Headhunter Information Trolling

Many headhunters post fake ads.  They post the ad to collect resumes, rather than having a specific opening that matches the ad.

On most Internet job boards, you don’t always know who is posting the ad.  Even if you say “I refuse to answer ads by X.”, you could always be responding to a fake ad.  One headhunter even said “Why are you sending me a resume even though I spoke with you already?”  I replied “Put your name in the ad, and I’ll know to not answer.”

Many sleazy headhunters ask “Tell me all the places you’ve interviewed and the hiring manager, so I don’t double-submit you.”  They are merely fishing for information, trying to find out who else is hiring.  I always say “I haven’t had any other interviews.”, even if that’s a lie.  I’m offended when a headhunter is fishing for leads, rather than trying to help me.  Besides, any non-sleazy employer works with only a few headhunters and has policies to prevent double-submissions.

I recently found a short-term contract.  I stopped sending out resumes.

There are a few headhunters that I haven’t heard from in months.  Now, they’re calling me.

It’s obvious what happened.  They saw I stopped responding to their fake ads.  They realized I found a job.

They want to find out where I’m working, so they can try to place other people with the same client!  They are calling me now.  They aren’t interesting in placing me.  They are merely trolling for information, trying to find out where I’m actually working.

6 Responses to Headhunter Information Trolling

  1. Anonymous Coward October 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    You are correct. All recruitment consultants care about is getting their fee as fast as possible. They don’t care about your career at all. They will sell you down the river in a heartbeat.

    About a decade ago (and maybe still today, who knows) there was a trend to have “bodyshops” in the “IT”/computer software area. A “bodyshop” hires people in the hope of re-selling them to other companies later as contractors. If the “bodyshop” does it incorrectly, they will end up hiring a bunch of people, paying them salaries for a few months and then firing them if they fail to place them. Given the way Human Resources looks up people that only have jobs for a few months, these “bodyshops” are career graveyards.

    I had a conversation with a recruitment consultant about a decade ago and he told me that he knows that some bodyshops practically ruin peoples’ careers.

    I went to a few interviews at quite a well known brokage business. I did well in their written and oral tests. Unfortunately they wanted to prolong the interview process by having a pub meeting after the formal interviews.

    In the meantime a recruitment consultant arranged an interview for me at a bodyshop. I didn’t know it was a bodyshop at the time. I got a job offer.

    I would have liked to wait and go to the final pub meeting at the brokage house.

    I was dealing with two different recruitment consultants at the same company. I was told the job offer from the bodyshop was only valid for 1 day and I had to cancel my brokage interview. I was pressurized and like a fool gave up my last pub meeting interview.

    The other recruitment consultant at the same company, told me that I had been sold down the river and the brokerage job was the job someone with my background should have taken.

    A month later I realized the bodyshop didn’t have any real work for me and I resigned.

    • I was unemployed by one bodyshop for a week. The owner thought “FSK has a great background! I’ll place him easily!” However, he wasn’t able to do anything. He was just placing my resume on Dice and the other job boards, which I could have done myself. I don’t list that on my resume.

      • Anonymous Coward October 5, 2012 at 6:25 am

        That is the thing. You must realize what is going on quickly. It is too easy for weeks to turn into a month. Bodyshops want to string things out so they decide when your job ends.

        Annoyingly the bodyshop was associated with another company doing real software development for a product. But they wanted Windows programmers and at the time my experience was in C/C++ on Unix and Java programming. Only later did I branch into Windows programming. Another stupid waste.

        When at the bodyshop I did contact other places I interviewed at just before, but I think one place said the job was filled and the other place didn’t get back to me, which is a pity as the interviewer was full of praise for the kinds of work I had done in the past. He even was familiar with the last company I had worked at and commented that that company was run by strange people and that they had got rid of the good people and kept the strange ones! He wasn’t just bull*ing as he knew who had worked at the company in the past and what exactly they were like.

        The interview was at a bank and perhaps they knew about the company from its venture capital funding.

      • Anonymous Coward October 5, 2012 at 6:27 am

        The problem is that interviews take up a lot of time with their hour long written tests and their multiple oral questions. You have to visit 2 – 3 times during the interview process.

        When a crap job or a bodyshop comes along and you accept their bogus job offer, it really messes you around. You lose all the time you have spent interviewing at real places.

        It just means crap places with short interview processes win out over good places with longer interview processes.

        • For my current job, it was only a phone interview, nothing else. That was suspicious. I suspected it was a scam to get my SSN and personal information, until the first day of work.

          The boss seems happy so far. I’m learning how to use the lousy database programs, including the bugs and workarounds, and explaining it to everyone else.

  2. Ya, I have also seen such adds. I was looking for a new job since last 6 months and many a times when I sent my resume to such executive search companies. They were even not interested in knowing my capabilities. They called me last week when I stopped contacting them and their only motto was to inquire about the company where I have got placed recently.

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