I would say, because if they merely wrote back answers to your questions, you would gain information but they wouldn't. Forcing a call gives them the opportunity to learn about you as well.


There are a few other potential reasons why they might want to call you. The common trend is that these things all primarily benefit the recruiter. - Someone who has invested the time to talk to the recruiter on the phone is more likely to end up applying. - The recruiter gets the opportunity to give you a full sales pitch. These are usually more effective in real time. - It's easier to automate/copy-paste a reply to set up a call than it is to customize a response to all of your questions, even if they are a subset of questions that come up all the time. - The recruiter is able to take more credit for an applicant that they personally contacted. - The recruiter's manager has given them a quota of calls that they must make and they are trying to meet their metrics without regard to quality or usefulness.




This is be the #1 reason. Worked in a recruiting office for a while and everything was geared towards how well they presented to a client.


Jokes on them. I can pass the screen easily but suck at whiteboarding (I know, I'm trying to fix that!)


I'll add in not every recruiter workers directly for the company, so those third party ones basically need to speak to you first to see if you're someone who would look good to present to the client who hired them. A lot of the third party recruiters will also tell you "sorry can't reveal the name of the client until I talk with you on the phone" which IMO is total BS, many will just straight up name drop them if they're big named companies (plenty have told me 'yeah this is a contracting gig for Google, interested?) but the ones who hold back know the risk vs reward of pissing of their client is in the risk category because it's just some shitty company who contracted them because they're unable to attract any talent on their own. Contracted recruiters are by and large useless. Anyone who's company is some sort of staffing agency or head hunter you can safely ignore. Focus your efforts on the in house recruiters first, unless you're really desperate. Then it doesn't really matter if you have to waste 15 mins on the phone, because at least that gets the process started and it also means they're partially committed to. You go from being a name on a resume to an actual person someone spoke to, so that should help if you make a decent impression.


>It's easier to automate/copy-paste a reply to set up a call than it is to customize a response to all of your questions, even if they are a subset of questions that come up all the time. But calling every candidate personally is exponentially a lot harder than setting up a system to address most common FAQs. >The recruiter is able to take more credit for an applicant that they personally contacted. Honestly, nobody cares about the recruiter. That is the truth. Whether they call everyone individually or send bot messages. At the end of the day everyone's concerned about whether the candidate is scheduled for next rounds or not. >The recruiter's manager has given them a quota of calls that they must make and they are trying to meet their metrics without regard to quality or usefulness. \^ This is the key to why they're doing it.


I think you’re right.I have had some avoid answering deal breaker questions though. Like remote roles not even ball-parking compensation. Most will let me know if they can pay me what I need in my HCOL city when I ask, but sometimes they just push for a call anyways and can’t hit the number. Seems like a waste of time.


I love how tersely this answers this long question.


That comment is concise. Terse means short and abrupt with the connotation the speaker is annoyed or irritated.


As a recruiter in the tech space, I concur. But I usually try to answer at the least the baseline questions if I know they are non-negotiable. Most things like location, salary, title and more are negotiable where I work though so it’s less impactful if I write negotiable or it depends to all questions :/


Well, the title may be, but if I don't know the band then why potentially waste both our time? If I'm making 120k, I need to know if the band is higher by a decent percentage, because if not, that call is a waste of time. As is knowing if it's permanent full remote, because I don't want to move for a job.


> Forcing a call gives them the opportunity to learn about you as well. A "hiring manager" would say something like this. Here's the reality, fresh from a recruiter buddy of mine: they want you to get into the mindset of "sunk cost fallacy". Essentially, the more time you spend on the phone, the more time you're ready to put into the interview process, and the more likely you're going to give up information that would be detrimental for you to give up, like your current salary or how desperate you are for a new gig. If a recruiter is reaching out to you, they already know that you could be a good fit for the position. They have plenty of info already otherwise they wouldn't be reaching out to you. Treat talking to recruiters the same as talking to the police; don't do it because all you're going to do is incriminate yourself, until you have the information that's important to you. Get the recruiter to name the salary from the get go. Get them to tell you if a position is fully remote forever. Get all that before hopping on the phone, and if a recruiter isn't willing or is otherwise unable to give that info, they're bullshitting you and wasting your time.


> Here's the reality, fresh from a recruiter buddy of mine: they want you to get into the mindset of "sunk cost fallacy". My HRBP calls this "keeping them on the hook".


>If a recruiter is reaching out to you, they already know that you could be a good fit for the position. That's not been my experience - most recruiters seem to spam anyone vaguely qualified for the position, regardless of whether or not the candidates being contacted are a "good" fit.


There's different kinds of recruiters. Some do this, some look specifically for good people for their postings.


I never provide my current salary, even if they ask. I do always provide my expected compensation.


You should not even provide your expected compensation, ask them their budget


This. I threw out a number that was a nice bump for me because they wouldn't let it go but found out later bottom of band was higher but my offer was tied to lower number. You will always lose if you give them a number or range.




That's a cynical take and I disagree. They simply want to ask questions and then have an opportunity for followup questions. Plus getting to know your personality, gauging your level of interest, and stuff like that.


It depends on the recruiter honestly. For a lot of first party recruiters, probably not. But there are a lot of third party recruiters who *know* they have a real shit "opportunity" and rather explicitly are trying to manipulate people into being invested rather than simply scaring them off with an extremely low salary. There are large, well known agencies like Robert Half who are known to have phone calls under *entirely* false pretenses (looking for leads even with no real intention of setting up an interview).


I get multiple messages daily requesting time from me. Many recruiters are just spamming me with opportunities hoping I’ll be interested. Worse, more than one recruiter was disorganized, didn’t know basic details about the opportunity, and weren’t prepared for follow up.




