Seriously, Tech Recruiter?

Today I got an email from a random tech recruiter for a contract position in another state. This in and of itself isn’t that uncommon. I receive these emails and phone calls somewhat regularly.

The reason I am talking about this on here was because one part of the job description leaped out at me:

· Fulfills department requirements in terms of providing work coverage and administrative functions during periods of personnel illness, vacation or education

Let me see if I am interpreting the HR jargon correctly. It appears that part of the job requirement is to be a secretary if someone who is one is either ill, on vacation, or attending school.

Seriously? This is a three month contract where the job requires the candidate to have a computer science degree and two years of professional experience coding HTML5, C#.Net, and JQuery and they want you to show up at work and randomly be assigned to answer phones?

Who on earth would want to work for a company where your skills are treated like that? What you are doing is so inconsequential that you can randomly be pulled to do something that requires minimal training and thinking?

When I see this job description, it tells me several things:

– My work is not valued, so I personally won’t be treated with respect. I also will not be paid adequately for my skills, because they too are not valued.

– This company is penny wise and pound foolish. They considered their workers as “resources” in the worst possible usage of the word. Their workers are nothing more than Tetris pieces to be placed where they can fit.

– This company is not interested in establishing a cohesive work force. There will be no institution knowledge because the people working on this project are going to be gone in a few months. No one at the company will treat you with respect because you are going to be gone in a few months anyway, so why bother? The odds of getting a good reference from here is minimal because no one will know what you are supposed to be doing because you will randomly be placed at the front desk to answer phones.

So this is position for someone who doesn’t mind running in a hamster wheel, running constantly but not going anywhere. This company is not interested in attracting top talent and will likely ignore bullying and incompetence because it is easier to turn a blind eye to such behaviors.

Yes, this is a recession. When there is a larger supply of workers than there are positions available, people tend to stop treating their workers with respect or pay them well.

However, it is not a recession for computer programmers, especially ones that have highly in demand skills like HTML5. No one worth a damn is going to tolerate being treated with this degree of disrespect. In fact, I am highly dubious that this company would even know what kinds of questions to ask a developer to determine whether they actually know how to code.

So, random tech recruiter who sent me this email, thank you sincerely for thinking of me for this opportunity, but I have not given up on the hope that I will one day be a great software developer. I am trying to establish a career, not find a job. There is a difference.