Friday, August 5, 2011

Tips for Recruiting Firms

Following with my hiring theme the last two days, I thought I'd address recruiters.  I've found a few over the years that I'll actually talk to when they call.  Then, there are the others.  The "others" come in a few styles, all of them annoying.  Here are the various types of recruiters:

1. Spam-cruiter:  You know these kind.  These are the ones that email you for jobs that don't make sense.  The jobs could be 3-month contracts half a country away or for some technology that's nowhere on your resume.  Thankfully, GMail has a great spam filter.

2. The Uniformed: These are the ones who just don't care enough to learn what they're trying to hire.  I've literally received a call for a "C pound" job.  No, I didn't just spell out "#," the guy actually thought that is the name of the language.  There's nothing wrong with admitting that you're not well-informed about a certain technology, but don't act like you know.  However, do some research.  No candidate expects a recruiter to be able to write the code, but he/she does expect to not be represented by a lazy idiot.

3. The Sleaze: Oh, this one is probably the worst of the bunch.  One of the tell-tale signs of this waste of oxygen is modifying your resume.  I'm not talking about branding it like everyone does, but will re-write part or all of your resume to really sell you.  Now, you may think that sounds like a deal, but odds are you'll be exposed in the interview.  This also happened to me early in my career.  Thankfully, I had a copy of my resume with me (the one I wrote).  I didn't get the job anyway, but I did find out that the company stopped using that recruiting firm. 

4. Means well, but overworked: This recruiter is not in the top three and would be a Class A recruiter, but they have a hard time returning calls.  Typically, these wind up as my Class B.  My B's are who I call after a couple of weeks without any leads from my A's.

5. Grade A's: These are good all around.  They know you, either because they've met with you (probably a free lunch) or at least talked to you on the phone long enough to get know you.  They usually have something that would interest you or will try to sell you proactively.  When you call and leave a message, odds are you get a call back within 24 hours.  Hold on to these recruiters as they'll take care of you at least once.

If you're a St. Louis technologist looking for a job and want a contact from my Grade A's, I'll share.  Just post with an email and I'll send them to you.

Recruiters, check yourself against this list.  If you fit into 1-3, fix it!  You won't be successful as one of those.  If you're a 4, you're almost there, find a little more time to call your current contacts back and you'll become a Grade A.

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