3 Philly developers share their tech recruiting horror stories - Technical.ly Philly

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Mar. 3, 2015 10:27 am

3 Philly developers share their tech recruiting horror stories

Michaelangelo Ilagan, Ben Shive and Duran Goodyear have some advice for tech recruiters: Don't ask us to fix the printer.

A few tips on how job recruiters can up their game.

(Photo by Flickr user Gvahim, used under a Creative Commons license)

Recruiting has become a hot topic, especially in the technology field. Recruiters are constantly looking to find new tech talent.

You have job fairs, recruiting sessions and recruiters reaching out through email or via different job boards. However, a lot of tech recruiters have gotten a few things wrong when it comes to recruiting. The problem? Lack of research.

And where does this problem stem from? We spoke with local technologists Michaelangelo Ilagan, Ben Shive and Duran Goodyear about their experiences and a few ideas on how to make tech recruiting more efficient.

Please do your research

For Goodyear, who has been running his own development firm for two years now, the biggest problem was the obvious lack of research by recruiters. “They never ask what I do or search me on Google,” said Goodyear. “It’s just all about filling the job slot, with a body. Not really trying to determine if it’s the right body. They just want their commission.”

Goodyear says his first recruiting horror story happened when he was 23 years old. He had been selling himself as a young professional, a “front-end web developer who knows HTML and CSS,” he recalled.

He then got a call from a job recruiter who said he had something that matched his skill set, based on the resume he’d found on the internet. Goodyear remembers clearly that the recruiter said, “We’re a small office that wants someone part time to help with our website.” Then the recruiter added, “We also might need some basic help with printers.” At that time, Goodyear candidly replied, “Uh, yeah, sure, I build my own PCs, I’m sure I can help get the printers working.”

The next day, the owner of this company calls Goodyear and the conversation seemed to sway heavily toward the printer part.

However, Goodyear made it clear in the phone call that he was going to be their web developer. But when he showed up at the office, the boss was no where to be found, and when he asked the secretary where his desk was, the secretary replied, “I thought you were the printer support person? We have six offices across the state that constantly have these,” she pointed at a printer, “breaking all the time. In fact, can you drive up to the Northeast now?”

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Please stop spamming me

Philadelphia developer Ben Shive, who also wrote a piece on Medium on how to find Philly tech talent, says recruiters need to be more targeted.

“The problem is many recruiters do keyword-matching spam techniques in hopes of that one hit when it should be a starting point,” Shive said. “Even when I sent back a polite message outlining my employment requirements and questions about the positions, it was rare to get a reply with any further detail. The recruiter was just looking to book a bunch of interviews, wasting a huge amount of other people’s time.”

Think Brownstone developer and Geekadelphia editor Michaelangelo Ilagan gave a few more examples of funny recruiting moments, where recruiters would just spam Ilagan on LinkedIn:

The lesson recruiters can learn from these examples?

  • Do your research.
  • Don’t force the issue: people list their qualifications and experience for a reason.
  • Don’t spam people.
  • Do your research.

That’s not to say all recruiters are doing it wrong. Our free ebook, Beyond Recruiting, features nine innovative ways companies are finding tech talent.

Get 'Beyond Recruiting' Jobs Board
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David Ongchoco

David Ongchoco is currently a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. From the Philippines, David hopes to continue fueling his passions in technology, entrepreneurship, education and journalism. He loves spending his free time reading biographies, volunteering and working on side projects. He currently also runs a youth media website, The Global Youth Journal.

  • James Kiesel

    Yuuup.

    It actually kinda ruins my day when I have to, even ever-so-ephemerally, consider working on ASP in Horsham for a foreseeable chunk of my life.

  • blkbam

    I’d like to also call out that any mentions in an unsolicited email that mention the words urgent and immediate are instantly deleted from my mailbox. If a company actually is using these adjectives to describe a job I think they far worst problems than a vacancy.

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