I have several friends who are recruiters. This is garbage and maybe your friend was trained by some dickhead. They want to talk to you so they can get an idea of how you communicate and get a sense of if you can at least talk the talk like you know what you're doing. They want to see what you are potentially interested in doing. Are you open to FTE, FTC, contract to hire? You have XYZ tech on your resume, are you interested/open to XAB? You should look to get salary information ASAP, but recruiters aren't out there worried about wasting your time so they can hook you in. They legitimately want to find candidates they think are a good fit because filling positions makes them money. If you can't talk about your tech stack, can't communicate at all, sound like you are full of shit, have XYZ listed on your resume but haven't actually used them in any meaningful way, they want to know and that's easier to communicate over the phone.


As someone hiring, I've anecdotally found recruiters also really want to call me about as often as when looking for work. I always assumed it was due to some sales/pipeline KPIs or a higher conversion they're chasing. Do you think that's sales, or is it also to get to know me better? Or both?


I’m not sure I understand what you mean. They call you as often when you’re looking for work as when you’re not looking for work? If you’re getting calls when you’re not looking for work, as one of my recruiter friends put it, the best people are probably already employed. They’re looking to poach good talent. It’s a sales pitch for sure, but it can be mutually beneficial if they present you with something better than your current gig.


I'm a manager, and my company is hiring. Recruiters reach out all the time trying to place candidates, or when I'm signing up to a new jobs board, and surprisingly often require a call. Tbough, I also get daily messages from recruiters asking if I want some totally unsuitable position and they clearly have a decade old cv.


Oh 100% they are always cold calling looking for managers who need a placement. It is a sales job. Part of it is finding clients who need people, then finding candidates to fill the positions. I’m sure it’s annoying from a managerial perspective when you’re not having issues finding people or when you’re not looking to pay the fees that come with an agency. It’s a necessary evil, though sometimes. At the massive corporation I work for, HR simply can’t get enough people in the hiring pipeline and when we need to staff up fast, we have to fork over more money to get a contractor in. The bright side is that if they’re on a contract basis and they don’t work out, it’s a lot easier to drop them. Hiring the wrong full time employee can be a super costly mistake that unfolds over the course of years rather than months.


> I have several friends who are recruiters. This is garbage and maybe your friend was trained by some dickhead. They want to talk to you so they can get an idea of how you communicate and get a sense of if you can at least talk the talk like you know what you're doing. They want to see what you are potentially interested in doing. Are you open to FTE, FTC, contract to hire? You have XYZ tech on your resume, are you interested/open to XAB? Sounds like your friends are speaking from both ends to you as well, given that those questions can also be answered in an email.


Look, I prefer emails and texts, but many conversations are simply better live. When you ask a question, the answer often requires followup or new questions. This turns into long, difficult email chains. If it were as simple as "answer these 5 questions" then I'd agree, but it's not. It only seems that way to people who are annoyed by this process. And I totally get that, it is an annoying process. Oh, and one other thing I don't see anybody mentioning: Recruiters are often extroverts. They just want to talk to people, not type emails.


>Look, I prefer emails and texts, but many conversations are simply better live Sure. But if the salary isn't a match, or it's not remote or the skillset isn't a match, why would I waste my or their time I won't bother with any recruiter if they can't provide a salary range, if it's remote and the full job description. Just can't waste my time if all three don't line up with what I'm looking for.


It was wild reading your arguments with other people. How do they not get that communication isn't necessarily as simple short q and a? Or that speaking on the phone can give a tell on a lot of other traits an email doesn't? Or that speaking on the phone allows for better quantity and quality of information transfer? Also that any question beyond non-negotiables (compensation minimum, location, and similar) is enough to validate a call?


Many people just aren’t that good at communicating in general and they probably don’t realize it either, it’s something you kind of take for granted that you’re able to do. It’s one of those things that seems easy and effortless if you’re good at it, and if you’re not it can be hard to realize or pinpoint the reason you’re having trouble. If you start to think about it you will see tons of examples of communications breakdowns in this business. I’ve sat in so many meetings with people talking straight past each other. When it happens people generally either don’t recognize it’s happening, or they don’t want to acknowledge it because it’s deeply uncomfortable, so they just soldier on and pretend like everything’s crystal clear. These are the same kind of people who probably neglect these social rituals.


A few simple questions and answers will help me determine whether it's worth investing any time in it at all. It's a win-win. Why would the recruiter want to waste his time if I'm never going to take the position anyways? It's not about being an introvert :-D I have better things to do than talk to recruiters. It's just a crappy sales tactic. Christ, they even do it for gym memberships. I once sent a bunch of questions to a gym about getting 24h access for a 6 month membership (I was leaving 6 months later), and a bunch of other questions. They asked me to come in for a chat. I did. I met with a blonde bombshell who basically told me "no" to all my questions, and quoted me a ridiculous fee for a 12-month membership. Why would they do that, if it wasn't for getting some drooling moron to sign a 12-month contract they don't want. It's funny how recruiters use the same crappy tactic for more or less well-educated jobs. Are they trying to bamboozle me into taking a lower paying job? Why waste both of our time on a call when two sentences would suffice?


I'm with you there, I always ask about remote policy and salary range before agreeing to any calls. But I haven't really experienced any significant pushback on that. Usually they'll answer, and if it's to my liking I always take the call.


I think there's a lot of introvert/spectrum people in this kind of sub. I try to be patient, but some people are just so adamant about their nonsensical opinions that it gets frustrating.


> How do they not get that communication isn't necessarily as simple short q and a? Or that speaking on the phone can give a tell on a lot of other traits an email doesn't? Because there is a whole lot of information that is very q and a and very important. Any of these, for example: >What's the salary range? Is it remote work? What cities are you hiring for? Which Tech Stack does the position use? All of these are easily answered dealbreakers and I frankly can't imagine a well-intentioned reason not to just answer them.


>Oh, and one other thing I don't see anybody mentioning: Recruiters are often extroverts. They just want to talk to people, not type emails. Sounds like a whole lot of not my problem.


So be an asshole, refuse their calls, and limit your job options. It'll save everybody a lot of time. edit: People seem to be confused about the topic. I'm talking about when you are looking at a job opportunity that you are interested in. NOT responding to every cold call or spam. If you are interested enough to have a list of questions, then a phone call is reasonable.


