them moving once they express a little interest in you, without the social cost to you of you personally being pushy about the position.

    In my last job search, the Recruiter positions moved things along much faster than the open application ones.



  • I got my last job myself and the current one through a recruiter. The last job was pretty much my first full time job out of college. It was pretty shitty, and I spent way too much time there.

    I was pretty happy with the way this recruiter placed me. I had about 50%/50% experience doing coding/server admin and the recruiter told me to get rid of the server admin stuff since they were looking for a coder. Not sure if that helped at all, but I aced the interview and have been working there for 4 years now.

    I did have a bad experience with a recruiter many moons ago. The recruiter was Robert Half, inc, and they placed me in the princeton review.

    I had already gotten an internship at another place, but this place was paying 40% more. I don't remember the details, but lets just say there was one day that I showed up there and after waiting for about an hour, my recruiter called me and told me that they couldn't see me that day (even though other people were being seen). I only worked there for about 2 months (due to however the schedule was set up), and I was not able to come back to my internship, who of course were very unhappy that I quit to go pursue this other job. Had I stayed at the internship and did well, I could've probably gotten a part time after school job there, and the place was right on campus.

    Also I have been hearing from vettery and crowded.com, but haven't really pursued it yet, since I'm not really looking for a job. Part of me wonders though, should I just see what's out there?



  • @dangeRuss said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Part of me wonders though, should I just see what's out there?

    Mainly grass, cement, asphalt and pesky humans 😜



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Where are you searching?

    Mostly LinkedIn.

    I signed up for Monster but it's complete garbage nowadays.

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    There are even sites that specialize in placing remote jobs.

    I tried Hired and some place called WeWorkRemotely, but Hired "rejected" me (makes it easy to hit their guarantee when they can arbitrarily say "you don't get to use our service), and WeWorkRemotely had very few listings. I need to try it again.

    @The_Quiet_One said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    The site I used to find my current job was Stack Overflow Careers.

    I don't have a Stack Overflow account and I'm not keen on creating one. Plus I imagine people on that site ignore you unless you have a certain number of moronic internet fantasy gaming pointzzz. Frankly I don't want to interview with anybody who thinks StackOverflow scorepoints has anything to do with being a quality software developer.

    DAMN KIDS AND THEIR NEWFANGLED TECHNOLOGY!!!! Why won't they stay off my lawn?



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    So I've been looking for work for a couple months. (Unemployment is fun!) Since I've had bad experiences with recruiters in the past, and I believe the way they're paid doesn't benefit either the candidate or the company, I decided to try to do a job search without using any recruiters.

    This is apparently impossible.

    I put in contacts with like 130+ companies over the last couple months, and they're all black-holed. All of them. And probably 20 of those involved me contacting people in my network and talking to them directly about the position. The only company out of all of those that actually got back to me was Alaskan Airlines, and it was just to say the position had been filled. Sigh.

    So last week I gave up and started talking to recruiters. As a result, I had an excellent phone interview on Thursday and now I have an in-person interview scheduled. In less than a week of working with a recruiter, I have an interview. (I'm probably not going to take the job unless they REALLY blow me away in-person, but. Still.)

    What's the deal here? I still don't want to do business with recruiters, but is that even possible in 2017 Seattle area?

    3 jobs since I got my A.A. in 2010:

    • .Net Developer/Report Writer job I got through school contacts ~ 4.5 years
    • Network Admin job I got through a cold contact via recruiter on linked in ~1.5 years
    • .Net Developer position after Active job searching and most of my good contacts through CyberCoders.com. ~1 year

    2 jobs through recruiters. Lots of bad/spammy recruiters out there and out of every 100 "hits", I got an interview or two. But... wading through the mire, it did work and I am gainfully employed.



  • @dangeRuss said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    The recruiter was Robert Half

    I've heard nothing but bad things about Robert Half



  • @JazzyJosh said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @dangeRuss said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    The recruiter was Robert Half

    I've heard nothing but bad things about Robert Half

    I will keep that in mind, as I see their listings and have spoke to a few on the phone.



