Recruiters are Nazis

This is probably more prevalent in the IT industry than anywhere else. If you’ve ever made the mistake of posting your resume on Monster or Workopolis for too long, you’ll get calls from the lowest form of human life also known as recruiters. Be wary, they have titles that might make you think they’re something other than scum who live by sucking the blood of hard working people like you and me. Some even have titles like Human Resource Manager or Placement Specialist or even Account Manager but they’re all the same. They get paid off your hard work.

You might even get called for an “interview” where one of these leeches will ask you all kinds of questions like Where do you see yourself in five years? and What type of compensation would be ideal for you? but what they really want to know is Is this guy going to stick around long enough in the shit company I’m going to place him so that I don’t look bad and I gotta make sure we don’t pay him a single cent more than we have to.

In 95% of the cases, these people have no technical knowledge whatsoever and are simply presenting you to their clients based on your asking rate and what they’re charging their clients. A cursory check of the resume is done to make sure you don’t have any large gaps between jobs. At best, they’ll give you a dumb ass questionaire created five years ago which has outdated questions like How do you declare a Java class? Before they present you to the client, you’ll speak with the Account Manager who you might recognize as the guy who used to be your doorman a few years back. The way he’ll talk you might think he’s the CEO of IBM and then he’ll shake your hand so hard it might just crumble into pieces. The Account Manager is the guy who decides whether you are “good enough” to be presented to the client. He himself has no interest in you or his client and he’s only there to ensure that they can charge the client 35% more than what you are getting paid.

The sad part is that all these companies like Rogers, Telus, BMO, Royal Bank etc. place their trust in these scumbags’ hands. They in-turn make minimal effort in trying to find a good fit for their clients. They post ads on and which is only read by lonely men looking to satisfy their most immediate needs. I wonder if these large corporations know that they’re not getting close to what they’re paying for and they’re better off just setting up a proper HR department which does the hiring.

You’ll rarely get offered a position that you’ll like. You’ll get offered all kinds of unwanted crap like a 3-month contract at a “fast-paced boutique firm” which really translates to “be prepared to get over-worked and put-out fires caused by incompetent managers” and so on. So the next time you get all excited that you have a “job interview” with a recruiter, make sure you understand that you’re about to deal with people who don’t give a rats ass about you and are there to make sure that YOU make THEM some money.


14 thoughts on “Recruiters are Nazis

  1. Jim Durbin

    Funny title – but if recruiters are really Nazis, would you be brave enough to call them so? Or are you stretching your analogy and maybe losing a little perspective?

    Maybe you have an incorrect view of your own value to the modern corporation. If you were skilled enough to secure employment with the companies you want to work for, you wouldn’t need recruiters.

    Maybe they know something about getting hired that you don’t? Isn’t it a bit arrogant to demand they share this knowledge with you for free?

    Suggesting they make money off of your work is true, but don’t you make money off the hard work of chip manufacturers slaving away in Asian factories to build the computers you use? or do you build yours out of wood and recycled plastic in your garage? Don’t you make money off coal miners who provide the coal that powers your electricity plants that powers your software?

    Whose oppressing who, here?

  2. David Perry

    I had to laugh at the sweeping generalization here. Primarily because i wonder if the recruiters are nazis or the job hunters in question who allow themselves to be poked and prodded by unqualified interviewers aren’t just how do we say it…. stupid. Listen and learn now. A candidate recruiter relationship is a relationship of equals. As such, it’s the job hunters responsibility to ask relevant questions upfront over the phone 1st BEFORE they agree to trek off to a remote location for an interview. Dah! Arsenalist – do you go on every blind date your mother sets up? Well ok i see your point – maybe you can’t afford to be picky… but that’s your issue. Stat exercising your right to be treated like a person rather than “human capital” and the dynamic will change. Then perhaps you’ll be sent to the recruiters A List. BTW – the sooner you do this the better because recruiters are becoming more not less important in the equation. In 2005 Revenues for the staffing industry hit $195billion in the USA and $410 billion internationally.

  3. arsenalist

    Many people including myself are happy with their employment situation but still post a resume on job sites just to see what’s out there. It doesn’t mean we’re unhappy with our jobs, it just means we’re wondering what our market value is.

    As David said, I’ve learned over time that asking as many questions as possible over the phone is the best thing to do. This will filter out 95% of the crap. You’re also right on making an effort to be as assertive with them and make sure they understand that they’re dealing with a human being and not an object of finite value.