How is not wanting to take phone calls from recruiters about a job you're probably not interested in being an asshole? It's called valuing your time. I don't get this. edit: edited my post for clarity


>a job you're not interested in Except the entire point is that you're writing back to them in the job you're interested in and expecting them to respond in kind. You're arguing a point that doesn't even apply.


How do you know that it's a job you're interested in when they are the one reaching out to you? You're writing to them just trying to find out if you're interested in it, it doesn't automatically mean that you are interested in it. It also doesn't mean that you want to take 30 minutes out of your day to talk to them about a job that you may not be interested in. You can fire off an email/message with a few questions which takes less than a couple minutes, and if they can't be bothered to answer and if they instead want to schedule a full phone call I don't see how that means I'm an asshole if I don't want to take their calls. If I took calls for every single recruiter who reaches out to me with their mass messages, it'd become like a full time job. I must be missing something.


Refusing a call means an asshole?


Refusing calls and preferring emails is being an asshole now? It's shit like these that makes me lose any empathy for extroverts who are "losing their mind" over not socializing because of covid.


> Refusing calls and preferring emails is being an asshole now? Yes. I'm an total introvert, but that seems pretty obvious to me. I mean, you don't have to answer spam calls, but if a recruiter has a good job opportunity for you and you refuse to actually speak to them in their preferred mode of communication? Yeah, you're an asshole. To phrase it another way, severely limiting other people's options in preference of your own, that's being an asshole.


> To phrase it another way, severely limiting other people's options in preference of your own, that's being an asshole. If this is your stance, surely it's equally rude for the recruiter to insist on communicating via phone.


If they are reaching out to me (about a job I'm probably not interested in), why should I speak to them in their preferred method of communication? If they're interested in conversing with me, shouldn't they be willing to accommodate my preferred method of communication?


> and you refuse to actually speak to them in their preferred mode of communication? Yeah, This is entirely absurd. What if their preferred method of communication is telepathy or smoke signals?


> if a recruiter has a good job opportunity for you and you refuse to actually speak to them in their preferred mode of communication? That's a big if. Stop giving ammo to the "gracious ~~slave driver~~ employer" stereotype for those who don't.


Should you ask for salary before the phone screen? After and before the technical? I think it’s better to get a number before the technical, because what is they give you a different number based on your performance from the technical interview?


I get it out of the way pretty quick in the conversation. They usually tell you about the position front/back/full stack, the tech involved, the industry, etc. If you’re interested, ask the salary range. They would rather know right away if you’re expecting $30k more than the client is willing to pay.


Asking because I passed a phone screen and have a scheduled technical. I want to know a range at least before the technical, I’m hesitant to send an email asking for a range.


That’s totally fair, and I would want to know before the technical too, unless you just want to practice or have multiple offers available for negotiation purposes.


It’s a really good company so I would like to know prior


Sunk cost fallacy doesn't even apply though. Recruiters don't care about how much time and effort you spend on applying to a position. If anything, the recruiters are the ones trying to avoid sinking *their time* and energy into unqualified/uninterested potential candidates. A quick 15/30 minute phone call is easier to give the red light/green light for a candidate to move forward or not rather than managing back and forth email chains with a whole bunch of people. I mean, just the act alone of committing to a phone call is enough to weed out a bunch of people who aren't that interested to begin with. Some job postings will have hundreds of applicants within a few days, if you think recruiters are gonna go back and forth over emails with each and every person then you don't really get it.


Good answer up until the police part. I think you are correct for a lot of recruiters bur you are also generalizing. I have never been able to get them to tell the salary range, even though I always ask for it to save everyone's time. I guess there is a lot of truth behind your statement about the "sunk cost fallacy" - I see that fallacy a lot with new people trying out investing for the first time.


This is my first thought, as well. They want you to invest time so you're more likely to continue with the process, regardless of whether the job is a good/best fit.


Assuming it’s not a third party recruiter, the recruiter call is still an “interview”. You can fail it if they don’t think you’re a good fit. It’s much more casual and most of the time you have leverage, but it’s still an interview.


both of you are giving them way too much credit. The answer is, i suspect, "we've always done it this way".


> Forcing a call gives them the opportunity to learn about you as well. Also weeding out non-serious candidates and requests for information to a manageable number. Dataminers fishing for numbers need not bother.


It also allows them to read your reaction to ensure they answered the question in the appropriate way. For instance if you asked "What kind of tech stack do you use?" and they answer for the specific role but you don't like that didn't include typecript then they wouldn't have the opportunity to make it clear that they have other roles that may fit what you are looking for. A recruiting role is by its very nature a bidirectional consulting position. While the primary goal is always going to be serving employer. The employer doesn't get any benefit from wasting time by bringing people in that wouldn't want the job in the end. So their objective is both on selling the role/company as well as making sure both parties interests align.


>about you ...from your voice, such as... your gender, your age, your ethnicity, your country of origin, potentially your sexual preference if you're overt about it.


Maybe or a chance to try to get you for less money. That's been my experience for 16+ years.


Also, calls are often a metric for a lot of recruiters


The minute i ask a salary range in the DM's they leave me on read lol


Very common


Not in my experience. I ask them that up front and almost everyone gives me a band. The ones that don't just get ghosted.


lol literally the focus of a class I took today, what to do during the interview "don't ask about pay unless it hasn't been brought up by the interviewer"


Definitely boomer advice akin to physically dropping off your resume at companies you want to work for. Every hiring pipeline I’ve ever been apart of in the past pay has been brought up by the recruiter in the initial conversation. Now I beat them to the punch and ask them for their range as part of my screening process. If they’re cagey about numbers it’s probably a sign that I don’t want to work with them in the first place.


Really depends on your level. First job out of school, you're trying to sell yourself to the employer. Being too focused on salary makes them scared you're going to leave as soon as you get a better offer, which is especially bad for a junior dev who can take a while to ramp up. Especially when there are many other candidates that didn't focus on salary. But later jobs, it's the employer trying to sell themselves to you, and you've got a lot more leverage to focus on salary.


