"Clarification" on Job Posting



  •  A recruiter comes to me with a position requiring recent VB6 development experience.  I think to myself, ok VB6 is ancient history at this point, so I wonder what they are converting.  I say I assume this person is converting from vb6 to something else. What is the "something else"?

    The answer, verbatim:
    "They are trying to get rid of VB6 so they need a developer to put all the data (written in VB6) into data feeds. Hope this helps clarify! "

     

    The data is "written in VB6"?  HUH?  What are the feeds?  XML?  What language?  What. do. you. want. me. to. make... haha.



  • Makes sense to me. They're warning you that it's going to be hideously broken XML written by some broke-ass string concatenation function hacked together in VB6.



  • Doesn't make sense to me. You don't write data in VB6, you write applications (which pedantically are data of a kind, but not in the behavioural/objective sense of the term within IT). They're confusing a programming language with an application with what the application produces.

    I understand that they're probably trying to explain that the only way of accessing their data is through some application written in VB6, but that's me interpolating facts. With a description so vague, I wouldn't accept the position until seeking further clarification from the client themselves - I've made dangerous assumptions in the past (particularly when the pimp refuses to allow direct contact with the client). 



  • @Cassidy said:

    I've made dangerous assumptions in the past (particularly when the pimp refuses to allow direct contact with the client). 

    In my experience, recruiters are not the tech savvy kind. Alarm bells go off in my head if I sense that someone is trying to explain something to me that they don't really understand. Particularly because there is the very real and present danger that the person who explained it to them, didn't explain it very well.



  • @toon said:

    ... there is the very real and present danger that the person who explained it to them, didn't explain it very well.

    See.. this is what I can't understand. 

    We live in a world where it's possible for the person who explained it actually put this information in writing, and for it to be passed directly to the contractor directly both electronically or in snail mail format. Not only does remove the possibility of chinese whispers occuring when the agency drops a man-for-the-muddle attack into the process, documenting those requirements means there's some recourse should there be some variation between advertised position and actual reality.

    Why can't the recruiter simply ask "email me exactly what you want" from the client then that info (stripped of identifying information if necessary) just be forwarded on?



  • @toon said:

    In my experience, recruiters are not the tech savvy kind. Alarm bells go off in my head if I sense that someone is trying to explain something to me that they don't really understand. Particularly because there is the very real and present danger that the person who explained it to them, didn't explain it very well.

    The other day I received a call from a recruiter who asked me if I had any experience with "data mapping". I told him that I wasn't sure what that was, and I wasn't familiar with the term, and asked him to define it. He didn't really know himself how to explain it, and I started wondering what in the world it could be - could it be data binding, as used in ASP.NET and WPF/Silverlight? Nah, he would have called it that if that's what it was... could it be transforming data from one format to another, e.g. from XML to JSON? Maybe... but then for some reason I decided to ask him, "Do you mean something like designing web forms for data entry?" And to my surprise he said "yes, that's it!"



  • @Cassidy said:

    @toon said:

    ... there is the very real and present danger that the person who explained it to them, didn't explain it very well.

    See.. this is what I can't understand. 

    We live in a world where it's possible for the person who explained it actually put this information in writing, and for it to be passed directly to the contractor directly both electronically or in snail mail format. Not only does remove the possibility of chinese whispers occuring when the agency drops a man-for-the-muddle attack into the process, documenting those requirements means there's some recourse should there be some variation between advertised position and actual reality.

    Why can't the recruiter simply ask "email me exactly what you want" from the client then that info (stripped of identifying information if necessary) just be forwarded on?

    I have to wonder what world you guys live in. Whenever I've been contacted by recruiters (which is all the fucking time they are spamming my voicemail and inbox) they include a full job description in the email. If there's any ambiguity, I can ask for clarification and usually get a sensible answer within a day or so.



  • @toon said:

    In my experience, recruiters are not the tech savvy kind.

    In my experience, they usually know enough to explain the position. No, they're not experts (why would they be?) but they have a much higher-than-average knowledge of software development.



