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Your Experiences with Recruiters? 165

Posted by Cliff
from the odd-but-interesting-hiring-practices dept.
companyAdvocate asks "I work in a small, high end IT consultancy. We are currently on a large recruitment drive and our targets are very ambitious. We are looking into alternative, original and cost-effective ways of hiring talented people. Google's billboard ad comes to mind. As we are a consultancy, we need good communicators as well as techies and raising the company profile may be an added bonus. What is the Slashdot community's experience with alternative recruitment methods? Were you hired in an exciting or interesting way? How do you make even rejected candidates leave with a positive impression?"
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Your Experiences with Recruiters?

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  • If it works for nvidia, why not your company? =)
  • by mfh (56) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:02AM (#14697951) Journal
    You have the right idea tapping into this site as a resource pool, but perhaps you should look for talent here as well? Give everyone a job who scores 5/5 on this Slashdot thread. Start with me [mailto], and work your way down the list. I will provide a resume and credentials upon request.
    • I would if you were able to do proper w3c compliant links :/
  • by YaRness (237159) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:05AM (#14697975)
    How do you make even rejected candidates leave with a positive impression?

    Two weeks pay would be nice.
    • A more useful answer (heh) might be "don't screw around with them, tell them the second they're out of contention so they can move on with their lives". Treat their time as if it's as valuable as yours is, because it is. Waiting three weeks and then getting the "thanks for applying" letter in the mail negatively impacts your company's reputation (should the applicant or anyone he knows be considering a position with your company in the future) and also makes it harder for the candidate to consider other o
      • Here's something interesting that happened to me. I interviewed for a company, and 2 days after my second interview I got a call from the recruiter saying that it wouldn't work out, as well as the reason why. Of course I was disapponted, but I was glad to find out so soon.
        Fast forward 2-3 weeks and I get the following letter from the company, bolding added by me for emphasis:

        Dear [my name]

        Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with [company]. We appreciate your effort and want to send
        • Considering that many (most?) companies can't even be bothered to send ANYTHING, I don't have a problem with a form letter like that.

          Many companies want professionals but aren't professional in their hiring practices. Which is pretty stupid. These same people (rejected applicants) are likely to be in a position (eventually) to chose whether to do business with those companies.
      • Treat their time as if it's as valuable as yours is, because it is.

        Absolutely Positively! The absolute worst are headhunters and HR departments that advertise jobs when all they really want to do is stuff a file with resumes 'just in case'. They freely wast job seeker's time and energy. After a few of those, lack of feedback from any interview will be considered another one of these leeches.

        Another good way to leave a good impression is to be prepared to sell the position to the cantidate as well (if

      • I have had a history of strange rejections ... Once I was verbally promised a very high up job, and the company would literally never take a call from me again.

        By far the weirdest was (this is more or less an exact quote). "Hi, we would like you to know that we thought your interview went well and we think you would be excellent for the position. However, another candidate is further a long in the process and has already had 2 interviews. If he doesn't work out, would you be avaliable?"

        When companies

        • another candidate is further a long in the process and has already had 2 interviews. If he doesn't work out, would you be avaliable?
          OMG. I thought I'd had bad rejections in the past (and I have). That's just downright rude, and completely unprofessional. Please consider telling slashdotters who that was so we can flip them off properly if they ever try to headhunt one of us.
  • How I got my job (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mabonus (185893)
    Well, I saw a posting on Craigslist, so I replied. Monday I went in for an interview and personally I thought I was waaaaay too wooden and not likely to get the job. They had me take a skills test in PHP (but couldn't decide if PHP Programming or PHP Scripting was the correct test). Either way, my test results were good, and they said that they'd try to get me an interview with the client on Friday. Friday comes, and I get a call from them. Turns out they just wanted me to start on Monday. I still wor
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:09AM (#14698007)
    As we are a consultancy, we need good communicators as well as techies and raising the company profile may be an added bonus.

    You could try identifying good people in on-line discussion forums, Usenet groups, etc. There you can immediately gauge not only a person's technical knowledge, but their ability to convey it in writing.

