Non-WTF Recruiting - Does It Exist?



  • So, yeah, we've all seen the recruiting WTFs around here.  Has anyone ever had a positive interaction with a recruiting firm (as a candidate or a hiring manager), or is the industry just inherently fucked up?



  • Yes... just the once.

    Finding a pimp that didn't take creative liberties with your CV (resume), actually listen and take note of your preferences/constraints was a WTF in itself. Shocked me, I can tell you.

    Fortunately that exceptional individual was soon forgotten amidst the flurry of incompetent fuckwads that soon followed, and normal stereotypical service was resumed.



  • I'd say 99% of my interactions with recruiters have been positive. Part of it is going through the right firms and knowing the right people, I guess. I've found well-paying (I won't say good because the places themselves were fucked-up, but that's not the recruiter's fault) positions through them and I've hired high-quality candidates sent to me by recruiters. I got lots of chaff candidates, too, but it's hard to fault the recruiter for that; they aren't tech experts and the candidates looked okay. Hell, I think this site proves that most people in tech can't even build a widget reliably, let alone tell if a candidate can, so I don't expect recruiters to sort out every mediocre candidate.

    My only bad experience was an Indian guy who called me up about a position. He asked if I had any experience with Technology X, I said I didn't and he told me that when the employer asks that I should say I have two years worth because that's what they are looking for. Wanting to be delicate about things because I wasn't 100% sure he'd just asked me to lie, I said something like "You must've mis-heard, I don't have any experience with it so I can't tell them I do," at which point he started yelling and became somewhat verbally abusive, so I told him to suck my dick and hung up.

    All-in-all, my experience with recruiters has been very positive. It seems like the recruiters I've dealt with did their jobs better than most of the programmers I've had the misfortune of working with. I don't know why so many people have bad experiences; maybe it's a west coast vs. east coast thing, I dunno. Most of the recruiters I've dealt with were top tier, though. I think the ones we hired from we paid about $30-40k for a candidate. Maybe that's the difference.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    He asked if I had any experience with Technology X, I said I didn't and he told me that when the employer asks that I should say I have two years worth because that's what they are looking for.
     

    I wonder how many WTFs come from that type of "elaboration"? Random worker gets hired on them saying they have years of experience with X but in fact they have barely heard of it. They get thrown in the deep end and while thrashing around trying to keep their head above water produces all kinds of WTFs.



  • @Zemm said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    He asked if I had any experience with Technology X, I said I didn't and he told me that when the employer asks that I should say I have two years worth because that's what they are looking for.
     

    I wonder how many WTFs come from that type of "elaboration"? Random worker gets hired on them saying they have years of experience with X but in fact they have barely heard of it. They get thrown in the deep end and while thrashing around trying to keep their head above water produces all kinds of WTFs.

    The three jobs I held for the longest time were all on account of expertise I had picked up by independent reading: no formal class, no previous job experience.  Two were based on things I had studied up on just for the fun of it (the other was because the headhunter suggested in advance that I should look into the language involved).

    You can't do that any more, of course.  If you don't have official certification that you've learned something, it doesn't matter that you've been doing it for five years on your own.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    You can't do that any more, of course.  If you don't have official certification that you've learned something, it doesn't matter that you've been doing it for five years on your own.
     

    If you are honest with the interviewer it can only go more in your favour.

    I got my current job after being self-employed for 18 months - how can you give references if you work for yourself? :) I suppose I had a bit of a portfolio and could provide example code. This is in a similar vein on how you would approach describing your extra-curricular activities. (Trying not to make all that sound seedy)

    That is completely different to a head-hunter just saying "tell then you have that experience" when obviously all they want is their placement fee.



  • @Zemm said:

    I got my current job after being self-employed for 18 months - how can you give references if you work for yourself? :)
     

    Clients?

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    The three jobs I held for the longest time were all on account of expertise I had picked up by independent reading: no formal class, no previous job experience.  Two were based on things I had studied up on just for the fun of it (the other was because the headhunter suggested in advance that I should look into the language involved).

    You can't do that any more, of course.  If you don't have official certification that you've learned something, it doesn't matter that you've been doing it for five years on your own.

    What are you on about? I've done very well without a BS or any certification (other than an ancient Cisco certification, which has never come in handy). Admittedly, 50% or so of places will require a BS, but I'm glad they mention it up-front because it indicates to me that they would generally be terrible places to work at. It saves their time and, most importantly, it keeps me from wasting my time with a dysfunctional employer.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    What are you on about? I've done very well without a BS or any certification (other than an ancient Cisco certification, which has never come in handy). Admittedly, 50% or so of places will require a BS, but I'm glad they mention it up-front because it indicates to me that they would generally be terrible places to work at.
     

    That number looks high to me.  About 75% of software development job listings I see that even mention a degree append "or equivalent experience".

    Maybe that differs depending on location?



  • @sprained said:

    That number looks high to me.  About 75% of software development job listings I see that even mention a degree append "or equivalent experience".

    Maybe that differs depending on location?

    Maybe; I've mostly seen job listings on the East Coast and I was not counting "equivalent experience" listings. California is full of dope-smoking sex perverts, so maybe they're not as strict about credentials.



  • @Zemm said:

    I wonder how many WTFs come from that type of "elaboration"?

    Quite a number of stories here.