  • @ekolis said:

    The other day I received a call from a recruiter who asked me if I had any experience with "data mapping". I told him that I wasn't sure what that was, and I wasn't familiar with the term, and asked him to define it. He didn't really know himself how to explain it, and I started wondering what in the world it could be - could it be data binding, as used in ASP.NET and WPF/Silverlight? Nah, he would have called it that if that's what it was... could it be transforming data from one format to another, e.g. from XML to JSON? Maybe... but then for some reason I decided to ask him, "Do you mean something like designing web forms for data entry?" And to my surprise he said "yes, that's it!"
     

    I needed you there the time a recruiter asked me if I'd ever done any "scripting".

    That's like asking for the definition of the word "run" or "set" (check Webster's unabridged; we'll wait).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I have to wonder what world you guys live in.

    The one that features idiot recruiters, as well as good ones - which probably coincides with many others, judging by many front-page articles - hell, even Snoofle wrote of one just prior to Christmas.

    Your experience indicates you've managed to find some with clue hammered into them, and completely miss those who mindlessly match some term on your CV tenuously against a spec requirement.

    I'm not jealous at all.

    Oh, no.

    Honest.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I have to wonder what world you guys live in.

    The one that features idiot recruiters, as well as good ones - which probably coincides with many others, judging by many front-page articles - hell, even Snoofle wrote of one just prior to Christmas.

    Your experience indicates you've managed to find some with clue hammered into them, and completely miss those who mindlessly match some term on your CV tenuously against a spec requirement.

    I'm not jealous at all.

    Oh, no.

    Honest.

    I did have 1 recruiter who tried to get me to lie to a company and pretend I'd worked for several years with a technology I'd only heard of. But he wasn't really ignorant, just evil.



  • My first thought on reading the opening sentence was that SpectateSwamp was looking for someone to port SSDS from VB5 to VB6.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I have to wonder what world you guys live in. Whenever I've been contacted by recruiters (which is all the fucking time they are spamming my voicemail and inbox) they include a full job description in the email. If there's any ambiguity, I can ask for clarification and usually get a sensible answer within a day or so.
     

    In the world I live in, I get email that says nothing more than "Hello Steve, I have an interesting opportunity, please send me a CV!"



  •  I repeatedly get emails about jobs to do with ColdFusion, despite me not actually knowing this language (the only time I'd ever come into contact with it was to convert a website from CF into PHP)

    When I asked why, admittedlly in an extremely sarcastic manner because this was the umpteenth time that I'd been sent a useless offer from them, I was told that it was all because I hadn't updated my CV like they ask in the tiny footer print of each email.

    The idiot who was responsible for clicking the 'match keywords indiscriminately' button on their CV scraper app then tried to claim that his job was far more skilled than mine (did I mention I was a bit sarcastic in my reply?) because he commanded a higher salary than me. Personally, I think that's a mixture of greed in the placement industry and dumb luck. I wouldn't call a footballer (the English kind who get ridiculously huge pay packets for kicking a bit of leather/plastic around a field) more skilled than a vet, but that's what the dipshit at the agency was trying to get across.



  • @Steve The Cynic said:

    In the world I live in, I get email that says nothing more than "Hello Steve, I have an interesting opportunity, please send me a CV!"

     

    What a horrible world that is. At least I get some details, but usually the offer consists of "Career changing opportunities" and "major salary improvement" and other such lies.

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.

     



  • @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.
     

    I've always assume it means "Monster.com charges us $100 to search for matches and get email address, or $1000 to search for matches and get the resumes. Our recruitment firm is run by cheap fucking bastards who need to cut corners at every opportunity to save a penny. We'll lie, cheat and steal and would stab our own nut-sack in the back if it meant an extra sliver of profit. Run, little morsel. Run fast and far."



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.
     

    I've always assume it means "Monster.com charges us $100 to search for matches and get email address, or $1000 to search for matches and get the resumes. Our recruitment firm is run by cheap fucking bastards who need to cut corners at every opportunity to save a penny. We'll lie, cheat and steal and would stab our own nut-sack in the back if it meant an extra sliver of profit. Run, little morsel. Run fast and far."

    This, and probably just lazy.  If they send out 1000 emails, and assume only 2% respond (number pulled from my ass, sideways), that means they'll get at least 20 responses.  All just for writing a single email vs. actually doing any real fucking work and pre-screening the emails to ensure a better match, thus a higher yield.

