It’s been a long while since I posted anything, so I thought I would write about a topic that’s been itch at my side for a while. Before my holiday break, I was contacted by a recruiter about an opportunity that I may be interested in pursuing. I get maybe two or three emails a week from headhunters, but a call to me at work surprisingly rare. So after about fifteen minutes of general chit-chat, some really basic information about the employer, and touting how he can help me in my pursuit of a better opportunity, he asks me about what I do.
Wait a minute! You want to know what I do? That was a very unusual request. So, I asked him to elaborate. He admitted to me that he did not know what my capabilities and skill sets are. I was quite flabbergasted. The recruiter calls me at work to talk about opportunities, but doesn’t know anything about me.
So, I tell him about my software engineering experience. I started with my present work and move backward in time. All of a sudden, the recruiter interrupts me.
“Have you done any Unix administration?”
“No. I am a software developer. I’ve only done very minimal administration.”, I replied.
“Well, I have this opportunity for a Unix system administrator. Pay in near six-figures.”, he said in a cool, smooth tone.
“But I am not an administrator. I work with software engineering. I create software, not maintain machines.”, I said, rolling my eyes.
“Same difference.”, he exclaimed.
At this point, I determined that this guy has no clue. No matter if I asked if he had software engineering opportunities, he was going to steer me toward the high-paying (and thus high-commission) Unix system administrator position. That’s when I had to tell him that I am not interested in the opportunity.
“Well, I am sorry to hear that. Do you know of any one who may be interested in this position?”
What? You want me to give you a lead to one of my peers after that wonderful display of research and knowledge that you displayed to me? No, thank you. I respectfully declined and ended the phone call.
There were many things so wrong with this conversation. When a recruiter knows nothing about the jobs, nothing about the recruits, and pays attention to his commission rather than finding me the perfect opportunity, that shows utter disrespect to me and the potential employer. I hate to see how many hours are wasted in phone calls, interviews, and paperwork, just to have a series of mismatched recruits get rejected.
So, to all you headhunters out there, I expect you to work for me, too!