First off, I like recruiters. I like the idea of recruiters and I like talking to them. They have a hard job as the people who write job descriptions aren’t very realistic in a lot of cases. I just received a job description for a position looking for someone with experience with the Internet of Things. Those who know me, may have noted my interest in this field. Part of the job description had to do with RFID. I know a lot about RFID having implemented that technology for my former employer.
The job description also listed knowledge of every single possible aspect of IoT known to man, with experience required. I thought the job description was absurd. They also wanted this magical person to come live in Omaha, Nebraska for a year. My immediate reaction was “fat chance”. If someone of the caliber of the job description experience actually existed, and I have my doubts, they are probably locked up in a lab someplace in Silicon Valley, having their gold allotment delivered to their family’s compound in an armored truck.
Anyway, I responded to the recruiter, explaining my view of this job description and how I thought that such a person doesn’t exist…at least on this planet, and the response was to submit me for the position. So, I await their decision. This kind of scattershot approach to recruitment can’t be good for the industry. However, writing pie in the sky job descriptions can’t be good for the other industry either. I’m guessing that if by some miracle, I get an interview with said company, the outcome isn’t going to be pretty.
In my job search, I have noticed that there are lots and lots of recruiters. A cynical man might even suggest that there are more recruiters than there are people looking for work. The competition is fierce and finding someone to fill spots for unrealistic positions must create stress in the recruiter industry. Imagine having to find imaginary people for positions that are reserved for a handful of MIT geniuses in an industry just getting started. They want someone with micro and macro experience with nine different wireless protocols and middleware, some of which are new to the market and they want 10 years of experience implementing it.
Even people who respond, just to point out how difficult finding such a mythical beast would be, get submitted, mainly because, no one else has responded to the outreach. I would love to work in the Internet of Things space. The odds that I might fulfill, even marginally, this job description is as likely as winning the Powerball, twice. So, of course, I let them submit me AND I bought a lottery ticket.
If this short missive finds its way into the hands of a recruiter who has a job description looking for a unicorn with 20 years of nuclear physics, 10 years of experience with a 5-year-old technology, knowledge of all aspects of wireless communications protocols, experience running a Fortune 500 company part time with a high school diploma and some Project Management experience…I’m your guy. I don’t have many of those requirements, but hey…neither does anyone else, so it might as well be me.
I really don’t think this is a fault with recruiters. Recruiters react to the market they are given. Generally, in my experience, they do a fine job and a lot of them must be successful at it, simply because of the sheer number of them. I am still unemployed, so there is success and there is success. I’m thinking that my lack of success has more to do with the expectations of those looking for candidates than with those trying to find us. This job description is a great example.
All I can say about the recruiters I have encountered is good luck. I feel your pain.
Phillip J Hubbell is a writer, project manager and job seeker living in the American Midwest.