The worse the job, the more money the company has to pay to get the right candidate.
The more fun and relaxing the job, the less the company has to pay to get the right candidate.
But this doesn’t mean when you see a low-paying job from a recruiter that it’s actually a good job. Remember, that’s their asking price, not what they paid to get the right candidate.
Why Jobs From Recruiters Usually Suck
When a really good company has a really good job opening, all of their employees tell all of their friends. The position is filled instantly via the buddy system.
When the employees run out of friends or the company wants to get fresh ideas, they post the position on the web somewhere, like their web site or Careers.StackOverflow.com.
The rest of the time, they pay a third party recruiter (not a company’s internal one) to go find strangers.
When you see an email from a recruiter, that generally means the job sucks. None of the company’s employees want to refer their friends, and nobody’s reading the company’s web site aspiring to work there. The job requirements are so ugly, the work hours are so nasty, and the pay is so tiny that the company has to rely on a stranger to sweet talk other strangers into taking it.
Why Some Job Postings Look Like Junk Drawers
Let’s set the stage: our hero, the overworked sysadmin, is continuously asked by management to implement more and more systems. Maybe they’re an accidental database administrator, and the company asks them to put in a data warehouse, build reports, and manage the ETL. When they’re not fixing printers or getting the CEO’s iPad contacts to sync with his desktop, they’re trying to figure out why the backups can’t finish overnight.
One day, that person is going to realize that they’re overworked and underpaid. They’re going to get a much better job focusing on just one technology.
But they left behind a junk drawer.
The company’s going to want to hire just one person to manage the junk drawer. In their mind, the last guy lasted a long time managing all that stuff, so why not hire another person to do the same thing? Oh, and the last guy started at $50k per year five years ago, so why not start the next guy at $60k? Should be more than enough, right?
That’s why you see a big long laundry list of skills requirements covering a huge array of technologies. The last guy was overworked and did a half-ass job of implementing a wide variety of stuff. When you take over, it’s not exactly going to be the paragon of systems administration.
Why Recruiters Don’t Know Technology
Well, did you ever say to yourself, “Man, I’m tired of this IT job. I’d sure like to switch over to recruiting.”
And put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. If they knew even the least bit about technology, and they wanted a technology job, wouldn’t they be able to get one instantly? After all, every new job comes through them, right?
Oh, that’s right. Recruiters usually see the crappy jobs. I don’t blame them for not wanting to learn about technology because the job postings they see are hellholes, and they know first hand that people cycle in and out of those jobs constantly. Why aspire to get a job like that?