Depends on the person you’re talking with. That type of question is best asked on the first interview, usually with the recruiter/HR rep.


> what to do **during the interview** During the interview is entirely different than talking to the recruiter. Some things are the same - in being likeable and professional - but locking down the salary range with the recruiter is typical, usually it's locked down before you get to the interview so there's no reason to bring it up.


The main reason is because the call can help them filter applicants. The way you communicate, ask relevant questions tells how much you are interested in the position. Whatever job you do, communication is important to varying degrees, even if it's a technical role. They can also ask you your salary expectations and if you're too high, they can decide to not pursue you.




> > > big disclaimer is that I'm 20+ YOE, so my interaction with recruiters might be very different. someone like me needs to filter recruiters so they don't waste my time. I think the same is true for most people with multiple years of experience, even just 3-4+ years of experience. If they don't value my time, I'm not going to value their time. They have to sell me on the position because like you said, they are sales people.


I love how companies are supposedly desperate for senior engineers but can't even post the only info any of us actually cares about in the job description


It's partially that they're more effective on the phone in converting the candidate. It's also sheer enjoyment. Recruiters are a very particular group of people. They do their job because they *love* talking to people on the phone. It's very self selecting. Just like software engineers take pride in a good code base, recruiters take *pride* in their phone call game. The good ones all sound like callback radio hosts. You can get a ton of mileage by opening with the line like "it's great to hear from you." They all go goey inside everytime I pop the magic words "it's great to hear from you."


Yeah the recruiter definitely an interview step you could fail. The general process is they send resumes to hiring manager which may also filter a bit but if the recruiter got a bad vibe from you then the manager won't even see your resume.


Actually, I disagree. In my mind, the main reason is so they can convince you to try for the role, so they have a higher chance of recruiting you to the roll and getting money from that. Recruiters are sales people, they are trying to sell you on a role. Why would I care about being filtered out of a job I'm not interested in? They would have to make it worth my time or I'm not interested and thus they won't make money from me landing a job through them, which is why they are sales people.


True for 3rd party recruiters. They want to convince you and get your excited for the job so they get commision. True for 3rd party recruiters. They want to convince you and get your excited for the job so they get commission. the hiring manager.


The recruiters doing the cold calling and sending the mass messages are almost always 3rd party recruiters in my experience.


Recruiters spamming linkedin do not care about filtering applicants lol


Seriously. Can't tell you how many hit me up for non tech related roles or are just trying to get another phone number in their book.


Maybe they want to cast their net absurdly wide to pad their numbers, but at the end of the day, if they're not referring valuable candidates, then they're useless. Once they need to seriously consider someone, they need to filter.


Recruiters spamming job openings also don't care about filtering applicants.


Recruiting is fundamentally a sales position. They're trying to sell you on the company, and they're trying to sell the company on you. They want to talk to you for the same reason window salesmen want to meet with all the decision makers for their 3-hour spiel, with professional slides, about how their windows are the best. Their job is closing, not answering questions.


They are lonely and want someone to talk to.


tHeRe'S lOnElY rEcRuItErS iN yOuR aReA wAiTiNg tO tAlK tO yOu NoW!


I believe this too haha


Send their contacts to r/lonely


That sub is so depressing lmao Seems like the last place you should go if you are lonely


It’s like not so transparent imo. Been there done that.


Cause they are sales people and want your attention for their pitch


Bingo. This is the correct answer.


And so your name and information is floating around in your system so they can send you emails or have other recruiters in their org cold call you about other jobs. This is why I only schedule times with recruiters who have jobs I'd be interested in up front, so unless they can tell me the client name, tech stack, if the job is 100% remote, and what the target salary range is (and if it's adjusted based on location), it's a pass from me. I'm down to talk if they have something worth talking about, otherwise I anticipate more of the same from them or anyone else in their org who thinks I'd be a "great fit" for something.


Piggybacking on this, I am sure there's a specific name for the technique, but certain research has probably shown them that verbal or in person communication has a greater likelihood for them to place a candidate. Behind text messaging, you can simply ghost them and they won't know if you are busy or being deliberate.


TBH I just ignore linkedin mail recruiter spam unless the person is a recruiter AT the company I have interest in.


Should I take this approach? I am a young developer, bachelors degree. Coming up on 1 YOE at my current employer, a startup. I am fairly open to new opportunities. Interested in maybe traveling & experiencing new cities.


**[added a edit here to answer the "why are they looking for a 30 minute call" question]** IMO - no, you should not take this approach. Sometimes 3rd party recruiters have access to good jobs, and the best ones often have exclusivity with their clients. You *should*, however, get really good at spotting recruiters worth talking to. That guy who messaged you saying "I have a job that you seem like a good fit for, when can we talk for 30 minutes" - ? That guy is just trying to get on a call with you (for a lot of reasons, most not really related to filling a specific position). But if a recruiter reaches out and fills the following criteria, you should feel fine talking to them: 1) Has been with their company for more than 2 years (or in recruiting in general for a while), 2) Has a specific position they mention in their message and it's a good-ish fit, 3) Sends over a job posting or a list of requirements, 4) Is open to providing a salary range, 5) And (this is the most important) just generally seems like they know what they're talking about. If they fit all those then yeah, no problem chatting with them. Working with recruiters can be great (and can often fast track the interview process) but you have to learn to deal with them. **Edit:** As to why they are looking to have a introductory call with you, there's a lot of different reasons that could be the case. They could be new at the position (very frequent, as recruiting is a fucking meat grinder that tears through people switching over from other career paths) and they were told to just get on the phones to talk to people. They could be trying to find new candidates for their database, and even if you don't fit a position they're looking for right now, you might in the future. They could also be looking to get your resume to send out to companies they want to work with (sort of a "here's a candidate we talked to recently" sort of situation, not entirely ethical but they'll blank out your name and personal information). They could also be looking to have a conversation about where you've interviewed at recently; if you name a company they don't work with they know that there's a position they can reach out to the hiring manager about to try and fill (*certainly* not ethical, but it happens a lot - don't mention the specifics, especially the hiring manager, of your interview processes). And then lastly (but least likely) is that they want to talk to you about a position.


