Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Programming

Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction 233

Posted by timothy
from the even-uncle-sam-wants-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Pete London posted a resume on LinkedIn in December 2009, the JavaScript specialist stumbled into a trap of sorts. Shortly after creating a profile he received a message from a recruiter at Google. Just days later, another from Mozilla. Facebook reached out the next month and over the course of the next two years, nearly every big name in tech – attempt to lure him to a new employer. He received 530 messages in all, or one every 40 hours ... the only problem? Pete London didn't exist."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction

Comments Filter:
  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:33PM (#42021935)

    how many of the jobs didn't exist as well?

    or are 3-4 recruiters all going after the same job??

    • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:36PM (#42021959)
      Recruiters copypasta the same interview "offer" to their whole mailing list. After getting as many replies as possible they forward them to the the company. "look how many resumes I can give you!" In the end it's about the same odds as mailing your resume to arbitrary companies. I think it's deceptive and evil.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        All recruiters say they don't don't do this, but they do. All of them. And they don't even bother to manage independent lists these days they just run groups on LinkedIn. I wouldn't mind so much if I had to pay a few hundred quid for the service, but if you do manage to find someone passable in the 642 CVs they send you, they'll charge you 10%-15% of their salaried rate for at least a year and often forever for contractors. I can search linkedin too, but it doesn't cost me $3000 a year when I find someo
        • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:39PM (#42022671)
          No, I run across recruiting companies that get "exclusive" contracts with companies, then try to get jobs for their favorites. One of the larger recruiting companies in this area splits up their areas and the recruiter for my area got mad at me for passing up a poor fit, and wouldn't submit me to any other jobs, and many that sue recruiters use them because they don't have their own internal recruiters, so there is no way to apply without going through a recruiter. I've been blocked from applying more by recruiters than submitted to a job by a recruiter. And when I finally did find what I was looking for, it was direct, and I didn't deal with a recruiter, even though I did see the same job listed with recruiters, I'd already seen it direct.

          They'll deliberately lie in the advertisement to hide who it's for as much as possible and make it so that if you were reading their ad and one for the same job from a competing recruitment firm, you wouldn't know it was the same job, so they can waste as much time of yours as possible to prevent you from applying any other way, even if they end up not submitting your application.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I stopped working with recruiters entirely. They are useless middlemen, and I'm not shy about telling them so.

            Any company that hires exclusively through recruiters is likely to be dysfunctional anyway. Stop wasting your time and only speak to people who work for the company with the job opening.

            • by 1s44c (552956)

              I stopped working with recruiters entirely. They are useless middlemen, and I'm not shy about telling them so.

              Any company that hires exclusively through recruiters is likely to be dysfunctional anyway. Stop wasting your time and only speak to people who work for the company with the job opening.

              I agree although I can't afford to take the risk that recruiters have a job that I can't find myself. Dysfunctional companies pay the bills too.

              All the good companies I've worked for don't use recruiters exclusively or in a few cases don't use them at all.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:52PM (#42022433)

        Hey, Matt Mickiewicz here, co-founder of DeveloperAuction (which got mentioned in the Forbes article).

        I've been at the receiving end of this "recruitment spam" more times than I can count... staffing agencies haven't changed in 30 years... by having VC-funded start-ups put the offer before the interview we're trying to change the status quo. If you have 4 years at Google and a Stanford Computer Science Degree you shouldn't have to deal with a lowly recruitment sourcer who thinks "Rails" is a form of transportation :)

        First auction had $30m in job offers on 88 engineers, second auction generated $80m in job offers on 150 engineers. There's a huge need for something better in this space...

        • by pavera (320634) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:46PM (#42022713) Homepage Journal

          So, these companies are really bidding an average of $350-$500k/yr for developers in these auctions?

          And isn't your "4 years at google and a *Standford* CS degree" just the same arbitrary requirement as a recruiter that thinks "rails" is a form of transportation?

          I have 15 years of software development experience, have run 2 startups (one as CEO, one as CTO), and been a team lead or senior engineer on multiple projects at both startups and established companies. I have extensive experience with C, C++, Java, Python, PHP, Perl, Javascript, SQL, and lots more... And, I'd be just as excluded by you because my CS degree is from the University of Utah, and I haven't worked at Google as I would be by the recruiter who's never written a line of code and doesn't know that someone with my background can learn Ruby and be proficient in a week or 2 at most.

          I also went to sign up on DeveloperAuction, and was disappointed that you give so much weight/prominence to github projects. I have many side projects, but not of the public nature, and I chose not to pay someone to host my source code privately when I can do that just fine myself thank you. (What self respecting software developer doesn't have 4-5 servers in their basement to host/play with personal projects?)

          • by czth (454384)

            So, these companies are really bidding an average of $350-$500k/yr for developers in these auctions?

            You're not understanding that there might be multiple job offers per person. This makes the numbers almost, but not quite, meaningless.

