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Should I use a IT staffing agency?

By zegna250 ·
Looking for permanent, full time work (not contract work).I've been sending out resumes on my own and have been getting some bites. Recently two IT staffing agencies (RHT and TEK Systems) contacted me. They both wanted to discuss how they can assist in my job search. I'm sure this is covered in a thread somewhere (read the one from 04), but what are pros and cons of working through a IT staffing agency?

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Hmmm

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Should I use a IT staffin ...

Pros
A lot of businesses use them and aren't set up for direct contacts.

Cons
They do not know what your skills mean or entail, so sometimes jobs you could do, they won't notify you about, meanwhile you'll be wading through large quantities of completely unsuitable opportunities.

They are in it for their cut, not to satisfy their client's or your needs. Some have been known to massage cvs, or ask you to do it, nobble you if you are competing with a more lucrative opportunity, flat out lie about the job to get you there, especially if they are on an interview fee. Never pass details of what opportunities you are still in for with one agency to another.

Be extremely suspicious of anyone who wants you to pay for this service.

Don't sit about thinking you passed the responsibility to them to find you a job, all they are is a link between you and a potential employer.

If they start talking about exclusivity or money for their services, you start talking about guarantees or your money back.

Staffers are unfortuantely a necessary evil, they are evil though, don't lend them money, don't turn your back and don't trust them with anything valuable, such as your reputation.

Best of luck.

Any recruiters who see this and think I've been a bit harsh and want to tell me about it, I'm currently happily employed and there are currently no IT vacancies where I am employed.

P.S. when they are collecting parameters for the search, be broad. Most of them are technological morons, if you say you want a job in state x, they do a search for all jobs where that state has been specified. All the ones where no state was specified are excluded.

Once agency didn't send me jobs for a year because I'd put Europe in location and they hadn't noticed the UK is in that area, or england for that matter.

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TEKsystems

by cedrics In reply to Hmmm

TEKsystems isn't too bad. The husband of my current supervisor does long term contract work through them with HP and Northrup Grumman(sp). He likes it-he's been with them for two years and travels a lot, but he does big projects like deploying hospital networks and stuff like that. Gets a nice travel per diem. Never heard him complain...

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TEKsystems sucks

by CypressKnee In reply to TEKsystems

I've worked for them on many contracts because I need money but I have had trouble getting paid on more than one occasion. I suggest anyone dealing with TEKsystems take a tape recorder with you and tape every promise they make but don't put in writing. Good luck to anyone dealing with them.

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Its all about Money Really

by stephenmoriarty In reply to Hmmm

Just remeber how much they make in placing you, I was amazed to find out how much they got and for how long, just in placing me in my last position, I would of rather had that money in my pocket in terms of salery ect.

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It's not what you know, it's who you know

by lynnnard In reply to Hmmm

I do think you've sold recruiters short.

The bottom line is, use whatever works. A good recruiter will PRESENT you to a company using a relationship that you don't have with the company. The % of interviews for candidates presented is high. What is your % with just sending a resume to an employer? Normally yours will be one of hundreds (a handful being equally viable), and the % of interviews will be very low. If your % is high, forget about recruiters & do it yourself.

Most recruiters proactively sell candidates; they don't just send resumes, close their eyes & wait to see what happens - they try to MAKE things happen for you & for themselves.

I always chose to work with companies that colleagues had been satisfied with, unless I wanted a particular job & a less-desirable company had the exclusive - in that case, tough luck. Most reqs aren't exclusive though, so call around to see who else has the same req if the first recruiter turns you off.

I agree, don't pay for services. Be selective about who you work with - choose individual recruiters (more so than companies) by word of mouth. Beware of lowballers & sleazebags that may submit your resume for particular positions without your explicit permission. Help recruiters help you. If a recruiter is not technical, be patient. Tailor your resume whenever possible. Have a 20-sec elevator speech. Question recruiters about any other candidates that have been submitted & what the feedback was on them to further refine your resume (recruiters should not present more than ~3 candidates for a position at a time - preferably 1, the best). Get in touch w/ recruiters quickly when you see a job posting that interests you. Don't assume all they know is in the posting - interrogate them if they aren't forthcoming w/ more info. Be assertive & proactive with recruiters.