    How you then approach them is a different question, of course. For example, I do post to various technical Usenet groups, and I've always assumed that's where the headhunters found me one day. Personally, I was mildly flattered, and I did sent them a polite reply declining their offer (since I had no interest in moving to where the job was based). However, I can imagine that others might not be so charitable about unsolicited e-mails these days.

    You could always try leaking the name of your company later in this story. You're not short of geeks who know their stuff around here, so all you have to do is get rid of the 95% who can't right too safe they're lifes, and your problem's solved. :o)

  • by dlefavor (725930) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:11AM (#14698009)
    Everybody with a brain knows (or should know) that the best jobs and the best employees are brought together by word of mouth.

    If that's alternative, so be it. Get in front of actual people. Go to social events. Attend symposia. Lift a glass or two. Get to know individuals as human beings. Watch them when they are interacting with others - not just you. Don't talk to people you might want to hire with a desk in between you.

    Let people get to know you. Be accessible.

    Get out there, for catssakes! What's keeping you? What the hell are you asking us for? Go! If you don't have a network already, you're behind. If you have one but it's not actively working for you, you're behind.

    Just a guess here, but I think you're behind.

    • Word of mouth (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JanneM (7445)
      Problem is, the "word of mouth" pool is finite. You only really get a superior candidate pool with at most two degrees of separation - you either hire someone you know, or someone recommended by someone you know. Go further apart and the social mechanisms that makes the method work (personal trust and obligations) fall apart, and you're no better off than advertising in a trade publication.

      And you only know so many people in the business - and they only know so many - that the pool of competent and availabl
    • Get to know individuals as human beings.

      That's real good advice, especially when not 3 sentences later you're telling him to use them as if they were some crass job-hunting mechanism. Get to know them, pretend to be friends, so you can use them. Haha.
    • Word of mouth? Mumumumaybe.

      My current job started as a contract and has morphed into a Real Job (TM), ie, holidays, sick days, superannuation. The first time I applied for it I still had my date of birth (1950) in my resume, and didn't even talk to the pimp. The second time it was advertised, I sent in a resume which didn't tell them how old I am, and I got an interview. I got there about 30 minutes late (caught in traffic - in Adelaide for fucksake! We don't have traffic problems here as a rule) and immedi
  • locality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aetherspoon (72997) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:12AM (#14698015) Homepage
    Host a job fair at a university that is close to your company's main location. Not only would you provide experience to a host of university nearly-grads, but you'll be able to scope out the creme of a specific university's crop. Finally, you can also provide benefits and generally increase the educational level of that university through other means, which will net you higher quality employees already localized to the area.
  • In a company where I was recruited, they had an IQ test and a programming test (SQL + general algorithms).

    The project manager (who was a senior programmer) was the one who interviewed me.
    This was very personalized, and the whole recruitment process made me feel appreciated and worthy. This isn't something many companies give.
    • by NorbrookC (674063) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @01:21AM (#14698294) Journal

      In a company where I was recruited, they had an IQ test and a programming test (SQL + general algorithms).

      I had one of those companies try to recruit me about a decade ago. I wasn't looking for a job, but decided to check it out just out of curiousity. My interview was with the senior manager and one of the division directors. At the end of the interview, I was informed that I needed to take an "aptitude test." I couldn't believe it. They'd called me, not the other way around. They were recruiting me because of my skills, training, and experience - and they want me to take an aptitude test?! I turned down the job.

      I could see doing this with a new person, right out of college or without experience. If you're recruiting experienced people, all you're going to do is antagonize them - particularly if you spring that requirement on them at the interview.

      To the original question, about what you can do to leave a good impression with the unsuccessful candidates, I'll give the following tips:

      1. Let them know they didn't get the job.

      2. Tell them in a timely fashion. At the very least give them a time frame in which to expect your decision.

      3. Let them know why (in a nice fashion) you decided not to hire them, and (if possible) what they could do to make themselves more attractive to your company in the future.

      I've been on both sides of the desk - as an applicant, and as the one doing the hiring. One thing I made a decision was to try to never do the things that drove me nuts as an applicant, when I was the one doing the hiring. For the most part, I succeeded.

