Refresh This

by Scott Smith

As some of you may know, I am not with the firm. After eight years, the end came on the last Friday of June. I have more reflections on that come the final day of July, but I now want to focus on life with job boards and recruiters.

For those of you not looking for work, you may not realize the number of internet companies proving job services. Staggering. You’d think this was the real estate — sorry Real Estate(R) — business and their 6% on $750K homes.

And, there is good reason: they suck. They must all think they can build a better job site but I haven’t seen it. For instance, on, I apply for a position then have to fill-out my personal information a second time for the employeer because they don’t share data. Oh, that’s efficient. That’s like typing an address into Google Maps and then having to type it again so I can have Google maps provide driving instructions.

The search on these sites is pathetic. knows I’m looking for a position in western Michigan (or it should know since I have already specified the Kalamazoo area), but shows me jobs in California, Nebraska and Florida. Also, Monster displays an ad on every other page I visit — and it isn’t always clear to me right away that it is an ad. Very nice. Glad they have me, me being the customer, in mind while they design the site.

Jobster is a Web 2.0 version of a job site. See, Web 2.0 apps are simple and direct and require little direction. Well, Jobster shows little direction. You have to hunt and peck to figure out what to do. It’s enough to make you wish Craigslist had more traction in western Michigan.

Today, Sharma from Technical Software (like ManPower for geeks) contacted me about a Senior Network Analyst’s position. Fine. She says she sent an email. No, there is no email. “Hit refresh,” she says.

Okay, maybe if you were trying to hire my 88 year-old grandmother you’d have to tell her to hit refresh to force gmail to show me new emails, but not a guy with over ten years of computer experience.

She told me to hit refresh at least six times during our conversation.

Finally, she tried her Yahoo account and sure enough the email got to me — and she stopped asking me to hit refresh.

Anyway, before the ’email’ arrived with the job description and requirements, she read it aloud to me. On speakerphone. I explained to her I have bad hearing. She kept me on speakerphone; I was being to subtle.

I responded to each of her questions, and I’d throw a joke in every once in awhile. When she asked me about IBM 3270 experience, I said I couldn’t even fake that for 20 seconds. Oh, this sent our conversation to whether or not I thought faking was good. Shoot me now, I thought. Put me in my chicken killing cone and slice my neck wide open; let me bleed good and long.

In the end, she decided I should revise my resume, create a skills matrix, and give two technical references. Fine. I did that in the 30 minute time-frame she provided. The deadline was 5p today.

It is now nearly 6p and I never heard back from her. No email. No calls. Inconsiderate to say the least. This would be my second dealing with a tech recruiter and I am hoping my last.