41

I got a call from a recruiter, saying he has a contract and they need someone to start really quickly (as soon as tomorrow), but I never had an interview and he said "they like your CV", "They liked the look of it" etc. But this is a point on which I am confused because how can someone want to hire on a expensive day rate without interviewing and it is so fast that it starts within 24 hours. Saying yes to this recruiter will put me off the market and from few recruiters who already booked me in for interviews.

Does something this quick ever happen or am I landing myself into the unknown?

  • 11
    be careful about the contract and ask anyway to meet someone for a short interview. – Gautier C Jun 14 '16 at 9:01
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    It doesn't matter that they don't want an interview - YOU do. It works both ways. What if the company works in an industry that is against your ethics or morals? If the company really likes you, they'll arrange an interview at very short notice, even outside normal hours. – PeteCon Jun 14 '16 at 14:59
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    Your comment below (about the recruiter not wanting to reveal the company name) is very worrying. If they expect you to confirm employment, you must insist on being told the name of the company you'll be working for. – Richard Jun 14 '16 at 16:32
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    Companies that hire slowly and carefully usually are slower to let employees go. Be really careful about limiting terms in the contract. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 14 '16 at 18:22
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    I don't understand the problem. Accept the expensive daily rate on condition of prepayment. Do not take yourself off the market. If the work is not agreeable to you, do a pro-rated refund and quit. You are getting an interview - an interview for which you are being paid for your time. – emory Jun 14 '16 at 21:08
75

Its actually more common then you might think. Part of why the rates are so expensive for these companies and part of why they're willing to pay them is because they need someone at a moment's notice.

Some people just need to get a job done. Consider following scenario:

Your website goes down. You're a website based business with a small eshop. Your support contract expired too. Now you're screwed ... unless you could hire a short term developer to fix the mess. You don't have time to interview people, and every day that thing is offline costs you a small fortune. Now, a trusted recruiter with whom you worked in the past approaches you and hands you the CV of a web developer. You read it, and like it. Again, time is pressing, so you take the risk of not interviewing the guy, because you trust the recruiter somewhat.

Sometimes there's no times for interviews.

  • 7
    Can there be something fishy as the recruiter hasn't told me company name. What things should I keep in mind before hand to ask? – user15704 Jun 14 '16 at 9:04
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    @Nofel Don't start working until you've signed the contract, and read the contract thoroughly as soon as possible. Ask about the work hours and expected duration of the gig. As I said, the highest paid short term gigs usually are very time sensitive, but never work without signing a contract, and, most likely being hourly, bill every hour you work. – Magisch Jun 14 '16 at 9:05
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    @Nofel You should then definitely ask about that, and ask about the hours per day expected. – Magisch Jun 14 '16 at 9:07
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    Ask for a telephone interview at minimum. During that, clarify the job and the terms of the contract. Get the contract in writing before beginning work. – Brandin Jun 14 '16 at 9:36
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    @Nofel Some recruiters are cagey about giving the names of the company from fear that you will go directly to the company, thus potentially losing them their provision. – Taemyr Jun 14 '16 at 14:40
16

This happens fairly often, but it's usually done between parties that are already familiar with each other.

Interviews work in both directions. You need to interview the potential client to ensure they can meet your criteria for work.

Only you can decide whether you want to take such a job. But remember, you're not obligated in any way to solve their problems for them. On the surface, this looks like a mess: urgent need, willing to hire anyone that looks good on paper, no time to discuss the job at all (?!), etc. How on earth would anyone take that job without at least talking about it with them first?

If it were me, I'd pass on this particular "opportunity." It already smells bad.

9

I wouldn't, but let me explain.

It smells much like a freelancer contract would work. They're guided through the freelancer's previous jobs if available in a portfolio or similar. The difference is that your portfolio happens to be your CV here.

I simply run away from these offers: in the cases I met, they were doomed projects another dev left behind for any reason (pressures, not agreeing with a boss, inability to finish them, whatever). The pressure is too high, you get no help from the previous dev, and they wouldn't offer ever enough. I'd only accept after knowing the boundaries of the issue and considering it beneficial for me, but afterwards I'd just look for a better option. It's not a good signal that a company didn't expect an issue.

