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Questions about Recruiters - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
Questions about Recruiters
A friend of mine asked me an interesting question recently. She just started working for a technology consulting firm. She is not a recruiter, more of an administrator. But she asked me how a consulting/recruiting firm should go about finding new talent.

I think lots of us in the technology field have stories about head-hunters who've annoyed us, or who have used unprofessional tactics to reach us. Mostly I find them annoying, but her question gave me pause. How would I prefer to encounter a potentially interesting new job? Both when I'm looking for work, and when I'm not looking?

I had some ideas, but I thought I'd throw her questions to a larger audience since I have a lot of technology people on my friends list. What would be the most effective way to get your attention, whether or not you were looking for a job? Given a consulting company whose goal is to find qualified people who want to work there, rather than having to search and search and search and come up with candidates that often turn out to be less-than-ideal. What kind of package/work environment would really attract you?
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renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 13th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
My first take on an answer:

I think (when I'm currently employed, like right now) I'd rather come across a company in the course of my professional life. For example, them giving presentations -- or just buying food/drinks and handing out pens or whatnot -- at the local Java User Group, or the Michigan Agile Enthusiasts. I don't like to be contacted under false pretenses, like somebody calling/emailing me pretending they know me. I don't like cold contacts in general, but a company who is active in places I'm active will attract my attention.

Now when I'm job-hunting it's a different story, as I'll be combing the various lists anyway. If that's the case, they just need to post alluring jobs, the more specific with regard to the compnay environment and necessary interests/skills the better. Intriguing descriptions more than bulleted lists of technologies, for example.
anyaristow From: anyaristow Date: December 13th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Those are all advertising things. It can't be specific enough to be interesting. If a recruiter doesn't have a job already lined up *for me*, what's the point of contacting me? It's just advertising for future reference, and I don't like advertising of any kind.

I once had a recruiter call me (at work!) for a specific position. He got my contact info and job description from one of his contractors who used me as a reference. It was unreasonable use of that info, but it was the only way he was going to get a conversation with me.
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anyaristow From: anyaristow Date: December 13th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Recruiters typically don't set the client charge rate. At best they can convince a company that they need X% over an employee rate to be profitable, but they kinda have to take what the client offers. Then the contractor's salary is negotiated from there.

If the client is fat and the contractor a crappy negotiator the agency might get half. No way they'll get 4 or 5 times the contractor's salary. A contractor should be able to negotiate 70-80% of client's rate, which should put him nearly on par with client employees. An agency gave my supervisor (first hired as a contractor for a non-managerial role) 100% so the client would know that great candidates came from that agency. It also meant he got a sweet deal when he was hired as an employee. But still made less money as an employee than as a contractor.

It would work to your benefit to know the client billing rate, but that's typically contractually confidential, though you might learn of it later and be displeased. I was one of those crappy negotiators.
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pstscrpt From: pstscrpt Date: December 14th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unless I'm really interested in the job itself, or looking to move cities (which I'd eventually like to), I think I prefer finding a new job through a recommendation of someone I previously worked with.
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