Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

10 things we hate about recruitment companies

with 130 comments

Even It Up! acknowledges that, like it or not, recruitment companies are  firmly entrenched as part of the hiring landscape now.  However,  all the evidence seems to point to the fact that they notoriously over-promise and under-deliver.  Bit like casinos really.

So, given that many jobseekers are forced into using them (and we place the blame firmly with business who outsource when they really should be managing their recruitment inhouse as a crucial brand issue) we’ve put together a list of what to expect when you deal with them, and why we don’t like dealing with them at all!

1.  General position calls

If you see an ad anywhere (the paper, Seek, job boards etc) calling for an expression of interest (or similar) rather than a specific position   approach with care.  Only very rarely does this actually eventuate into an interview, let alone work.   Our understanding is that this is purely a marketing ploy that can be used to sell their “extensive database of candidates” to clients/potential clients.

2. Baiting

If you do manage to get some face time with a consultant, beware of the phrase “We had a position come in yesterday that would have been right up your alley” or “I’ve got a position that has just come across my desk that you would have been suitable for”.   Then you hear nothing, or the position has been withdrawn, or it’s gone to a redeployee (or any other excuse).  These are psychological techniques designed to get your hopes up and keep you hanging.

3.  Pigeon-holing

If you apply for one sort of position with a recruitment company e.g. as a temp, you will be a temp forever.  Even if juicy contracting positions come up, you will not be considered.  Once you have had your Word/Excel/Acess/FrontPage ability tested and your data entry speed recorded, you will be forever pigeonholed.  If you do, for whatever reason, have to register with an agency for a position, give them information that relates only to that position.  Less is more.  Oh, and one more thing: just because your have qualifications does not mean you won’t be pigeonholed.

4. Silence

Similar to piegonholing is silence or avoidance.  Basically, this occurs if they think you’ve done something “wrong” in the eyes of the agency, for example not taking a job that you were clearly unsuitable for, withdrawing your application for a position, not winning a contract position, or calling in sick on your first day of temping.  Guaranteed you will be placed on the black list.  This means that no matter what you do, calls or emails about jobs or contracts will not be returned.  It’s like you are in labour market limbo.  You can always wait for the consultant to move on and try again in six months or a year, but sometimes they are in these jobs for years, so the likelihood of this happening is quite slim.

5.  References

Agencies do check references, but our advice is don’t give them your “best” ones.  Our rationale is that you should  save your “best” references for real jobs.  Don’t get sucked into handing over the names and details of references until you really have to.  It’s a waste of good references otherwise.

6.  They are not your “agent”

Despite many recruitment personnel calling themselves agents (and we have referred to them that way in this blog for convenience), this is not the case and is misleading.  An “agent” implies they are working for you.  This is not the case:  they are working for their client – the employer – because that’s where the money is.  Get the whole agent thing out of your mind.  Only rarely will a consultant (which is also a misleading term) actually work with you.  If you find one, please let Even It Up! know because this is a rare breed.

7.  Beware of people not carrying pencils

If you do get called into an interview, beware of people not carrying pens or paper.  If no notes are being taken, or questions not being asked, it’s a sham.

8.  Amateur hour

Most recruitment consulants have little or no experience in the industry or field in which you are applying.  It is our experience that most are glorified sales personnel on a power kick.  Unfortunately, these people operate in a high stakes environment i.e. your life.

9.  Once is never, twice is always

If a recruitment company treats you badly once, it’s never.  However, if they treat you badly twice, it’s always, and you need to jettison them.  It’s not like they are doing (or will do) anything for you anyway. We recommend that you let them know with the following email (or similar):

Dear “consultant”

I would like to advise that you are unsuccessful in winning me as a candidate.  While I am skilled, qualified and experienced, and would be an asset to any employer, you will not have the pleasure – or remuneration – of representing me.

Unfortunately, you didn’t treat me particularly well,  even though I gave you a couple of chances.  I have therefore decided that I do not want to deal with you as there are other companies out there who will treat me with respect.

Please delete my CV and details from your database.

