I recently went through an unscheduled job change. My cool and exciting job with a company that had a self-described 'feel of a startup' ended abruptly, with the feel of a failed startup. Not wanting to waste any time, I used my tried-and-true method of getting a new gig...I updated my resume, set my status as available on the job boards, and sat back and waited for offers to pour in.
Initially, I was happy with the amount of interest, but I noticed a few trends. Most of the recruiters were American subsidiaries of foreign-based agencies. Also, unlike me, none of these recruiting firms were in Southern California. They sourced West Coast jobs, but they were in exotic places like Georgia and New Jersey. Finally, most of these recruiting firms used a very similar method —email me a cut and pasted job description along with asking me a list of standard questions regarding interest and rate. Five minutes after receiving the email, a recruiter would call, trying to lock himself into an exclusive agency relationship.
We were both eager. I would agree to terms, hoping my information would be vetted and I would be queued for an interview. The reality was something different.
I would sit and wait and typically never get a response. Nothing. No phone call, email, postcard...I was ignored.
As anyone who has been without a job for any length of time can attest, not getting any communication is extremely demoralizing and can affect your psyche. Even a follow-up call that explains why there is no communication is better than nothing. But even that never came. Why? What had changed? Is this the wave of the future?
I can only speculate that, just as remote work has gone offshore, so has recruiting. We all know about outsourcing. But this is new. Offshore, outsourcing firms are moving here, setting up shop, and recruiting for jobs in the U.S. And their methods don’t comport with our expectations.
These New Recruiters are volume-based, using expensive data mining software to comb the internet for likely candidates. Lock up and submit as many candidates as possible, before the next guy beats them to it. Some even submitted resumes within 10 minutes of a job being posted. I can only imagine a hiring manager having to wade through piles of resumes hoping to find a diamond in the coal mine.
One firm did get back to me with an interview. Of course, this was not without drama. This firm submitted me for a job at a company’s Sacramento office. I based my desired rate on this location. First, I had to update my resume at least five times to make sure it matched perfectly with the job description they were working off of. Then it happened! After a few weeks, I was asked to interview with the hiring manager. What a surprise! I took back all my negative thoughts and prepared for the interview.
When the day came, I received a call from the hiring manager and started the small talk about the position before the serious selling began. I told him the job sounded very intriguing, and I was looking forward to moving back to Sacramento if I were offered this job. The manager stopped me in my tracks. The job was not in Sacramento; it was in the Bay area. So much for my rate calculations. I almost hung up the phone. After I was talked off the ledge, I had a good conversation with the manager, and we discussed upping the rate and considering an in-office interview.
My recruiting firm, despite itself, had gotten me a real, in-person interview. The recruiter was annoyed that I had discussed rates with the hiring manager. But what choice did I have after their location mistake (a small glitch, l believe he called it)? I told him, it was either work out a new rate or lose me as a candidate. I could hear the cash register ring in his brain, and all was forgiven.
Not surprisingly, this job didn’t pan out. I was never told why from my recruiter. Luckily, I soon received two offers, both from “respectable” sources with clear expectations and professional manners. I took one of those offers.
So my advice, seek out agencies that will represent you honestly and professionally. Be very weary of anyone demanding you sign an exclusive deal. Try to avoid an agent that is sticking your resume in a pile of resumes that will be lost when it reaches the client’s desk. And good luck with your job search!
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