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Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy is the founder and President of BinaryWave, a leading provider of operational intelligence solutions for Microsoft SharePoint. Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy has worked with SharePoint Products and Technologies since 2001 as a consultant, administrator, architect, developer and trainer. he is an advisory committee member of the Dallas/Ft. Worth SharePoint Community group and participating member of user groups throughout the United Kingdom. Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy has authored numerous articles on SharePoint, speaks at user group meetings and conferences around the world, and publishes a popular SharePoint blog at http://www.sharepointcowboy.com. Presentations by Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy Webinar - Migrating Legacy On Premise Solutions to SharePoint Online and Windows Azure featuring Eric Shupps Who are you and what do you want - Working with OAuth in SharePoint 2013 SharePoint is Talking Are You Listening? Eric Shupps SharePoint 2013 Performance Enhancements Taking Advantage of the SharePoint 2013 REST API Eric Shupps on Improving Performance with New Features in SharePoint 2013 SharePoint 2013 New and Improved Migrating Legacy On Premise Solutions to SharePoint Online and Windows Azure Eric Shupps Presents SharePoint 2013 Real World Help Desk App End to End Windows Azure Apps for SharePoint 2013 Eric Shupps Demonstrates Customizing the Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Deployment Process Introduction to SharePoint Development SharePoint 2010 Unit and Integration Testing with Eric Shupps Building Enterprise Records Management Solutions for SharePoint 2010 Taming Information Chaos in SharePoint 2010 SharePoint 2010 Performance and Capacity Planning Best Practices Building Dynamic Applications with the SharePoint Client Object Model Articles by Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy Eric Shupps' Ten Steps to Optimize SharePoint Performance Webcasts by Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy Secrets of SharePoint Part 5: Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Optimal Performance Creating End User SharePoint Solutions for Performance and Scalability SharePoint 2010 Performance Enhancements for Administrators by Eric Shupps Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for the ASP.NET Developer Eric Shupps on Following Best Practices and Avoiding Common Errors with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Development Eric Shupps - SharePoint Performance and Capacity Planning Essentials Troubleshooting Common Performance Problems in SharePoint 2010 Videos by Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy Channel 9 Interview with Eric Shupps SharePoint TechTalk with Eric Shupps - Different Views on Social Computing SharePoint Post-Deployment Planning and Management with Eric Shupps SmartTrack for SharePoint Feature Overview SmartTrack for SharePoint Podcasts by Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy SharePoint Pod Show - Design for Performance (Eric Shupps) SharePoint Pod Show - Test Driven Development with Andrew Woodward and Eric Shupps eshupps The SharePoint Cowboy Run As Radio - Eric Shupps Improves SharePoint Performance
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December 30
Another Year, Another Reason to Hate Technical Recruiters

Here it is, almost 2009 and I've gone nearly the whole year without ranting about recruiters but I just can't take it any more. Way back in 2006 I penned an Open Letter to SharePoint Recruiters, begging them to stop trying to combine a developer and architect into a single position. A bit later, my good buddy Adam Buenz shot some arrows at the general recruiter community for not understanding anything about the positions they are trying to fill. Sadly, it seems that most recruiters have completely ignored our pleas and have actually managed to make themselves look even worse by completely ignoring the general business rule of "know your product before you try to sell it".

Here's a case study to illustrate what's got a burr under my saddle today. This little gem cropped up in my daily email alerts from Dice (please note that I'm am NOT linking to the original job post in order shield the recruiting firm from the scorn and shame that they rightfully deserve):

Job Description:

Play the role of Subject Matter expert in the Clients SharePoint COE team

* Solid knowledge in the MOSS capabilities & integration wih third party technologies like SiteMinder
* Experience with SharePoint permissions and permission level
* Experience establishing and managing technical governance
* Interacting with the Client and translate business requirements into SharePoint solutions
* Experience with Nintex workflow tool is a plus

Required Qualifications

* Developing Custom Master Pages and overall branding / customization, Custom Site Definitiions / templates, List Definitions, Site Columns, Content Types
* Advanced search properties
* Custom web parts / web controls
* Feature Stapling
* Event Handlers
* Event Receiver Assembly Features
* Solution Deployment packages (WSP)
* MOSS / WSS Object Model
* InfoPath forms development
* Custom Workflows using SPD as well as VS.Net
* Dual Authentication using AD/LDAP
* Thorough knowledge of ASP.Net / ADO.Net preferably using C#
* Moderate knowledge of SQL Server

Sigh - where do I even start? To begin with, the post title reads "SharePoint Developer..." and the first six items have nothing whatsoever to do with development. Experience managing technical governance? From a developer? Does this person even know what "governance" is? That's an Architect's job, not a Developer's job - proving that they never read my original post on this topic (which isn't hard to find - Google "SharePoint recruiter" and it's the first link).

Furthermore, it's obvious that whomever gave the list of qualifications to the recruiter was throwing in every SharePoint term they ever heard of without any real knowledge of what they were asking for. just what is an "Event Receiver Assembly Feature" as opposed to an "Event Handler", I wonder? Or "Dual Authentication using AD/LDAP"? And could someone explain to me how "Advanced search properties" is considered a programming skill?

But wait - it gets even better. The real coup de grace comes when I scroll down and read the pay rate - $45 - $53 an hour for a 1099 or W2 contractor. Ok, for the love of all that is good and holy, even if you are technically incompetent, shouldn't you at least know what the market rate is for the type of position you're trying to fill? Isn't that what recruiters get paid for?

I would like an itemized explanation of exactly what the client is getting in return for whatever ridiculous fee they're paying this scam artist. They don't know anything about the technology, they don't know the market, and they don't know what position they are hiring for. Where is the value add? Where's the ROI for the 25%/30%/WhateverInsanePercentage these fools are charging?