            What I'd like to see to start is # of offers per person and (can be calculated from that) average amount per offer, and then perhaps some breakdown and analysis to determine what resume items increase offer count and offer amount. To gain credibility they should tell the numbe

    • how many of the jobs didn't exist as well?

      or are 3-4 recruiters all going after the same job??

      It's a stereotype: Just like used-car salesmen, the majority of recruiters are helpful, knowledgeable and genuinely want to help.

      Even though most people in IT are friendly, knowledgeable, social and shower every day, there is a terrible, persistent stereotype that persists because everyone has a bad experience at one point with a used-car saleperson, recruiter or slovenly IT worker. The people who perpetuate those stereotypes are frequently bad at their job, to boot.

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:57PM (#42022463)
        My wife is a recruiter, and when I was in college, I took a job as a used car salesman. Both jobs are full of liars. I quit selling cars, as the management was ordering me to lie. Even if I could sell the car telling the truth, they'd rather I lie to do so. For recruiting, the game is about numbers. My wife is now an internal recruiter (hiring people for high-turnover customer service jobs), but her experience with recruitment companies is that they do more to get in the way than to fill positions, to make sure they get their pay. They don't just hand off three good leads, but they hand off one and only one lead and coach the lead to help them get the job, even if that coaching is to explicitly hide weaknesses that might affect performance.

        I would consider both professions almost 100% filled with liars. The stereotype got there because it's true.
      • by NotSanguine (1917456) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:19PM (#42022927)

        It's a stereotype: Just like used-car salesmen, the majority of recruiters are helpful, knowledgeable and genuinely want to help..

        I'll agree with the helpful part. Of course they want to help. That's how they make their living. As for knowledgeable? Not so much. In my 20+ year IT career, I've met exactly two (out of dozens) recruiters who actually had some sort of clue beyond keyword recognition. Many of the interviews arranged for me by recruiters were a complete waste of everyone's time since they didn't understand the job spec or my resume.

        But that's not the real problem. The real problem is the *lying*. I've caught recruiters lying *to* me and I've caught recruiters lying *about* me.

        On the whole, recruiters make things *more* difficult for those seeking jobs and waste an enormous amount of hiring managers' time. I suppose it's possible that I was just unlucky that the dozens of recruiters I've dealt with are the "bad apples," but that's not so likely.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        It's a stereotype: Just like used-car salesmen, the majority of recruiters are helpful, knowledgeable and genuinely want to help.
        You're right. 99% of recruiters give the other 1% a bad name.
        I have known a couple of recruiters that were genuinely clueful and did try to put the right people with the right skills into the right positions. However, a large number of recruiters I have worked with were not knowledgeable at all about skillsets or about the marketability of certain skillsets.They genuinely tried
    • by Meski (774546)
      How many of the job descriptions and requirements are wrong, for that particular job and salary?
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:41PM (#42021987) Homepage

    Not this shit again. "We can't find talent!"

    Quite obviously employers have a very different definition of talent than people who actually have said talent and capabilities. It's either that or we are in an all-out war with employers at this point over wages and foreign worker importation/outsourcing - take your pick.

    This seems to me to be yet another ploy to push for more H1B workers and to justify outsourcing. There's no two ways about it.

    "Not enough qualified applicants" my ass. I happen to be aware of quite a few competent people who are out there looking for positions in "in-demand" fields. Guess what? They're getting stonewalled.

    (Sorry, you're going to be hiring 5 green programmers for every 2 experienced, and 5 experienced for every expert - that's just the way it is. You can't only staff experts unless you're willing to pay expert rates. It's not good for anyone.)

    If, in fact, they really think there is a lack of qualified people, here's their problem: there has been a breakdown of communication, and their formalized hiring processes, excessive HR, and outsourced employee sourcing (you know, headhunters) are at the root of the problem. Finding (and keeping) good employees is the single most important part of maintaining and growing a business. Why would you push that responsibility to someone else? What ends up happening is that headhunters (of all kinds) do end up finding qualified applicants who are looking for work - we just write them off as spam, telemarketers, or insincere requests without so much as a second notice because of how unprofessionally we're addressed. (Hint: having an Indian "initial contact" team for your HR is not a good idea; neither is using an automated system for requesting potentially qualified applicants to submit a resume via eg. LinkedIn - you're only going to get desperate people, not those who are capable.)

    The culpability for this problem sits squarely on the employer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Not enough qualified applicants" my ass.

      Too many qualified applicants, but not enough talented candidates. That is the real problem.

      Anyone who has worked in Software can tell you that, the top 5% of engineers are often many times (3x-10x) as productive as the bottom 50%. There is no shortage of Qualified Candidates (people who have experience in the job), only a shortage of the top 5% of engineers (people who would do well in ANY software job). When employers say talented this is what they mean. Unfortunately most people identify themselve

      • by pete6677 (681676) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:25PM (#42022603)

        Also, if your company wants to hire "top 5% talent" then you need to be a top 5% employer. Top talent does not want to piss away their career in the IT department of Bank of America, for instance. If you're trying to hire top talent but are an average company, then you are the equivalent of an old fat bald dude trying to date young supermodels. It ONLY works if there's a lot of money involved.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Also, if your company wants to hire "top 5% talent" then you need to be a top 5% employer. Top talent does not want to piss away their career in the IT department of Bank of America, for instance. If you're trying to hire top talent but are an average company, then you are the equivalent of an old fat bald dude trying to date young supermodels. It ONLY works if there's a lot of money involved.