10. Gatekeeper status

Even It Up! wants to know who died and made recruitment companies the gatekeepers?  Why do they have this status, and why do they retain it?  Every one (jobseekers and employers alike) hates dealing with them, so why are they still around? Why do they hold all the cards?  If a fast food chain was this bad at customer service and product delivery, they would be out of business in a flash!

If anyone has some other pearls of wisdom they would like to share,  Even It Up! would love to hear from you.

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Written by evenitup

January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm

130 Responses

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  1. Hello all this is my update comment towards the consultants and guess what I hate them just as much as before. You still are under skilled sleazy sales driven no talented people. I have them call me at least five time a day I’ve seen your CV on line at monster CV library and other cattle market sites theses low life look at to make money on my skills. Its the same sales driven jargon tell me about your job what did you do where did you do it.

    My favourite is MY CLIENT they say/ who is the client do I have to play bloody inspector clue-do to my own future employer. Seriously if the future employer was any good and don’t get wrong there is some out there? why not just tell me the bloody name?

    Sorry my favourite to this you have got some great skills and done some great career moves whilst you was with you last employer my salary was and they knock of three grand or two grand so they can put in there pocket and not only that I get less

    employee rights.
    1 no job stability
    2 no pension contribution
    3 less holiday
    4 no uniuon to fight my concerns
    5 dropped like a hot stone when not needed.

    Why do we have to have this in working life its indirect or direct descrimination against the worker? Some thing should be done to equal our rights as we have the same debts a home a car food bills and a family to care for. Money out of our pocket and away from our families so they can have it our expense.

    IS THAT RIGHT GREAT BRITAIN. Im a skilled engineer I can build and repair all sorts of heavy machinery can the sales consultant. I had one conversion with one that actually admitted she knew nothing about the job WHAT? The best one was per temps thats right PER TEMPS in telford I had a phone call on the friday can you start monday eerr errr why I said first of all I don’t do business like that how much and where and how long is the contract don’t push me with your shot gun sales mate. How much nine pound fifty an hour errr errr no thanks? Well thats have a look at this how much are you on its not nine pounds fifty is it more fifteen pounds an hour?

    This is out of hand people we should do some thing to ged rid of theses gang master in office blocks .

    BOO BOO

    May 22, 2015 at 4:45 am

    • I STILL HATE THE FUCKERS

      BOO BOO

      August 8, 2015 at 5:47 am

      • Just an update to my many posts and yes I have distinctive hate towards this people they scum and useless and I hate them with all my breath. Sleazy sales man that should not profit from our skills lazy cunts of people gain some skills and stop leaching of others. You will be exploited for what you are CUNTS close you down and give the people proper jobs and fuck the middle man off???

        BOO BOO

        January 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

  2. I know this wordpress is dates back to 2011…but, damn! It’s is so accurate! Doesn’t matter which country one lives in, these !@$@# agencies are all the same. I wish there was a way to put them out of business and take the employers who hire through them to court. Agencies should be abolished (in every country).

    Gal Nasha

    October 9, 2014 at 1:32 am

  3. […] article I’m talking about is titled: “10 things we hate about recruiting companies”. It talks about the process and perceived tricks that recruiting companies and recruiters use to […]

  4. I have no problem with recruiters treating me as a commodity, nor with the fact that many know next to nothing about the IT business and resort to matching buzzwords to requirements. What I object to is the lack of common civility, like promising to phone or eMail but failing to do so (even after a polite reminder) or failing to acknowledge an application.

    World of Piano

    May 23, 2014 at 2:46 am

  5. Some of the discussion points here are echoed on the contract forum uk.

    Recruitment in the UK is bad in comparison with some European countries where it is much more open. At least in contracting, agents in Europe sometimes reveal their margins openly and build up a relationship with the candidates and clients.

    Those top 10 lists of tricks are on the UK contractor forum.

    Some other agency ruses I’ve noticed recently to add to the handy top 10 list and apply to contractors rather than permanents.

