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As a senior dev, how can a recruiter convince you to move to another company?

Top comments (19)

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

I would never want them to try to convince me. In fact, if a recruiter tried to poach me from a job I would not talk with them again. It shows that they are only after short-term gains and don't actually care about the people or companies involved.

When I have reason to move I will post my resume, and then it won't take any convincing. If I have already worked with a recruiter and had positive dealings with them, then I might contact them first.

ardennl profile image
Arden de Raaij

I completely agree. During my previous job I got contacted by a recruiter asking me if we could make an appointment to discuss my future, and that this appointment would be 'discrete'. Like I'd be cheating on my wife or something. It always felt really off and I never took them up on it.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I've become completely numb to these messages. I don't ever read past the subject line.

ztickm profile image

Thank you this is valuable feedback!

mortoray profile image
edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y

They'd have to convince me that it's a better opportunity on several fronts:

  • Showing how I'd have the support of my managers I have no interst in working somewhere without faith in my abilities.
  • Demonstrating an interesting technical challenge. I'm not going to give up something interesting for another non-descript web-stack application.
  • Letting me meet with the team and getting a positive impression of their abilities and commitment.
  • Evidence of solidarity in management and sufficient funding, or a funding plan. I tend to work at startups.
  • Providing a better compensation package. Why would I take the risk to get equal compensation? The better the previous points are shown the lower this can be.
miniharryc profile image
Harold Combs

great points.

miniharryc profile image
Harold Combs • Edited

It seems recruiting is like sales.

My father was a salesman, and he had a few rules he went by:

  • Know your product.
  • Respect your customer.
  • Find a deal that benefits both of you.

This may sound quaint in these self-service times, but Recruiters are generally trying to close a deal to get someone into a company. I assume they have quotas to fill just like any salesperson.

Here's how I'd apply the above to answer your question.

Know your product

Cold-calling "happy" developers is the longest of long shots. It's nearly a waste of your time, unless you're measured on some stupid "contacts" metric, e.g. "I have to contact/email/linkedin 10 people a day because my boss tells me to."

Study this: Bored People Quit by rands.

Next, find the bored people. Some categories of "bored"

  • Check their CV. How long have they been in their current assignment?
  • Is their current job obviously not using their aptitudes? Is your data scientist doing scut?

Respect your customer

This is easy. Be honest: "This job suits you because X,Y,Z.

Find a deal that benefits both of you

Find a job you really think they'd like. Don't just shotgun a job to anyone with a pulse who has the right keywords on a resume.

courier10pt profile image
Bob van Hoove • Edited

I'd almost reverse the question. Senior devs usually know when to leave.

So as a recruiter:

  • Get in touch with developer
  • Ask whether or not interested in another job
    • If not, better luck with the next one
    • Otherwise, explore further options.

All the while being respectful of each other's time and effort.

In a perfect world.

ztickm profile image

I agree, I just wished for some input from fellow devs to know when not to even try to get in touch. Because I know this process has become a spamfest.

courier10pt profile image
Bob van Hoove

Sorry if I didn't understand your question well enough. I think there's some solid advice in this topic by now. I especially like Harold Combs' sales anology. Happy hacking :)

elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

They have to show that they, and the company they try to recruit me for, care for my chosen profession in the same way and level I do. After that, we'll actually start talking.

domysee profile image
Dominik Weber

Let me just say that it is amazing that you ask actual developers for advice. It really shows that you respect us, which is, at least for me, a very important aspect.

There is already very good advice in this thread, so I won't reiterate that.
One thing I want to add though, is to consider the time a developer has been working at the current company.
A few recruiters contacted me during the first half year of working there. In that time, my response rate was 0. Everything was still new and awesome, that coupled with a sense of loyalty, is a very bad combination for recruiters.
After 2 years, I was ready for something different. Then, chances were much higher for a recruiter to get a reply other than "Sorry, I'm not interested".

One more thing just came to me.
If you want to convince a specific developer to join a company, don't just send them the job description. This is very impersonal, since it looks like the message was sent to thousands of other people.
Describe why you think it is interesting to me and highlight the key aspects that might be interesting.

ztickm profile image

Thanks a lot!

voins profile image
Alexey Voinov
  • Show some respect, by at least not forgetting, that it was not me who came to them, but it is they, who're trying to convince me. I'm taking interviews time to time, just to freshen up that skill. There was not a single company that would remember that. :)

  • Offer me something that I currently do not have. Like what's the point of getting the position with exactly the same title, roughly the same compensation, and about the same tasks?

gwmccull profile image
Garrett McCullough

I'll generally read and respond to recruiters on email or LinkedIn but they should be respectful of my time.

The initial contact should give some indication that they've looked at my body of work and that this job is relevant to it. Just because I did one .NET project 8 years ago and then spent the past 6 years on JS front-end work, doesn't mean I'm going to consider your .NET developer position.

The initial contact should include:

  • salary range
  • enough information about the company and the role to decide if I'm interested
  • information about the company benefits and how they'll support my career path
  • the location of the job. The fact that I work remotely now should tip you off as to what locations I'm willing to consider....

I'm not really interested in setting up phone calls, so it's best to just lead with all of that info

eljayadobe profile image

I did recently move from a good company to another good company.

What convinced me? Well...

Better compensation package. But moreso a big difference between making software to support hardware, versus making software that itself is the product.

georgeoffley profile image
George Offley

One couldn't, as I don't take calls, emails, or requests from recruiters.

Additionally I believe recruiters to be a self-serving breed, not at all interested in the career of a developer or to the success of a company hiring the right person. In my own experience, I've never been led to a good place by a recruiter. In almost all instances, the culture was not a good fit, they set me up to interview at jobs I'm not at all interested in, or they overestimate the qualifications sought by the company. Or they underestimate, and send you to interviews for jobs that haven't been relevant in your career for years. Mostly, as I can imagine, to be able to get themselves paid.

This is purely in my own experience, and not a reflection of others. There may be some good ones out there but they are one healthy fish swimming in a sea of garbage and pollution.

My opinion: Don't work with recruiters.

ztickm profile image

I'm a newbie recruiter and I'm trying to learn how not to be one of the rotten.

zamiam69 profile image
Matthias Witte

He cannot. It's the future colleagues and the actual contract and benefits offered.