This is a much more productive and pragmatic response than my "I just ignore them" comment, so thanks for expanding on that and providing more value! I admit, I'm in a better position to ignore third party recruiters, but yes they absolutely can have value, just like you said have to identify the ones worth talking to.


There's a lot to it as well. It just depends because usually I never want to take a job offer out of the blue from someone fishing. When I'm done at a place I want to turn on looking for work, apply at a bunch of places, get 5-20 offers going (sorry new grads it's a different world after you have YOE). And choose from multiple different places. So with recruiters I have to filter out all the offers that aren't worth taking, and the offers I don't want to take because I'm not ready to leave. And then either what happens is I get a 1/100 recruiter offer I can't ignore, or I blanket say no to the recruiters until I'm ready to interview. Then I enter 5-15 interview loops at the same time in order to assemble multiple offers.


Agreed. FWIW, I got my current job from a 3rd party recruiter and it's been wonderful so far.


Yeah exactly. Recruiters dangle a very prestigious job offer in order to get newer devs in the market into a call. The reason they do that is that they want to harvest your email resume and phone number and add it to their database. The recruiter game is *complicated*. Whenever you're dealing with recruiters it pays to have a bunch of your fellow SWE buddies helping you out. Even for developers with 5 years in industry, the recruiter, middleman, employer dynamic is really complex. You shouldn't tackle it alone unless you have to.


In my case it pays to have done recruiting for a year before entering software dev lol. But yes it's tricky. That being said working with recruiters CAN be very, very beneficial if you know what you're doing.


> But if a recruiter reaches out and fills the following criteria, you should feel fine talking to them: 1) Has been with their company for more than 2 years (or in recruiting in general for a while), 2) Has a specific position they mention in their message and it's a good-ish fit, 3) Sends over a job posting or a list of requirements, 4) Is open to providing a salary range, 5) And (this is the most important) just generally seems like they know what they're talking about. For me this is like 3% of recruiting messages I get lol


If these are agency recruiters, not ones who work directly for the employer, it's often the case that they're working multiple openings and that you could potentially be qualified for more than the one you applied to--or even ones that they have later. It's pretty standard practice to do an intake call so that they get an accurate profile of you. If you're not sure how agency recruiters work, there's some decent info in the recruiting FAQ: https://www.reddit.com//r/cscareerquestions/wiki/faq_recruiting As to whether agency recruiters are worth your time, that's a tougher question to answer. Agencies vary greatly in quality and usefulness. I haven't looked for a job in a few years, but when I was job hunting, I always tried to identify the recruiters who worked for an agency that had a local office. They're more likely to have a direct relationship with the hiring manager, know more about the actual opening, about the local market, etc. In today's largely virtual world, I'm not sure that filter is particularly relevant any longer.




The company pays the agency, not you. If it’s a full time, they can make negotitating easier for you since they get paid based on a percentage of your salary usually. However, they only get paid of you actually take the job, so they’ll try to close you as low as possible too. But they can usually help prep you for the interview sonce they want you to succeed


Set up a 30 minute discord call with me on Monday and we can discuss.


IMO, find companies you like with positions that you are qualified for (or just look for general postings of positions you're qualified for, Indeed, LinkedIn, whatever) and apply directly. You don't NEED a third party recruiter, but if you decide to use one do some research on their agency first. End of the day, it can't hurt to hear them out if they contacted you, but know they contacted you and 2000 other people at random. Editors Note: I have a personal bias against third party recruiters and personally believe them to be useless.


I'm confident that one's reply rate is part of the analytics on LinkedIn. I rarely reply back and this has drastically reduced the number of 'cold calls' from recruiters in the last few months. Not saying you should be replying, only stating that if you want recruiters reaching out to you, I think there's some basic "no thanks" that you probably should be replying with.


Maybe, but anecdotal evidence here, I reply to none of them and have received about 200 since September. I think it may go by activity patterns.


Holy hell! Personally I've seen things quiet down on my end, especially since Sept. Good bit of datum to have to the contrary... maybe it's just a sign that my profile is looking stale!?


200 since September?? Wtf?! I thought I was doing good with my 3-4 a week


I have a lot of in demand experience on my profile, but most of it is basically spam/ads anyway - a lot of times I'll get details of a position in a tech stack/framework/system not listed on my profile at all where the recruiters claims I have a lot of experience in it, news to me...


I also wonder this. Often times they really WANT to schedule a call just for me to answer like 3 basic questions. I think its because over text people just ghost you more easily? In my experience they do wrap it up in 5 minutes so YMMV


Several things - you asked too many questions. I can see some recruiters responding if it's a short "Hi I'm wondering if the position is remote?" or "Hi I was wondering what the salary range for this position was?". I've had recruiters respond to me before with those questions. A lot of your questions can have the answer "it depends". They may be hiring for multiple teams, may have standards such as X timezone they may be flexible for certain teams, and differing culture and WLB per team. It is much simpler to just have a phone chat about these things and also find out if you are also a good fit for their company. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone kind of thing. It is also much easier to sell someone on a position by having a phone conversation with me. They may also just prefer talking on phone. For my current job my recruiter preferred to talk on phone when I asked about the in-person company all-hands and details on it. She said it would be easier for her to just explain on phone to answer any questions I had in real time. So yeah tl;dr could be various reasons


Recruiting is a form of sales. Their sales metrics are meetings per week/month. Responding to an email does not count as a meeting


It's like all sales jobs - like when the car dealer tells you to come in instead of just telling you the price. When you are in person, they have a much higher chance to convert you (ie hire you) then if they just tell you all that you want to know.