    I constantly get emails like this:

    - Length: 3 months

    - Rate: Negotiable [or $15/hr less then what you currently get]

    - Skills required: [not a single fucking match]

    - Location: 3,500 KM from where you currently live

    Christ, I get emails about Java roles because I have JavaScript on there, not to mention the fact that they missed the 0% travel and no relocation mentioned.  It pisses me off so much that I now respond "Didn't you READ my fucking resume?!"



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.
     

    I've always assume it means "Monster.com charges us $100 to search for matches and get email address, or $1000 to search for matches and get the resumes. Our recruitment firm is run by cheap fucking bastards who need to cut corners at every opportunity to save a penny. We'll lie, cheat and steal and would stab our own nut-sack in the back if it meant an extra sliver of profit. Run, little morsel. Run fast and far."

    Nut-sack? I thought they used those big nasty ear lobes for that sort of thing?



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    It pisses me off so much that I now respond "Didn't you READ my fucking resume?!"
    You do realise that devilspawn are impervious to scorn, right? I'm often tempted to agree to go along to whatever interview they can arrange and then just not turn up. If we all did that, their clients would rapidly get extremely pissed-off and they might learn something.



  • @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.

    1. If you respond with a resume, that is a small, but very real commitment to move forward if the client is interested.
    2. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.
    Not rocket science.

     



  • @Rick said:

    @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?" - wait what? So the client doesn't have internet? Or perhaps they just don't want to admit they found someone through a website.

    1. If you respond with a resume, that is a small, but very real commitment to move forward if the client is interested.
    2. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.
    Not rocket science.
    And this is why getting a direct contract is the best.  You'll get a higher rate, and they'll pay less because they don't have to pay for the recruiters overhead. A win-win, really.


  • @erikal said:

    The ones I find the most funny is: "I read your online resume and it seems to be a perfect match. Can you please send me your up to date resume so I can send it to the client?"
     

    There is also an implication that your online resume is outdated.

    @Rick said:

    The recruiter will remove your contact information
    from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.
    Not rocket science.

    But removing contact information from an online resume IS rocket science to a recruiter?

    @fterfi secure said:

    I'm often tempted to agree to go along to
    whatever interview they can arrange and then just not turn up. If we all
    did that, their clients would rapidly get extremely pissed-off and they
    might learn something.

    I have pulled this trick a few times - well, not a no-show, but arrived at an interview only to discover quite early on that I've been mis-sold and spent the rest of the time expressing surprise at the gap between how I've been marketed and my actual capabilities. During the natter I've tried to seek out other opportunities they may have and get a greater feel for the place, just to see if I'll consider any other vacancies that may arise.

    I don't know how many times recruiters have had a kicking over it, but I've made it clear during the follow-up call that the client was (pretty annoyed|quite outraged|fairly shocked) when they realised just how much miscommunication had taken place.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    And this is why getting a direct contract is the best.  You'll get a higher rate, and they'll pay less because they don't have to pay for the recruiters overhead. A win-win, really.
     

    So what you're saying is that I should put up a fake resume under a fake name, wait to be contacted by a recruiter, agree to the interview, get the company name + location, not show-- then directly contact the company later with my real name and resume as if I just found them, thus saving us both the hassle of working with a recruiter?

    I hope that's what you're saying. Because I'm not saying it. It'd be highly effective unethical, and we certainly couldn't [b]say[/b] to do that.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:

    And this is why getting a direct contract is the best.  You'll get a higher rate, and they'll pay less because they don't have to pay for the recruiters overhead. A win-win, really.
     

    So what you're saying is that I should put up a fake resume under a fake name, wait to be contacted by a recruiter, agree to the interview, get the company name + location, not show-- then directly contact the company later with my real name and resume as if I just found them, thus saving us both the hassle of working with a recruiter?

    I hope that's what you're saying. Because I'm not saying it. It'd be highly effective unethical, and we certainly couldn't say to do that.

    Oh, uh, yeah!  No, unethical is bad, right?

    We're joking about this, but I've seen people do it (kind of).  They're work contract for, say 6 months, then leave for a couple of months, then go back direct or as a full-time. That can get you in a lot of deep shit, but I've seen it done...

    Also, depending on the client, for example public sector (Canada), you must go through a recruiting agency for insurance reasons, and because they all have a "no-direct contracting" policy.  Our tax dollars at work...



