Photo by Aaron Jacobs.

Many Rails developers and employers mention seeing mirRoR’s Google Ads. We’ve been using AdWords for years and have met some great Rails developers and employers through them.

We like to keep things interesting and change the ads up every so often. In our recent wave of Google Ads, we were surprised by one ad in particular that has one of the best click-through rates in our campaign. The title of the ad is: “We hate recruiters too.

It sounds harsh, but this general dislike of recruiters is a sentiment that resonates with many people, inside the Rails community and out. The reasons behind this general dislike of recruiters are numerous. Many candidates and employers have had poor (sometimes even terrible) interactions with recruiters.

We’d like to take this opportunity to outline some of those bad experiences as well as highlight some of the value good recruiters can add to the hiring process.

Let’s start with the bad stuff. This is a handful of some of the poor recruiting practices candidates experience:

  • Recruiters don’t bother to read your resume carefully. They don’t seem to understand (or have any interest in) who you are and what you’re looking for in your next job.
  • Recruiters are misleading about how they found out about you. The classic, “somebody said you’d be good for this job” ruse.
  • Recruiters lack knowledge of the specific job they are recruiting for. If they’re looking for seven years of Rails experience (we’ve really seen this before), they can’t know anything about Rails.
  • Recruiters recruit you for a job that they aren’t even representing.
  • Recruiters send your resume to companies without your knowledge or permission.
  • Recruiters pressure you into accepting an offer you’re not completely sold on.
  • Recruiters are dishonest about salary possibilities for positions you’re interested in.

It’s not just candidates who have had bad experiences with recruiters. Employers share in this general dislike because of these experiences with recruiters:

  • Recruiters don’t bother getting to know your company or understanding the specific position you’re trying to fill.
  • Recruiters negotiate for the highest candidate salary possible which in turn increases the recruiter’s fee and expense to employers.
  • Recruiters spam employers with dozens of resumes, claiming to be the procuring entity for all these candidates, when in reality they are just throwing pasta against a wall to see what sticks.
  • Recruiters fail to issue refunds, claiming some vague interpretation for why a candidate was let go.

Despite these poor experiences with recruiters (and we know there are more), good recruiters can actually be instrumental in the hiring process. In a candidate’s job search, recruiters can add tremendous value in the following ways:

  • Recruiters provide candidates with a third-party advocate.
  • Employers more often give recruiters the straight scoop on candidate feedback, which gets passed along to the candidate and is more valuable than hearing you’re “just not a fit.”
  • Working with a recruiter comes at no cost to the candidate. Recruiters do not take a cut of the candidate’s salary.
  • Recruiters do the bulk of job search work for you. They find interesting jobs you would not find on your own, oftentimes because they are not advertised.
  • Recruiters are an inside track into companies’ hiring processes and are well-equipped to advocate for strong candidates. (If you’re a strong candidate, there is a serious advantage to using a recruiter who recognizes your skill level and can get you ahead of the pack of unsolicited resumes that swamp all open positions these days.)
  • Recruiters develop good relationships and reputations with companies who in turn are more interested in candidates presented through that recruiter.

From the employer perspective, good recruiters can add real value in the following ways:

  • Recruiters find strong candidates the employer wouldn’t be able to find on their own. Oftentimes the best candidates aren’t actively looking but would move for a great fit. Recruiters foster relationships with these top candidates and have access to them when an employer may not.
  • Recruiters have deep knowledge of their specific recruiting niche or community.
  • Recruiters have the know-how to identify top candidates and thoroughly evaluate their skills and experience.
  • Recruiters find candidates faster than employers would on their own, saving employers valuable time and money in the long haul.

This post is not intended to be merely a plug for mirRoR about how we’re different from all those bad recruiters. (Although we are, and you can read more about us here.) Rather, while “we hate recruiters too,” we feel strongly that working with a good recruiter can be one of the most valuable tools in a candidate’s job search and in an employer’s candidate search.