The Rich Recruiter? Things Have Gone Terribly Wrong!

I just ran across this book out on Amazon Unlimited.

The Rich Recruiter

When you check it out, you will also find lots of other books on how to get rich in the placement business.  In particular, this occupation has risen up take its share of the money being thrown around in the information technology field.  What money?  Exactly.  Back in the late nineties, lots of things emerged from the shortage of IT guys most companies were facing.  The web was taking off, the Y2K disaster was looming and the nasdaq was soaring.  There just were not enough computer geeks to go around.  In response, lots of barriers to foreign workers were brought down, contracting rates went through the roof and the staffing business grew in to a monster.  Of course, like all bubbles, this one burst.  Nothing much came of Y2K, all of the workers brought in to fill IT positions stayed on to depress contracting rates and we have more people out there than ever looking to get rich off  of the poor, socially inept, cubical dwelling computer guy.  IT wages are not nearly what they were 15 years ago though.  In 1998, it was nothing for a database programmer to make $150/hr.  Just for locating one, a recruiter could often charge another 25-50$ on top of that.  Well, times have changed, yet the recruiter has stayed on.  It’s a lot harder to get rich in the placement game than it used to be, but, as this book describes, if you are persistent in your efforts to wedge yourself in between employers and employees, you can still extract quite a hefty economic inefficiency for yourself in today’s market.  As a developer, you are likely familiar with how this business effects our business.  Say you are finishing up a contract and would like another one.  It would seem reasonable that you would put your resume out for potential employers to see.  You might even look for a job listing and submit your paper via email.  But wait…the listings you see are not for jobs, well, at least not directly.  They are recruiters.  They may have a job in mind, or they may just be trying to build up their list of contacts.  They live and die by this database of people that can actually do work.  Matching on keywords that they really do not understand or even much care to, they laboriously filter and sort resumes against listings looking for opportunities.  When a match is found, they call the developer, call the employer, arrange a meeting and then, if all goes well and employment results, they sit back and collect 20k, 30k, maybe even 50k each year that the employment lasts.  Yes, you can still get rich in the recruitment game.  Very rich in fact.  While not as lucrative as in the past, the big players still report 10’s of millions in annual income, all based on matching people to jobs.  My question is, given that wages are no longer inflated and the market is no longer experiencing a shortage of workers, do we still need to be bringing in new people from other countries to fill our tech jobs?  Marco Rubio thinks so.  He believes the number of h1visas approved each year should be increased 4 times to somewhere around 240 thousand a year.  What will this do to the wages of American citizens who work in IT?  Will it make them go up?  Seriously, Rubio is running for president.  Who is he planning on working for?  Why would I vote for anyone who wants to use the Presidency to depress American wages further?  And while information technology wages are 1/2 to 1/3 of their past glory, have staffing company margins declined likewise?  Even if the answer is yes, should there even be any margin in the first place?  Recently, a job for a MongoDB dev/admin position opened up some where in Georgia.  Within 2 days, I had been contacted by no less than 10 different recruiters, all with very personal form letters, none residing in Georgia themselves (mostly New Jersey residents), asking me if I would be interested in moving 1000 miles to take the position.  Funny thing is, very often the same thing happens when a .NET position opens up in St. Louis.  I am not a .NET programmer.  These guys aren’t even reading the resumes any more.   It is a numbers game for them and that’s about it.  It is actually kindof insulting.  You can press the spam button in gmail but does this really do anything?   For fun, call them all back.  One will insist that he can offer no more than 60/hr while another will offer 70 right off the bat.  You are not negotiating with a potential employer, you are negotiating with a person who has imposed himself between you and the employer and he/she is deciding how much they want to make next year off of your labor.  Whether it be 10k, 20k or 30k, I believe it is 100% too much.  What does that come out to by the time you have moved in to your Atlanta based cubicle?  5 thousand dollars a phone call?  100 bucks per spoken word?  Are you really so frightened by the job search process that you are willing to give up half your pay next year to have someone hold your hand?  Is getting a job in a field you know really such a revolutionary idea that you should pay someone 10’s of thousands of dollars for suggesting it?  No, No, NO!  If I want to move to Georgia to work on a Mongo database, I will look for the employer myself and split the difference with them.  In today’s economy, that is how we should all do things.  After all, isn’t this the way other jobs work?  So how do we fix this?  You really should not be able to Get Rich recruiting in today’s economy.  Actually, the solution is simple.  Managers, do your jobs.  When you need an employee, post the position.  Add the line “Please No Recruiters, Only Applicants” to the bottom of your listing.  When responding to ads for employment, do your best to only respond to those from real employers.  Keep your spam folder empty and don’t make the mistake of posting your resume out there on the boards.  If you do, add the same type of line to it.  And be adamant about this policy.  You do not, i repeat :), You do not need to pay someone 30k a year for the opportunity to make 100k a year doing your job.  Job boards, clean up your act too.  I know you get paid for listings, but isn’t the quality of the listing part of your value proposition?

Anyone else out there tired of giving away half their pay check?  Employers, doesn’t it make you ill having to pay 2 people for every 1 programmer you hire?  It is high time we put an end to all of this.

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