          Unless you go to a foreign country where the meaning of "a lot" is much lower.

          Which some companies are fighting tooth and nail to do.

        • by 19061969 (939279) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:54AM (#42025307)

          This.

          I was at an interview just last week for a position at a large UK telecoms company. The salary was probably 45th percentile for the country, and I was told with a straight face that I had to prove I was the "world's best of the world's best".

          For the first time in my life, I actually walked out of an interview. I'm quite good at my job and get shit done well with everyone happy. I might (or might not) be world class but I don't know because I've not had the opportunities to work at the large trendy tech companies; but this condescension is only allowed if they're paying a truly awesome salary.

          If they're paying shite wages and the manager is a twat, they will never be world's best of world's best, no matter how much they want to be.

      • by pavera (320634) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:47PM (#42022719) Homepage Journal

        I agree with your premise there are lots of "developers" who have worked on a project that used technology X... And realistically only a couple members of any team are producing 70-80% of the code, but the recruiting agencies and HR depts are a huge part of the problem. I am (no really) in that 5%, but I have the hardest time finding jobs, because I've worked all over the map... From designing huge networks, to automating deployment of tens of thousands of network devices, to DB design/DBA type work, to software design, development, etc both web and client based. HR departments are so keyword driven, they don't know what to do with my resume. I'm repeatedly told by recruiters "Well, this company only wants java experience, so you're out because you have other experience on your resume". Or: "Your C++ experience isn't recent enough"... Sure it was 2 years ago, I'm sure the fact that I've been integrating a large C codebase with python to make it scriptable for the last 2 years I've forgotten all my C++... (And oh no that reminds me... its now been 4 years since I used java professionally.. I'll probably never get another java job again... or is that a good thing?)

        I regularly teach myself new tech, and really enjoy working in the field, but the miscommunication between development and hiring managers/outside recruiters is very painful to deal with. I shouldn't have to explain to someone who's never written a line of code that there is very little difference between all these languages, and that I know I would be productive on a project written in C, C++, Java, C#, Python, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Javascript, or SQL within 2-3 days at most. Hell, I was one of the most productive Foxpro programmers at one job I had (no I don't list foxpro on my resume) and I don't even know the language, but I could sit down in code review with the foxpro developers and find/fix bugs all over the place.

        On a different note
        Why is the position so "unattractive"? Because you're only offering $50k/yr for 6 days a week plus a rotating 24 hr on call day? Where's it located? is it strictly an entry level position?

      • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:22PM (#42023307)

        "Not enough qualified applicants" my ass.

        Too many qualified applicants, but not enough talented candidates. That is the real problem.

        Anyone who has worked in Software can tell you that, the top 5% of engineers are often many times (3x-10x) as productive as the bottom 50%. There is no shortage of Qualified Candidates (people who have experience in the job), only a shortage of the top 5% of engineers (people who would do well in ANY software job). When employers say talented this is what they mean. Unfortunately most people identify themselves in the top 5% and don't realize they aren't.

        My basic problem is I work in one of the least attractive positions at a very attractive company. The only way I get top 5% talent is through risk management of college recruits who I think will work out to be the new top 5%.

        I don't really agree with your 5% / 50% breakdown, but we could quibble all day on where to draw the line between talented and ordinary workers. (The world is not JUST programmers.) The point I want to make is that if you're hiring, you can try all you want to get the best candidates to fill each position, but no matter how hard you try, business in general ends up with about the same mix of unusually productive workers and average to below average workers. If you're getting a little better than an average workforce for your industry, you're doing well. If you manage to get a stable of mostly high performers, you're doing extraordinarily well.

        You won't change the equation by hiring H1-B foreign workers either. They're a similar mix of top performers and worker bees and you will still end up hiring your share of people who look good on paper and interview well but don't do that great on the job. All you've done is expanded your already-large pool of possible hires and made your choices more difficult.

        The bottom line is to get as good as you're probably going to get, you need about ten resumes of people who look good on paper and sound plausible on the phone. You pass those on to the hiring manager, who manager narrows this down to a group of 3 or 4 who almost certainly could do the job and you interview only those people. The one who seems most competent (if he or she's not personally objectionable) is good enough because the real bottom line is you can never be sure how good they really are until they're on the job.

        Forget "finding talent" and "only hirig the best." You will always hire some who don't meet your standards. So what? You either train them to be efficient workers despite their shortcomings of you fire them and move on.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by A bsd fool (2667567)

      You've taken a rather myopic view of the situation, wouldn't you say? There's plenty of blame to go around, and at the end of the day, it all comes down to two simple factors: capitalism at work, and the fact that there are no perfectly rational actors on either side.