  • Last time around was 2011 using Dice. I prefer to look for listings that have a name and phone number so that I can pester them about my resumΓ©/application. I don't think my present employer furnished that information, but somehow things worked out anyway.



  • Update even though nobody gives a shit:

    1. I've given up and talked to two recruiting agencies. One of them got me an interview like within 72 hours, but I didn't make the grade. The other has a proven track record, because I've worked with them in the past. (In fact they got me the job I was laid off from that caused this whole unemployment funjoy.)

    2. StackOverflow does indeed have a pretty good jobs site. My only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be a page/view that lists all the jobs you've already applied to. It does email you when you apply, so it's not a big deal. In particular, I like how SO forces employers to use their "quick apply" system instead of making it optional like LinkedIn/Monster/Etc do.

    3. Still unemployed.



  • Yes. My current contract which is going on now since the start of this year and I've had an extension of another 6 months, I got by googling Job ads and setting up alerts on several job boards.

    It was 15-20 minute conversation on the phone and then another conversation via skype and I had a contract.

    I was using Jobsite though. I have no idea if it is UK only.

    LinkedIn is a total waste of time now.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @blakeyrat I don't get it either. Agencies seem to be everywhere. I have the reverse problem that I can't get applicants in without agencies and they end up lying to me and doctoring the CVs and making decisions for me on who is suitable because they think their pre-interview check of the candidates adds value.

    It's really frustrating that these muppets think I care for candidates who can answer the question "What can you tell me about the job you're applying for?" Because clearly as a manager I have early onset dementia and need reminders what roles I'm recruiting for.

    Good luck to you with finding something.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Update even though nobody gives a shit:

    1. I've given up and talked to two recruiting agencies. One of them got me an interview like within 72 hours, but I didn't make the grade. The other has a proven track record, because I've worked with them in the past. (In fact they got me the job I was laid off from that caused this whole unemployment funjoy.)

    2. StackOverflow does indeed have a pretty good jobs site. My only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be a page/view that lists all the jobs you've already applied to. It does email you when you apply, so it's not a big deal. In particular, I like how SO forces employers to use their "quick apply" system instead of making it optional like LinkedIn/Monster/Etc do.

    3. Still unemployed.

    What happened with the current job? You seemed to like it there.



  • @Polygeekery said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    What happened with the current job? You seemed to like it there.

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    (In fact they got me the job I was laid off from that caused this whole unemployment funjoy.)


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat thanks. That tells me fuck-all.



  • @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Update even though nobody gives a shit:

    1. I've given up and talked to two recruiting agencies. One of them got me an interview like within 72 hours, but I didn't make the grade. The other has a proven track record, because I've worked with them in the past. (In fact they got me the job I was laid off from that caused this whole unemployment funjoy.)

    I've actually done the opposite but I am employed and can afford to be more discriminating.

    I've been declined after code homework and code live test.

    Being primarily a ColdFusion programmer sucks at this point.

    I'm doing some .NET work here, and have some PHP experience but not enough to get past a tech interview.

    I hope to find something that will allow some time for me to acclimate to their stack.

    1. StackOverflow does indeed have a pretty good jobs site. My only complaint is that there doesn't seem to be a page/view that lists all the jobs you've already applied to. It does email you when you apply, so it's not a big deal. In particular, I like how SO forces employers to use their "quick apply" system instead of making it optional like LinkedIn/Monster/Etc do.

    I do like StackOverflow jobs and agree on your suggestion about listing all the jobs you've already applied to.

    1. Still unemployed.

    undefined



  • @Polygeekery said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @blakeyrat thanks. That tells me fuck-all.

    He was laid off.

    Parse better.



  • @Karla It might be worth doing a certification or going through the materials for a Certification in say ASP.NET MVC. ColdFusion looks a lot like ASP.NET Webforms.

    Also

    While it obviously not good just to parrot answers, there are some things that is worth knowing about the .NET stack.





  • @lucas1 said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @Karla It might be worth doing a certification or going through the materials for a Certification in say ASP.NET MVC. ColdFusion looks a lot like ASP.NET Webforms.