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    "another dev" almost always meaning "the only dev, the only one knowing anything about the project." The only thing the manager knows about the project is the deadline and sometimes how much damages they have to pay for delays. – Alexander Jun 14 '16 at 15:29
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    Oh @Alexander, it's much worse when "another dev" means "many devs, one at a time, all touching the same lines in a different coding style". That's the killer, I think – Korcholis Jun 14 '16 at 15:57
6

There are differences between industries

As the owner of a construction plumbing company where you can be awarded a 7 figure contract today and be expected to have a dozen plumbers on site tomorrow I have hired people based on a phone call and a reference check. Hire twice as many as you need and then separate the wheat from the chaff.

2

You are allowed to work without an interview

If a legitimate company wants to give you money for the services you provide, there's nothing wrong.

There's no rule that says you must have an interview.

However

You mentioned that:

  1. You got a call from a recruiter (you didn't initiate contact).
  2. They want you to start straight away. "Don't think about it, just follow my instructions".
  3. They didn't even mention the name of the company.

This to me sounds as promising as an email from an unknown African prince offering you a 50% cut of his 600 million dollar inheritance. Well, maybe a little better than that.

Be safe

  1. Ask to meet up with the employer.

It doesn't have to be an "interview", but at least you can ask what kind of work is involved. You have to talk to the employer, otherwise you won't know what to do!

If the recruiter avoids answering, then he doesn't actually have a job for you, but is trying some desperate attempt to get money.

  1. Don't do any work without signing a contract stating you will get paid.

  2. Don't give any money or provide any service for the recruiter.

A genuine recruiter will set you up with a job and get the employer to pay him. If this guy says you need to pay some kind of deposit or something, run away.

1

Does it happen? Yes, although not often.

In my own experience, I once got an offer without an interview from a group I hadn't even given my resume to (I had given it to another group in the same company). It would have involved secret (military or espionage - I never found out exactly) work in another country. Due to the nature of the work, an extensive and lengthy background check was required. I tried to find out more about the job, but they wouldn't tell me more until the background check was complete ... assuming I was approved to know more. They just assured me that it was work I could do and would love. I was skeptical about the "love" part and didn't want to enter that domain or move overseas, so I declined the job.

Also, I once got a job offer from an interview that lasted only 20 minutes. My background was almost perfect for the job. Also, I found out later that a hiring freeze had been ordered starting the next week. I was unemployed at the time so could start before the freeze took place. While I accepted the job (remember I was unemployed) and it paid reasonably well, the work and people left a lot to be desired.

That said, such job offers are relatively rare in my experience. I've now been in the workplace over 3 decades and those are the only two experiences I've had like this.

Are you landing in the unknown? Most certainly yes. Try to find out as much as you can about the job, the people, the project, and the working conditions. Also, go through your employment agreement throroughly. Can you get out of the job easily if you don't like it? Or are you contracted to some minimum time with penalties for leaving early?

0

Let’s assume you are out of work at present, that you will not be moving house for the job as it is a short term contract and that the notice period is 7 days each way. (Often with a contract the notice period is 0 within the firsts 14 days.)

An employer can bring you in for an interview, take up a day (unpaid) of your time, and a day of the time of at least one of their staff, at the end of the interview they don’t truly know how well you can do the work, you also don’t know how well you will get on with the rest of the team.

Or they can bring you in for a week, pay you to do useful work, and be willing to end the contract just paying you for what you have done. If they do end the contract after a short time, you don’t need to show it on your CV, as you where between contracts anyway. (You can also end the contract if you don’t like the work.)

From your CV the employer will know you have done lots of contracts like what they are asking, and therefore will know that other employers have decided to take you on after an interview and not terminate you after the first week. For contract work, the employer is looking for someone that has already used the required skills, rather them someone that can learn, so it not interested in “potential”.

So what have you got to lose…..

0

Fact is, they are not hiring you without an interview, and you are not starting your contract without an interview. There is an interview that takes one day, two days, however long you like and the company likes, and you do real work doing the interview, and you get paid real money for the interview.

-2

IT Contracts normally have a short phone interview only, most established contractors won't travel for an in person interview. I've never been in this position although I've had many a short phone interview as my CV impresses. Check the recruiter if it's established and large don't worry but don't start without a contract.

  • 2
    In about 20 years of contract work, I've only been contracted without a face-to-face exactly twice. It's extraordinarily rare to get a contract without actually seeing the person I'm working for. – Chris E Jun 14 '16 at 17:19

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