Good vs bad recruiters, a candidate's perspective | Ep. 2
In the second episode of our series on candidate experiences with recruiters (the good, the bad and the ugly), we sat down with Joel Wright. Joel is a Senior Software Engineer with over 15 years experience working in tech for a variety of companies.
Check out our interview with him below to discover his recruitment red flags, plus his top tips for those building their engineering careers. Or if you’re more of a reader, scroll down and read the interview below.
Q: What's your favourite thing about working as a Software Engineer?
Joel: I like solving real technical challenges that have a real purpose. Seeing that [product] go into the hands of an end-user and actually solve their problem is fantastic. There really is no better feeling as an engineer of having built something that's genuinely useful to someone.
Q: Tell us about your worst experience with a recruiter
Joel: There are certain recruiters that I just can't seem to shift. I get barrages of information - like 3, 4, 5 emails a week with frankly irrelevant jobs because they've managed to find one word on my CV that matches one word on the job description.
And to be honest, even when you talk to some people they don't listen to what you're looking for or what you're after. It's just 'I have these roles, you have these words on your CV. I am going to keep attacking you until you agree to apply for one of them.'
That's no fun at all. It doesn't make you feel like someone's trying to put you into something that you can do or that you're interested in, it's just getting a job off of a queue.
Q: What red flags should people look out for when dealing with a recruiter or recruitment agency?
Joel: I've certainly dealt with people who, over the course of a phone conversation, were clearly just not listening. Or, if I was being really charitable, didn't understand what they had that they were offering. Even after that, if people are still pushing jobs that you've told them you're not interested in - I mean, I've had all of these things happen.
Q: What’s been your best experience with a recruiter?
Joel: My experience with Craig was quite good. There was something that Craig contacted me about and I explained what I was looking for. It didn't fit the job so Craig accepted that and left it alone. That was a good experience as far as I'm concerned. That was 3 months before I contacted the company again because I spotted something I was interested in.
I think the most important thing was (and it's not unique, but it's fairly rare), that when you actually have a call with someone that they take the time to understand who you are, what you're looking for and where you want your career to go. So the best experience was exactly that: someone who takes the time to understand who you are, puts you forward for relevant roles, and takes the time to communicate with the companies that they're putting you forward for about who you are and what they can expect when they talk to you. Because it just smooths everything over.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking for a Software Engineering role?
Joel: Minimise the number of jobs that you apply for because it's hard work. I personally don't feel like I can really do more than one application at a time. Because of the time and the effort and the emotional stress that it puts on you. It's hard work - and you feel constantly questioned, constantly challenged, constantly tested.
In order to cut these things down, you've really only got to apply for something that you feel genuinely interested, or genuinely passionate about.
Q: Would you recommend the Confido team?
Joel: Yeah, obviously! There are few recruiters, and I can probably only give one other example, where someone has put the sort of time and effort into helping me through the process that Craig and Confido gave to me - genuinely.
Thanks Joel! Get in touch with your thoughts or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter or LinkedIn.