      Lets look at some of what you've put forward from an employers perspective.

      1. You can't staff experts unless you're willing to pay expert rates.

      Oh yes you can, in an economy like this one, unemployment what it is. You're selling your labor, and it's a buyers market.

      2. Finding (and keeping) good employees is the single most important part of maintaining and growing a business

      Wrong. This is something that the lab

      • by sribe (304414)

        Just as important is that you can provide that product or service at a price they're willing to pay for it without taking a loss.

        The ability to do that depends directly on the employees you hire.

      • It doesn't matter if there is 20% general unemployment, if the field you are in is under 2%, then the market is not a buyers market for jobs in your field. That's how it is for software development in a lot of cities right now.
      • "1. You can't staff experts unless you're willing to pay expert rates.
        Oh yes you can, in an economy like this one, unemployment what it is. You're selling your labor, and it's a buyers market."

        You should review your statistics 101. Unemployment may be what it is but it is far from 95% in any IT/IS field, so if you really want/need the top 5%, it's difficult you will find them unemployed. On a side note, if it's about just mere "experts", not necessarily top notch, well, it could be true that it's

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:40PM (#42022687)
      There's always the silent "for the price we want" at the end of the "we can't find talent" statement.
    • by sribe (304414)

      ...here's their problem: there has been a breakdown of communication, and their formalized hiring processes, excessive HR, and outsourced employee sourcing (you know, headhunters) are at the root of the problem.

      Yes, exactly!

    • by alexmin (938677)

      "you're going to be hiring 5 green programmers for every 2 experienced, and 5 experienced for every expert" - but what to do if you are a small shop and only hire a guy every couple years? For every 10K strong multinational there are 1000s of those small shops.

      • Then hire greens and keep them for 5 years until they are no longer greens.
        • by alexmin (938677)

          "until they are no longer greens" - at which point they will leave to greener pastures because they are no longer "green" (and rightfully so.) Been there, done that myself, seen it bazillion times. Large corp can have on-site hands-on university, small shop cant afford it.

          • If you can't even retain the employees you spent 5 years working, why should any experienced working quit their current job to work for you? In case you didn't notice, I bolded "keep", as in "if don't piss off your greens, eventually they'll become the senior developers you've been looking for".
    • If they're in the Phoenix area and looking for developer work, let me know... The market is pretty tight here in terms of availability.
    • by curunir (98273) *

      My department has been hiring for months with very little success. There really are a shortage of qualified candidates right now.

      But here's the thing...we're in San Francisco where there's a lot of competition. In other parts of the country, there really is a shortage of jobs. Tech work clusters in certain areas. This allows what you're saying to be completely true *and* what is being said in the article to be completely true. You'll noticed that developerauction.com limits itself to SF, LA, NY and Boston..

      • by rollingcalf (605357) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:16AM (#42025981)

        Do your job ads mention the $150K+ salary?

        Many job ads don't mention the salary. If you're not listing the salary, developers will only have your reputation as a company and the type of work described in the ad to use as their basis for deciding whether to apply. If those aspects are not outstanding, you'll get mostly unemployed applicants (who will be rare in San Fran), not already-employed developers who want to know that they'll get a salary increase.

  • cut down unqualified candidates or cut out good people though a 3rd party HR system that looks for key words / name of school / etc over real skills.

  • Thumbs up! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:46PM (#42022013) Journal
    This is a great idea, and I think that it is going to work. I experienced myself how badly some companies are trying to recruit skilled people. Many people I know received a job offer from google, me included. Also once I received a weird phone call from another country, because a recruiter at citrix googled my cv, and he was thinking that I will abadon my job and move with family to another country. This recrutiting market is just crazy.

    This is why I think that DeveloperAuction will do a lot of good.
    • Re:Thumbs up! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:56PM (#42022457) Journal

      Blowing off mod points here, but damn... I had to agree with you.

      I've lost track of how many headhunters call me up, thinking that I'd just drop everything and move to Dallas, Little Rock, Boston, Virginia, Seattle, SanFran, LA, you-name-it. Oh, and I'm supposed to be there in two weeks. For a six month contract. The guy usually has a heavy Indian accent, and always promises that the salary is larger than what I make now.

      It tends to crumble when I demand that the agency fly me out on their dime, pay any and all relocation costs, and oh, yeah - get all its fees from the employer. It shuts them up in very short order.

      Don't get me wrong, there are good headhunters out there, but I usually stick with the ones who are local, and that I know of personally. Cold-callers have always led to disappointments, and I'm in no hurry to give them a second chance.

      • Re:Thumbs up! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:30AM (#42026505)

        It tends to crumble when I demand that the agency fly me out on their dime . . .

