HRs, here is WHY you don’t close job positions !

I want to, no I have to, share my experience with “being hired” by an HR agency or company in my country Bulgaria.

The goal of this post is not to tell what I am not happy about but to also explain MANY reasons why you don’t get good candidates. Some reasons why your people quit ones they start working somehow and some advices what to change.

The situation in Bulgaria is the following:

There are a lot of Developers that can be qualified as good developers, there are even more junior developers graduating every year and for companies, which are also a lot, becomes really hard to find the good developers.
It becomes not only hard to find them but even if you find them how to hire them or us in this case since I will speak from a developer perspective that is approached by between 2 and 5 HRs per week in the last few years.

So in 99% of cases an HR finds me in LinkedIn (which is de facto HR network) and sends me an InMail, message or direct connection request and here is the first issue.

If you work as a full time HR and you recruit people your company has to just HAS TO BUY YOU AN VIP linkedin access.

To send a direct connection request to someone you don’t know in linkedin and just “hope that because you look good he will accept you” is the same as me sending an friend request in facebook and hoping that because I look good I will get la*d.
No just NO, you all know this is not ok, so why would you even think that the other “lets work together” is ok?
Here the thing is the chance someone in facebook will accept your not friend request is how much? I don’t know for sure, but my guess is around 5% ? Ok in LinkedIn lets say 50% will accept your request but you already lost 50% and I can bet that in the lost 50% more good developers were !

So first – get an VIP access, send a hi tell him who you are before telling him the opportunity itself but lets speak about that later.

What usually happens is you ACCEPT such a contact and you receive the following message

“Hi Nayden, How are you? I’m looking for a senior Java developer to join the team of XXXX Company, a business decision management solution that consistently and comprehensively enforces your business logic across all enterprise applications”

and I will say “What?”, “How this just happened?”.

Ok so .. this is not good don’t ATTACK him like that… you don’t have time?
Sure we also (the developers) don’t have. Also you know what.. this is YOUR job people and you have to spend some!
Ok usually after this initial  WHAT message you receive something like:

“ Ill be happy to meet in person and of course get your CV if the position sound interesting for you. Thanks HR”

This is simply WHAAT several times. First it starts with a link to youtube where it shows some company like how great the company ABC is  and how good are they for their customers.

This contains zero information, again ZERO, why the company is good for THE EMPLOYEE its just some marketing smart words that are 99% useless for us. Also in 90% of cases the job opportunity is posted on ANOTHER website.. are you an HR agency? Or outsourcing company ? At that point I couldn’t care less.. since if I care about anything it will be just curiosity “Who are this people? What are they ? Are they people? Do I speak with a bot? @gattaka knows what I mean by me saying a BOT

The amazing second message also states I will be happy to meet in person and of course get your CV… sure it is like I am asking in facebook it will be amazing if we go out and well get your phone number, home address and work experience or maybe all of your ex boyfriends names just you know… to be sure I don’t know any of them.

Usually after reading such a message, some of us may click on the two links… maybe some will not, even here you will loose more then 50% of candidates. But if you click .. and you don’t see any useful information in the first youtube link you may not even click on the second one. here you will loose another 50% of that 50% of candidates.. and you know we already lost 50% because of “UNKNOWN CONNECTION REQUEST” so here we got, how much ? Lets for simplicity say 12.5% ?

Lets continue you click on the JOB offer and you see something like:

JOB: Senior Java developer

XXX Company, the offshore division of XXX IT, one of the leading global R&D services companies with more than X,000 professionals, is looking for: Senior Java developer to be part of DECISION team.

If you are looking for stability, professional growth, long-term career and technology challenges in the sought-after companies – come and join us today

Senior Java developer


•A real team player
•Passion for software development
•5 years of Java development experience using JEE and Spring technologies.
•Versatile programming skills
•Experience using Spring, Hibernate – must
•Excellent technical and analytical skills
•Design optimal database schema and write efficient SQL queries
•In-depth knowledge of applicable methodologies, tools, standards, and procedures
Experience with Workflow engines will be considered as a plus

What we provide:

•Excellent salary
•Food vouchers 
•Opportunity to work and grow in an established and fast-working company;
•Excellent working environment;

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
All documents will be treated with strictest confidentiality!

This is bad on so many levels it is even hard to explain.
The good thing is they didn’t said “J2EE” but JEE which still looks extremely weird. Write JavaEE ffs. Also good is that they stated they are a “offshore division” in many cases this is simply missing and the different in the two names is simply left unknown.

I am very unhappy that HRs says that they don’t like Europass CV or they don’t like my CV or someone CV but they cannot write a proper JOB position requirements and this is THEIR work, while writing CVs is not my job ! Or they even sometimes say they want a DOC ? What … get a normal software ffs. I will be always sending a PDFs from from now on.
Let me share something here. My first CV I wrote in 2005 and to date I have never wrote another CV I just update this one, moving sections and so on because I don’t have time when asked “can you send me a CV.. NOW”

So with this job proposal I showed you lost another 10%  and you got 2.5% amazing candidates… yeah good luck.

In 80% of cases I would tell the HR sorry I am not looking for job opportunities and possibly will remove the connection after a week … in 20% I will send them this post from now on and hoping someone will change but I doubt.

I would like to explain why you lost the last 10% out of your 12.5% possible candidates and I will also try to give some advices.