    The client wants to hire your services, but becuase your experience and skills do not match the role 100%, they will give you training when you join. For this reason, they are not able to offer the rate you agreed upon. Ask for a conference call with the client to clear this up. The client explains there is no training, just a standard intro day or two to the project for functional requirements only.

    Another ruse – the project is long term, at least 12 months. The client has a lot of other projects going on and if they like you, you will be put on other gigs, so becuase it’s long term, they want a rate cut. This trick is often used to attract you to a role. Make sure you ask the client how long they need you for to be sure. An agent says 12 months, the client says 2 months only.

    There’s also a new one on reference harvesting for business development.
    Agent has some interviews planned. You are the second candidate. He rings you up, claiming that his professional reputation is at stake. The client has given the other candidate a technical interview and rang the agent up, protesting that the candidate’s cv was total fiction so please could you give him all your references for projects on the cv so he can ring up your clients to verify your suitability for his client’s project, or he may lose the customer. You might lose the interview if the client loses faith. Nothing like a bit of pressure for you to share your confidential client data so he can turn it into sales leads…

    I’m convinced these tactics and the time waste with fictitious project adverts is ruining small businesses.

    girasol

    March 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

    • ITS YOUR MONEY THEY ARE HELPING THEM SELVES TOO. DONT LET THEM PUSH OUR WAGES DOWN TO BRING UP THERE COMMISSION BASED SALES TACTICS. STAND TALL AND SAY I KNOW WHAT IM WORTH WITH MY SKILLS?

      BOO BOO

      May 23, 2015 at 2:47 am

  6. Some reasons why Canberra is an expensive place to live and work:

    Australian Public Service – risk management, corporate governance

    rorting between recruitment companies, contracted personnel and government agencies

    influence upon the Australian National Audit Office in carrying out transparent audits of contracted staff recruitment by government agencies; misuse of corporate governance

    An example of this was reported in the Canberra Times:

    “Poaching of Staff Alleged

    BY PHILLIP THOMSON

    10 Apr, 2011 12:00 AM

    THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs and Trade says a specialist for a private Canberra consultancy firm stopped work for DFAT after an investigation was launched into allegations the worker had tried to poach staff from competing companies working in the department.

    The DFAT statement said the specialist worked for Integral Consulting Services and had been investigated twice over claims of trying to poach staff from other private contractors working for the department.

    A spokeswoman said the department still had a business relationship with Integral and there was no suggestion that the alleged poaching took place with the knowledge of the company.

    Integral has been paid $1.57million since 2007 to work inside the department providing IT and administrative services, according to AusTender documents.

    A DFAT statement said the department’s conduct and ethics unit first investigated the Integral specialist in 2008.

    ”In 2008, an Integral Consulting Services specialist was cautioned for seeking to poach the employees of other DFAT contractors,” the statement said.

    ”Although not illegal, DFAT considered this inappropriate behaviour. In 2010, a similar allegation was made and following the commencement of an investigation the specialist ceased providing services to DFAT.”

    A statement from Integral said management and ownership changed in July 2010.

    ”While the individual specialist may have been cautioned, we are not aware of any formal caution provided by DFAT to the company.

    ”The specialist to which the statement refers no longer works for Integral.

    ”Integral is a strong advocate of fully transparent dealings with [information and communications technology] contractors.

    ”It has never been terminated from the DFAT panel.

    ”We have no record of correspondence between DFAT and Integral relating to the past investigations.

    ”Integral would not like to see the alleged actions of an individual who no longer works for the company jeopardise the current and future interests of the other 18 ICT contractors who continue to provide services to DFAT,” the company said.

    The case within DFAT was one of the latest in an increasing number of internal investigations by the department’s conduct and ethics unit.

    During the past two years the department has internally investigated this and more than 40 other serious allegations according to documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws.”