I get calls from recruiters all the time who get offended when I tell them I won't do business with their ilk because they don't understand our sector. Well, tough - the truth hurts. If you're going to play in this market, start by trying to understand what it is you're selling. If you want to make money shifting SharePoint people around, I would think that your first step would be to get some familiarity with the product. There are all kinds of workshops, seminars, and community events that offer free information - take advantage of them and go learn something before you waste everyone's time. I would never think of entering any business without learning something about it first - isn't that just common sense?

Worse, these morons make our jobs even tougher and do damage to the SharePoint community as a whole, not to mention the disservice they are doing for their clients. Somebody should have told the customer that they can't get what they want for $45 an hour before putting that post on the Internet. For Pete's sake, help your client by educating them on the market so they have reasonable expectations - don't send them people who fit the salary range but don't meet any of the qualifications. They won't appreciate it and they'll never do business with you again. And now I have to be the bad guy and tell these people at user group meetings that you, Mr. or Mrs. Recruiter, sold them snake oil and they can't get what they want at that price. That's not my job, it's yours - you get paid for it so do the right thing for once.

To be fair, not all recruiters fall into this trap; I know some stand-up people in the recruiting business that are willing to tell the customer how the cow eats the cabbage. I've given lunch-n-learn seminars to recruiting firms free of charge who have an honest desire to do the right thing - if you want help, it's out there (in fact, if you buy me a good steak I'll talk to your people until their ears bleed so be careful what you ask for). But there are so many resume flippers out there that it's becoming an epidemic. Please, do us all a favor, if you don't know SharePoint then stay out of this business - you're a parasite leeching off the lifeblood of the community.

Great, it's not even noon and now I need a drink. Sheesh.


Comments

Love It

Terrific post. Unfortunately, something I never see changing because of the way that recruiters are trained in order to procure resources. It's quantity over quality thing in the IT recruitment filed.
System Account on 12/30/2008 11:57 AM

Wow this takes me back

Isnt this about the time we first met?  Take a look at the replies  :)

Funny things just never seem to change with recruiters.  We will be writting the same thing in the years to come.. not just SharePoint Related either. ... anything technical  :)
System Account on 12/30/2008 1:19 PM

Wow this takes me back

Isnt this about the time we first met?  Take a look at the replies  :)

Funny things just never seem to change with recruiters.  We will be writting the same thing in the years to come.. not just SharePoint Related either. ... anything technical  :)
System Account on 12/30/2008 1:19 PM

I fit that description and I would take that contract.

Thanks, I am entering the market for contracts after being a full time employee for a while.  I think I'll look these guys up!
System Account on 12/30/2008 1:28 PM

Re: Wow this takes me back

Bob, I think you're right.  It was around that time that I put the SharePoint Blog Search online and we started trading emails.  Talk about a blast from the past!
Eric Shupps on 12/30/2008 6:29 PM

Re: I fit that description and I would take that contract

Charles,

If you *really* have all those qualifications then you are a fool to take that contract; you would be selling yourself short by a mile.  Post your resume online for a week and see how many offers you get.  If you don't get at least three that are double that rate then send your resume to me and I'll hook you up with the right people.
Eric Shupps on 12/30/2008 6:32 PM

Re: I fit that description and I would take that contract

Charles,

If you *really* have all those qualifications then you are a fool to take that contract; you would be selling yourself short by a mile.  Post your resume online for a week and see how many offers you get.  If you don't get at least three that are double that rate then send your resume to me and I'll hook you up with the right people.
Eric Shupps on 12/30/2008 6:32 PM

Re: Another Year, Another Reason to Hate Technical Recruiters

Why don't you tone down your arrogance a little?
System Account on 12/31/2008 5:01 AM

Re: Re: Another Year, Another Reason to Hate Technical Recruiters

Let me guess, this comment came from a technical recruiter who didn't want to leave their name.  Allow me to give you a clue in order to help you get off on the right foot for the new year - everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who has been doing SharePoint for any length of time is frustrated by the same thing.  It's not just my opinion, it's EVERYBODY'S OPINION.  The common denominator here is recruiters doing a piss-poor job; if you don't like, or that offends you somehow, THEN FIX IT!!!!  Educate yourself on the industry you're trying to represent, don't jump in with both feet and expect us to welcome you with open arms while you blunder around making a mess of things.

I remember back in the late 90's when SAP was the hot ticket.  Recruiting firms sprang up overnight to pimp SAP talent.  Difference was, most of them were started by former SAP consultants so they actually had a clue what they were about.  They could match people to requirements effectively because they knew something about the technology.  Those that didn't went out and hired SAP expertise immediately.  NEWS FLASH - all IT positions are not the same.  Niche products like SharePoint require you to adjust your business if you want to play in this space.  Don't want to learn something new?  Then get out of our sandbox, you're not welcome here.
System Account on 12/31/2008 9:09 AM

Blame it on copy-paste

I think what happens in cases like this is recruiters just blindly copy-paste what is emailed to them by the hiring manager at the company who needs the consultant. The hiring manager's list is often a wish list compiled by the Tech Lead and sometimes one or two of the senior developers. The manager then adds in a few buzzwords like "governance". Sometimes the Tech Lead or developers intentionally load it up with impossible demands to prove in an indirect way how difficult/impossible their job/project/SharePoint is to the hiring manager. Then the recruiters just gets the list, and posts it at the same capped rate the hiring company uses for all positions. Then the hiring company wonders why they get poor candidates and it takes months to fill the position. It would be like going to the butcher counter with $1 and demanding a pound of steak. You will end up walking away with 1 pound of hot dogs or nothing.
System Account on 12/31/2008 2:14 PM
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