April 14, 2022

HackerNews Hot Takes With Wes Part 1: Are Recruiters Lying About Remote?

By Casey Higgins

Welcome to HackerNews Hot Takes With Wes, a video series where Woven Founder/CEO Wes Winham Winler schools us on all things recruiting, assessing, and hiring software engineers.

Today’s Hot Take: Recruiters are lying about remote.

Are they? Let’s hear Wes’ response to a HackerNews post where a candidate heard one thing from a recruiter and was told something else after they’d already accepted the job offer.

Full Transcript:


So there’s a post going viral on HackerNews about recruiters lying about remote.

So the situation is someone accepted a job, went through the interview, the recruiter upfront said “Hey, this is a remote position.” They accepted the job. And then they’re told to come onsite. And the person’s like, “What? The recruiter told me this was remote.”

And they’re like “Well, it didn’t say remote on the job description. It didn’t say remote in your offer. Too bad.”

So… most recruiters at Big Tech companies are actually contractors. They’re paid per successful hire. They’re not paid for onboarding success or happy engineers or even quality engineers.

They are paid to get butts in seats because it’s a challenge right now.

So when you’re dealing with a Big Tech company, you’re probably dealing with someone that doesn’t actually work with that company. I’ll give this person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the recruiter was confused, but is not out of, uh, out of possibility that that was a tactic they use to hit their goals.

So it’s really important to be aware when you’re talking to a recruiter at Big Tech, they might not even work there. Always confirm it with the hiring manager.

Key Takeaways

Recruiters have quotas to fill. And in today’s ultra-competitive job market, they’re more incentivized than ever to get people in the door.

Tech giants usually outsource their recruiting because it’s expensive and time-consuming to train an in-house team.

However, when you outsource, you run the risk of a recruiter not understanding the role or your company’s culture or values. They don’t know the day-to-day of what it’s like to work there. Heck, they might even make a mistake on the job description.

If the details of a role seem murky — like what the position pays, or whether it’s remote or not — candidates should do their own due diligence. Read the job description and offer letter closely. Request that the recruiter to put their promises in writing. And when in doubt, ask questions to get clarity.


What did we learn from Wes today?

Recruiters at Big Tech companies are typically contractors who are paid per hire. Because of that, they may not have the best interests of the candidate in mind. They might also use different tactics to fill open roles.

Your best bet is to confirm what the position entails with the hiring manager to get the most accurate information.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Hot Take. Be sure to check back soon for Part 2!

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