Recruiters – Before You Call, Do a Little Research

As some of you may know we right now are hiring a mid-level engineer for our team. We’ve noticed in the past few weeks quite the influx of recruiters calling us trying to fill the position. As a company we’ve never used a recruiter in the past, its not that we’ve been closed minded to it, it’s just that we never have had a good experience with one for multiple reasons.  We’re paying the recruiter part a fee for finding us these great people, so they should be doing a little work on their end too.

With a recruiter we expect that the applicant has been pre-screened so that they match what we’re looking for roughly.  Half the time we have anyone call us they don’t even know what type of company we are, come on at least visit our webpage.  I don’t want to have to explain that we are a PHP shop with a heavy Symfony influence, you should already know that.  Of course, once we mention PHP and that we’re looking for a mid level person, the recruiter always has someone that we need to talk to.  This is the best fit for us.

This brings me to my second pet peeve, non-technical recruiters doing technical recruiting.  Now the recruiter know’s we want PHP developers, so they filter their resumes by PHP.  Often the next question is oh are you using Apache? Tomcat? IIS? Node?  For the most part, what does this have to do with it, but no we aren’t primarily using java or a javascript web server.  Often it is clear the recruiter who insists they’ve personally screened the person has no clue what they are talking about, they just are trying to match keywords to a resume.

Third, stop pushing to get me to come to your office to interview candidates I have no idea who they are.  Often on these calls after they’ve learened who we are and what we want, they want me to jump on a call or come into their office to do interviews with their perfect match candidates.  Everyone is busy, I want to see some resumes before going into these first round interviews, otherwise they could be a total waste of both our time.

Lastly, we’re a consulting firm, this means we have clients.  I can’t tell you how many times a recruiter doesn’t look at our clients list and then proceeds to give us people who still work for our clients.  A heads up, most of our contracts do not allow us to hire directly from a client while we are engaged with them (some even for a period there after).  Nevertheless, if the client ever saw us and thought we’d were stealing or aggressively recruiting their employees we can kiss that relationship good bye.

What do I want from a recruiter?  First, I want you to have some technical knowledge, at least know what groups of technologies go together and that LAMP is not a word but an acronym.  Second, take 5-10 minutes, look at our website, projects, blog, and clients make sure whomever you are telling us is a great fit actually has a good chance of being a good fit.  Third, send me a resume, remove all the contact information if you’re worried about us going direct to them, before trying to push me to either jump on a phone interview or come to your office.

Finally, if I’ve said no thank you we’re fine for now, do not continue to email and call me saying that you do have a better candidate.

This may come off as a bit of a rant, but really I hope some recruiters read this and understand that we would be happy to look at your candidates if you’ve put a little effort into making sure they are actually a good fit.