        This alone is a pretty good weed-out question. When a potential employer isn't willing to put actual balance-sheet money on the line they can figure on "playing the percentages" and just bring in as many candidates as possible, sometimes without even scrutinizing resumes and applications to ensure a potential match on paper. The most egregious example I've seen was a relative that drove hundreds of miles there and back to an interview set up by a recruiter. She found out at the interview that she didn't have enough experience in a particular area for the job -- a fact that would have been obvious if they'd examined her resume ahead of time. Probably would have also been a good idea to make sure recruiters were also aware of the "must-haves" for the position. But hey, no one was out anything -- except the candidate, right?

  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:47PM (#42022029) Homepage
    From the Forbes article:

    “Good engineers are never unemployed and never seeking jobs.”

    Unless they're living in India and over 40... [slashdot.org]

    • by KZigurs (638781) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:05PM (#42022139)

      But of course - in a body shop you don't want experience, as your product is billable time, not results.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        But of course - in a body shop you don't want experience, as your product is billable time, not results.

        Naw.... certain jobs have a certain number of hours that are billed, if the technician finishes it 50% faster, the full standard price for the job will still be billed; if you have more experience and can do the jobs faster, that means you do more jobs for the same number of hours of wages, which equals more profit for the company....

    • by c_sd_m (995261)

      From the Forbes article:

      “Good engineers are never unemployed and never seeking jobs.”

      Unless they're living in India and over 40... [slashdot.org]

      Or by choice. In a two-weeks of vacation world, I've walked out of a crappy job and spent a few months checking things out and figuring out what I wanted to do next. I could've done it while I was still working but I had enough savings and wanted a break. Ended up making up the savings I spent in a year or so at the new job too.

      • by maeglin (23145)

        From the Forbes article:

        “Good engineers are never unemployed and never seeking jobs.”

        Unless they're living in India and over 40... [slashdot.org]

        Or by choice. In a two-weeks of vacation world, I've walked out of a crappy job and spent a few months checking things out and figuring out what I wanted to do next. I could've done it while I was still working but I had enough savings and wanted a break. Ended up making up the savings I spent in a year or so at the new job too.

        I'm doing this right now. I left a high paying job because I was more than a little tired of it and I'd knew I'd never be able to stop spending my spare time on "putting in the extra effort" instead of job seeking. At this point, I'm just looking for something interesting in an new location -- pretty open ended job search criteria. Unfortunately, I'm currently getting more recruiter calls than actual interested party call backs but I'm confident my choice to force myself to move on will pay dividends in

        • Since this thread is about hiring talented developers for fun projects, I'll throw this out (using the criteria from the parent):

          Interesting: genome sequencing (an actual "big data" problem that's not just about selling stuff to people more effectively)
          New location: Austin, TX

          http://www.lab7.io/jobs/ [lab7.io]

          -Chris

          • by hackula (2596247)
            Read the position descriptions. You will not get what you are looking for for these. You want someone with a BS or higher in CS, with 5+ years experience, with scientific software experience, with C/C++/Python experience (3 languages used in totally different spaces, where it would be unlikely (read impossible, even though bullshitters will claim otherwise) for someone to be an expert in all three), experience with high performance clustered computing (when you are also asking for a low level C guy who is u
  • I get hit hard every day due to some of the esoteric terms in my resume (I'm a Windows OS/apps rollout and migration specialist), and end up having the primary tier of recruiters contact me first, then a week or two later the second (larger) tier hit me with the exact same job. The worst aspects of it are the recruiters ignoring my geographic/telecommuting preferences and wanting me to constantly "network" for someone to fill their positions. It becomes discouraging to waste so much time filtering the same exact irrelevant positions over and over. - HEX
  • This is confusing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Good engineers are never unemployed and never seeking jobs." But this recruiting firm wants the equivalent of 15% of your first years wages to match talent and an employer. Couldn't a good engineer (and a smart one!) just cut a deal directly with the employer and pocket some of that? Should be a no-brainer - enigneer wants job and employer wants engineer. Why the middleman?

    • by uncqual (836337)

      Couldn't a good engineer (and a smart one!) just cut a deal directly with the employer and pocket some of that?

      Often, yes (at least at a smaller company that doesn't have a lot of "cast in concrete" rules). It's likely to be in the form of a sign-on bonus which pays out after six or twelve months. It just becomes part of the cost of hire and if a recruiter doesn't need to be paid, there's more flexibility on the sign-on bonus.

      In fact, if you are introduced to the company through an outside recruiter and

    • From the article, the employee actually pays that as a finder's fee on top of the salary, it doesn't come out of the engineer's salary.
  • by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:07PM (#42022157)

    That reminds me a recent exchange I had with Google. Some guy from Google contacted me on linkedin saying Google was interested in my profile.
    Since my profile is fairly atypical, I am a researcher, a technical consultant, a CEO of a tech start-up, an open-source enthusiast and member of several major standardization efforts, I was wondering what they had to offer.

    I gave the guy my number and he called me. It was apparent that he hadn't even read my resume, and when I explained it he didn't seem to understand what I was saying. He actually expected me to resign from my job, freshen up bachelor's level computer science stuff and then come for an interview. He wouldn't even tell me how much they'd be able to pay me; just that "you know, Google has the best, and everyone there is quite satisfied with their salary".

