Now I know why developers hate recruiters.

Coming from technical staffing, the past several years always presented me with an odd conundrum. Many of the candidates I would speak with for development jobs seemed to rush me off the phone…Now don’t get me wrong…its not nearly like trying to get a hiring manager on the line and the challenge in presenting value and differentiating yourself from the competition it takes…but…many times, these candidates would seem almost exasperated to speak with me. And now I know why.

When it comes to developer tenure, I have none…I am about as Jr as it gets. I know enough to be dangerous across the full stack…now sometimes that means I write fat code that doesn’t work…and others it can mean that I can slowly engineer my way to a final solution and lo and behold…it works. So…you can imagine my surprise that I already understand what developers mean when they express frustration with recruiters.

Right now…I am receiving 10–15 emails per day from recruiters…which…would be great if any of these positions were mentorship opportunities, or Jr dev positions that lent themselves to a learning environment. But alas…the emails I am getting are for 10+ year Sr Dev jobs…out of my city…out of my state…and OUT OF MY LANGUAGE…I am getting Java, Python, Cobol…you name it…and the best part is…I (the guy who has been programming for 4 months) am “one of the top software developers in the area specializing in .NET” and recruiters are “very impressed with” my “extensive development experience.” Come on guys…this is why recruiters and staffing in general get a bad wrap.

I honestly had no clue it was this bad. I know there are great recruiters out there that source effectively and actually care about and engage their candidates, but this stigma isn’t going to go away any time soon until something gives. It’s honestly daunting…especially because these emails are also paired with phone calls…where everyone kind of blends together and I’m ground chuck beef they’re attempting to serve to someone whom ordered filet mignon.

I know why you’re calling…you need a developer…and there are no developers on the market…I get it…I do. I’m a last ditch hail Mary so you at least have a “developer” to present to your client. Not the best strategy, but sometimes it will work, I’m sure.

However, even though I am in the market, I am still busy…and honestly too busy to begin sifting through dozens of recruiter emails, none of which are the least bit relevant to where I want to head in my next career step. Unfortunately now I will be pursuing companies I am interested in on my own and unless a recruiter is calling from the hiring company will be deflecting to the trash can.

Everyone in technical staffing understands this issue…but I am honestly blown away by the severity of the problem. It is beyond my wildest dreams. When the situation was reversed I used to think “what a great problem to have.” I was sorely mistaken.

Good recruiters…you know what to do…keep it up because the difference WILL be noticeable to a candidate. Engage…ask questions…care…and most of all…if its a hail Mary…be honest…make a plan…you know the client might make concessions for a moldable Jr…so be straightforward and continue to be better than your competition…trust me…its not hard.

Wish me luck.