      • I could not agree with this more. I have always hated it when I'm ignored and unfortunately it happens a lot.
      • I love the "we contacted you but we're going to make you jump through hoops" interviews. Even better was the fact that in the one I had, the HR people were positively gushing about me and I had to prod them for an answer a week later.

        The answer, amusingly enough, was no. Guess my distate at being poked and proded showed.
      • 3. Let them know why (in a nice fashion) you decided not to hire them, and (if possible) what they could do to make themselves more attractive to your company in the future.

        Let's not forget letting them know the REAL reason why they didn't get the job.

        The most ruthless pass-over I was ever subjected was when after a positive interview the interviewer told me that they'd had come candidates who had more experience than me. I can deal with that, but later I found out that the guy who got the job had spent le
    • A former boss of mine had an interesting approach. We are hardware guys. Mostly connecting big telecom multiplexers to bigger multiplexers. Anyway, he'd invite the potential candidate into a room with a bunch of equipment and cabling. Manuals would be scattered around. He'd apoligise about the mess and tell the candidate that he'd be back in a few minutes.

      After about 15 minutes, he'd come back and say that they were having a big problem. The candidate could wait or leave.

      If the candidate left, he'd b
      • by SeanDuggan (732224)
        The candidates that stayed and read manuals or tinkered with the equipment were usually hired.
        I could see hiring the ones who read the manuals, but do you really want someone who's willing to mess with possibly mission-critical equipment on which they don't have training, and out of boredom?

        Ours, we've shown them the full range of operations in the labs and then given them a few practical hardware and software problems. You know, simple things like factors that might be causing a bad signal in a piece o

  • In all honestly, an "ask slashdot" is one way for 'unusual recruiting'. I'm sure I'm not the only the only one who thought at some point "ooh, where do you work, cos now I /know/ you're hiring, and at least one person there reads /. ..." So exactly do you guys do? 'High level IT consulting' sounds like a lot more fun than, say, help-desking, or the reformat-reinstall grind that I hear goes on. So reply with an email/website and prepare to get inundated w/ cv's. And ask yourself if this follows: 'if he's che
  • by Dracos (107777) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:53AM (#14698183)

    Of all the recruiters I've dealt with (at least 20), not one has even gotten me an interview.

    Being a web developer who actually knows (X)HTML, I was once hung up on by a recruiter when I told her I don't use Dreamweaver. A year later, I start seeing job postings where DW experience is a disadvantage.

    But, a recruiter is sometimes only as useful as the requirements they get. 10 years of .NET experience? 15 years of J2EE? The list of absurd requirements goes on and on.

    As for one alternative, post on Cragslist [craigslist.net] in your area. Monster and Dice are becoming less and less useful as time goes on.

    • I think you are overlooking the fact that you may NOT be what people wanted -- at least at the time you were applying. Remember that many jobs are filled by PHBs. They hear Dreamweaver is the standard, so they want people who know that. They don't care if you know HTML, or can wave a wand and magically create a web page in a flash (pun only half intended). All they care about is that they are following a standard so they have some control over what's going on. That way, if you leave, they can easily re
    • Reminds me of a Dice ad that wanted "UML Experience using Visio".

      Kind of like asking for a poet who can use Word.
    • I've had pretty good experience, landing 4 jobs over the last 13 years by posting at Careerbuilder (formerly Headhunter.net), and having a recruiter pick it up from there and match me up with a position. They key is getting someone who can effectively advocate where there isn't a 100% match with requirements.

      Interestingly, my new job (6 months) was obtained through a recruiter who, frankly, worried me when we met for the first time, for breakfast right before I went for an onsite interview. He commisserat
  • Do not use Word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KPU (118762) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:57AM (#14698202) Homepage
    If you're looking to hire good Computer Science people, make all your emails plaintext. For more fancy formatting, use HTML forms and PDF. Many companies do not realize that UNIX sysadmin applications should not be Word attachments.
    • by maw (25860) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:45PM (#14700247) Journal
      Why do you think Unix sysadmins are good computer science people?
    • Re:Do not use Word (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TeamSPAM (166583)

      While I can agree that a UNIX sys admins skills should not be focused on Word, that is one of the format that companies use. While I bet many of the companies that hire the sys admin might not really care, most recruiters/head hunters want the word doc. They are going to put their header on top of your resume before passing it on to a company. So in the end I don't think it's a waste or unessecary to have a resume in Word that looks presentable.