    If you're going to try hiring people randomly with keywords on linkedin, a good idea might be to check who you're pitching to.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:30PM (#42022313) Journal
      I've solved that problem by telling all recruiters that my minimum is $160k first thing. If I get it, great. If not, I'm happy where I am.
    • by c0l0 (826165) * on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:13PM (#42022537) Homepage

      A Google recruiter (from Google Ireland) contacted me a few months ago due to having found my personal website (which is in German, but transported the important information nevertheless, it seems - and yeah, he definitely HAD read my resume. That said, noone cared much about what I did or did not do with my current job, noone asked me to quit it before starting the interviewing process or anything downright crazy like that.), and asked if I was willing to do a phone interview. Sure thing, I said, and after passing the first interview, I did two longer follow-ups on the phone, and finally one just recently on site in Dublin (Google was nice enough to pay for the trip and accommodation, and Dublin is a very nice place that I had always wanted to visit anyway), and last Friday, I've been offered a very attractive position in their Site Reliability Engineering team due to all of this - so I do have first-hand experience with all stages of Google's interviewing process.

      Almost everything I had to do in the interviews involved stuff you're supposed to learn when studying Computer Science at a university that deserves its name, and I think that's a very good and reasonable thing. I've always been a fan of the "concepts, not implementations/products"-kind-of-education. I think that's especially important at Google - their infrastructure is so vast and powerful and unlike any other in the industry that the overwhelming majority of people who take a position there won't have seen anything even remotely like it in terms of scale, and they will probably find very little there that's overly "familiar" to them: Most of the software you can get away with running at a small- to medium-sized IT shop, despite any glaring and maybe-no-so-glaring inefficiencies, will fall apart at the scale Google would need to have it work at, so they'll implement something on their own and run that to do that job. Read the GFS paper for one such (albeit a bit dated) example. That's where all that "bachelor's level computer science stuff", a nuisance that apparently, in the eyes of some, only inhabitants of ivory towers should be allowed to care about, comes in again. So I think it's perfectly reasonable and in their best interest to test for that kind of knowledge and skills in their interviewing process.

      • Interesting - looks like they're doing a major recruiting push, since I'm in the interview process myself. I'd wanted to move to San Francisco, and saying that to the recruiter kind of surprised them. I don't live in a high-tech city, so the recruiters aren't anywhere near as vigorous, but I'm having the feeling that Google has just about tapped out the talent pool that's available in their local areas, and has sent recruiters after the less well traveled paths.

        I wasn't even in the market, but when a com

      • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday November 19, 2012 @01:11AM (#42024301) Homepage Journal

        Almost everything I had to do in the interviews involved stuff you're supposed to learn when studying Computer Science at a university that deserves its name, and I think that's a very good and reasonable thing. I've always been a fan of the "concepts, not implementations/products"-kind-of-education. I think that's especially important at Google - their infrastructure is so vast and powerful and unlike any other in the industry that the overwhelming majority of people who take a position there won't have seen anything even remotely like it in terms of scale, and they will probably find very little there that's overly "familiar" to them

        This is very true. Pretty much everything in Google's tech stack is homegrown. Most of it because there is (or was) nothing out there that was capable of doing the job. Some of it because it doesn't even occur to Google engineers to look. Google doesn't sneer at technologies not invented at Google... Google doesn't even notice them. :-)

        That's only part of the reason for the CS-heavy interview approach, though. I'm an interviewer at Google (though a relatively inexperienced one, at least in interviewing the Google way), and I'd say the real reason Google asks the sort of questions it does is because it's the only way the company has found to get a handle on what it really wants to find out about candidates: Problem-solving ability. Technical jobs at Google all require people who can think on their feet, who can quickly absorb the salient points of a problem, rapidly identify areas that need to be defined, then define, implement and analyze a solution. That ability could perhaps be tested with other sorts of problems, but CS provides a wealth of potential problems for discussion along with a well-defined common set of concepts and language which both interviewer and candidate are (or should be) intimately familiar with.

        Some experienced candidates (like loufoque, apparently), find it insulting to be asked questions a kid straight out of school should be able to answer. They want the interviewer to give due deference to the value of their experience. The problem with that is that experience can be fudged, and it is simply not true that you can judge a candidate's real experience by asking about their previous work. I've met many who can talk the talk with the best of them, but when you start asking them to solve problems on the spot their weaknesses start to become very apparent. I do admit that some people just struggle with the on-the-spot nature, and might be able to devise great solutions given time to go off and think, but such people wouldn't do well in Google's fast-paced technical culture anyway.

        But don't think this means Google doesn't value experience. It does, a lot, because of the judgment that comes with experience. But experience can easily be judged by reading the candidate's resume, so there's really no value in spending time in the interview trying to evaluate it.

        So, the interview focuses on evaluating ability and cultural fit. CS theory is a useful tool for evaluating the former, and it's not unrelated to the latter. Assuming the candidate does well in the interview, experience becomes relevant later in determining compensation and placement (Google doesn't generally hire for specific positions; Google hires good people, then figures out where to put them).