    @Zemm said:

    Random worker gets hired on them saying they have years of experience with X but in fact they have barely heard of it. They get thrown in the deep end and while thrashing around trying to keep their head above water produces all kinds of WTFs.

    The interview is supposed to weed out this situation - either the interviewer penetrates the bluff or the applicant realises they've just committed themselves to a future of floundering and potential disciplinary action when they can't deliver the required quality within given timescales.

    Someone I began teaching Javascript to:

    • initially stated they'd no experience of Javascript (not a problem)
    • after ten minutes stated they'd not used C-style syntax
    • later admitted no programming experience whatsoever
    • finally admitted no knowledge of HTML fundamentals
    .. but had just been employed as a "Senior Web Developer" at a large contracting company. I mentioned this to his team leader (since it would have been impossible to get him up to a basic level, let alone advanced in the allocated timeframe) who blew a gasket and stormed off to HR. His bullshit easily landed him the job when assisted by a combination of recruiter elaboration + gullible HR + HR having no clear policy governing the skillset of the interview panel.



  • @Cassidy said:

  • initially stated they'd no experience of Javascript (not a problem)
  • after ten minutes stated they'd not used C-style syntax
  • later admitted no programming experience whatsoever
  • finally admitted no knowledge of HTML fundamentals
  • Did he then admit he couldn't write ?
    Or count ?



  • @Zemm said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    He asked if I had any experience with Technology X, I said I didn't and he told me that when the employer asks that I should say I have two years worth because that's what they are looking for.
    I wonder how many WTFs come from that type of "elaboration"? Random worker gets hired on them saying they have years of experience with X but in fact they have barely heard of it. They get thrown in the deep end and while thrashing around trying to keep their head above water produces all kinds of WTFs.
    Or they become CEO of Yahoo.

     



  • @toshir0 said:

    Did he then admit he couldn't write ?

    After watching him in action for a bit, it was clear he couldn't type (or was particularly familiar with mouse/keyboard usage you'd expect of people in the web dev industry).

    @toshir0 said:

    Or count ?

    At the time, I feared I would have to write up detailed instructions on respiration. I mean, he was a nice enough bloke - just seemed incredibly out of his depth when it came to do what he was hired for.

    Either that or I was very expertly RL-trolled. But the look on his boss' face told a different tale.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    At the time, I feared I would have to write up detailed instructions on
    respiration. I mean, he was a nice enough bloke - just seemed incredibly out of
    his depth when it came to do what he was hired for.

    Either that or I was very expertly RL-trolled. But the look on his boss' face told a different tale.

    So, is he still working there?


  • @sprained said:

    So, yeah, we've all seen the recruiting WTFs around here.  Has anyone ever had a positive interaction with a recruiting firm (as a candidate or a hiring manager), or is the industry just inherently fucked up?





    I find working directly with firms - especially ones that specialize in the development of software - much more exhausting than dealing with recruiters. So I suppose my answer is "Yes." Here's my impression of how things basically go with a recruiter:



    Recruiter: Hey! You know .NOT, right? Oh, right, I mean .NET. Well, I've got a client who's looking for someone who knows .NET. Do you know the Visual Basics? Oh, good! Let's meet somewhere for lunch... maybe Crapplebee's?



    The firm that doesn't use a recruiter typically just posts a long, text advertisement repeatedly all over the Internet:




    Are you a CODE VAMPIRE?



    Here at WaffleSneeze.biz, we're looking for a handful of elite CODE VAMPIRES to join our ultra-fast paced team of CODE SAMURAIS.



    We're revolutionizing the industry of SMARTPHONE-BASED INSULT COMEDIAN REVIEWS. Founded eight minutes ago with over several thousand dollars in angel financing, WaffleSneeze.biz is changing the way people tell their friends their opinions about the day's hottest insult comics. Crowdsourcing? Check. Devops / NoSQL? Roger that. DBAs? Not at our shop, buddy. This is balls-to-the-wall, developer-centric stuff.



    Can't handle a 25-hour-workday? We don't need you. But if you think that real offices are for YOUR DAD, and that SUITS and TIES are for your GRANDPA, then you might just be the kind of CODE VAMPIRE we're looking for. Do you rearrange your Alpha-Bits into syntactically valid assembly language programs for computers that haven't even been INVENTED YET but SHOULD BE? Did you dump your last girlfriend because her birthmarks seemed to form the letters VB?




    Blah, blah, blah... these things typically go on for pages and pages, and are basically a list of some stoner's personal pet peeves. Recruiters have a purpose. It's to filter this kind of crap, which scares off anyone with any real talent.



  • @bridget99 said:

    Recruiters have a purpose. It's to filter this kind of crap, which scares off anyone with any real talent.
    Technically, you're probably right, but, unfortunately, it's not that simple.

    Recruiters are essentially salesmen.  They make money by selling you to some company.  And that becomes a problem because no sale means no money.  As a result, 99% of all salesmen, regardless of what they are selling, are lying assholes.



  • @bridget99 said:

    Can't handle a 25-hour-workday? We don't need you. But if you think that real offices are for YOUR DAD, and that SUITS and TIES are for your GRANDPA, then you might just be the kind of CODE VAMPIRE we're looking for.
    I'm just waiting for the impending all-out war between the CODE VAMPIRES and the CODE ZOMBIES.


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