Some time ago, we decided to ask candidates including developers in Berlin about their experience with recruiters.

We wanted to focus on such aspects as:

  • How often do recruiters contact people?
  • Is it somehow associated with people’s roles? Who is targeted the most by recruiters?
  • How many of those recruiters work for an agency and how many are in-house recruiters?
  • Are these job approaches more relevant or irrelevant to candidates?
  • Who fails more at relevancy, agency recruiters or in-house recruiters?
  • What are the most common reasons why a position is not relevant to a candidate?

This is a short version of the article. For the full version, please visit our Medium page.


1. Of people who responded to our survey, 62.2% work in engineering roles.

2. Respondents were contacted by recruiters between 0 to 300 times (16.6 on average) per month.

3. According to survey results from engineers, those who work in engineering roles were contacted on average 22.19 times per month.

4. The average number of recruitment approaches did not say much about which seniority level is more favoured by recruiters. However, survey results from engineers were as follows:

  • Half of the lead engineers were contacted 20 or more times
  • Half of the senior engineers were contacted 11 or more times
  • Half of the engineers with unspecified seniority level were contacted 6.75 or more times

5. The majority of recruitment approaches (72.9%) came from agency recruiters. 26% of respondents were contacted only by agency recruiters.

6. Recruiters were less likely to contact our respondents about a job that is relevant to them. On average, less than half of approaches (42.8%) were relevant.

7. Our respondents were more likely to be approached with more relevant jobs if they were contacted by an in-house recruiter (than an agency recruiter).

8. When we asked why respondents found some jobs irrelevant to them,

  • 45% of respondents answered that the job description did not match their skills and/or experience
  • 23.1% replied that the seniority level of the job did not match their seniority level
  • 15.4% responded that the job location did not match their preferences
  • 15.4% provided other reasons (for example, 2 of them were happy with their current jobs)


We have learned that there are more agency recruiters contacting people than in-house recruiters, especially when it comes to recruitment in technology. Moreover, many recruiters, especially agency recruiters, contact the wrong people about the wrong jobs.

This can be subject to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Agency recruiters source from a large pool of candidates and tend to view candidates’ profiles in haste or purely do keyword match without understanding the in-depth skillset
  • Some agency recruiters might lack sourcing skills or technical understanding
  • Agency recruiters do not have a complete understanding of the job due to the flawed communication with the hiring company
  • Agency recruiters might not have a detailed enough job brief
  • Some job descriptions might be too vague, which makes search queries too broad
  • Candidates maintain not updated profiles or provide inaccurate information in their CVs

Still, there is no evidence that in-house recruiters are “better” than agency recruiters. Indeed, approaches by company recruiters proved to be more relevant to candidates.

Still, it is clear that in-house recruitment does not offer the same search breadth across the market that agency recruiters can achieve (with agency recruiters contacting around two to three times more candidates than in-house recruiters).

In our experience at Caissa Global, the relevancy of the approach—or the relevancy of jobs pitched to candidates—can be improved through:

  1. Closer collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers
  2. Obligatory and timely feedback from the hiring managers at every step
  3. Collaboration between agency recruiters and in-house recruiters
  4. Effective communication with the candidate
  5. Excellent knowledge of the talent market
  6. Use of advanced talent sourcing and talent mining techniques
  7. Ensuring technical recruiters have a deeper understanding of skillsets and follow the developments in the technical sphere.

In an ideal world, recruiters would combine the sniper-like precision of recruitment approaches with in-depth access to the job market. This though can only be achieved through a proper briefing of agency recruiters by hiring managers, as well as close collaboration between all parties and detailed feedback at every stage.


  • Agency recruiters with access to greater pool contact potential candidates more than in-house recruiters
  • Agency recruiters also often spam employers while in-house recruiters contact only relevant talent
  • Using different techniques, agency recruiters can also ensure forwarding only relevant talent to companies
What We Learned From Caissa's 2017 Survey Results