Many developers hate recruiters but can’t explain why.

We like laws, logic, systems and hacking them. It is simply a Market for lemons problem.

Here’s my take on what makes for a vicious cycle:

  1. as middlemen they only get paid if the job contract is signed through them
  2. as hires or employers we would like to get most of that mystery out
  3. this blind process makes everyone wary and suspicious
  4. as a result, a recruiter needs to get more and more devs
  5. they don’t have enough time for each, and forgo quality checks
  6. employers then prefer to use several recruiters for one opening
  7. one developer will then get called by many recruiters,
  8. as every company with open job offers will get called too
  9. this becomes more and more of a volume thing, not quality
  10. some recruiters find dirty tactics
  11. everyone has to follow or die
  12. many developers hate recruiters
  13. developers try to find jobs without recruiters
  14. back to #1

I’ve seen many recruiting companies adressing a few of these points in hopes of breaking the whole cycle. I wish them the best to grow and destroy every single step of this vicious cycle, but it often falls into a case of #10.

As employers, I think you can only act on #1 and #6: choose one recruiter and stay with him wherever the hires come from. This will of course mostly mean you hire a recruiter in-house instead of giving exclusivity to a single recruiter cabinet.

Of course some will say this simply means getting rid of recruiters.