Flutterby™! : Recruiters

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2004-04-06 19:05:28.058413+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

So has anyone out there had a positive experience with recruiters, or think that recruiters and/or job boards are reasonable places to broaden prospects? My experience on both ends is that they're just additional cost inserted into the process, but I'm trying to get a broader view of the job situations in various areas. I don't want to cut off any prospects by signing up with a recruiter, but I really want to look widely rather than just taking the first thing that pops up in my circle of friends.

(Still employed, just wondering...)

[ related topics: Dan's Life Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 19:51:57.961467+00 by: aiworks [edit history]

I've had a bit of involvement recently in the recruiting industry. In fact once I've exhausted my other good ideas, I plan on doing something more than the pontification that's about to follow.

The recruiting industry now operates like many other sales industries have in the past: there's a de facto formula that says that a recruiting firm hiring 1 recruiter will add 10 candidates and 3 placement leads per month to their portfolio. The hope is that 10 candidates and 3 placement leads results in 1 job fulfillment per month.

To recap, 1 recruiter = 10 candidates + 3 placement leads = 1 fulfillment.

This means that recruitment firms have a large driver to hire as many recruiters as possible, culling back the ones that don't meet the formula (and most do meet the bar if they follow the established process). This means that most recruiters don't have any pertinent industry knowledge but instead rely on brute force.

Job boards have basically turned into cess pools. Easily 50% of postings are expired or are some kind of MLM "opportunity." The ones that do have real jobs behind them are going to be managed by some kind of "keyword shredder" to protect whatever recruiter or HR underling from a deluge of respones. Job boards are paid per listing, so job boards have a large driver to have as many postings as possible.

So, the current situation is droves of sales droids turned recruiter and job boards that are mostly crap. What's a boy to do? You need to be following the essentials from this venerable tome. That is, fight statistics with statistics.

You need a resume that will make it through a keyword search engine, so make sure you've got that maximized within reason (and remember that MS Word metadata fields are your friends). You need to understand that a typical recruiter has no clue and help them follow the process. You need to be working with lots of recruiters. You need to be responding to lots of job postings. In fact, you need to come up with a system of responding to new jobs postings on the job boards that you like (bearing in mind that 80+% match is probably good enough).

In terms of hard numbers, I would think that you need to be responding to 50+ job postings and speaking with 6+ recruiters a week. It's sad, but that's what works (and it really does) when recruiters and job boards are involved.

There are firms out there that are trying to move the industry, but I think that the current situation will be the reality for high tech recruitment for the rest of this decade.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 21:16:36.048253+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that answers my question: I should view the recruiters as spammers (they sure clog up the search engines), and my best bet is to continue to look as I always have, and hope for some sort of wild synchronicity to make those lateral leaps.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 21:38:00.888081+00 by: aiworks [edit history]

Didn't you used to have an "About Dan" page somewhere on Flutterby? I can't find it now.

It would be benefecial to have some kind of personal skills page (maybe something that looks like this genereated by this tool). linked from the main page (to get the page rank bump). You might be surprised what comes up over time. Plus, doing something that's more timeline/narrative based will be easier for you to flesh out and more insightful to potential employers looking for world class talent.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 21:44:43.214258+00 by: Dan Lyke

It's still at http://www.flutterby.com/danlyke/ . Hasn't been updated in years, I probably ought to slap a current résumé up there. I also need to set up some sort of job search thing on Flutterby, I generaly know a few people who are looking for employees of various sorts, and it'd be nice to match folks up.

The main thing I'm looking for, long before I'm looking for a job, is an indication of what sort of opportunities are available in various regions, where the interesting thinkers are. More "cocktail party" job searching than "singles bar" job searching.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 22:02:18.573904+00 by: aiworks

Is there any interesting thinking going on in IT right now? </obnoxious comment>

Seriously, what are people excited about right now? All of the things that I know that people are excited about right now aren't directly information technology related.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-06 22:16:54.320908+00 by: Dan Lyke

That's why I want to broaden my horizons. A generic job is easy to find, but I want to be fired up again, not feeling like I'm fighting the world to make good software.

Recently I talked with one small research group from New Hampshire that was making some pretty cool sentry and research robot platform thingies.

There's a hell of a lot of space left in end-user applications, but I'm not sure I can convince even myself that there's a business model in some of the tools I envision. Maybe selling to the hardware manufacturers for packaged software is the way to go for that stuff.

If it were 5 years ago there'd be room for a big enterprise content management push, but right now the only people with the clout to pull that off is Microsoft, and anyone small trying to get into that space is going to get patent stomped.

And for all of these things I can't do it alone. Programming for the mass market right now has a large legal component, a lot of marketing issues, and I need to get out there and chat with more people about how to make that happen.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-07 01:52:44.658879+00 by: meuon

Not finding satisfaction in the workplace? Don't.

I'm currently viewing work as: "how little time can I waste to make how much money so I can do other things". Sure, everytime I start another web/db project I have to force myself to get started.. so I hang out on Flutterby, catch up on Slashdot and then force myself to get going. My current project is not-mundane only in it's got a lot of relationships from one record in the table to others.. and it's been fun finding ways of displaying lots of information about records and their relationships in small spaces using color coded tables and data... but it's still just a bunch of sql: insert/select/delete/modify.. statements and HTML Boring, but pays (well). It's not steady, but then, right now, I don't want steady.

More importantly: I'm going to Savannah GA next weekend to play tourist with Nancy, had a great time at Fools Fest, and am looking forward to camping, dancing and beating a drum at LEAF and almost have enough saved up to put up a new deck and maybe even a hot tub.. YeeHah! And yes Dan, unlike you.. I'm going to the burn.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-07 15:33:23.905245+00 by: Dan Lyke

Meuon, you've always been happier with the not working thing than I have. I want to be working on some larger project and I want to be doing that as a part of a motivated group of intelligent people.

(But next week we're going to the desert. Although it's been a relatively dry year hopefully there'll be some bloom.)