Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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I posted my resume on Monster.com back in December when I was laid off. I got
flooded by calls from various headhunters, but one occured last week that really
put a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to headhunters. It went something like
this:

Me : Hello?
Him: Can I speak to Mr. Bradley?
Me : Yes, that's me.
Him: Hi, I'm xxxxx from yyyy and I saw your resume on monster.com. We have an
embedded job that match your skill set. Does this sound interesting?
Me : Sure. What is the product and what type of work is it?
Him: It's an embedded Java job.
Me : Oh, I don't know/do Java.
Him: But it's an embedded job.
Me : But you also said it's Java work.
Him: Yes, but if you know embedded, you can do Java.
Me : Um... no, Java is a lanaguage, embedded is completely different.
Him: No, if you know embedded you know Java.
Me : Trust me on this one - Java is a language they're using in an embedded
system. I have plenty of embedded systems experience, just not doing anything
with Java.
Him: Then why did you say you did embedded work on your resume?
Me : Because I've done 8051, ARM, AVR, PowerPC, and Intel based processor
embedded designs in my history, including hardware and firmware.
Him: So.... then you know Java.
Me : No, I don't know Java. Java is a language. Java CAN be used in an embedded
system, but more often it's straight C or assembly language instead.
Him: You can't know embedded without knowing Java.
Me : Are you actually serious?
Him: Yes - Java is a prerequisite for embedded in this job.
Me : Maybe for that job, but not generally - that's why I didn't list it on my
resume!
Him: But on your resume you shouldn't say you know embedded if you don't know
Java.
Me : (getting really irritated at this point) It's clear from my talking with
you that you have NO CLUE what you're talking about, and I wouldn't consider
working for you or any client stupid enough to hire you. Goodbye!

I've gotten other really bizzare calls, too - one who couldn't get it through
her head that I didn't want to move 120 miles away no matter how many times I
told her, nor matter how much she increaesd the pay.

This is my first experience with headhunters. Are they all this retarded?

-->Neil

Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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...
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Quite a lot of headhunters/recruitment 'consultants' (in UK) are just
glorified insurance/snake oil sales people with the so called ability to
matchthings up. Often some companies have targets to meet so do simple
word searches and never read the resume/CV.

I have in the past had problems with "VME bus" and "VME Operating System",
those who know the later will know that it is rarely considered an embedded
system let alone a small system!

Personally I think resumes/CVs should be distributed as image files, with
sufficient added noise to the image to make OCR very difficult. To force
reading and stop word searches and changing of the documents to send to
potential clients/employers.

--
Paul Carpenter          | snipped-for-privacy@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk
<http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/ PC Services
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
Not all. I haven't met that many who insisted on flaunting their
ignorance. The smart ones will learn from you. But then, when I'm
usually out of work, so are a ton of other programmers and I seldom get
such calls. I wonder if there's a website to showcase such experiences.
You see a lot of "Do's and Don'ts of Interviews", maybe there should be
a "Dos and Don'ts for headhunters".


Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?



Neil Bradley wrote:

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I have a technique that handles this.

(Note; this is only for idiot recruiters.  *Ignorant* recruiters get a
different treatment; walking them through what each part of the job
desciption means, helping them to do their job better.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

GM: "Guy Macon speaking."

HH: "Hi! I am a recruiter and I have a job that you might be interested in."

GM: "Great!  Have you looked at my online resume at www.guymacon.com?"

HH: "I don't have internet access here."

GM: "I'm sorry, but I only deal with recruiters who are able to read
     my online resume.  Feel free to call back when you have done so.
     [CLICK].

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

GM: "Guy Macon speaking."

HH: "Hello. I represent XYZ recruiting.  Do you have a moment to speak?"

GM: "Glad to. Have you looked at my online resume at www.guymacon.com?"

HH: "Yes, I have it in front of me.  I have a position that has the
     following requirements. [long list of buzzwords ending with a
     requirement for a degree in mechanical engineering]."

GM: "Did you read the section of my online resume titled "education?"

HH: "Yes, I read that."

GM: "Why, then are you wasting my time with a position that requires
     a degree in mechanical engineering?  Feel free to call back when
     you have a position that matches my qualifications.
     [CLICK].

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have found that roughly 90% or recruiters *have* read my online
resume and *have* done their best to match me up with the job.
Those recruiters get treated with the respect they deserve.  The
ones who screw up on matching person to job will no doubt screw
up in many othetr ways, so I don't want to deal with them.

  



Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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Not all, but a lot of them are.  There's a very high turnover
rate, and most of them only last a few months.  They typically
have no training or experience in either HR or the field for
which they're recruiting.

Most are just sales people making cold calls with a script in
hand.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  I'm sitting on my
                                  at               SPEED QUEEN... To me,
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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Which begs the question "are there headhunters
for headhunters?"


Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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Not that I know of.  The ones I knew started out as HR
recruiters or they just answered an ad in the paper and went to
work for a sweatshop type operation.

<pet peeve>
"begs the question" refers to making an argument containing the
logical fallacy in which the argument assumes as a premise the
result being proved.  It's pretty much the same as a circular
argument.
</pet peeve>



--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Make me look like
                                  at               LINDA RONSTADT again!!
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?



