I’ve worked with some great IT recruiters but they’re the exception, not the rule.
I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn recently as part of a job search, and it doesn’t make you feel good about IT as a serious profession when you see how many IT recruiters are former waitresses, bartenders, shoe salesmen . . . honorable professions, but not likely to give a person a good understanding of technology and the people who work with it.
Here’s a sample phone conversation I had with a recruiter:
“First question,” the recruiter says. “Do you have any experience with software development? Because that’s key for this position.”
“Uh, that’s all I’ve done for 25 years. Are you looking at my résumé?”
“Yes, but I don’t see anything about software development.”
“Are you sure it’s my résumé?”
“Yeah . . . I don’t see anything that specifically says software development.”
I’m speechless because this is clearly impossible.
“Hang on,” I say, “I’m going to bring up a copy of my résumé here. Okay, let’s make sure we’re looking at the same thing.
“Developing and maintaining a portfolio of enterprise web applications on ASP.NET. That’s software development.
“Designing and implementing business-critical web services in .NET environment. That’s software development.
“Design and implementation of multiple concurrent ASP.NET projects on high-volume customer-facing websites. That’s software development.
“Granted, we haven’t seen the word ‘software’ followed by the word ‘development’ but that’s what all of this is, right?”
(I may as well stipulate here that IT practitioners are a pretty bad bunch themselves when it comes to lacking appropriate skills for their work.)