  • @Rick said:

    1. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.

    I call shenanigans. I've never received a resume from a recruiter that had contact info scrubbed.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Rick said:

    1. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.

    I call shenanigans. I've never received a resume from a recruiter that had contact info scrubbed.

     

    I call shenanigans. I've never recieved a candidate that had the recruiter scrubbed from them.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Rick said:
    1. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.

    I call shenanigans. I've never received a resume from a recruiter that had contact info scrubbed.

    I've seen it. Mine. When I got the job where I am now, it was through a recruiter, and I saw the copy of my resume that the recruiter had passed along - it was completely absent the header where my contact details were, and was replaced with the recruiter's letterhead instead. And it wasn't until the second interview that the recruiter told me who the client was (the second interview was with the client) as they didn't want me contacting them directly. And when I went to the interview, and they started discussing salary and contract arrangements, I got absolutely ripped to pieces by the recruiter for daring to discuss such topics directly with the client instead of through them.

    In the end though, the client side-stepped them and hired me directly rather than through their sub-contracting arrangement.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Rick said:
    1. The recruiter will remove your contact information from a resume that you send him, requiring the client to deal with him.

    I call shenanigans. I've never received a resume from a recruiter that had contact info scrubbed.

    I haven't either (because we dropped our agencies for being morons), but I have been in interviews where they have a photocopy of my CV with contact info at the bottom missing. I presume this is from the pimp who scrubbed it.



  • Great, I feel happy bitching and moaning a bit (one of the great purposes of this forum), I even get a little consent and then all of a sudden people start to make valid points which put me in my rightful place again. Whats up with that!? Don't correct, say "Yeah! Lets get em!" and then bring out the torches and pitchforks dammit!



  • @Kyanar said:

    And it wasn't until the second interview that the recruiter told me who the client was (the second interview was with the client) as they didn't want me contacting them directly.

    That's not unusual, but it's usually to prevent bad candidates from trying to "sneak in" to a position the recruiter doesn't feel them qualified for.

    @Kyanar said:

    And when I went to the interview, and they started discussing salary and contract arrangements, I got absolutely ripped to pieces by the recruiter for daring to discuss such topics directly with the client instead of through them.

    I've never had a recruiter get angry for me talking with a client, but they do always want to be kept in the loop. Once they've forwarded you to the client, the recruiter considers you qualified. I've never had them worry about a client hiring me directly because 1) I'm pretty sure it would violate their contract; and 2) even if the recruiter can't sue word will get out that my company is a lying sack of shit and recruiters will refuse to work with us. The latter happened at one place I worked; the new CEO decided to stop paying our recruiters for work done and within a week I had other recruiters (ones that had never worked with the company but who knew me directly) calling me asking me what was going on. Suffice to say, no reputable recruiter would accept business from them from then on. I jumped ship a few weeks later (the new management being a clusterfuck of epic proportions--I wouldn't be shocked if they end up in prison for lying to investors).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Kyanar said:
    And it wasn't until the second interview that the recruiter told me who the client was (the second interview was with the client) as they didn't want me contacting them directly.

    That's not unusual, but it's usually to prevent bad candidates from trying to "sneak in" to a position the recruiter doesn't feel them qualified for.

    Wait, now recruiters UNDERestimate your skills and PREVENT you from going for a position? Why would they do that?



  • @ekolis said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Kyanar said:
    And it wasn't until the second interview that the recruiter told me who the client was (the second interview was with the client) as they didn't want me contacting them directly.
    That's not unusual, but it's usually to prevent bad candidates from trying to "sneak in" to a position the recruiter doesn't feel them qualified for.
    Wait, now recruiters UNDERestimate your skills and PREVENT you from going for a position? Why would they do that?
    Power trip mostly.

    Recruiters are probably the most unqualified party to make this decision seeing as they barely have a grasp of IT buzz words (I WCFed the JS with my CSS and REST, BIOTCH!).  I've had this happen to me once and it's some fucking elitist attitude because it's their client.  Well fuck, lets talk to the client and see what they think, shall we?  After I turned down the offer because I received another more favourable offer, I made it clear to the recruiter that I will never be working with her again.  It works both ways, and I think they forget that sometimes...


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