Sunday, March 16, 2008

The problem with tech recruiters

This quote was pulled from a post on the Joel on Software forum. The post is about providing a salary history to a recruiting firm. Partway down, a recruiter (likely with an axe to grind), makes a couple of serious posts. Most of the points are easily refuted or quite weak and somebody on the forums does a good job of picking these out.

But the recruiter also makes a good point:
Why don't we know the difference between a 60K and a 100K programmer? Because only a programmer could tell the difference and if the person was all hat, no cattle or the real deal. Most programmers would prefer to, say, program, than wade through 20 resumes and phone screens just to get to talk to two people who might be a good fit for whatever reason.
Of course she's perfectly right. And this is the fundamental problem with technical recruiters: They're completely unqualified to do the job.

It's not their "fault" per se, it's just endemic to the field. Being a good tech recruiter requires a ton of technical background, plus some business savvy, some sales skills, some research skills, networking skills and a ton of patience. Of course, if you already have all of these skills, then you have a job that pays way more than being a recruiter!

Personally, I would rather just avoid the recruiters all together and seek out the job I'm looking for rather than the other way around. Of course, YMMV.

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