  • by ursabear (818651) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @01:11AM (#14698259) Homepage Journal
    You've asked a bunch of questions here... good ones... Alternative means of hiring: Monster still has some effectiveness, although it is no longer an alternative means. You get lots of bulk that way, but there are many gems in that particular stream. Perhaps you could team with folks like Monster to come up with some neat ideas.

    A good alternative would be to hold a contest of some sort. Let potential job applicants put together solutions, write software to solve a simple, fixed problem. Give the most successful applicants some incentives (other than just a job): perhaps some small cash prizes; something interesting like a nice gadget; perhaps some interesting prestige like a listing in some neat place on a web page or a brochure.

    How might you leave rejected candidates leave with a positive impression: First and foremost, make decisions in a fairly quick period of time. Don't leave folks hanging out there for long periods. Also, tell the rejected applicants what it was that was good about the applicant. Perhaps let the person know on what they could work to make themselves more attractive to the type of position for which they applied (in other words, help them in their future employment quests).

    Hiring communicative technical people is a special challenge: It is generally better to hire someone who has experience, and a great attitude and excellent human communications - even if they don't have all the super-duper "on-paper" skills for which you might be looking. Exciting ways to be interviewed and recruited: Throw a celebration focused on your company, bring your most fun and interesting people to the party, then invite lots of possible applicants. Mix it up with the folks, have some free poker games (not money gambling, just plain chips with door prizes, etc.), no booze, just great snacks, good music, and lots of chairs and tables where people can sit down and pitch the company or pitch themselves as applicants. Make it fun, advertise it in key places in the country. Don't be afraid to fly extremely interesting candidates out to your party...

    Every nickel you spend on getting face-time with applicants is well spent... make lots of fun and interesting ways to attract applicants to your meetings...
  • by aralin (107264) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @01:12AM (#14698271)
    I would suggest to forget tests or interviews when trying to find a real talent. Just talk to some real talented people you know. My experience is that these who are really good at their job are much better to recognize others who are as good or better. Especially male employees will keep a list of people that are surpasing them in some aspect. Its just the way their brains are wired.

    So talk to them and you will get suggestions, if you find really talented people, don't try to embarass yourself with tests and interviews. Talk to people they worked with, talk to them casually and talk to their references, you get much better picture and comming with offer because you know this is the right person, without resorting to tests and tricky questions on interviews, leaves a lot of positive impression.

    If my employer had the smarts to come up to me and ask, I could name easily ten people who could each replace 2-3 average employees I meet with at my company. Of course, most of them already have a job and would need some incentive to come on board or relocate, but its alwasy worth it to employ one exceptional worker rather than five average. And they often get the same amount work done. Often its cheaper even if you'd pay them double salary, which you probably won't.

  • by argoff (142580) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @02:05AM (#14698451)
    I half to admit that they always got me an interview, and always got me a job, but the few times I've had a chance to see the info they presented to my prospective employer - I wouldn't have even recoginized that it was talking about me. What was even funnier is that I would get the job thinking that I am doomed when they find out about all the bullshit that was spoonfed to them, but instead they're impressed - cause I guess they were expecting bullshit, but then actually got some substance instead. Go figure?

  • Ask people, people who may be happy with their jobs currently, who they think the best people are. Agressively recruit these people yourselves. Considering how much of a cut a recruiter usually takes, you can get talented people yourself for what you were going to pay. Plus you get people that you know can work with others.

    Never hire based soley upon qualifications. Always get people recommended by good people. You have a much better chance of getting someone great. Worst case, you get someone compete
  • by LABarr (14341) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @02:53AM (#14698596) Homepage
    Start by treating candidates with the same respect you'd like to be treated with. Sounds so simple but surpisingly very few recruiters actually do this...