    Vincent

    February 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

  7. All recruitment agencies are utter scumbags. Recently I had one that had found my cv online trying to get me to travel to or re-locate to a position that was 100 miles away that he said was paying around £35-40,000. Then he says they would pay up to £20 a day towards travel, erm…has he confirmed this or is he just making this up? Plus he seems to have forgotten I’m an estimator and have already worked out daily travel costs of £65!. No way am i going to give up the home I’ve fought tooth and nail for to give an agent £4000 commission when he started lying to me from the off (original contact said the job was 40 miles away etc etc). I work out I can manage it with £20 subsistence if I either go into digs down there or buy a 2 bed flat and sub-let a room. I start looking into properties. Over the weekend I think better of it…

    The next day I’m dealing with an agent for a similar job, similar level but paying much much less, only £25k and 25 miles away. Taking travel out of your gross puts you down at £20k – much less than I was earning 5 years ago but I need a job. Next question from the recruiter, ‘Why are you looking for work so far away?. Me, ‘Because I’ve been trying to get back into the industry for 5 years and there’s nothing around here’, recruiter, ‘OK I’ll put your details forward, from now on I’m your agent please do not contact the company directly etc’ Me ‘OK’…but, screw you. I contact the company directly to find that they don’t deal with agencies!

    In our area the worst of the worst are Hays and Adecco, both run by jumped up little Hitlers who know nothing about the job they’re recruiting for (actually entry level jobs you could do standing on your head) with myriad idiotic questions such as ‘are you interested in the role’…………me: ‘ yes, why would I have applied for it if I wasn’t??’ or the classic ‘I see on your cv that you’re currently self employed…who gives you work?’. I was also told in one instant that I didn’t have the required experience to do the exact job I did before, reason, my cv did not have the word quotation on it…no that’s because it had the words tender and proposals on it!

    You apply for jobs at your level and they nothing about it or try to screw you over/down. You apply for jobs at entry level and they start coming out with nonsense about career path and ‘what is your ideal job?’. Well in this instance, my ideal job is the one I applied for, does it even exist, it would appear not as it appears on Totaljobs with regularity, week in week out. Just how jobs at £16k are there going at this mythical call centre?

    So, in that instance I told the bitch that I’ve been made redundant 4 times in my life and don’t have the luxury of a career path and thinking about ideal jobs and that I need to work so that I won’t be made homeless and to feed my family and that I have to look at my transferable skills and take what I can get. her response is to say, ‘That’s a FINE attitude to take to an employer’ and slams the phone down.

    These people are parasitic scum. An absolute scourge and just another barrier between you and work. I’ve had enough of them. When they call now I just give them hell. I won’t get a job via any of them anyway so I may as well make myself feel better and tell them exactly what I think of them!

    Phil Janes

    January 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm

  8. I forwarded my resume and a cover letter with regards to an NBN vacancy to a company called MMC Group. Received a phone call but from another colleague to come in thinking it was an interview. Next thing I’m at my so called interview at Skills Recruitment and they are talking about completing a certificate in construction. Apparently I needed to complete this cert to give me a chance with getting the job. The problem with this was the job wasn’t guaranteed. Two weeks after I had forwarded my resume and cover letter to MMC Group that person replied and sent me her business card with no explanation.

    Wallace

    October 28, 2013 at 8:11 am

    • I think Hays and Skilled Recruitment would be by far the worse I’ve come across. After consulting with a client through a friend about a job it was looking really good, the job was listed with Skilled Recruitment and he advised us to contact them asap to sign up, so we did.Contacted Skills Recruitment and after one week they finally replied and arranged for an interview. It took four hours to complete the paperwork outlining my experience and that was with 2 agents etc. The first agent said that he was in charge of the job and said he might not have experience about the job in the field but he had as on paper. Two weeks later heard nothing, the first agent said that he wasn’t in charge of the job and he would forward my emails on to his colleague. One month and still nothing. Hays, well everyone can make their minds up with their experience. Next and interview, your in line for the job, next I’m sorry Sir but you missed out.

