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Tech Recruiter Red Flags

It’s hard not to get excited when someone seeks you out with a job offer, but it seems these days a lot of recruiters in tech have the same likelihood of delivering on their promises as that Nigerian prince who emailed you last week.

At The HT Group, we take time and put in effort to find the right fit, but a lot of inexperienced recruiters just throw as many candidates as possible to see what sticks. Though of course we hope that you’ll work with us during your job search, we asked our tech team for some red flags to look out for when working with recruiters. So, if you work for one of our competitors, here are some tips to get on our level (you know, the Forbes Best in America level).

Be wary if the recruiter…

1. …does not give feedback after an interview.

This is easily the biggest complaint we hear from job candidates, and for good reason. Imagine that you’ve gone through several previous rounds and finally met the people you’d be working with, and then…nothing. No idea of how to improve, no indication that you didn’t get the position, and no returned calls from your recruiter.

Yes, recruiting firms get paid by our client companies, but high-quality recruiters want you to succeed even if we can’t place you (we’re pretty sure that Craig, our pro team’s Managing Director, has this motto tattooed on his body somewhere). Our recruiters will coach you through the entire interview process, and won’t ghost you if you’re not chosen.

2. …sends a position you’re not qualified for

This should be a no-brainer, but if the recruiter doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on the terms he’s using and can’t tell a front-end developer from his own back-end, steer clear. How can you trust someone to find you a job if they don’t even know what you really do? Tech recruiting requires a solid understanding of tech and continuous education – our recruiters go to training sessions, happy hours, and client meetings to stay on top of the job market.

On the other hand, sometimes specific job requirements may only come up from talking to the candidate. If a recruiter does determine you’re not qualified, a good recruiter will ask if you are willing to refer someone who is.

3. …goes straight to talking about money

Money is nice – it’s certainly the biggest motivator in choosing a new job – but it’s not the only thing attracts employees. And, honestly, if the recruiter is relying solely on salary to woo you, they may not know much about the team they’re recruiting for. Recruiters should have an understanding of the entire benefits package and how you would fit in at the company.

Moreover, the recruiter should have a conversation with you to determine what you are looking for, as opposed to trying to pressure you into a position. Finding the right job is a two-way street between the company and the job candidate, and the recruiter should navigate the concerns of both parties instead of trying to force a fit to make commission.

4. …is unable to answer questions beyond the job description

If it sounds like the recruiter is just reading a script, they probably are. A good recruiter should be able to speak to holistic aspects of the position: why the position is open (new role, replacing a team member, etc.), past experience with the hiring manager, growth opportunities for this position, and the market in the city. Again, if they don’t have this knowledge, how can they know that you’re a fit?

5. …has a sparse LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a recruiter’s lifeblood (seriously – it’s ALWAYS open in one of our tabs), so if you do research into the headhunter who contacted you and find an incomplete profile, that should be a big red flag that they aren’t making full use of their resources.

6. …isn’t respectful

This can manifest in a variety of different ways: not taking your call unless they need to fill a position, disparaging other recruiting agencies, or not preparing you for success in your interview. If a recruiter is not courteous to you, it’s an indication that they aren’t looking out for your best interests, and may not be able to attract quality clients due to lack of professionalism. Check reviews on Glassdoor and other websites to make sure the company has a good reputation.


Overall, it’s important to remember that recruiters should know their field and treat you like a person, not a filler of a position. If you’re looking for a best-in-class experience, submit your resume to our tech recruiters today!


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