        One final caveat about Google's interviewing approach: It rejects a lot of good people, and everyone at Google knows it. It's broadly accepted among engineers at Google that virtually any one of us could be interviewed again and have maybe a 30% chance of being rejected. Maybe 50%.

        This is decidedly sub-optimal.

        The problem is that no one knows how to identify top talent accurately other than by hiring them and putting them to work for a few months. Doing exactly that is a big focus of Google's internship program -- it's one of the very best sources of good permanent hires -- but trial peri

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:58AM (#42025321) Journal

          I'd say the real reason Google asks the sort of questions it does is because it's the only way the company has found to get a handle on what it really wants to find out about candidates: Problem-solving ability.

          There are two problems with this. The first is that even Google admits that it doesn't work. The most successful people inside Google are the ones that had one or more negative reports during the interview process: exactly the ones that would be rejected in the normal process. Second, Google isn't short of people who can solve problems, and being able to solve problems isn't even an especially rare skill. Google is short of people who can identify the problems that are worth solving, and the interview process does nothing to address that.

          • by swillden (191260)

            I'd say the real reason Google asks the sort of questions it does is because it's the only way the company has found to get a handle on what it really wants to find out about candidates: Problem-solving ability.

            There are two problems with this. The first is that even Google admits that it doesn't work. The most successful people inside Google are the ones that had one or more negative reports during the interview process: exactly the ones that would be rejected in the normal process.

            Cite? I've seen the internal stats on correlation between interview ratings and subsequent performance and while the correlation is imperfect, I've never seen anything that would indicate what you're saying.

            Second, Google isn't short of people who can solve problems, and being able to solve problems isn't even an especially rare skill. Google is short of people who can identify the problems that are worth solving, and the interview process does nothing to address that.

            Hmm. This is a more interesting assertion.

            First, I'm not sure I agree that identifying the problems that are worth solving is either particularly hard or particularly rare. However, if we adjust your statement slightly to "people who can identify the problems that are most worth solving and can achi

    • by sribe (304414)

      That reminds me a recent exchange I had with Google...

      My experience was the opposite. I was contacted by someone who had definitely read my resume, and was asking for someone with (some of) my skills to work on the kind of stuff that I like. (I wasn't in a situation where I could actually consider working for them--but it was refreshing anyway to get a cold contact that was so appropriate.)

    • Some guy from Google

      Definitely not "some guy from a company paid by Google per candidate"?

    • by Escogido (884359)

      I had the same experience with a recruiter for Google. I mostly have game design and production experience on my resume and since my background is in engineering, those skills listed as "side" skills probably matched his keywords. I didn't realize that at the start of the interview and was wondering why would Google be interested in a game designer. The conversation went on for at least quarter an hour, he was asking me for my experience with different software development platforms and I kept wondering why

    • Some guy from Google contacted me too, and I wished he screened me by asking how to design a solution for a very deep and technical problem, instead of expecting me to memorize things that can easily be googled or browsed through the man pages.

      Fresh graduates have an edge with Google's hiring process. I've been developing software for quite some time now, but I no longer remember the Big O thingy for standard sorting algorithms.
  • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:13PM (#42022179) Homepage
    I know this is Slasdot, but out of curiosity I took a moment to RTFA: the part quoted as the summary here is the only place in TFA that the phony profile's mentioned. The rest of it's nothing more than a puff piece for the head-hunting firm behind it. Yet Another Case where the "editors" didn't bother to check what they were accepting.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, this is not actually a Forbes article. Forbes lets anyone publish a "blog", which many spammers and scammers use to make their crap look legitimate. Same deal with Examiner.com articles.

  • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @07:16PM (#42022551)

    Good engineers are never unemployed and never seeking jobs.

    Biggest falsehood ever. I bet this is the reason most unemployed coders are still unemployed, and these companies have announced a false 'shortage' of engineers.

    FWIW, if anyone's hiring, I am a coder that would like a better job...

  • Auction? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NetNinja (469346) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:10PM (#42022863)

    What is happening is you are running into the sales game. Don't think just because someone is caling you that they have a job for you.
    I am not going to go into percentages here but a good number of these so called offers are B.S.

    They are sales people. They are doing what they are suposed to quote un quote do what sales people do in a cold calling envrionemnt. It's the numbers game.
    They get paid if they get some sort of information from you. Even a referal get's them a stale Twinkee of the week award.
    They don't read your resume, because if they did they would offer you a interview appointment right then and there.
    Or if they do ofer you an interview appointment it's to come to thier boiler room operation where all you hear are noisy phone calls and no privacy. it's like walking into an H&R tax office so that people who are waiting arround can hear what you make and what deductions you can't take.

    Don't waste your time. Don't even give them more than 1 min on the phone.

    Here is how a successful phone call should work.