      Wallace

      October 28, 2013 at 8:32 am

  9. I had a horrific experience with recruitment consultants 11 years ago and I’m loathed to use them at all now, which is a problem as they aggressively took over all recruitment in that inudstry something like 15 years ago! I was made redundant but had 3 months notice so I started applying like crazy, couple of near misses, then 9/11. Bad time. Luckily I used the hiatus to learn new stuff so I knew it was only a matter of time till I got something as I was well practised in applying for jobs, and interviewing. I was looking for or applying for something every day. I tried other routes than recruitment consultants but soon realised I had to deal with them. I spent a lot off time tracking down and carefully applying for jobs which I matched *all* of the required skills, yet I consistently couldn’t get an interview for them. This led to frustration, arguments. Somewhere along the line I corresponded with an ex recruitm,ent consultant who explained the lies and tricks involved. I realised that most of those jobs never existed but were a mechanism for getting useful information out of me.
    I was once sent for a test/interview only to realise halfway through it wasn’t even for the job I’d been told it was. I complained to the recruitment moron afterwards but he acted like he’d done nothing wrong. And therein lies the porblm – it seems to me that this line of work attracts and promotes the most dishonest, devious and inconscienable lowlifes who will do anything to turn a quick buck. Are these the people you want at the helm of your career?
    It took me 1.5 years to get my next job and had a considerably bad effect on my confidence. I will never forgive these scumbags for that. Oh and that’s not the end of the story but enough for a comment here.

    William.

    June 26, 2013 at 1:47 am

  10. Son Lee

    May 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  11. As a former recruitment consultant, I can totally understand why the turnover is so high.

    A lot of people seem to think that our job is very easy. All we have to do is post some advertisements, match candidates to jobs and voila, we get paid sky-high commissions. The ugly truth is no where near that. Just think about it for a while. If the job is so great, why is the turnover rate so ridiculously high?

    Maybe you’ll say that this article isn’t about “why a recruiter’s job is tough”, but “why is it tough working with a recruiter”. But the thing is everyone is quick to diss other people for not getting what they want, and they never bother to find out why things happen in a certain way. Just as the job seekers have fair play to voice out their unhappiness with recruiters, we can do the same. The problem with a lot of people is they forget or are unaware of what our job is, and when they don’t get what they want they get frustrated and put the blame on us.

    1 – We are not HR Personnels. We are SALES people. Sure we have a basic salary but the reason why people get into this line is for the commission. As sales people, our priority is not talking to job seekers and empathizing with them. Although I enjoy talking to candidates, the bottomline is we are not a charity business. Maybe listening to one candidate complain about how much he hate his job for 20 mins doesn’t seem like much. But when EVERY candidate expects the same amount of time and dedication, even working 24 hours a day 7 days a week wouldn’t be enough. As recruiters, on top of looking for the right candidates, we also need to do business development and look for our own clients. This means doing industry/function related market research, mingling around and connecting with the right people even after working hours to build connections, and of course knocking on completely cold doors to get our own clients. We face numerous rejections from companies who slam their phones and treat us as parasites. That’s why when we have clients whom we have developed long business partnering relationships with, we try our very best to provide them with the best service. Yes, candidates are of great importance. But ultimately, clients are still the most important people to us. They are the ones whom we spend a great deal of time trying to connect with and the ones who will pay us for our work.

    2 – Candidates DON’T pay us. Say what you want about how you should be given the “optimum respect and treatment”, but ultimately you don’t pay us a cent. I have met candidates who pester me non-stop, asking me to send their resumes to my clients, even when their expertise is completely irrelevant. And when I reject them or don’t get back to them in a week, it is MY FAULT that they cannot find a job. Please get this straight. It is YOUR own responsibility to get a job, and no one else’s. We try our best to find you a job, but if you don’t fit the bill, you DON’T! Calling me everyday is not going to help you find a job. I empathize with those who have strong push factors, like retrenchment or a horrible boss. And I often try to provide job advice to those who at least have the politeness to respect me as a recruiter and not some kind of “parasite who makes bucks off them”. But ultimately, I am NOT the hiring manager. If I forward your resume to him and he thinks you’re unsuitable, there is absolutely nothing I can do. The bottomline is, we DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING. Take it as a business transaction. The truth is, if you don’t need a job, you won’t be working with us anyway. So please stop acting as if you sending us resume is akin to sending us MONEY and PAYING us to find you a job. No one is stopping you from applying to job advertisements yourself. The best candidates I have worked with are either the “passive candidates” that I’ve personally scouted or connected with, or those who are working with selected headhunters because they know that they can trust us to find them a good match. And these are never the people who send in thousands of resumes to all the agencies and companies out there. Yes the job market is bad, but spamming won’t get you anywhere. Just because you send 2000 resumes doesn’t mean you’ll get a job if all your applications are irrelevant.

