This article is spot on and goes beyond the tech industry. In the last 10 years I’ve been approached for handful of roles by recruiters. One of these led to my time at Home Depot which was arguably the single best professional learning time of my life (though not a great long term fit).
Three have been fishy (the company name is not revealed and, in two cases, the specific industry was obscured all in the name of confidentiality).
I went through one of these which involved a couple of interviews. These were ridiculous as they seemed like pure HR exercises with no scope for detailed questions of the challenges the “firm” was facing. It was only afterwards that I was filled in on this ploy by recruiters to fill their bench. Apparently this is common practice during slower hiring times to utilize recruiter cycles and to engage potential hires.
Boris’s comments on the start-up world are especially true. The challenges for tech talent recruitment are even more complex given the multiple hats early hires wear.
The world is changing around recruiters. They are in the position travel agents were as the internet started to make little shops on the high street with cards in the window promising the joys of Lanzarote look quaint and anachronistic. As one start-up founder puts it: “Recruiters know the world is changing. They’re not stupid people – being parasitic doesn’t imply stupidity. So their new message is that they don’t just have CVs and candidates, they offer ‘value-added services’. But, basically, that’s bullshit.”
Tech recruiting is going through a sea change. Recruiters haven’t really caught up with where the market is at, especially at the startup end of things.
BTW, The Kernel is a great blog out of Europe - recommended reading.