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Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the even-uncle-sam-wants-you dept.

Businesses 233

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."

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Click-whoring post. How could this get approved? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42021915)

"Summary" is simply cut and paste from the copyrighted article. Plain plagiarism. Click-whoring.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42021995)

Click-whoring; yes.
Plagiarism; no.

Just because they cut and paste a few sentences from a much larger copyrighted article, doesn't mean they are infringing on the copyright, despite what copyright pimps would like you to believe.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022031)

Copyright isn't the issue. Quoting from copyrighted content is fair use.

Plagiarism, on the other hand, is trying to pass off someone else's work as your own.

In this case, the summary says "an anonymous reader writes..." when the actual author is not anonymous and not the submitter of the story.

Heck, at the very least put "J.J. Colao writes for Forbes..." That would be honest, but this is just shitty journalism.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (4, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#42022305)

How does this rate "interesting". If it was plagiarism there wouldn't be a link to the actual story. You can't tell someone they are trying pass someone else's work off as their own when they provide the original work. Especially when it is just a couple lines on a news aggregator site to give the readers a clue what the article is about.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (0, Redundant)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42022527)

Copyright isn't the issue. Quoting from copyrighted content is fair use.

Plagiarism, on the other hand, is trying to pass off someone else's work as your own.

In this case, the summary says "an anonymous reader writes..." when the actual author is not anonymous and not the submitter of the story.

Heck, at the very least put "J.J. Colao writes for Forbes..." That would be honest, but this is just shitty journalism.

You must be mentally impaired or trolling, or this is your first time ever on slashdot. It's not journalism at all so saying it's "shitty journalism" is not relevant. An anonymous reader wrote in that there was a story on another site and provided a summary. This tips off the Slashdot users to go comment without reading the article or sometimes without even reading the summary. One or two users will actually read both and have a bit of sport trolling the group that did not. It's a cycle.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022641)

It's not journalism at all so saying it's "shitty journalism" is not relevant.

Hey, if this site claims to be a "news" site, then it is journalism. They should do their fucking job and actually, you know, write a summary.

An anonymous reader wrote in that there was a story on another site and provided a summary.

Exactly. Provided someone else's summary.

This is where the disagreement lies between actual news sites and aggregators. The news sites say it's plagiarism and the aggregators say it isn't - they're just "search utilities" like Google.

Call it what you will - I call it fucking lazy.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42022977)

How about looking up the definition of "summary", the fact that it is a "summary" removes the possibility of plagerisim.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42022061)

Just because they cut and paste a few sentences from a much larger copyrighted article, doesn't mean they are infringing on the copyright, despite what copyright pimps would like you to believe.

Is is plagiarism if the summary claims that the cited passage was written by "an anonymous reader" when in fact it was openly written by "J.J. Colao".

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022229)

How are you to know I am not J.J. Colao?

- J.J. Colao

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 2 years ago | (#42022361)

The question is not whether you are him or not. It is whether you represent yourself to be him or not. Plagiarism is copying without proper attribution.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (2)

Cillian (1003268) | about 2 years ago | (#42023069)

Hang on, what? Are you saying if I write something, then repeat what I wrote in an anonymous context, that's plagiarism?

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023201)

Hang on, what? Are you saying if I write something, then repeat what I wrote in an anonymous context, that's plagiarism?

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about 2 years ago | (#42022901)

Well, are you? The odds are 7 billion to one.

Re:Click-whoring post. How could this get approved (5, Informative)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#42023345)

For Pete's sake, people! It's not "cut and paste"; it's "copy and paste"!! The two operations are not the same thing.

You'd think a bunch of geeks would get it right.

First post? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42021921)

Wooo!

how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (5, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42021935)

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

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

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 2 years ago | (#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:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (3, Informative)

elliot.mackenzie (853463) | about 2 years ago | (#42022025)

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 someone.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022211)

well, some don't. but they are guys working in the company giving out those jobs. you know, actual recruiters out of actual need and not just fisherman spammers.

then there's the other sort who act as middlemen and happen to magically be notified when people are laid off at some other firm and are notified that some other company xyz needs someone with exactly his skillset(and these setup the laid off guy as contractor in the xyz, because the company xyz uses "recruiters" who can't recruit for shit but the company xyz can pay for contract work).

anyways, anyone who wants a job at google/fb/wherever can apply for it themselves without middle men - but it's not like it's worth it without having inside contact nowadays.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022815)

Unless working for a marketing company is your thing, google/fb aren't worth it even with an inside contact.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022399)

You pay 30k a year?

No wonder you have to search hard.