    3 – We actually happen to HAVE A LIFE. I have a lot of candidates who request for me to meet up with them after working hours, or call them at 10pm to have a short conversation about their career objectives, or email me and expect me to get back to them in an hour’s time even though they sent me the email at 11pm on a saturday night. I understand their needs and try to work around them, but it is far too often that they seem to forget that I am a human being with my own needs as well. Maybe replying an email on a saturday night wouldn’t take more than 5 mins of my time. And more often that not I don’t really mind. But the problem is not with having to reply to a candidate’s email on a saturday night, but the fact that these candidates all take it for granted. There are no “thank yous” or “pardon me for bothering you on a saturday night”. They think it is my duty to “do my job” even though 11pm on saturday is obviously not stated in my working hours. And I’ve had candidates who got irritated because I wasn’t free to have a meet-up with them, or because I had to cut the phone conversation short because it was my lunch break. I’m sorry if you think it is rude of me to end the conversation earlier, but unfortunately I am NOT a machine. I need my lunch break as much as you need yours. Maybe you are also sacrificing your lunch time to talk to us, but this is only until you secure a new job. But for us this will be ongoing for as long as we stay in our jobs. We recruiters have lives as well. I can forgo a few lunches and clock in more hours than others, but don’t fault me for not being able to meet with you on a sunday because I’m attending my sister’s birthday party. We are HUMAN BEINGS WITH LIVES AND NEEDS. We are not robots, and although I try to accommodate my candidates as much as possible, I need some personal time as well. A little “thank you” would be much appreciated.

    I worked in recruitment for about 2 years, one year in general recruitment and the other in executive search. In case anyone is wondering, no, the money isn’t even that great. You only really start to reap the rewards when you’ve been in this industry for 5 years. And that is after a lot of sweat, hard work, and numerous rejections and insults. People may think we charge skyhigh placement fees, but there is a reason why companies are paying us to do it. & it’s not like we get to keep the placement fees. We only get a tiny cut of that fee, which goes to our incentives/commission. Ultimately, we are still employees working for our company. Not business men who get to pocket all the earnings that we make.

    I have since quitted the recruitment industry and applaud those who stay on. It is a very tough career and you don’t even get the proper respect for doing your job. The next time you curse the recruiter for not picking up your call, please remember that you are not the only candidate that’s working with this recruiter, and that the recruiter is also a human being who is just trying to do his job. Cut them some slack. If you hate recruiters so much, easy, just apply for jobs on your own. Besides, if you are a qualified candidate, you won’t even need to reach out to recruiters. They will headhunt you for their clients.

    A Former Recruiter

    May 22, 2013 at 3:01 am

  12. […] about when your assignment is due to end and find you another one. If you only give them basic Information then how on earth are they going to secure you a role that utilises all of your skills. 4. Silence. […]

    • Bonehead
      eventhough you gave a complete and comprehensive cv,the result is the same, the recruiter still wasted time and did not reveal the client name. The same cv will result in interviews and job offers for the trusted agent and the direct contact with the client.

      Poo on you

      December 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

  13. HR people are really usually very thick individuals and reject many strong candidates. That said many recruiters dont have much between the ears either.

    Tim

    April 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    • Agreed with Tim
      Funny you said that. Had an experience that I applied direct to a consulting company X but did not get any response. 2 weeks later an agent approached me for the same company but I did not tell the recruiter that I had approched the company directly in the past.

      I got an interview and got an offer in 1 week. But I turned down as I was not interested in the company because I had a better offer.

