The Problem With SharePoint Recruiters

I swear to god, 1/2 of the recruiters that contact me for SharePoint gigs don’t even know what the hell they are talking about. It’s ridiculous, and seriously makes you question who pays these people actual money (or if HR people just work to acquire the blood of animals to drink it like I always assumed they do). I want to be a recruiter for SharePoint projects, then I can randomly bang my face on a keyboard and then hit send. The end result would probably be more compelling than the messages that I receive, and most likely make a lot more sense.

For example, here is a letter that I received from a recruiter at TekSystems (whom I would rather saw off and eat my own arm rather than work for) that I got today (actually, 5 minutes before which spawned this post):

I have a 3 month opportunity in Green Bay, Wisconsin for an Internet Data Architech-Sharepoint with United Health Care. The selected individual will work along with the UHG technical architect for the ADR application in migrating an existing SharePoint application in SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to the WSS 2.0 Platform. The candidate will be expected to provide technical leadership in this migration activity and also have the capability to be a hands-on active contributor in the migration process.

The Core Skills Needed are:

* Expert knowledge of Portal Server 2003 and WSS 2.0 platform
* Experience in development and deployment of custom SharePoint
applications in the above platforms.
* Deep Understanding of the database schemas used by SharePoint
platforms of the above products and knowledge of migration of schemas
between different instances of database platforms such as SQL Server
2000 and SQL Server 2005
*Experience in the infrastructure planning and deployment of
custom SharePoint applications.
* Experience in writing web parts for WSS 2.0 application

Ok, before we play the obvious spot-the-recruiter-mistake game, I would just like to point out that this Jennifer person either obligatorily doesn’t use spell check or is blind, or just attempting to piss me off in which case she hit her mark. I mean, besides the little annoyances in the letter like spelling SharePoint and then Sharepoint (the capital P way is the right way), she can’t even spell the word architect. How can you be a technical recruiter (which was in her signature) when you can’t even spell the word architect. That’s like me being a developer and consistently spelling the word “new” wrong so that my object statements instead went SPSite site = mmmeeeeeeoooowwww SPSite(); Besides the fact it wouldn’t compile, it just makes me really, really bad at my job. And people would make fun of me.

Ok, so can you spot the huge problem with this email? If you can’t and you work with SharePoint, you should immediately go acquire an appropriate length of rope.
1) SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to WSS 2.0? Eh, what? What the hell are you talking about Jennifer? Besides the fact that you would pretty much just end up doing a raw content migration in that case, why would you want to migrate an already standing up instance whom I HAVE to assume is paid for (United Health Care is a large company, and clearly would have really, really deep pockets). That makes a lot of sense. Nice!

2) Ok, ok. I’m being harsh. Jennifer obviously meant WSS 3.0. That’s cool Jenny, I won’t bag on you anymore. Hmmmmmm, so you want to migrate SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to WSS 3.0? That’s great! Oh, I mean besides the fact that is completely unsupported, per MSFT’s words “The only valid upgrade path for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is to Office SharePoint Server 2007”. Before you send some crap like this, would you care to use the amazing piece of technology called a search engine? I know, its a scary thing.

Anyways, I am done venting about this. I guess the only reason that I get so mad is the fact that recruiters have a really, really specific job, and most of them when it comes to SharePoint are just fucking terrible at it.


16 thoughts on “The Problem With SharePoint Recruiters”

  1. I had a recruiter contact me a while back, asking for 2-5 years commercial experiance of MOOS 2007. Firstly, it’s MOSS 2007, and seconly the product hadn’t even been in beta for 2 years, never mind 5!

    The advert/positions was then hastily withdrawn. However I was contacted about another two weeks later by the same person offering the same thing, but this time for MOSS :-)

  2. A headhunter that called me once, asked me if I would like to work for IBM and do some SharePoint there.. On which I replied “are you sure that IBM needs SharePoint consultants?!”.. And then she said did some thinking and apologied that she didn’t knew that SharePoint was a Microsoft product ;)

  3. Preach on, Brother! My personal favorite is the recruiter who wants a SharePoint Administrator/Architect/Designer/Developer/Trainer – all in one. For $40 an hour inclusive. In Minneapolis, in December. I haven’t yet found a nice way to tell these people that they’re idiots.

    What really sticks in my craw is the 30% of base salary fee these morons want if you hire someone that they happen to find. What, exactly, are they doing for that 30%? Technical assessment? No. Verify communication skills? No. Validate past projects? No. No. No. Nothing but “here’s a resume, now you do all the interviewing and research and we’ll take our fee, thank you very much”.

