I have a lot to say about IT recruitment practices. Friends and I have been “temping” whilst travelling so I like to think I have good understanding of how the market works.

The recruiters:

  • They generally do not know anything about computers
  • You’re really lucky if you manage to avoid these people
  • You are worth at least 5000 AUD to them
  • They only care about certain keywords and years of experience in a particular industry. Make sure your CV reflects that to catch their eye.
  • They sometimes forward you a copy of what their client wants in order for you to manipulate your CV to look better. Man-in-the-middle.
  • If they’re nice they’ll put your CV into their format and take care of this for you. Not so nice, you’ll have to do it.
  • They might get you to sign a hair-brained NDA for the client and then ask exactly what you do during a contract to violate it’s terms
  • You’ll get paid via these people weekly via an awful timesheet/fax system
  • Usually based out of Collins Street in Melbourne
  • They won’t tell you their commission
  • They don’t give a flying fuck about you
  • If they sponsor you which they probably will do, you’ll have to work for them for the next 2 years and no one else. Sponsorship invalidates your working holiday visa. Great deal, eh? This will probably screw up any hopes of a pay rise.
  • You’ll need to call them voice instead of emailing them to achieve anything

The company:

  • Usually clueless
  • Too clueless to even put an advertisement on a Website such as seek or Monster. Though those sites are rubbish. That’s why they need the human touch of recruiters.
  • Usually large
  • Usually have a late/overbudget/derailed project to work on
  • Usually far from ideal working conditions with staff sporting low morale
  • Probably high staff turnover in your section
  • They don’t pay in cash. They want company invoices. You should earnestly follow them up on payment if you doing a job directly with them.
  • Usually pay by the hour. In Melbourne at least 40AUD an hour. Triple the rate that for some short “on call” job.
  • Want you to fill in a timesheet. They will probably scrutinize your hours or make you feel guilty for not working exact hours.
  • Usually has some clueless manager/supervisor to bother you
  • Loaded on painful bullshit speak – e-commerce, enterprise, portals, firewalls, security
  • Really bad communication
  • Will have some demented view on security
  • Wants you to document stuff in Word or something stupid
  • Usually they want you to use Java (if not M$!). Introduction of new (free) technologies with probably scare them
  • Other employees aren’t as friendly as you would like as they know you’ll temping for something/someone
  • If they want to sponsor you, they will have to pay out the recruiter

My advice is to be calm and not afraid to ask for more money and be up front about it. Because ultimately this torture is all about the money.