The Value of Recruiters

A recent article questioned the values of recruiters, since many found them to be a worthless, hostility caused by too many dead-ends, unreturned phone calls, etc. For myself, recruiters, and the social networks that sometimes bring them to me, are a necessity. I am software developer, primarily for the financial industry in VBA for MS Excel and Access, and secondarily with other languages like C#, VB.NET, ASP.NET, HTML and PHP. I find the job market is pretty hungry for my skills, and my current spot was acquired through LinkedIn.

I have worked with websites for over 10 years, professionally and personally, and see them as a kind of marketing tool; part of one of my business school application essays was a website. I have always maintained a strong profile on the job sites, as well as maintained my own personal/professional sites, so when social networking came along, it became another avenue for development, and I naturally 'groom' my web presence. But, what works for me, a person that typically gets calls from many recruiters via the job sites, the professional social networking sites are just another step. For others, who don't have the luck, interest, inclination, or ability to pull in contacts via the web, those same sites are a waste of time.

I do not get many calls from people that I network with, except those from former clients, although the recruiters that find me might, either because another developer passed my contact info on - I recently was introduced to a recruiter on LinkedIn via the HR head of a firm I interviewed for but was not hired by - or because they have a 'in' with the hiring manager. I was joking to myself yesterday, that the recruiters are my professional networkers, the people paid to do all the social stuff I don't.