You can be your own recruiter - go out there & network & develop your own relationships - maintain those relationships & the next time you want a particular job, you may have your own in - through your connections; 6 degrees of separation is real. If you help someone find a job or an employee, they will feel some sense of obligation to help you connect later.

Actually, we're not all techno-morons; I just left 25 years in software dev/IT to recruit, so I understand both customer requirements & candidate abilities. I did deal with some moronic recruiters over the years, but some others got me great jobs.

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I already know how to suck eggs

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to It's not what you know, i ...

I was simply pointing out to the original poster that you need to give them a shake and a careful sniff before you ingest them.
Every now and then you get a bad'un you know.

Aside from my first job everyone has been through a recruiter. That's nice, I've only been out of work three months in total since Jan 81. However I'd estimate, I've wasted thousands of pounds over that time being sent on wild goose chases by the liars, cheats and thives that the recruitment agencies seem to attract like flies to ***t.

The tricks I mentioned have been perpetrated on me or on colleagues. I did n't make them up and as far as I can make out the only people who suffered for theis sort of behavior is the victim.

One git who cost me an interview was the MD of the agency and declined to discipline himself.

Morons we can cope with, it the damn crooks that are a problem.

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I used to work for TEK Systems, but ...

by PsiFiScout In reply to It's not what you know, i ...

I did some work for TEK Systems and for the most part it was an 'OK' experience, they made the contacts, hired me on for the position and paid the agreed pay.

But they did 'oversell' my skills resulting in bad blood between myself and the client, I showed up at the jobsite and knew nothing of some of the products they wanted me to configure (TEK told the client that I was well trained in 'ALL' MS products, yet while I was well versed in NT I knew little about Office and Outlook, at the time).

The TEK recruiters like to paint rosey pictures for the client and the contractor, I was sent on a job to do an install to an existing network and to remove some old machines, I was told not to bring any tools or hardware as it would all be on site, thankfully I ignored the advice and brought everything I needed, as nothing was as it was described, the network was an ad-hoc operation, peer to peer with a Win98 computer acting as a print server.

In order to get things they way the client wanted them I had to completely rebuild the network to include figuring out how to build a server without a Server OS (NT 4.0 Workstation sufficed but not the best of solutions for a Win 2000 network).

TEK also took to the practice of trying to get me to sign multiple contracts in one sitting, telling me that the pay for all of them would be the same only to find out after signing that they weren't the same (my fault due to inexperience at the time) so be cautious.

TEK likes 'form letter' contracts. Get everything in writing. If it isn't in the contract, don't beleive it.

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Tony, you know how you can tell ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to Hmmm

... if a recruiter is lying?

Their lips are moving.

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I find that a bit out of line

by GregDC In reply to Tony, you know how you ca ...

Sorry if this offens you, but as a Recruiter for the last 18 months, I DO NO LIE to my Clients or my Candidates. If you Lie you are killing you future with everyone. I am smarter than that.

I move my lips quite often. When I tell my client that I have a great client, it is because I have spent time to find out what they need. When I tell my candidate that I have a good opportunity, it is because I have to spent the time to know what their skills are and what the client needs.

Now, if the client lies to me, or the candidate lies to me. I will find that out, sooner or later, and that is the END of the relationship.

So please drop the generality. It is a Lie <grin>

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Well it might have been a tad harsh

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I find that a bit out of ...

comparing you to politicians. I tend to the used car salesman approach myself.
LOL

You are the middle man you are selling me to the client and your client to me. Of course you are going to put the best interpretation to both sides. Is that lying, perhaps not, but for a lot of your colleagues that gap between not telling the truth and not telling a lie, gives them far too much room to manouvre.

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