    Ring ring.
    Hello?
    Hello Mr. so and so. I was looking over you resume and I am interested in your skills. We have a position open at a company _______ fill in the blank.
    Starting Salary $$ benefits and whatever else they have to offer.
    What would be the best time for you to come in for the interview?

    If they don't have that down just hang up.

    People love to waste your time. In fact there would be more millionares per capita if people were paid on the sole premise to waste your freaking time.

    This is a bogus article because if you put yourself up for auction you arent going to get any offers and in fact I don't think people have the time to play let's see who we can get for X ammount of dollars. You better be a well known superstar if you think you can offer yourself to the highest bidder.

    Most large organizations have outsourced your so called superstar programming experience to India anyway. These companies don't care if they get a workable product that serves the customer, all they care about is how quick thier project gets launched and how much money they saved up front. It's the same stupid shortsighted bullshit that American cars manufactures use. get the product out at all costs and when the recall happens fire the head of the engineering division because we decided to go with the low ball 20 cent micro switch over the $1.00 one that causes parking brakes to disenguage.

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:33PM (#42023025)

    When I was a software engineer (12+ years of experience), I had recruiters contacting me pretty much daily, with all sorts of wonderful breathless urgency, about how they were "so very interested" in my software skills and would love to chat about their crappy entry-level job or temp position. Annoying as hell, and the recruiters have only gotten more and more desperate as the software job market starts picking up.

    Fortunately, I now get contacted about once a month (if that) by recruiters. How, you ask?

    Simple. I did a little career move over to the technical marketing side, and changed my job title on LinkedIn to "Senior Product Manager". BAM! The recruiter contacts stopped pretty much overnight. Every once in a while, I get the occasional "I notice you were once an engineer, want to come back??" message which I politely decline, but no more annoying stream of desperation. I suppose if I ever become serious about changing companies, I could always put "Senior Software Engineer" back on LinkedIn and dive through the recruiter spam.

    When you think about it, it's kind of revealing. It shows the mentality out there--people think the only thing software companies need is a steady supply of engineers. Apparently, software simply leaps from the engineers' fingertips, right into the customer's shopping cart, with no product definition, schedule, market requirements analysis, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When you think about it, it's kind of revealing. It shows the mentality out there--people think the only thing software companies need is a steady supply of engineers. Apparently, software simply leaps from the engineers' fingertips, right into the customer's shopping cart, with no product definition, schedule, market requirements analysis, etc.

      You should look into Agile. It makes all that stuff irrelevant. All you need is a bunch of programmers, a wall of index cards, a daily status meeting, and rows of

      • by Stiletto (12066)

        LOL, we do Agile. You still need product/market fit, and someone to describe to the engineers what to pivot to.

  • And do they accept bitcoins?
  • I wish I could be hounded by recruiters

  • Simple skill (Score:4, Interesting)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @08:59PM (#42023177) Homepage

    I'm surprised at the number of people who don't know the skill of dealing with telemarketers on the telephone: "I'm not interested"

    Dealing with recruiters is similar and simple: "I currently make $X, and would consider a change for a 30% increase."

  • by Tony Isaac (1301187) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @09:54PM (#42023427) Homepage

    If you're making up a fake resume, you can say whatever you want to...whatever you know recruiters are looking for! Why is it so surprising that a custom-tailored--but false--resume would attract attention from recruiters? Real resumes usually carry some baggage, and other less-than-ideal unless you've had a flawless career. Fake ones can be perfect.

  • by CBravo (35450) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:50AM (#42024639)
    I never respond to recruiters unless I find proof they actually read my resume.

    Lately I have been doing the selections. Boy. I wish people would simply pass the Codility test, find the nullpointer in our test and understand sql injections. I never trust a resume again; have to verify it.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:05AM (#42026869)
    LinkedIn has gone from being a semi useful way to keep track of colleagues to being a meat market. If you accept invites from agents you WILL be spammed without remorse from now until forever. At least that's my experience. It's best not to accept invites from agents at all and be careful about what groups you join too since I've had explicit spams identifying as a member of some group to justify the spiele that follows. I expect agents just see LinkedIn as cheaper than Monster.com andsimilar and LinkedIn has obliged them with tools which mine the data. That might be great for agents and LinkedIn but it makes me quite averse from using the service at all.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday November 19, 2012 @12:20PM (#42027799) Journal

    I've found that many of the recruiters aren't real either. A high percentage originate offshore, have some obscure short-term contracting job a long way from your current position and want some kind of handling fee from you. It's this century's 419 scam.

    My adventure began when my company announced outsourcing a few years back. I ended up transferring to another group and staying on, but for about a year I explored all those annoying recruiter emails and cold calls. More than half of them did not sound real (for a lot of the same reasons a 419 scam doesn't sound real -- unlikely profits, terrible writing skills, difficult to understand on the phone, obviously no technical or recruiting skills) and it eventually came down to wanting a handling fee from me to process the job application. Now, maybe somewhere there are recruiters that operate this way, but my experience has been that legitimate recruiters charge the company, not the recruit. Buyer beware.

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Working...