Tips on Working with Slimeball Recruiters


I got a call at the office this week . . .

“Hi, Mr. Epps. This is Eric O’Neal. How are you doing today?”

“I’m okay. Who are you?”

“I’m with a company here in Newport Beach. My team specializes in placing highly competent technical personnel and . . .”

“What company is that?”

“I’m with Jobspring Partners and I understand that you’re looking to hire a C# ASP.NET contractor.”

Let me interrupt for a second to mention that all of these slimeballs seem to have the same quirk of introducing themselves in three parts: 1) Name. 2) I work for a placement company. 3) The name of the company.

It must be part of the training. No one ever says “This is Eric O’Neal with Jobspring Partners” all in one piece.

Major red flag when a recruiter doesn’t want to tell you who he or she is working for.

We now pick up the story where the recruiter says “I understand you’re looking to hire someone.”

“How do you know that?”

“In talking with some of my candidates . . .”

“You ask candidates who they’ve interviewed with?”

“I try to keep up with their interviewing activity, yes.”

“So then you call me up and try to send out more candidates to compete with them for the same job.”

“No, that’s not what I’m doing.” Translation: It is what he’s doing. “My team keeps a lookout for job postings . . .”

“There is no job posting.”

I didn’t catch what he said in response to that because I hung up in the middle of it.


If you’re working with a recruiter and they ask you who you’ve already interviewed with, just end the conversation right there. No reputable recruiter will ever ask you that.

If you ask them why they need to know who you’ve interviewed with, they’ll tell you that they don’t want to submit you to a company that you’ve already talked to.

While it’s true that recruiters don’t want to submit you to companies you’ve already talked to, the honest way of avoiding that is to say “I have a position at XYZ Co. that I want to submit you for. Have you been presented there already?”

Or if you want to have some fun, ask them to tell you which companies they have open job orders for and you’ll tell them if you’ve already been there.

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