What have you always wanted to ask a recruiter but couldn't?

gsto profile image Glenn Stovall ・1 min read

Hey everyone! Is there anything you've ever wanted to ask a recruiter, but you didn't because of how it might affect the relationship? Or maybe its because there wasn't a good time or place to ask. Well, now's your chance.

I host Production Ready, a podcast that helps developers grow their professional skills. We're doing an "AMA" with a recruiter in an upcoming episode, so now's your chance to ask those questions!

Some questions I've been thinking about:

  • How much do you get paid per hire?
  • How often do developers go "around" you, and try to get the job themselves?
  • Do people actually accept jobs at companies not knowing what company they are?

I'll be sure to give you a shoutout if we use your question.

What do you want to ask the recruiter?

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Glenn Stovall


Full-stack developer & writer. Available for technical writing and consulting. Free 7-day writing course for developers: https://glennstovall.com/zero-to-10/


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Should a developer apply even if he doesn't meet the minimum required experience


I was going to add a question, but more from the other side, being involved as the hiring company before.

"Why do you send some for an interview that doesn't have the required experience?"

If it's something like a difference in years, or adjacent experience (C++ for C#, javascript for typescript) but they show promise, depending on the particular position, fine. But why the heck do you send someone that has NO experience, not even hobby, in the technology requested? For the record, it was for a driver and they sent someone that didn't even know what the phrase "kernel mode" meant.


I think Robert brings up an interesting scenario here πŸ™‚ It's true that some folks cross the border of intuition and love clicking the "Apply" button. And I think a developer with one year of experience applying for jobs that require 5+yr of experience is nothing but being too naive.
But my concern was with those, who have 1 year of experience but most of the jobs required min. 2 years of experience.

1 and it asks for 2? Go for it. Even the 1 for 5 IF you have a strong portfolio or know you can blow them away at a code interview or tech interview. If your reasoning is instead "why not?", it's not for you.


Really like this question. I have some thoughts but I'll save it for the episode πŸ˜„


Lots of things they can't actually answer, because the truth is damning:

Q. Why do you insist on a 20-minute introductory call, rather than a 3-minute email thread (usually where you initiated the conversation), to give critical details like the name and acceptable rate/salary range of the client?
A. Because I'm hoping that a slick sales pitch will convince you that it's worth going through us rather than applying directly (a case I probably haven't actually made, though it shouldn't be hard at all to convince a busy person to let me do the legwork), and I want to ask invasive, irrelevant questions about your rate/salary ask like "is that in line with what you're currently making?" Also, I don't respect your time.

Q. Why do you need my references upfront, when the industry standard etiquette for decades has been to ask for them at the offer stage?
A. I don't, but I'm being pressured by my account manager to drum up new business leads, and quite frankly we don't care how much the exponential increase in exposure (due to multiple agencies calling references during each job search, sometimes before you even have an interview scheduled) will damage your relationships with these people you depend upon (making them reluctant to give you future references). We pitch these preemptive reference checks to you as setting you apart from other candidates, and to clients as setting us apart from other staffing firms, but neither is true when so many other firms have started doing the exact same thing over the last five years or so.

Q. Why don't you bother sending cover letters along with resumes?
A. LMAO because I think my write-up of you is better, even though you're the one who actually knows the technologies and how to speak to them.

Q. Why can't you send a real job description, or at least outline the technologies (again, before demanding a 20-minute phone conversation that could easily be a 3-minute email thread)?
A. Because my staffing firm and I see dollar signs, not a person. And again, as such, your time is irrelevant to me. Also: calls make me look busy, emails do not.

I could go on, but you get the gist. The staffing industry is broken for many stupid reasons, enough that I've long considered forming my own staffing firm out of spite, and to send a message of "See? It's not hard. You're making it hard."


Pay close attention to my second hypothetical answer. DO NOT EVER give your references to a staffing agency before the interview process has reached the offer stage. I've lost two really good references as a result of this, because they were being bombarded by account managers using the "reference check" as an excuse to pitch them on their staffing agency.

Your references should reasonably expect one call (maybe two at most) for every time you're looking for a job, not one regarding every other role you've been submitted for in a single job search. You depend on these people, so you need to shield them from overexposure and unscrupulous lead gen practices.


What does your day-to-day look like? Are you actively scouring for new recruits/roles, or do you wait for them to come to you?


Great question, didn't even think about this