    I interviewed with a company called HopOne located in Seattle the day after Thanksgiving last year. I thought the interview went really well and I was both excited about the position and confident I had nailed the interview. I was told they would let me know their decision by the following Friday. To this day I have yet to hear a single word from them reagrding the position despite several follow up e-mails and phone calls. They have totally ignored me and couldn't even muster the common decency to let me know anything one way or the other regarding the position. That should be an excellent example of what not do do if you wish to leave a psoitive impression. My impression of HopOne has been severaly tainted and I can't say I recommend them in any sort of a positive way. I also hope that in some way instant karma pays back all of the principles involved.

    I also interviewed with a recruiter once who told me, "I love your credentials, and if none the 3 candidates I've currently got interviewing for this position today pan out, I'll be happy to submit your resume." (This was after insisting that I drive 50 miles each way that very day to rush to interview with him as soon as posible. It turned out it was just so he'd be ready to send someone else right away if needed.)

    My point with both of the above examples is that I am fine with not being the one selected for a job I have interviewed for. Simply let me know that you've gone with someone else and show me a little respect during the process.

    Showing just a little common decency and respect doesn't seem to be asking for very much...

  • by wikinerd (809585) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:17AM (#14698796) Journal
    Personally when I apply for a job I want to know whether my CV was received (this can be done with automatic email confirmation), and how many days I will have to wait until I have an answer. Then, after this period has elapsed, I want to know whether my application was accepted or rejected, and, if possible, the reason. For example: "Your application was accepted because you meet all requirements and you know good XML, please come for an interview and get ready to answer some programming questions about PHP and XML" or "your application was rejected because you do not have the necessary prior experience at another company" or even "your application was rejected because your CV was too long" (so, in that case, I can send a shorter CV). Before I apply I also want to know the exact geographical location where I will work and, if possible, the salary. Additionally, I want to know the privacy policy of the company and how long my CV will be archived, as well as whether and how I can update my CV in the company's database (if it has one). I believe that the best way to recruit talented people is not to ask for specific degrees or professional experience, but to put a programming problem of medium difficulty on the vacancy ad and request all CVs to include a solution to the problem. Remember: The best way to keep people happy is to treat them as human beings, not like machines. By the way, here [karastathis.org] is my professional webpage.
  • Incentives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RomulusNR (29439) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @05:01AM (#14698893) Homepage
    The thing that always worked for my fellow IT friends is the tangible offer of mad loot and crazy benefits.
  • my list... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sewagemaster (466124) <(sewagemaster) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @05:41AM (#14698990) Homepage
    ok, here's a list based on my experience with them during interviews and career fairs - and feedback from people i know.

    Intel - they give noctoriously hard questions, with 3 rounds of interviews. but there were simple interviews where they only asked about course projects and not too much textbook material in too much depth. in the latter case, there was only 1 interview round before the candidate was hired.

    Xilinx - phone screen - basic textbook material. onsite: presentation. multiple full day interviews based on in depth textbook material. the onsite was probably 20 times more difficult. Interviews were disorganized. They had a list of questions that they go through and some of them were repeated from one interviewer to the next. This was in the valley and some of the people seemed to have attitude and ego problems, and didn't like to listen to your answer when are multiple solutions to the interview question. The group looked like zombies, probably from all the overtime shifts.

    Analog Devices - the campus onsite interviews are a complete waste of time. they're basically for PR purposes whether they're planning on hiring or not for the year. Questions they ask are generally simple, but I hear onsite interviews are always challenging. Recruiters at the career fairs are always excellent and informative. Company slide presentations are always disorganized - but we were engineering students - who really cares anyway ;)

    Teradyne - Campus onsite interviews are usually given by aluminus of the university. I have a theory that their company is sending these folks for interviewing is because these are the ones that have nothing else better to do at work - i.e., they can afford to send the non productive ones for these events... At the career fair, almost all of the recruiters think you don't know anything about the field and go through the whole process explaning everything. Perhaps it's their strategy - holding up a queue at their booth so it looks like they're generating a lot of popularity and interest! Some of them don't even know what they're talking about after working there for a couple of years.