    Also

    While it obviously not good just to parrot answers, there are some things that is worth knowing about the .NET stack.

    Thanks.

    I had to code sample project and I couldn't get all the pieces working together (Identity, testing).

    We don't do unit testing here (soon, I hope) and our users are validated through Active Directory.

    .Net being a compiled language and other overall complexities I am still trying to learn and get used to.

    It also didn't help that I didn't realize .NET Core changed so many things and didn't even match the PluralSight course teaching Core.

    I'll keep learning...will put together a small project once I figure out these things for the next interview.


  • Dupa

    @Karla said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @lucas1 said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @Karla It might be worth doing a certification or going through the materials for a Certification in say ASP.NET MVC. ColdFusion looks a lot like ASP.NET Webforms.

    Also

    While it obviously not good just to parrot answers, there are some things that is worth knowing about the .NET stack.

    Thanks.

    I had to code sample project and I couldn't get all the pieces working together (Identity, testing).

    We don't do unit testing here (soon, I hope) and our users are validated through Active Directory.

    .Net being a compiled language and other overall complexities I am still trying to learn and get used to.

    It also didn't help that I didn't realize .NET Core changed so many things and didn't even match the PluralSight course teaching Core.

    I'll keep learning...will put together a small project once I figure out these things for the next interview.

    It's not a good moment to learn NET Core, if you're not doing this for fun. Better learn full framework first and then jump to core for personal projects and stuff. It's not stable enough yet for job hunting.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Karla said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    .Net being a compiled language

    undefined .NET is not a language. It's a platform for CLR languages.


  • SockDev

    @Karla said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    .Net being a compiled language and other overall complexities I am still trying to learn and get used to.

    Please tell me you have Visual Studio Community, at least πŸ˜›

    @Karla said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    It also didn't help that I didn't realize .NET Core changed so many things and didn't even match the PluralSight course teaching Core.

    Forget Core: it's a long way off being viable. Just stick with the regular .NET Framework: it's what most places will be using anyway.



  • @Karla As @kt_ said .NET core is all over the place. I wouldn't touch it.

    When I learned the newer MVC stuff I used this:

    By it maybe out of date now.

    @masonwheeler and @RaceProUK probably know better than I.


  • SockDev

    @lucas1 said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    By it maybe out of date now.
    @masonwheeler and @RaceProUK probably know better than I.

    Let's have a look...

    ASP.NET MVC 3
    Entity Framework 4

    Holy outdated versions, Batman! πŸ™‚

    To be fair though, a lot of the fundamentals will be broadly the same between ASP.NET MVC 3 and MVC 5, and between Entity Framework 4 and 6. Still, I think it's worth looking for tutorials that use the newer versions, especially as the newer stuff will have more useful features lacking in the older stuff.



  • @RaceProUK Might see if I get time at the weekend to update it.



  • @RaceProUK said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Holy outdated versions, Batman!

    I still got MVC 2 sites running.



  • @Polygeekery It tells you that I was laid off from the job I enjoyed, which is the answer to the question you asked.

    When people ask a question directly after I'd just given them the answer, I usually just quote myself giving them the answer again. This assumes the ability to read written English, possibly a bad assumption.



  • @RaceProUK said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    Holy outdated versions, Batman!

    I bet 90% of the example still works fine. In any case, if the goal is to learn C#, it hardly matters how old the libraries are-- it's still C#. Don't get distracted from the goal of the exercise with trivialities like version numbers.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said in Is it possible to get a job interview without going through a recruiter?:

    @Polygeekery It tells you that I was laid off from the job I enjoyed, which is the answer to the question you asked.

    When people ask a question directly after I'd just given them the answer, I usually just quote myself giving them the answer again. This assumes the ability to read written English, possibly a bad assumption.

    Or you could be a non-fuckwad and give more detail in to what happened. This assumes you are not a fuckwad, probably a bad assumption.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Polygeekery Aren't you Miss Nosey Parker! If he doesn't want to give details, he doesn't have to give details.


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