The goal of a recruiter is to make money. Lucky for us, they do that by getting us placed in jobs. You don’t have to look very far to find some recruiter bashing blog posts. While they may not be a perfect solution for your job search, they are a useful tool. You just need to know how to deal with them. It is also important to remember that like in every job, they are all different people. There are plenty of bad developers out there too. One bad experience doesn’t mean all recruiters will do the same.
If you register your CV with a website that recruiters use, you can be sure to receive a lot of calls a day. It may seem great at first, but it soon becomes tiring to hear about the 10th senior Ruby developer role when you have only ever worked with Java. Personally I am happy to take these calls as every now and then you get contacted with a great opportunity. Recruiters often have deals with companies which grants access to jobs that are not advertised anywhere yet. Most importantly to me, recruiters often enable you to skip filling out application forms.
Recruiters are often very keen to get you into interviews. You will likely get put forward for interviews for jobs that you don’t want if you don’t provide enough information about the job you do want.
It is important to know what you want from a job when working with recruiters. They can only work with the information you give them. If you can figure out the minimum salary, annual leave and a tech stack you want to work with then that is a good start. If there is something you definitely don’t want to do, let them know. This will save both of you a lot of time. Other things to consider are the industries you want to work in, the size of the company and team you will work in and the working methodologies of the team.
Don’t feel bad when turning down interview opportunities. It is up to you to decide if the job may be for you. However, a bit of interview practice can go down very well in preparation for that job you do want. Also remember that an informal chat is always going to be an interview. Do a bit of prep and turn up. I have been to my share of informal chats and they have been an interview without wearing a suit every time.
In the end it is up to you to decide if using recruitment consultants is for you. You will have to handle a lot of phone calls. They can be great if you give them the right info and there is no harm in giving them a try.