    NVidia - this one's the worst. They used to show up at the career fair and flat out refused people's CV right at the spot if their GPA is below 3.5. They would ask up front and basically tell you to buzz off if you "don't have what it takes". I know of someone who worked there as an intern and he basically had to go through their insane work hours. Oh, what happens to the ones that get past that absurd GPA screening? They sit you down at the back of the booth, and basically ask you technical problems which would take up to over an hour.

    Synopsys - Very reasonable interviews. They ask really good questions and are not there to find out what you don't know, but what you do, and to really see what you're capable of. They're interested in seeing your thought process and would give you slight nudges in the right direction to see whether you catch on.

    Anyway, my current job was found through monster. I had my interview, signed the offer and began work just within 9 day of submitting my application online. I'll not name the company here, but interview process was very reasonable, (see Synopsys - very similar). Very humane people and you had a sense of the great people you would be working with if hired. After graduating, it took me 3 months of job search before I found the job.

    Amazing work environment - but that'll be for another time and a different story :)
    • Microsoft - On campus interview about 1 hr straightforward questions, semi trivial programming problem to verify logical thinking. Fly out to redmond, four technical interviews, depends on interviewer. I had two difficult sessions, two easy ones. Most remarkable question, "Whats the third bit in an x86 page table entry?" my answer, "No idea, but it's in the third volume of the intel ia32 manuals." Had a whole interview of discrete math questions and problems. Despite length, very pleasant.

      VMWare - Six 30 mi
  • I recently started contracting, and I was looking for a setup that doesn't just shop meat but actually tries to find something that suits me + prospective client. Maybe I got lucky, but I ran into a startup that is currently now represented in London, UK, India (not quite sure where) and has a presence in Switzerland they're not yet ready to use yet (takes a bit longer if you want to do it right, apparently).

    What I like about them is that they actually really listen to what you want. Maybe that will chang
  • I've found recruiters to be nearly worthless, from both sides. They keep trying to cram square pegs in round holes, trying to make a match.

    At work, I think we've used 2 different recruiters to bring people in. We'd get a stack of 5 resumes at a time and could immediately throw out at least 4 of them because they didn't match what we asked for. Then we'd get callbacks from the recruiter asking why we weren't interviewing these people and what we were looking for. I mean, we'd ask for a C++ unix person wi
  • Recommendations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @10:09AM (#14699557) Homepage
    Here are my recommendations:

    Be honest. If you aren't, it will show in everything you say and and you will get applications from dishonest people, who will make your life miserable.

    Be trustworthy. If you say or imply you will do something, do it. People who are analytical enough to do well in a technically demanding job are analytical enough to be aware if you are mentioning one thing but doing another.

    Of course, being trustworthy is one aspect of being honest. However, so many companies have difficulty with creating trust that it deserves to be mentioned separately.

    Look for people who communicate well. Every job requires interaction with other people. If you find someone who isn't good at communicating, you have found someone who fundamentally doesn't like working with other people. Such a person drives up costs in ways that are difficult to measure.

    Advertise on Slashdot. Many very smart people read Slashdot. When someone replies to your ad, ask for their Slashdot ID. That and a Slashdot subscription will give you access to all their comments. A good way to judge the maturity of a candidate is to see how he or she communicates in casual circumstances like a Slashdot discussion.

    Seek a reputation for being warm and friendly, and deserve it. If you have a good reputation, eventually your ad budget can be cut to one-tenth of what it was when you were beginning, because people will hear about you from friends.

    Be charitable. Try to give every applicant something valuable in return for applying. Useful feedback is a excellent gift. Even a well-written discussion of the job market on your web site is a gift.

    Remember, many of the candidates who didn't quite have what you needed this year will have had growthful experiences and will be excellent candidates in future years.

    Don't waste anyone's time. Make sure your business processes are efficient.
  • I have dealt with recruiters many times. The part I hate most is that they don't seem to listen and aren't usually that technical. For example, you tell them you don't want any contract that involves much travel, yet they will still call you about contracts that require 50% travel. I've also had recruiters ask if I know Visual Basic Scripting. When I reply that I am pretty good with VBScript, I had one guy say, "Sorry, they are really looking for Visual Basic Scripting."

