see also Any plans to restrict recruiter access in careers.stackoverflow?

E.g. can I limit access to my CV so that only the company that has the job can see it?

I wish to choose the agents I work with, rather then having 101 of them ring me up and lot of them put my CV forward without asking me first.

I have hit this problem in the past with other CV posting web sites.


2 Answers 2


There are two kinds of recruiters working in the tech industry: contingency and retained search.

A contingency recruiter only gets paid if they place a candidate. Companies that use contingency recruiters tend to use dozens of them, because it's free until they actually find someone. The recruiter stands to make so much money that it's in their interest to spam the universe trying to throw any and all candidates at the company hoping that one of them sticks in which case they hit the jackpot and make, typically, 1/4-1/3 of the first year salary.

A retained search recruiter is paid to fill the position whether or not they are successful. The retained search relationship is also exclusive, meaning, only one recruiter will be hired by the company to find someone to fill a position.

In general, you will find that:

  1. most of the problematic recruiters you have dealt with as an employee are contingency recruiters, because they are literally just looking to throw as many resumes as they can at a company, without much regard to quality, which is why they're so annoying to good candidates
  2. the companies that do not know how to hire tech employees and wish to outsource that will use retained search recruiters, who have a much higher standard and work to a higher standard of ethics--they are, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from the hiring company's own employees
  3. it is very easy to detect contingency recruiters, as they will not reveal the name of the company they are recruiting for, out of fear that you will go straight to them and they will lose their fee.

Because of fact #3, there's an easy way to get contingency recruiters out of the system: (a) charge them money, and (b) require that they disclose the name of the company for which they are hiring. We're going to do both, so I don't expect to see many contingency recruiters in our system.

  • 8
    Interesting info on recruiting (even if it's a bit depressing).
    – TM.
    Commented Oct 13, 2009 at 17:05
  • Very interesting reading. I especially like the idea that you want to filter them out, i've wasted so much time over the years with contingency recruiters and not once found a job through them.
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 13, 2009 at 12:35
  • I am very glad to see that you're requiring disclosure of the company name.
    – Randolpho
    Commented Nov 20, 2009 at 19:58
  • 2
    How exactly will you enforce the disclosure of the company name? If a recruitment company uses their company's name instead of the real employer, how will you detect this?
    – Dónal
    Commented Dec 4, 2009 at 4:36

It is our explicit goal to work directly with companies and cut agents out of the equation, entirely.

Who needs the middle-men? What value do they add?

  • 3
    many companies outsource hiring to agents/recruiters to save time/effort, and also because their own staff lacks the technical expertise and/or time to properly interview candidates - or were you thinking of some other kind of agent? Commented Oct 9, 2009 at 23:28
  • Agents do often add value, it is common to get a interview at a company when the HR department had not even taken the effort to put the job on the companies web site, e.g the companies job page just says "sorry no vacancies at present"! Good lack in getting HR departments and development mangers being more active in the recruitment process. Commented Oct 10, 2009 at 9:51
  • 6
    It's highly doubtful those types of companies are passionate about hiring great programmers, so likely (and intentionally) outside our audience. They can continue to trawl Dice / Monster as before. Commented Oct 10, 2009 at 9:59
  • What about the contract market? Agents here carry the credit risk for us contractors. Commented Oct 24, 2009 at 9:12
  • 2
    agents don't add value because they almost all have no clue about the buzzwords they're googling for. I could replace most of the ones cold calling me with a bash script. Commented Nov 12, 2009 at 2:57

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