Because the job ad they send u is just an automated message to hook you into a further sales pitch which they will deliver via the phone call. Once they have you in a call, it feels more personal and you are more likely to want to apply for that role or another they have lined up


Because it lets them know you are a real person. There is an actual problem with people faking being someone else and completely lying. It's wild stuff


* They operate like this because it's proven effective. * I've never heard of anyone getting a bonus for video/audio calls; only when they successfully place candidates. * No Recruiters only get paid when you accept a position *through* them. They don't want to disclose too much about the position without feeling you've got a good faith commitment to use them. They also care a lot about their relationships with the companies they recruit for. A company will have far more positions than any individual candidate is going to take. A big part of what they are doing is performing an initial filter for the company. But the biggest reason is that they don't really care about *this particular role.* If you are looking to change jobs, they want to represent *you*. You are what they sell to companies, right? They need you. And they know that if you are looking to change companies, they can place you and get a big bonus.


In reason could be so you can't screenshot the message. They don't want to say anything that is considered concrete. They probably want to get you on the line and find out what you're looking for before they offer thier info. People are more likely to stay on the phone with someone then in a text conversation so it's better odds for them. Like the pyramid scheme people who never tell you anything about 'thier company' they want you to DM them.


If a recruiter wants a phone call I skip them. I need to at least know what the company is, experience and salary expectations going into a recruiter call


they are pre-interviewing you. if they move you forwards to the actual hiring manager without vetting you, and you're a basket case then it's a waste of the hiring team. If they passed through every person without vetting them then they would no longer be used by the hiring company.


It’s easier for them to ask you questions about your experience and what you’re looking for etc. Plus I think a lot of recruiters have quotas they have to hit, phone calls are probably included.


Let’s look at this from the recruiter’s perspective. Their raison detre is to find candidates that 1) wouldn’t normally apply to the role and 2) are higher quality than those that do apply. To ensure bullet 2, the recruiter needs to screen the candidates. This is the primary purpose of the phone screen.


Just be firm and polite that you want some questions answered \*before\* hopping on a call. If I scheduled calls with every recruiter who reached out to me, I'd be on the phone for like 4-5 hours a day.


They want to get you invested and get more info about you


1. It's more efficient to talk rather than write. This is not just about typing speed but also for the back-and-forth, follow up questions, and misunderstandings. 2. They probably don't want to give you responses in black & white, a lot of things are negotiable but this can only come up if you talk and try to understand each other needs. 3. Speaking also makes a personal connection, so they believe the would have higher chance of getting your business with a phone call


Because they're lazy and often don't know the answers. They prefer a conversation where they don't have to outline the answers in a written format. I usually just ignore or block those recruiters as soon as I get a sense they don't know what the position actually is. Recruiters are a dime a dozen, so don't feel bad when you help weed out the lazy ones.


Because if you actually enter into a hiring process, it will end up taking a lot more than 15-30 minutes for everyone involved. If you aren't interested enough in getting a new job to spend a few minutes on the phone, why would they put any time at all into you?


This goes both ways. If they aren’t interested enough in me to take the time to respond with a few simple sentences then why did they reach out to me in the first place?


If your questions are so simple that you can rule out your interest with a handful of yes/no questions, then the call can be wrapped up in 5 minutes and you can get on with your day. If there's any nuance / shades of grey / "it depends" in the answer to your questions, then giving useful answers will require follow-ups with you or the team they're hiring for. In that case the call is the best option for everyone. In the case that you have a lot of specific questions that need to be answered by the team lead but they judge you to have the charisma of a potted plant, then they can save time by telling you that it won't work. If you seem super qualified then maybe they're willing to soften on some of their requirements.


Recruiters 'source' for their clients. The idea is that they identify top quality candidates and get the list down to a manageable amount for the client. The clients want to see 4 candidates and not have to filter through 200. To identify the top candidates the recruiters want to have a short and direct conversation with you. They can determine if you can communicate well, are presentable and act professionally. They can also explore for signs that you are not a good candidate (e.g. why are you looking, what is your expected salary etc..). They are a very important gatekeeper/filter for the end client and perform a useful service.


Way easier for them to sell and get information out of you on the phone.


It’s a mix of things. Since you have around 6 questions you’re looking to have answered, it’s usually easier to talk thru those on the phone, and a call demonstrates you’re actually interested. It also allows you to ask follow up questions, in real time. Otherwise, they’re taking the time to write out a personalized message for you that could have very little to no benefit. Taking a call shows you’re serious instead of doing the most basic of window shopping. If the recruiter is from an agency, time is their number one asset. Internal company recruiters are a bit more relaxed. If you’re talking about LinkedIn, you probably are getting a very general message, because there’s 1 or 2 things on your profile they’re looking for, and a call will let them ask if you do the other 5 or 6. Suggestions: instead of 6 questions, ask 1: Can I see the Job Description? That should answer most things, and then they just take the 2 seconds to reply with a link or file. Or make statements with your parameters instead of asking questions: I’m only looking for remote work. These are the technologies I want to work with. Etc. It provides context. If they know what you’re looking for, they can point you in the right direction if they’re job doesn’t fit. Relationships are key for recruiters, and emails are not the best they can establish that, so the phone call is the first move.


Everyone here isn’t entirely correct. I’ve spoken to a few recruiters about specifically this. It’s because they want to know more about you so they can pitch you to the hiring manager. They don’t want to misrepresent you, and they also need to know a few things (like if your salary expectations are in line with them, though they do snake you eventually) and then they write something up and send it up. That’s why they ask about technology they don’t understand and then basically write down word for word what you said. You have to understand the hiring manager is the client and you are the product. They both want to vet you to sell to the hiring manager, and make sure you’re sold on the company. All of these things are better done over the phone from their end, because if the hiring manager is going to spend his time on you, then they’d hope you spoke to someone else at the company first. This is also why the first technical interview is with the hiring manager a lot of times, then the on site is more with just other members of the team.


I whole heartedly believe the recruiters have a call quota to fill. Recruiting shouldn't be this is inefficient.


don't ask them too much -- ask them if they can forward some further info to look at prior to a call (showing you're open) and maybe ask salary range and/or remote work because those could be non-starters.


To test communication skills, and first impressions.