    The final straw was my last dealings
  • First, how do you define cost effective? Is it just minimizing waste costs, or trying to recruit on a small budget? There are smart ways of recruiting and there are cheap ways, and it's fine to spend money if the recruiting is done in a smart way.

    The most powerful thing to do is to make your company attractive to prospective employees. This is, unfortunately, something difficult for a recruiter to control. You can make the company look bad, but it's hard to make it look better than it is. Because you are on
  • That is, I think, the best place to find people and find a job. Dice has been around since the old BBS days and has a solid reputation among professionals. I've gotten more jobs via Dice than any other two methods combined. I've also hired more people via Dice when in a hiring manager position.

    Fancy alternative hiring methods? WHY? This is a business, not a game show. Yes it's true that word of mouth, and employee references are an even better way to bring people in, but you can't count on it when you need
  • Before I graduated, I used to hate those F you form letters ("we'll keep your resume in the database for 6 months..."). Then I interviewed with some companies that didn't even bother with that - I never heard from them again. Even after I sent thank-you letters to the six interviewers. So a followup letter is the *minimum* you should strive for. A personalized letter would be even better.

    Also, the less you treat employees like cattle the better. That might work on campuses where there are thousands
  • Joel on Software (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:20PM (#14700907) Homepage
    Joel on Software has two great entries that relate to this topic: The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing [joelonsoftware.com], and Hiring the top 1% [joelonsoftware.com] (hint: just because you're rejecting 99% of applicants, doesn't mean you're hiring the top 1%, because the top 1% already have great jobs!)

    I think that many companies have learned the secret of that last point. The best people have jobs already, for the most part. If you really want exceptional people, don't wait for them to show up at your door with a resume, find out who they are and who they work for, and then hire them away. Offering them more money will not convince them (though obviously you should offer a bit more than they're making now), but the opportunity to have more creative control over their job might.
  • But when they're bad, they're really really bad, so bad, that I don't want to even think about it, as today is a day of rest, and not anger. :)

    Anyways, I will refer everyone to a web page of a software developer who very adeptly describes his experiences with recruiters, and why he all but refuses to work with them [goingware.com].
  • I'm not a slashdot link traffic whore, I promise. I've written about my experience [addictz.org] with job recruiters on my blog.
    I've generally had bad experiences with recruiters. I also would like to mention I'm new to the whole notion of recruiters, as they weren't nearly as prominent out west, where I'm from, as they are in more populated areas, like Michigan (where I'm at now).
  • This all started when the last employer I worked for went bankrupt. A co-worker of mine managed to get hired on permanently with one of the clients he and I supported. Since I didn't have that type of luck, I had to go the traditional route of blasting out resumes to recruiters and employers advertising positions. I did manage to score a few small setup and support gigs in between, but the craziness started while I was working on setting up a domain and a Exchange 2000 server for a small law office. One
  • I was sort-of hired by a recruiter for a large defense contractor. I won't name names, but they're HQ'd in Houston, often associated with the VP, and you can probably figure it out from there.

    Anyway, my field is pretty small, so it's a worker's market. As such, I felt comfortable with a verbal contract, despite the fact that I'd be, essentially, selling everything I owned and moving halfway around the world, twice: First to go to "inprocessing" in Houston for a few weeks, then on to my final destination.
  • As many have reiterated here. The biggest thing you can do to alienate an applicant is to not respond. Always respond. Period. You might not want to say "sorry, Charlie," but you must. Don't chicken out.

    Second, when someone goes to the trouble of making your life easier (say, by writing a resume weblication that spits out a resume in any form you want), take the time to use it. I can't believe that a "Click here to download as a .DOC" link is inferior to an email attachment. Ugh.
    • See though, it depends on the company. If the job req clearly states "Attach resume in Word .doc format", then sending a URL instead is a bad idea.

      What I'm going to think is, "wow, this guy can't follow simple directions, and thinks he knows what I want more than I do."

      That's a show-stopper right there; I never even get to see your resume.

      If, however, you put a URL on your resume, expect to see some hits from me; I want to get to know what makes you tick; it'll help me determine if you fit in with us or no

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