CAPTCHA: ripoff

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022651)

If $3000 is 10-15% of what you're paying, you can go fuck yourself

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#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:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022385)

Sounds like real estate.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (5, Interesting)

pavera (320634) | about 2 years ago | (#42022713)

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?)

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (2)

czth (454384) | about 2 years ago | (#42023259)

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 number of offers, but I wouldn't expect them to give the latter details up; that data and what they learn from mining it is can be a competitive advantage for DeveloperAuction. But they could reveal enough of what they learn to be interesting and show they have a good caliber of developers/employers without giving away the farm. For example: most popular technologies, or how years of experience or age correlates with offers.

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?)

Hear, hear. Of the several open source projects I've contributed to, only one is on GitHub; and I keep my personal projects on a local subversion server (moving to git for newer stuff and I expect I'll transition the svn all to git soon).

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022789)

I don't understand; are you saying the average job offer was $530K per engineer? Per year? What am I not understanding? What was the median offer? What percentage of the money was in the form of a stock options from a company not listed in the stock market?

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (2)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42022039)

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.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (5, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022847)

I would consider both professions almost 100% filled with liars. The stereotype got there because it's true.

What about the fat, opinionated, underinformed, apple-fanboi, a-social, slashdot reader stereotype?

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42022957)

Given that I'm a married man of less-than-average girth who was introduced to /. by another married skinny guy, and none of the rest apply to either of us, I'd have to say that the stereotype is incorrect, provably so, from my perspective.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (4, Funny)

aXis100 (690904) | about 2 years ago | (#42022963)

It's clearly not true. Some of us are android-fanbois.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (5, Informative)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (1)

Meski (774546) | about 2 years ago | (#42022201)

How many of the job descriptions and requirements are wrong, for that particular job and salary?

Guy who was indicted for false interviews? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42021945)

Wasn't there some guy who went on interviews for high paying jobs, the type where you got flown in, put up and even given money? He would intentionally throw the interview at some point, ensuring he didn't get the job he wasn't qualified for yet enjoying a free vacation. Somehow he got found out and was convicted for fraud. Anyone know this story?

Re:Guy who was indicted for false interviews? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022169)

When living in the U.S., I went to two different interviews over a period of three months at a company in Germany. Was flown over business class (this was in the early '90's) and put up in a nice hotel. The first time I was really serious about working for the company, but it didn't work out. The second time I had no intention of working for the company, but wanted to enjoy the experience again. They offered me the job the second time, but I turned it down. The interviewing manager was pissed at me...

Re:Guy who was indicted for false interviews? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022223)

If he lied on the CV he sent in about his experience/qualifications? Quite possibly.

If he sent in a totally genuine CV but was just in it for the free holiday? Can't see how that's fraud.

Re:Guy who was indicted for false interviews? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022369)

Why throw the interview? You can always reject their offer.

Re:Guy who was indicted for false interviews? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022801)

Personally, I ask the interviewer(s) if s/he will suck my cock. Worst case: I don't get the job (free vacation!). Best case: I get the (blow)job (free sex vacation!)

seriously? not this again (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 2 years ago | (#42021987)

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.

I love you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022177)

Will you father my baby?

Re:I love you! (0)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#42022297)

Will you father my baby?

Your right. It is almost as bad as Russian bride spam.

Re:seriously? not this again (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022341)

"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%.

Re:seriously? not this again (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:seriously? not this again (3, Insightful)

pavera (320634) | about 2 years ago | (#42022719)

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?

Re:seriously? not this again (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#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:seriously? not this again (2, Interesting)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about 2 years ago | (#42022411)

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 labor force at large would really like to be true, and it's as big a fallacy as the "They don't dare fire me, I'm an irreplaceable cog / this place would fall apart without me" attitude. Minimizing employee turnover enhances efficiency and profit margin, but it's not the "single most important" factor by a long shot. The single most important factor is that you can convince your market that they need or want your product or service. 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. Everything else is tertiary and simply a matter of efficiency and margins.

3. you're only going to get desperate people, not those who are capable

See point 1. In this economy there are plenty of people who are BOTH desperate and capable. The two states are not mutually exclusive. There is a simple three dimensional map you can mentally construct here. On the X axis, plot how your skills match up with the position. On the Y axis, your income if you take the job. On the Z axis, how much effort you're willing to put forward to get the job..