Jim Stewart wrote:

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No.  Headhunters are for hard-to-fill positions.  
Nobody is going to pay that extra expense for a
position where a newspaper ad gets them more
applicants than they can handle.



Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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I was contacted by a recruiter for a job that sounded
interesting but the job description/location/etc. was
somewhat vague and I wanted some questions answered.
When I got the guy on the phone after not being able
to get any answers via email, he said that he makes
$200/hour and doesn't have time to answer questions!

Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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really
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like
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Java.
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Too many are, in my experience.
My pet peeve was being asked to "tweek" my resume for each and every prospective
employer.  After doing that twice I refused all further such requests.  I was an
Assurance engineer who specialized in the IBM S/370 "channel"; any prospective
employer who doesn't understand that short and to-the-point job descripton
doesn't need my skills.

Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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I assume you are restricting your job search to firms that want an
"Assurance engineer specializing in the IBM S/370 channel" and that
you have no interest in any other type of position.  If this is
correct your attitude makes sense.  Good luck, you will need it.

--
"If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
 the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article.  Click on
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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No, most of them are *much* worse.

IAn

--
Ian Bell

Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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retarded?
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I must've been really lucky then. All my recent pimps have
perfectly well understood what "embedded" means, and how
my CV and potential jobs will relate to each other.

Richard [in PE12]



Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?

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[%X]

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Of the order of 90% are probably retarded to this sort of degree. Of the
remaining 10% half will be quite decent worthwhile companies that will be
quite clued up on the positions they are offering. The trick is finding
those few.

I don't know any US ones but I do know some good UK ones.

--
********************************************************************
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
If they know anything about programming they wouldn't be headhunting
programmers but they'd get their own programming job!

    Norm


Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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The short and irresponsible answer: yes.

In my experience HH firms are generally manned by failed salesemen and
managers. One bad thing is that they are messing up the job market by their
sheer ignorance, but worse is the effect that they create a barrier between
employer and employees. A barrier that wasn't there afew years ago when
real people actually spoke directly togehter about the real issues.

HH ads that I see all to often goes almost like this:
  "Engineer wanted for company."
The people that puts up ads like that probably know little more than what is
literally stated. IMO that's an insult to both the anonymous company and the
potential employee.

Another strange thing is that many firms seemingly care more for exposing
you to (bogus) "personality tests", than examining your professional
ability. How low can you go?

There may be competent HH firms out there, that does something more than
leeching. I hope to make such an observation one day, but maybe I'll be
better off looking for Dodos :-D

DJ
--



Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?


<snip>

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Yeah, that's how it always starts out.  They may SAY they just want some
company, but they want a lot more!

But before you know it, you're holding hands, then engaged, then married
with 2 kids...

Give 'em inch, they'll take a mile.


<grin>
--
...The Bit Eimer     NAR 84054      L1
"My goal in life is to be the kind of person my cat thinks he is"
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Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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 [snip]
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[snip]
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LOL - Undoubdedtly! :D

Heres an HH anecdote:

One time I had announced myself available and registered my CV.
The CV is the kind that a computer/embedded engineer has.
As it happens it has the word "development" in it. This led to
an HH contacting me, wanting me to start working in
a property broker firm doing "property development".
He was very insistent that I  would be a good man for the job
with all my development experience...

DJ
--



Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
Here's one for you...

A while back I was contracting and was contacted by a head hunter about
a job "involving linux running on a proprietory platform". She couldn't
tell me much more about it but set me up with an "interview" with the
client the following day.

I turn up, and they tell me that they'd like to be able to run linux on
their hardware (I can't recall which processor it was, but Linux already
ran on that processor). I told them that I've never actually
bootstrapped Linux on another platform but couldn't see why it wouldn't
be possible, and that I can look into it. With that they nodded and
walked away.

So here I am, sitting at the desk, thinking they'll return in a few
minutes. I think nothing of it and start to look into things, read doco,
source etc. Before I know it, it's lunchtime and they're inviting me out
to lunch. We return to the office, they ask how I'm going, and I say
that I'm confident it's do-able (they had a 4 week schedule). Again they
leave me to it. By about 3pm I'm starting to think they're milking some
free advice so I get up and try to find someone (the office is almost
empty). After a quick chat I realise that they're under the impression
that this is no interview at all - and that I've actually *started*
working for them!!!

I go downstairs, ring the HH to find out WTF is going on and she swears
it was supposed to be an interview! I leave the matter with her to sort
out and head home.

[At the risk of being labelled a sexist pig, I actually met this HH a
few years beforehand and her only saving grace was the fact that she
was, quite simply, stunning! ;)]

As luck would have it, that same afternoon I get a call about another
(longer term) contract with former colleagues and I could tell the HH
"thanks, but no thanks". They obviously had a lot of trouble trying to
find someone to do the job because she begged me to reconsider and
offered me more money just to stay for a few days until she found
someone else!

Regards,
Mark

Re: Why are headhunters overwhelmingly idiots?
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If I had a file, this would go into it. You can't make this stuff up!


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