Re: Recruiters

Subject: Re: Recruiters
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 09:38:24 -0800

Here I go again, defending those horrible agencies.

----Steven Owens said...----

> I agree, it's unprofessional, which is why I don't do that. It's
> also unprofessional for recruiters to pressure applicants to take
> positions that they're not suited for, or that do not match their
> career path (as another example, I've had recruiters often ask me to
> take QA engineering jobs, because I've been responsible for doing QA
> work as part of my writing duties). But it seems to be the industry
> norm.
> If you don't respect my professional integrity enough to trust me
> with the knowledge of where my resume's going to be submitted, why
> should I respect your professional integrity enough to trust you with
> my resume? I've always been hardline about this issue and,
> ultimately, I've never had a recruiter refuse to do business with me
> because of it.

One way I see a lot of people handle this issue is to tell the
recruiter/agency other companies where you have submitted/interviewed
FIRST. That puts your integrity on the table first and allows the
agency to know you're an on-the-level kind of person. Agencies are
much more likely to be forthcoming with information if you demonstrate
your commitment to being honest first.

Agencies are businesses too. They need to make a buck to survive and
they need to protect their interests. A good agency values its
contractors and respects your desires. However, there is a fine line
between integrity and a serious attitude problem. If you walk into an
agency with your attitude and paranoia blaring - expect to be handed
your hat and shown the door. If you walk in mandating that you be
given this, and making that, and such - why waste time.

Working with agencies is like any business negotiations. You have to
extend a little faith and concession to get what you want in return.
I'm not suggesting you hand them your life and hope they take care of
it. Just practice a little professional diplomacy.

Likewise, agencies sometimes do not explain things perfectly. I have
been sent out on interviews for positions where I was way over or
under-qualified. This happens. This is another point where your
reaction says a lot about your professionalism. If you call the
recruiter back after an interview and say "I don't feel that position
was good for me because I am XXXX-qualified for it," most recruiters
will be very happy and will work with you for a different job. If you
call them back and rail them for not catering to your every need -
they will put you in the crap pile and ignore you forever. You're
obviously more trouble than your worth.

Lastly, I am always curious as to why people accept contract jobs
where they are not qualified to do them? I mean I understand how an
agency can send you out on an interview for a position that does not
fit your skills. I can also see where a client can change the job
mid-stream. These things happen and are easily resolved with a
well-mannered conversation and some e-mails.

Yet, how is it that people seem to accept positions for which they are
not qualified? I see that a lot here and elsewhere. Don't these
people ask the interviewer what the job would entail? I think this is
where those questions on the TECHWR-L web site come in handy. I mean -
some agencies and companies are dumb and don't explain a job well.
But I find it really hard to believe that a company, which presumably
knows their business, would be so far off in describing a job to an
interviewee to mislead someone into thinking they were qualified for a
position that they were not.

Well, back to work for me.

Andrew Plato
President / Principal Consultant
Anitian Consulting, Inc.

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