You must come to an agreement with the company in terms of the X and Y, but the Z is entirely up to you. Not responding to recruiters because they are emailing you blindly from a outsourced Indian firm is entirely a Z axis phenomenon. I won't make a value judgement on the wisdom of making that choice, because it's personal, and depends heavily on your current position on the Y axis -- if you're out of work and might end up homeless soon, it's a stupid idea. If you're comfortably employed and the Y axis bump wouldn't be much, then telling them to get stuffed (as I, too, often do) is not an irresponsible move on your part.

This is all partly practical, and partly playing devils advocate to someone who seems a bit heavy on the sanctimonious side. If the competent people you know are getting "stonewalled" there are simple reasons why, and almost all of them boil down to one thing: disagreements about this persons value to the company. Maybe the person is overvaluing their own skills or capabilities, or maybe they aren't doing a good job of demonstrating them to the employer. The only alternative is that the company doesn't need to hire someone right now, and are just testing the waters to see what kind of candidates are available. Several years ago I went on an interview and was told point blank about an hour in that they weren't *actually* looking to hire for another 6 months to a year. I was furious with them for wasting my time, but kept my temper in check and departed without burning any bridges. This has only happened to me once though, in almost 20 years in the field.

Re:seriously? not this again (2)

sribe (304414) | about 2 years ago | (#42022705)

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.

Re:seriously? not this again (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#42023037)

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.

Re:seriously? not this again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023051)

Show me one half way competent Ruby developer who can't find work? Unless they are utterly insane (or have some other "challenge" to being hired) they have a great job. Unemployment isn't high among developers of any kind right now, but I only know from personal experience for Ruby. I'm okay, probably around the 50th percentile in quality and I landed my first job for a great company without even trying (was self employed with practically nothing to show for it before interviewing for this job). And we'd love to find even a couple more like me although I'd prefer more experienced developers myself). And this isn't a problem due to not being will to lok outside the US, we'd be more than happy to find developers anywhere in the world.

Re:seriously? not this again (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42023151)

"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 easier to find them at lower wages than in better times, but that doesn't mean you won't need to pay "expert rate" for experts, just that "expert rate" will be lower (but still higher than "entry level rate").

"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. Everything else is tertiary and simply a matter of efficiency and margins."

And you should review your economics 101 too. Being able to sell at a profit instead of at a loss is "simply a matter of efficiency and margins" too.

Re:seriously? not this again (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42022687)

There's always the silent "for the price we want" at the end of the "we can't find talent" statement.

Re:seriously? not this again (1)

sribe (304414) | about 2 years ago | (#42022689)

...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!

Re:seriously? not this again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022763)

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

Bullshit - it is profit - so for most businesses cheaper very often better.

Re:seriously? not this again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022873)

What they mean is qualified and will work for shit wages crap benefits no pensions etc..
Our perspective employees are all hip to our shit and cant be bamboozled any more.

Re:seriously? not this again (1)

alexmin (938677) | about 2 years ago | (#42022937)

"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.

Re:seriously? not this again (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#42023001)

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.

Re:seriously? not this again (2)

curunir (98273) | about 2 years ago | (#42023455)

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...that's where the desperate employers are.

I do sympathize about the formalized HR process...I've been in a constant fight with our HR department over the job descriptions that are posted. They claim that it's worthless to post an ad without a job description. They want things along the lines of, "You'll work closely with Product Management to develop features for our flagship product." My contention is that this is basically implied...every corporate development job can be described that way. I prefer to have the post talk about what we do, what kind of developer we're looking for and our development philosophy. It's an ad that I think would work well if it was posted to the more specialized job boards (Github, Craigslist, etc) but then they post it to Dice and Monster and blame me when it gets almost no response.

I've responded like this in the past when someone claims that employers are being disingenuous, but I'll do it again...if there are any good Java or front-end JavaScript developers in the SF bay area, respond and I'll tell you how to apply...these are $150k+ jobs, so we're not low-balling candidates.

cut down unqualified candidates or cut out good pe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42021999)

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.

did he say he will work for free on his resume? (1)

sku158 (217924) | about 2 years ago | (#42022001)

or he'd pay to work?

Thumbs up! (3, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 2 years ago | (#42022013)

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! (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#42022457)

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.

Age vs experience... (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#42022029)

From the Forbes article:

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

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

Re:Age vs experience... (4, Insightful)

KZigurs (638781) | about 2 years ago | (#42022139)

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

Re:Age vs experience... (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 years ago | (#42023227)

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....

Re:Age vs experience... (2)

c_sd_m (995261) | about 2 years ago | (#42022143)

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.

Re:Age vs experience... (2)

maeglin (23145) | about 2 years ago | (#42022691)

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 the long run.

No red flags on his record (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022049)

HR dream recruit

Room half full of HR and half full of lesbians: doesn't do dick.