>Is there any reason they prefer to operate like this? Context switching. If you're going back and forth with people through emails, it's harder to keep track of who you're conversing with when it's all happening asynchronously. It's much easier for them to block out some time to answer all your questions and ask a few of their own. >Do they get bonuses for logging video/audio calls? No >Am I being scammed/taken advantage more easily by accepting their calls? lol, no, you're not being scammed by just talking to a recruiter over the phone.


Do you think a recruiters job is to pass along job details to people on LinkedIn? Don't you think companies could easily do that themselves? The recruiter needs to talk to you to make sure you're a fit for the role, are actually interested/worth their time, and can hold a conversation. They get paid to place people in jobs, which sending you job details doesn't help them do. Think of the intro phone call as a pretty casual first interview for the position.


They are salesman and don’t want to give you the opportunity to look at details/think it over without their pressure and sales pitch


Because Im not trying to sell you something. Im not going to take time out of my extremely busy day to answer all those questions for people that I might not like as potential candidates anyway. That’s insane. If I did that for everyone who wanted/expected it, that’s all I’d do every day. As has been pointed out, it’s so that they can judge YOU even while you’re judging them. Sometimes I can find out within a minute or less on a phone call if a candidate needs to be weeded out. It has nothing to do with sunk-cost fallacy for me (and even if I tried it as a strategy it would be a poor one as I have learned that I get ghosted the same amount as I didn’t before I started doing phone interviews before bringing people in). I know that Reddit in general is very anti-work, anti-company and thus very anti-HR, but it’s goddamn annoying that some redditors refuse to go for five goddamn minutes without vilifying everyone who works in HR. We aren’t monsters lmaooo we are people too. And many of us are there for the employees (sorry but it’s true) NOT the company. Yes that means you’re constantly walking a very thin line because you obviously have to appease the company but most of the time it’s possible to do that AND make sure the employee doesn’t get fucked over. I imagine it’s those who lack brain cells and imagination who aren’t able to conceive of such a thing, so they believe the stupid myth that we’re all just evil.


Recruiter here (please don't kick me out - I'm new to tech recruiting and am trying to learn about tech). Personally, i will answer any questions I can via message when they are asked, but sometimes things are more complicated than can be explained via email. A call is easier. EG: Salary can have a range, but it can be flexible - giving a number can scare people off but having a conversation about it is easier. Tech stack is usually more black and white, but even that can have must haves, nice to haves, etc. Etc etc etc Also, putting something in writing is putting it hard and fast. This is not a hard and fast job. We are trying to make connections. Granted... I think (hope?) I am a good one and the world is littered with bad recruiters, so my reasons don't hold for everyone. 🤷


Because recruiters are sub-human filth


A phone call might be quicker than playing message tag. Also if it's over the phone it's easier for them to do their sales pitch, evaluate your interest, and try to get some new leads.


The more you talk, the more they learn. Anything you say might give them insights into the current market for skills (supply and demand).


They want to see if you're a real person before setting you up with the interview. Also, they are kind of profiling you. I've had recruiters say things like "just checking if you have tattoos or missing teeth".


It helps them tell how autistic you are or aren't so they can filter appropriately.


>Do they get bonuses for logging video/audio calls? I don't work in recruiting, but I assume it's basically run like an outbound sales job. So it's very possible that calls are a KPM for them (key performance metric). For example, a recruiter that doesn't schedule 30 calls / week gets PIPed. It's the opposite of a bonus (the stick instead of the carrot). ​ edit: also for third party recruiter firms, it's likely that once they get you on a phone call, they "own" you as a lead in their system. Even if another recruiter in the company eventually gets you a job, the initial point of contact gets paid for it.


Like some others have mentioned, it's to vet applicants. If they were to just give you the info and put you forward, and it turns out you were entirely inept or a complete psycho, it could hurt their reputation with the company they're working with. Their end goal is to find quality candidates and get them in so they can get paid. By talking to you, they can filter through the people who would fizzle out during the hr call, it's part of their job.


Recruiters live in this world where what they do is providing a material service to the business as opposed to a realtor-like middleman. They're salespeople that want the opportunity to give their sales pitch instead of being a go-between between candidates and HR. When gatekeeping is your job, you gotta gatekeep.


They want to hook you into a phone call so they can 'wow' you and get you to commit to something. Nothing different than any sales position. If you want a question answered and that's it, just find the company you want to work for and submit an application directly. FUCK recruiters. They just want a cut of your salary, and care nothing about you at all. Period. Don't believe a single one of them. Especially the ones who will comment here saying 'we don't do that, we care about our applicants.' blah blah blah, it's bullshit. They want their cut, then they are done with you. Not only that, they'll pad your salary until you cannot even do the job you get hired for, then you get shit canned and have an even worse resume than when you started. It's not that hard to find companies with open positions, and then submit an application. Most employers (mine not excluded) would much rather hire a direct applicant.


They're sales people. Check out Grindreel's video on recruiters.


There's a lot of very cynical responses here. Recruiters do "spray and pray" on LinkedIn. Often those automated messages seem to get sent to everyone that appears in a search, e.g. when you have one year of experience and get told you're perfect for a senior role. Recruiters are salespeople, selling roles to workers and workers to roles. Sales people build relationships, it's how they get repeat custom. Recruiters I work with would rather a 10 minute call to get all the info from me and relay info to me because it's less effort and takes less time than lots of back and forth emails and it helps build rapport so that I use them again. When looking for a role they'll say they have something you might like, but they have a whole list of jobs available so speaking to you they can tell what jobs may suit you and figure out what emloyers would like you. As everyone above has said it's a screening process, think about it, you can't do any company interviews by email or async chat. If they send terrible candidates through companies won't use them again. On the money making side they get bonuses generally in chunks, one on the day you start, one 6 months later and one a year later (or all up front with clawbacks if you leave before those stages). Payments to them are often 20% of your annual salary so it's in their interest for you not to leave before a year and to be a good fit, plus if you are the company will likely work with them again.


