Maybe all it takes is one or two bad experiences with an inexperienced recruiter with very little technology knowledge to get under the skin of tech job seekers. Maybe it's all those unsolicited e-mails and phone calls. Maybe they just feel like a flock of mosquitoes, trying to pinch a little bit of your blood and soul while you are simply trying to manage the day to day of your job. Perhaps it's as simple as you haven't found a recruiter you can honestly trust.
What else would explain nearly 40 percent of respondents to a recent Dice poll saying that recruiters were a waste of time? Dice is a technology job board that is widely used by companies, recruiting agencies and independent recruiters looking to find the right match for open positions.
"While 39 percent is certainly a large proportion, it means 61 percent see at least some of the value recruiters bring to a job search: Twenty-eight percent said they got a job through a recruiter, 23 percent have gone to interviews set up by a recruiter, and 10 percent have gotten a contract position through one," writes Dice Senior Vice President and CMO Tom Silver.
It's no doubt that it's in Dice's best interest to talk about the value of recruiting, as it clearly does in The Dice Report for September. It certainly begs the question: Are recruiters really a bad use of your time?
Ok, yes, the majority still sees some value in recruiters. However, what Silver and Dice do not examine in any detail in the report is why that 39 percent want nothing or little to do with them. Dice would not need to look that far to see the headaches technology job seekers go through with recruiters.
In a Dice forum thread with the subject "Anyone else sick of recruiters?" you find a plethora of bitching, of course, but also of real experiences that burned people and also some more measured reactions.
Here are a few with a more measured tone:
From the contributor "vmunix":
I say depressingly high because they result in a lot of garbage resume farmers from India pestering me about jobs it should be blatantly clear I have no interest in. See my name? Now, why on earth would I want to talk to somebody about a Windows NT 4 PDC to Active Directory migration?
Or my location preferences. It's pretty clear; there are three places in the country I am interested in. Or straight telecommute. So of course, I get tons of recruiters asking if I'd be interested in a job in a completely different locale, which is so junior to me as to be nearly an insult.
That said so far, I do have to admit, I've had the pleasure of working with some EXCELLENT recruiters and agencies. NOTHING pisses me off more than a brainless recruiter who has NO idea what it is that I do trying to tell me what it is that I do. But I've had a few from firms both large and small that were decent enough to come right out and say "look, I'm NOT a technical person," or "look, I don't understand your field." I've got no problem explaining what it is that I do to recruiters willing to listen.
From the contributor "notso" (edited):
These are only two of hundreds of posts about the challenges and triumphs of dealing with recruiters. In as challenging an economy as the one we are currently in, recruiters-whatever your past experiences and opinion-may be something you will have to manage, and finding the best ones may take some work.
Remember, recruiters are only one aspect of a job search strategy that increasingly requires more individual participation in personal branding, use of professional social networks, and networking with peers and hiring managers. As this thread clearly shows, reliance on a recruiter alone may not be enough and could frustrate you from finding a good one that will be on your side.