Computer matching and recruiters (4, Interesting)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 2 years ago | (#42022093)

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 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022123)

"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?

Re:This is confusing (2)

uncqual (836337) | about 2 years ago | (#42022917)

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 get a good sign-on bonus, it's possible that the recruiter kicked in some of the bonus out of their fees. This is especially true if the bonus is increased during the negotiation process (the recruiter is facing losing 100% of the commission if the company refuses to pay enough of a bonus to entice the candidate so they will often decide to "top off" the bonus to make the placement -- the contract between the recruiter and the hiring company dictates this and the candidate is never aware of it). In fact, I've never raised my contribution to a sign-on bonus during negotiations with a candidate sourced through a recruiter taking a cut of the first year salary - but often the sign-on bonus goes up because the recruiter kicks in something.

So, a tip, if you're a candidate going through an outside recruiter, always request a sign-on bonus late in the negotiation game (to help compensate for loss of seniority in vacation time or whatever justification you can come up with). You might as well get a cut of the recruiter's fee and this is about the only way to do it. As the recruiter's supplier, you have quite a bit of flexibility.

Re:This is confusing (1)

GeckoAddict (1154537) | about 2 years ago | (#42023063)

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.

Reminds me a contact from Google (5, Informative)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#42022313)

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.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023253)

I ask $180K, $160 is too low.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#42023403)

He didn't mention he expected 8 weeks of personal leave per year, Cadillac health, and a day a week for personal projects. He's saving that for the negotiations, no doubt.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022371)

No its not, it's the same as online dating. You shotgun your pitch to as many women as possible, it doesnt matter if they realize its a shotgun approach or not, (they realize its part of the game if they do) and bite at the hook.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022373)

The company mentioned in the Forbes article story, DeveloperAuction, seems to be trying to change the way this process works by having employers put the offer BEFORE the interview.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (4, Interesting)

c0l0 (826165) | about 2 years ago | (#42022537)

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.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022625)

That's funny, I turned down a recruiter who was screening me for an SRE position not six months back. Strangely Google don't understand that not everyone wants to sell their house and move to a stupidly expensive capital city just to work at Google.

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (1)

jnelson4765 (845296) | about 2 years ago | (#42023231)

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 company like Google calls, you tend to respond...

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (1)

sribe (304414) | about 2 years ago | (#42022733)

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.)

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42022767)

Some guy from Google

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

Re:Reminds me a contact from Google (1)

Escogido (884359) | about 2 years ago | (#42023357)

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 does that even matter. At a certain point I realized what was going on and said "actually I'm not interested in a software developer position"; his tone immediately changed and he quickly wrapped up the call after that.

I was wondering if my resume looked like an engineer's and went back and looked at it - nope, it didn't, at least not to me. I was getting software developer position offers every once in a while so eventually I added "Please do not contact me for positions in software engineering" to the "contact me for" part on LinkedIn. I still do get these from time to time :)

RTFA (3, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 years ago | (#42022179)

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:RTFA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022563)

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.

Sounds about like my voicemail... (1)

Golbez81 (1582163) | about 2 years ago | (#42022203)

I sometimes wonder if head hunters are worse than bill collectors.

Did Pete London... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022329)

... register here at /. ?

Because even non-existing he could get a lot of automatic karma while ACs -- even existing ones -- are pushed under the carpet...

Such Bullshit (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Such Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022703)

You're missing the point: if you're ever unemployed and struggling to find a job, you're not a good engineer.

Re:Such Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42023079)

I've had recruiters tell me this diatrbe too. Contacted me saying they specialize in recruiting engineers; their specialty is that "the best aren't looking" and therefore I must be part of that group since I'm currently employed. Gee thanks ego, but no bite from me.

Is a LinkedIn profile even worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42022859)

I've been tempted to setup a LinkedIn profile and put up my resume. I've held back because I don't want to give the impression I'm looking for a new job. OTOH, I *feel* that I'm underpaid for the skills, education and experience I have. I'm also looking to switch career and willing to see what I'm offered.

I get why people setup profiles and can see some of the benefits.

Any advice or good reading for the LinkedIn shy? Is it even worth it?

Auction? (3, Insightful)

NetNinja (469346) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

How to cut down on endless recruiter spam (4, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

How much for the cute blonde one? (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#42023029)

And do they accept bitcoins?

That'd be okay (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42023099)

I wish I could be hounded by recruiters

Simple skill (3, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 2 years ago | (#42023177)

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."

Why is this surprising? (4, Insightful)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about 2 years ago | (#42023427)

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.

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