Recruiters are still idiots

I applied to 9 jobs at the weekend, all through agencies, sadly. I stressed in each application that since I work full time they wouldn’t be able to contact me by phone during the day. No fewer than four of them have tried to contact me by phone during the day. Of those:

  • Two (Paul Haig and Dave Collingwood, both from Computer People) don’t seem to know much about the jobs I actually applied to and instead were more interested in trying to sell me to some other roles (for which I am totally inappropriate – wrong skills, wrong location). All I can assume is that Computer People post fake job listings to attract CVs. Dave Collingwood on his LinkedIn profile describes himself as “head of Java development”, which appears to display a flawed understanding of the words “head”, “of”, “Java”, and “development” and an apparent ignorance of the words “two”. “bit” and “conman”.
  • One wants my CV in Word format, which means he wants to edit it. I’m still waiting for him to buy me a Windows and MS Office license.
  • One seems to have forwarded my application through without much resistance. Uh, wow? This is pretty much unprecidented. I won’t take the job because it turns out the company is involved in anti-piracy which probably means they’re a bunch of scumbags, but it’s possible interview practice.

Since then, I have also seen a significant rise in suspicious emails in my inbox. A rise from zero. I am told that I have:

  • A new ‘iProfile’
  • Expressed some interest in receiving a newsletter for the “Greenbank Sports Academy”
  • Signed up to “jobserve’s” news letter.

Either I am suffering selective amnesia or my email’s been sold.

It’s a striking piece of irony that companies outsource recruitment to agencies. Who becomes a recruiter by choice? You become a recruiter becasue there are always tonnes of recruitment jobs available (high turnover) and because it requires no specific skills. Most of them are 21-23 year olds straight out of university with non-degrees and no immediate career options. Fine, but you seem like the worst possible candidate to help with recruitment.


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7 comments on “Recruiters are still idiots
  1. Anonymous says:

    Actually- the reason your CV is needed in Word format is due to Data protection- agencies arent allowed to send out your CV with your personal contact details on- not to edit it.

    • me says:

      Did an agency tell you that? Recruitment agencies will spam you for years after you give them your details with irrelevant and inappropriate contact. There is only a semantic difference between what they do and the person trying to get me to buy Viagra or enlargement pills. The notion that they respect data protection laws is laughable. Almost as laughable as the idea that data protection laws prevent an employer from seeing the contact details of a job applicant.

      The reason they remove contact details is to prevent employers and candidates from speaking directly to each other and cutting out the agency.

      Also, removing contact details doesn’t count as editing?

  2. Anonymous says:

    No, I am a hiring manager within IT and use agencies all the time for hiring and for looking for work- yes there are alot of bad ones out there, but to be honest, on the whole, they make my job alot easier in searching for people when I hire and I have been placed in my last 3 jobs by agencies- who were great. Alot will spam you and most dont return calls or give feedback, but they arent all this bad… from my experience anyway.

    Also, why shouldnt they remove the candidates contact details when they send a CV through? Its their job to get paid on finding people for a role, otherwise they are just doing something for free?

    Sounds like you have had some bad agency experiences, which is a shame, but they arent all bad.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Being honest mate, if you spend more time trying to get a job than writing this blog then I’m sure you wouldn’t be in this position. applying for jobs is one thing, having the ability to to a job is another. In my experience any good developer is in work ‘Working’ not wasting time biting the hand that feeds them.

    If one is struggling to acquire a position then one should consider are they good enough?

    • me says:

      I’ve seen it argued elsewhere that “if you have bad experiences with agencies maybe you’re just a bad candidate”. It seems like such a stupid argument that flies in the face of empirical experience and common opinion that I’ve always suspected it was shilling by bad recruiters who on some level realise they are scumbags, but aren’t quite comfortable with it.

      And indeed, ‘Anonymous’, your IP address ( indicates you, for all your pretence of being a disinterested “IT hiring manager” in other comments, as being an employee of Adecco – an extremely big IT recruiter who owns Computer People.

      You spent many, many, many hours going through this blog entry-by-entry, to, I strongly suspect, try to match me up to a name on a CV you received (we both know I’ve personally offended you with this entry, so we can both guess you are named above and may have received my CV at some point), but I am equally sure you failed. Therefore you have no idea who I am or what my skills are. As you lack all of the ability, information, and interest in assessing my competence as a developer, your suggestion that I am not ‘good’ enough for a developer job is a vacuous ad hominem trivially proved false by the fact I have been employed before.

      As for “biting the hand that feeds me”, lol? Since when have you fed me? That’s a very insightful comment as to how you see candidates. Would you class yourself as a sociopath?

      Commenting using an IP address that contradicts false claims of who you are is a pretty obvious mistake that shows a lack of basic IT awareness. Are you sure you’re qualified to recruit software engineers? I think not.

  4. Jon Marx says:

    Just thought I’d chip in as I recently had contact with one of the above-named characters at Computer People. The guy was really chatty, kept calling me mate, told me all about this great contract role that I’d be perfect for, even openly told me the % margin he would make if I got the job. It was quite weird and rather cringe-worthy.

    After that … silence. I chased him up a few days later and he acted as though the role had never existed.

    All very strange.

    • laeknishendr says:

      Not only was he named above, I’m quite certain that Mr Collingwood was the ‘Anonymous’ commenter above.

      It’s been four years since I wrote this, but my opinion hasn’t changed much. I see dealing with agency recruiters (as either a candidate or company) as an opportunity cost versus trying to find candidates/companies directly.

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