  1. Add what are the benefits for the employee. I am not speaking about the happy hour or the vouchers that everyone has.. I am speaking about the office location, the team buildings the team itself, page with the peoples you will work with, achievements they made and so on.
  2. Add more information about the product itself, what business decision management solution is this where and what is the challenge in the domain area.
  3. Add more information about the technology challenges… like more hype technologies like spring data or angular 2 or that the team is responsible what technologies to choose that each module uses its own technology stack that it is micro service architecture (btw don’t call it SOA even if it is SOA) and each service requirements are completely independent. This way the “new” developers will find it nice and challenging and give it a try. The current technology stack in the job requirements is like 10 years old stack and is not fun at all, it is proven and most people know it.. but nothing amazing out of it.
  4. Responsibilities.. I will develop software thats clear but what else ? Will I just participate in a sprint or also in some sort of planing, who is writing the requirements, how they are implemented, as more information you add the more thinks I may “like”, the more information you add the more chance I may like something. Usually if you dont say anything this will mean boring long development process waterfall likeish model of development .. 1 year writing 2 years testing, I am not kidding !
  5. Don’t add RUDE things that are obvious like “Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.” this is simply saying I will be rude but since you already said that it is ok. Write a simple message saying that the candidate is not qualified enough at that point and you may speak again in future for other job position and etc. but being rude today means I will not accept your message tomorrow even if it is perfect.
Finally as in a CV try to not be longer then one page. And PLEASE, just please do not include a funny images. Use the SPACE for the offer to provide as more meaningful information as possible !

I would like to share how, if you ask me, a dream job kinda position that even if I work somewhere I WILL check it out.

XXXX is a startup company from Bulgaria, developing an XXXX  platform based on the greatest and latest technologies in the Java space. We are young and small team, working fully remotely and making a full feature XXXX platform which helps sites and businesses to deliver and develop their own XXXXXX solutions in no time.

Our goal is to create the BEST possible XXXXXXX platform using latest technologies and deliver a fast and scalable product that everyone will love using.

We are looking for Superhero with JavaScript powers.

Requirements :

3+ years of experience in Javascript development
Deep knowledge and proven experience of:
Grunt or Gulp build tools
Good English verbal and writing skills
Candidate should be a team player, self-motivated, well-organized, strong communicator, open-minded, driven and committed;
Must be able to work remotely, full time (8 hours per day)

Advantages will be experience with:

HTML(5)/CSS knowledge;

What we offers:

Good salary and future bonuses;
To be part of the core team of a product;
Fully remote opportunity. You can work from wherever you like Sofia, Plovdiv or Jakarta.
Visiting multiple conferences worldwide on company expenses: SenchaCON, WebSummit, Spring One 2GX, Spring I/O, ApacheCON etc.
Consulting for variety of projects, modules and technologies;
Experience exchange with partners around the world;
Work-life balance and flexible schedule;

About the hiring process:

Hiring process will start by scheduling a meeting where we can even show you the product (no kidding you will see real code) and we may speak about “code” as well.
If you or we are still deciding we can provide you with an option to TRY to be part of the team for a day, or a weekend or a evening. So we can give you a task (bug or feature) in the project itself so you can check it out, see some code and write some code so you will experience what exactly you will do in XXX company. And of course any bug fixed while you still deciding will be paid !

If you are a Senior Javascript developer who loves ExtJS or Angular2 and interested please send us your CV in English.

So let me explain what someone or lets say different people will like:

  1. Requirements are not LONG but they provide some “stones” how good he is, for example, do he uses Gulp and do he knows what HAL is and so on. 
  2. In the Advantages section some hype technologies are mentioned like Angular2, so he will know that even if we don’t require Angular2 we will write Angular2 app and he will be part of that. 
  3. What we offer together with the normal stuff like good salary and so on, there are some ground breaking things like fully remote job, or visiting conferences on company expenses. I don’t need food vouchers… just give me +50 EURO  and I can eat if I am hungry and do something else if not, why would I wont vouchers ? (yes I know about the taxing issue) But paying for a conference fee which is not small is a big deal. I was working for a company in Bulgaria that had budget each year that I can spend on going on conferences, this is simply great and it was not just bla bla. I was working there as a .net developer but they paid me to go on a java conference because they knew it is important for me.
  4. Hiring process: I am very sad that there is no hiring process everywhere. I am not saying like the one here, but ANY information about the process itself. Still remember when ones I was applying for job at XXXXX. I got 45mins phone technical interview ? Then one technical interview for 2 hours, one week later another one for 2 hours, third week another one for 2 hours… and at that point I already was working somewhere else because I didn’t knew that even before talking with HR a month will be passed. Here you may see another ground breaking thing… we will SHOW you the code. Why not all companies show the code? Are they ashamed of it? I guess so. Then it states I will have access to the code and can play with the code before I say YES. So I will know what I would do, I will know the process, and even if I don’t like them I will get paid ? Thats AMAZING.

So … companies please instead of giving bonus programs and so on for recommendations just hire HR that work, please ! And HRs please stop talk on the phone all the time and just write one job position right. Yes I am rude and I know it.

P.S. The messages and the job posting were not real, however they look like real. Every similarities with real peoples and job positions is just an “accident”!
P.P.S. I have many friends which work as HR and they ask me stuff like what you don’t like in this job offer and so on or they just DO their job, however out of all HRs I know, the good ones are like 1% but the other 99% expect to find a good developers ?