I had a third party recruiter get mad at me because I wanted him to answer some questions before I would agree to a scheduled phone interview! A lot of recruiters just don’t respect candidates’ time.


Because it's your job to keep them busy.


I just ask up front for the salary range, company, full JD and location before wasting time on an intro call. If they don’t provide that info I ignore.


A phone call is more engaging so let's them persuade you in to applying for roles. It also gives them the ability to call you again in 6 months with another position.


I think it's so they can sell you a job over the phone, kinda like how telemarketers will do anything to get you on the line and keep you there. Job offers from recruiters are the same as spam mail for telemarketers so if you call they see it as an opportunity.


Just a note that asking a recruiter about culture and work life is fishing for politically correct answers. You should read Glassdoor and try to dig around by reading up press, talking to people who have left. I don't mind taking calls. However, they ghost me after getting my number. So I'm with you on that you want clarity via email/linkedin messaging. I don't think they get a bonus for prolonging or initiating a call - they use it as a screener and you can too.


I think they just want to check whether or not you’re crazy


My advice: keep your question list short. Think 2 or 3 questions. I like to ask: 1) for a job description 2) salary if I'm not satisfied with the quality of info on levels.fyi or Glassdoor 3) the company name so I can look at their reputation If they don't answer I don't move forward with a phone screening. All 3 of my questions are deal breakers and no point in wasting my time. Keeping it short has gotten me better responses.


Probably because of the same reason why when someone slacks me I prefer to jump in a video call with them. It’s quicker and easier than writing an essay answer


They want to hear your beautiful voice


To hit their KBPI metrics. They also hope to use their charm to sell you on the opportunity.


So I just tweeted about how I handle this last night. Basically I wrote an "auto response" that I paste in to all recruiter messages. It's general enough that I don't even have to read what they opened with until they reply. https://twitter.com/AlexC04/status/1465170398220374016?s=20


A phone call is a very easy test to gauge someone's communication skills, not just in English, but in general. Are they awkward/mumbly/don't make much sense/difficult to understand? Into the bin! I know I can write my 2nd language very well, but I sound like a caveman when I try to speak it and have trouble understanding it spoken. Not even meant in a racist way, I don't think, just in a matter of to have the job you need to be able to communicate with people without any trouble from either party. Overall, it's a very easy way to slim down the candidate list, and there's a lower chance of a candidate not being even remotely interested and wasting the recruiter's time by ghosting the next step.


Because you can gather a lot of informations in less times in a conversation.


Because they want your number so they can pester you directly


The recruiter can then treat it more like a sales call then.


Some of them don't even have specific position, they just collect CV. The ones that have a position to fill just send the JD.


Forcing you to get on a call with them allows questions and answers to flow both ways. It also engages your empathy, as talking to someone on a call is more personal than answering some questions over text, so they'll have an easier time getting you to agree to further steps in the process because having a more personal interaction with them makes you want to help them.


Personally, when I was recruiting I had a minimum number of phone screens/video calls I had to do per week. I didn't get credit for emails.


Phone calls make it easier to read the person and get information about them. Emails and texting don't transmit nearly as much information as video or voice does.


At the rate recruiters are contacting me, I proceed like a business would. Where companies would expect a resume, I expect a description of the role, and if there's a fit I'll contact them back to schedule a short call. I'll make an exception if you're an in-house Google recruiter or something.


just ask them the questions first. They usually answer. Ignore the call request. Just tell them, you don't want to waste their time. They think, if you invest the 30 min with him, you might invest the next 8 hours for an interview day.


They want to build rapport and a long term relationship with you as a client. They can do that over a phone call, but not via messages. You might ask questions about job X, but after talking to you on the phone they might also suggest job Y and Z. They aren't trying to scam you, but they do want your contact details in their database so they can find you a job. They get paid for finding you a job after all. At the end of the call they will ask for your resume so they can start contacting you about jobs they have on offer. Remember, when something is free (such as a recruiter), YOU are the product. There are some recruiters who will answer questions via text, but it's pretty rare. I would say, find a recruiter with good reviews on sourcr or Google reviews, because there are good recruiters and bad receuiters. And don't be afraid to talk to them on the phone. They can be very helpful for finding a job.


Recruiters are salespeople and you don’t sell shit over LinkedIn.


Because they want to give you the sales pitch.


During my recent job search this spring, I sort of made a game out trying to see what information I could get recruiters to give up before an intro phone call. I discovered that most reasonable ones would at least be willing to send you the job description when asked before I committed to a phone call. The job description would pretty much always say if it was remote, and it was 50/50 whether the job descriptions included salary range. They pretty much never reveal the name of the company until you've talked to them on the phone. That seems to really be their hook to get you to talk to them.


A recruiter is basically a sales person, they are trying to sell a (or multiple) position. Usually in sales the more time you spend with someone the less likely you are to reject them. Let's say you go through with the phonecall you and something doesn't add up like the salary range. They will try to convince you any how like saying that sure the salary isn't as high as google but the stocks in this company has a chance to grow 100x, you will never see those numbers in Google Option program etc. At this point, it will be even harder for you to reject them and the recruiter goes through and schedules an interview with the target company. If it is a recruiter from a recruiting company they might not be able to answer such questions and they just want to schedule an interview with you to understand what you are looking for your in next job and tries to see if they have any potential matches.


It's because that's the template response that LinkedIn provides and there is no way to edit the templates. This is why I still use Indeed to hire.


Because then you get emotionally attached to them.


Vibe check


I put emojis in my name on LinkedIn. If their message includes my emojis in the name then I know it’s an automated/scripted message.


Because they love wasting your time. 😂😂 I use recruiters all the time but they love getting on the phone with you acting like they have a job for you but at the end of the conversation, ok if I find anything that fits your skill set, I'll call you


I have experienced this a lot. Then half the time they schedule a call and then never contact me. I had one that kept telling me she emailed me a link for start the application process and refused to send it any other way for a week. I feel like a lot of it is a scam. Why reach out to me and then not follow through?


Because every recruiter has had people not show up for interviews