    Even better, there are now recruiters out there who fancy themselves “SharePoint Specialists”. Really? That implies that they know at least something about SharePoint. Naturally, they send me admins when I ask for developers and first-year ASP coders when I ask for an architect.

    It’s a shame we can’t shoot them on sight…

  4. People are constantly contacting me. It’s great on occasion, but one place sent me 5 e-mails in one day about jobs in New Jersey.
    As for Eric’s comment…Yeah, those people are probably going to rip some poor guy off who doesn’t know any better. There is no way any experienced Sharepoint Developer would fall for anything like that where they lose 30% of there salary. That is not cool at all.

  5. I understand your frustration, but I think your anger at Jennifer is misplaced. She most likely received that job description from her client and forwarded to you intact.

    Which even makes it worse!

  6. @ David: You are probably right, it is just an annoyance. I could easily have just ignored it, but man, I get like 50 of these a day. Its frustrating that I have to take my time to open something someone clearly did not take the time to review.

    @ Eric: I have experienced that as well, the people basically have the sole skill of working the Monster website, and get paid obscene amounts of money for it. I never really got it.

  7. I must admit Adam, reading your posts always give me reason to chuckle… but this one takes the cake. A rant about someone who can’t spell properly – yet you refer to “her” signature as
    “which was in here signature”
    – I nearly fell off my chair!

    I can only assume you put that in there to see if anyone would pick up on it. Is there a prize?

    Your blog column is syndicated to the MVP aggregation list that I subscribe to, but even so your headings seem to jump out at me from the rest. I can’t think why…

    Always entertaining!

  8. Are you sure those are not the real requirements.

    I know of a client that installed SPS2003 in a “dev” proof of concept. it was then determined they were going to use no SPS features and could use the free 2.0. They then had to do a migration with custom web part to the 2.0 environment.

    This of course is not a simple task, but was needed.

    I think you need to get your fact straight and not assume you know everything about potential position without checking your facts.

    Did you actually contact the recruiter, or jsut decide to publicly flame the company because the don’t fit in “your idea of an prefect world”

  9. @ Unknown: Someone’s spicy. If you read through the post, I clearly stated “doing a raw content migration” which is what you are talking about in regards to the platforms, so there is not reason to get snippy. That condition was mentioned.

    I can assume whatever I want about a position, the fact of the matter is my roles and responsibilities when taking a job should be stated up front, and the project specifications, however mundane, should also be included. This clearly was not well put together, not well thought out, and if delivered from the company, should have been edited by the recruiter. A good letter should include, IMHO, this type of information.
    And why would I contact the recruiter (particularly if she can’t spell the POSITION TITLE) , then they know they have a live email and I get associated with a horrible database whereby I get completely irrelevant job offers, bringing my resume up whenever they search for “web development”.

  10. Don’t worry, last post, I don’t want to turn yhour blog into a long discussion.

    Your post was picking apart the knowledge of the recruiter. While I fully agree with the spelling errors, the content seemed very viable to me. I have been working with SharePoint for 5 years now and have seen some strange things. So a “Downgrade” from SPS to WSS would not seem so off the wall and eliminates the two points on the bottom.

    That just leaves the typos (which even you had in your original post – here vs. her). While this does seem awefully unprofessional, in the modern day, I don’t think I get an email that does not have typos.

    My main concern had to do with the unprofessional approach of naming companies to vent your frustration with an industry sector (head-hunters). I actually have been contact about every other week by that same head hunter group and just ignore them and would never consider any offer from them(personal reasons).

    I am a little less spicy now (had my coffee). You are correct, you can assume what you want, but it hold more credibility in a public forum such as a post if you check your facts (as you are asking them to do) before you put information out, unless you just intended on “feeding the fire” for your own self interests.

    As I stated at the beginning of this post, you can respond as you see fit and I will stay silent here as it is your blog and you have the right to post what you wish, as I have the right to read or not read it.

    Good luck

  11. I have been approached by a group of recruiters and asked to provide them with knowledge around this very topic so that they are better informed when head hunting. This article describes exactly the pain they are feeling – who to look for and how to look for them. What this article doesn’t do is educate or provide a solution to alleviate the problem. If they (recruiters) get an opportunity to filter out client requests, then the rest of you would not have to field such upsurd phone calls.

    If you have any information or sites that can help, please post them. Thanks!

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