    But in the end, it irks me that while I work, somebody’s collecting a finders fee off of me.

  4. arsenalist

    Not the same. Try working in an office where you’re making 30 dollars an hour and your boss is expecting your productivity to be 50 dollars worth.

    And Jim, obviously I’m stretching my analogy and of course recruiters are not Nazis. It was an attempt at shock humor but I guess it wasn’t a good one.

  5. David Perry

    Good banter. And Unfortunately the barrier to entry in the recruiting industry is negligible, so guys like Aniaml and i and most of the recutiers who post and read blogs get tared with the same brush as the ones Arsenalist speaks of. It is career suicide to ignore recruiters. it’s career harikari not to understand who they are, what they’re going to do with your profile etc. The best are equal parts barrister, psychologist, spin doctor and Catalyst…

  6. Jered

    So do you want to change your job? My client is looking for a sarcastic angry IT nerd who likes basketball. And if you don’t mind, please multiply your current salary by 0.35 and let me know cause I want to know how much dough I’ll make if my client hires you.

  7. Exposer

    I have been in the business for 10 years, and finally went to work for a real company,not a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies are filled with poor managers,poor owners who use and abuse their staff, racists, drug abusers, etc. I personally witnessed this at three companies. The pressure on everyone to perform is high, and so tempers flare quite easily.

    I have already sent two complaints to the Human Rights Commission and the Labour Board.

    Recruiters are paid a draw. This means they have to make placements in order to make money. By the time they make the placement and the candidate starts his job and gets paid, they are already behind on the draw–which means getting ahead is extremely difficult The owners don’t gives a rats ass. They make the money. The turnover at agencies is high, just look at the ads.

    And arsenalist is right — training at these agencies is poor. Most of the companies will pilfer from their clients to place at another client. They have become job board recruiters and don’t even understand how to find quality people, let alone read a resume. If companies actually looked, they would find their candidates come from the job boards in most cases. And these companies pay a hefty commission for it too! Integrity is lacking.

    On top of that, here is an example:

    You interview at a so called recruitment company. They boast about their integrity, values. You dont even get an email telling you if they were interested in you and would like to proceed further. The funny thing about recruitment companies is that they supposedly are there to find the right candidate for the client, but in reality, their own internal practices are lacking in integrity and the treatment of their employees.

    I am writing a book on this industry right now, and will be exposing many of these companies and their business practices.
    I would recommend companies discontinue the use of external agencies, hire their own people. And if they are just getting people from job boards, then the dollar investment is not very high.

    For those looking for work, do your own work. Do not send your resume to a recruiter. You never now where it will end up. When contacting a company directly, do your homework. You can get the name, email address of the hiring managers you need. Contact them directly. Do not send your cv to a resume@hrcompany. Its a resume dump. Get a name and go for it.

  8. Exposer

    Thanks..and to Mr. Perry, he is wrong. The job boards have replaced recruiters. 99% of recruiters use job boards and postings and the same candidates are churned out, over and over and over again. The practices of the recruitment industry are not under any scrutiny because they are not regulated, nor responsible to anyone.

    The high turnover in the industry speaks volumes. I have already compiled statistics from 1978 to 2002. Working on the next area, and its getting worse, not better.

    There is a difference between a recruiter and a headhunter/executive search consultant. Headhunters will call you, and will call those who are working directly.

    and i will also be posting a website later which is corporations looking for candidates. This is a direct corporate side not a job board. Despire Mr. Perry, candidates who are serious do not need recruiters. The best ones out there have companies calling them directly!

    Companies are tired of being ripped off by recruiting agencies!

  9. Exposer

    For those seeking employment

    This is a great direct site. Do some research ahead of time on the company. GEt the names, phone numbers, email addresses of senior management. Those are the people you approach directly.

    Call and followup with an email. Most agency recruiters these days email email email—seldom call. Use the phone, and have a brief summary of yourself ready and prepared.

    If you send an email first, highlight your skills in a cover letter(brief), and then call as a quick follow up.

  10. The Exposer

    This is a warning!

    If you are using TorontoJobs.CA This company is associated with another company called RDGroup Inc. From current investigation they are using the TorontoJobs site to lure in unwilling victims to get their money in totally useless career counselling sessions. DO NOT use Career Counsellor companies like Haldane or RD Group. They are scammers.

    Here is a link to a site that will keep you updated . And Toronto jobs is linked to this. You will see it after you you put your resume on the website.


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