Over the years I’ve worked with some wonderful recruiters when seeking new opportunities. I’ve also come across way too many that just aren’t good at their job. They don’t listen, don’t understand my needs and goals, and only seem to be interested in pushing irrelevant jobs on me. I’d like to hear about others’ experiences as it relates to working with recruiters for a UX role.
I’ve never worked with a recruiter, but I know that @Noquarter had a great experience with a few when he contacted them for user research on his portfolio project. He might have some input.
I have never used a recruiter, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to the idea.
For the longest time I felt very uneasy about the idea. I think that stemmed from the fact that I’m an innately loyal person, so having someone looking out for opportunities on my behalf while I was in employment felt underhanded or something.
However, when I was at a role for 5 years and started to get itchy feet, a recruiter coincidentally reached out to me on LinkedIn, and I agreed to a coffee chat. It was good for me to get a different perspective on what pay conditions at the time were like, what kinds of roles were available, and also to think about where I wanted to head.
In the end I took a contract role referred to me by a friend, and began working for myself, but that conversation was a good jolt of reality that I needed. It’s easy when you take a job that you love, working with people you enjoy the company of, to let go of your career aspirations and just enjoy the job. Which is fine, but it can result in you being taken advantage of by your employer, unintentionally or otherwise. Having a regular conversation with a recruiter can prevent that from happening. I don’t actually know if that recruiter I spoke to was good at his job or not, but chatting to him was helpful.
Bit of a long-winded tangential answer there. I do get plenty of random offers via recruiters on LinkedIn, who clearly haven’t read my profile. I ignore them.
My primary experience with recruiters has been poor, as they really don’t know about UX - I’ll never forget having a phone conversation with one who asked what UX stood for!
But there are a few good eggs out there that have helped me snag a contract here and there. It’s really a matter of finding the needle in the haystack.
I’ve had the same experience with recruiters as you Mortvia. They don’t speak the language, don’t understand what we do, don’t listen to what we are looking for…the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong. I know some wonderful recruiters but they are few and far between.
My experience with contract/perm agency recruiters has, generally, been very poor from the job-seeker perspective. They have no idea at all what they are recruiting for, don’t follow through with their promises (“Oh yes, I’ll keep you informed every step of the way, count on me!”) Recently it has gotten worse with a flood of recruiters who are really very inexperienced and even harder to understand. I did some agency recruiting many years ago and my experience was that my colleagues could generally be described as sales-oriented folks. I suggest staying away from them - at the senior executive level there are some very good outfits but those are the 1% of the recruiting world.