Why I don’t work with recruiters

Over the past few years, I’ve received over 500 emails from recruiters relating to ‘amazing roles I might be interested in’ (this doesn’t include all the phone calls). Of those, 5 (yes, five) were relevant and worth applying for. In three of those I was selected for interview, one of which turned out not to be recruiting, one wanted someone with far more experience, and the third was so bad that I wouldn’t even let them make me an offer.

Common reasons for roles not being relevant include:

Wrong location: I’ve always lived and worked in Greater Manchester and don’t want to relocate. According to recruiters though this area extends as far as Coventry, Nottingham and even London.

Wrong salary:¬†Recently I had a recruiter trying to offer me ¬£150/day to work as a senior developer – about half the average day rate for that role. On other occasions I’ve been offered junior roles despite my CV at the time listing my current position as IT Director.

Wrong technology: It’s obvious from my CV and website that I’m a PHP developer and Linux system administrator – it’s also right at the top of my LinkedIn profile. Some recruiters think this means I’ll be a great fit for a senior C#, .NET and Windows role.

Wrong type of role:¬†I’m a freelancer, with regular clients and a reasonably successful small business. This is my current role on my CV and is prominently listed on my website and LinkedIn, yet I still get recruiters offering me permanent roles.

On top of the above, I’ve been sent roles for companies which I know have a ‘no recruiters’ policy. Sometimes the recruiter will even have the cheek to claim that it doesn’t apply to them for some reason, though when I check with the company that’s not the case.

There might be some good recruiters out there, but with a role relevancy rate of less than 1% I can see why many people, myself included, write off the entire industry.


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