From the inbox, a really great rant about scientific recruiters from someone we'll call FX:
As a [45+] year old [advanced degreed] chemist who is about to be laid off again, I have been searching for new employment and getting lots of contacts from recruiters. The vast majority of my interactions with them are very frustrating. I would think it is obvious that someone whose resume shows [10-20] years experience as an [instrumental] spectroscopist is not interested in a temp job running HPLC for $20/hour. How does the scientific recruiting industry stay afloat when all its members seem so incompetent?
I keep updated resumes at sites such as Monster, Linkedin, Indeed and Glassdoor. I have noticed some things about recruiters that find me through Monster. For the resume I keep there I used a unique email address and a Google voice phone number so I know when someone who contacts me came from Monster. If I modify my resume there, I am guaranteed to get a number of calls/emails shortly thereafter offering contract positions and unrelated offers such as selling life insurance.
I am assuming that there is some service that recruiters can pay for which sends a daily list of updated resumes to them? I also notice even though the same resume is at the other sites, > 90% of recruiters contacting me have come through Monster.
These are also all for temp or contractor positions, never permanent.
Is that just a reflection of the sorry state of the chemistry job market in [one of the 4-7 pharma-related metro areas that are not SF or Cambridge] or is it because most companies trying to hire a contractor will put it out to a recruiter rather than just posting on their career site and get the applications through there? Why is there not a roughly equal amount of traffic through the other sites?
These are great questions and great observations.
First, it's dramatically clear to me that the median scientific recruiter I've met in my professional interactions is 1) has never worked as a scientist, 2) is quite young and 3) does not have a professional-level understanding of the field. It's very surprising to me, as FX notes, one hopes there is a hidden reserve of incredibly bright, talented and perceptive scientific recruiters out there. On more than one occasion, I've responded to recruiters with "this position is wildly unrelated to what I do - you should be looking for someone who works in [other industry.]"
(We should all take a moment to remember the odd days of 2011 or so, when it seemed like every medicinal chemist on LinkedIn was connected to the folks at Klein Hersh International.)
Readers, any ideas as to why scientific recruiters tend not to have an intuition as to which chemists would respond best to their entreaties? Any thoughts as to if Monster is particularly bad? (My answer: yes, I think it is.)