      Poo on you

      December 10, 2011 at 9:26 am

    • Smacked the name on the head…people who work in HR are thick as pig-sh*t and can’t tell their ass from their elbow like sales ‘agents’ and estate ‘agents’ and recruitment ‘agents’ (see a pattern emerging..) the only reason we use them is out of necessity.

      Kalvin Klein

      August 28, 2014 at 7:34 am

  14. I’m a recruiter. I hate it. I fell into it after despite being well qualified, experienced and ethical. However, my experience was gained in an SME in a very marginal market so, with record jobseekers on the market, I struggled after redundancy. I ended up in recruitment and, again, I hate it. I am not even that good at it so, 18 months later, there is no real need for me to still be doing it.

    What I would say though is that you’re all wrong about how it works and what most recruiters are like. You especially have this unrealistic expectation that they ought to look at you as more than a commodity. You’re not the client, you’re not paying their wages, you’re more akin to a Mars Bar, some shoes or something else someone can sell. The only difference is that chocolate and loafers don’t lie and let you down taking money out of your pocket and making you look bad in the eyes of paying customers.

    Most recruiters are competent, professional and decent people and if you can’t tell the difference and find a good one, then you’re the idiot, not them. Also, unless you’re in public service or 4th sector, you are looking after your own interests and those of your employer too, so why is it so bad that they do it? Realistically, if you can’t take responsibility for vetting and choosing who you work with then you are, in many ways, liable for any bad treatment you get.

    Doesn’t change the fact that the job is thankless shite and now things are looking up, I’m out of here at the first opportunity,

    Mike

    February 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    • sounds like you are exactly what is described above- you are in denial because you say your ethical..ha what a joke.
      If you hate what you do then people that are forced to deal with you will also hate what you do.
      Reading your post made me angry, are you seriously comparing people to mars bars? Mars bars dont care about where they end up. That would explain why you ‘consultants’ are so cold.
      Technically we do pay your wage. If there were no jobseekers then you would not have a job. When we do get a job – which is always on our own terms, we pay tax, which pays you lot.
      You are the ones that let us down, you waste our time. And oh about that mars bar- you have to sell it first. meaning you will have to actually do some work.
      And as far as looking bad, you do that on your own.

      elly

      July 17, 2011 at 1:56 am

      • well said my friend, BRAVO people are like mars bars please ? sound like the conscious of the person got the better of them? if the bloody people who do this rubbish know its no good why the hell do we allow it happen?

        BOO BOO

        May 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

    • You’re the idiot: reading you comparing job seekers to Mars bars proves that the poster actually rested his case. You can use all the line openers about hating your job: you seem to be the perfect walking image of what you despise. So much for self-loathing, uh? There should be laws to regulate you people, just to get you in line. Otherwise, you’ll make the headlines one day in the breaking news section because let’s call it what it is: you people, play God with people’s hopes, lives, times and resources. Bad recruiters are like pimps, not bad or good pimps cause that would be an oxymoron: you’re just pimps!

      Anna

      September 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    • Mike and those who want my advice.

      I had been in the IT industry (Senior / Chief Architects positions – now) for a very long time nearly 23+ years. I would like to share my wealth experience of dealing with Job Agents.

      1. All job agencies are the same (Same shit but different packaging).
      They are after you and your referral when they are desperate but do nothing even if you ask for a
      feedback.

      They have the tendencies to satisfy 1-10 criteria
      or even more “things you hate about the agents”. By the way, that list is not exhausted or completed.
      Starting this month, I decide I will not deal with a job agents that produce fruitless experience and
      I do not want to engage with the job agent anymore but rely on the networks that I already have.

      What I mean by “networks”
      1. People that you are working or had worked for in the past, including the referees,
      AND their reliable contacts.
      Through them, you will get contacts and their contacts your next assignments… (if you are a contractor).
      2. ex job agents that you have good experiences to work and you can trust.
      You keep contact and find out from linked in where they work now
      3. advertise yourself (anonymous) without giving your true identify until the real client calls you
      In other words, go direct if possible. But the third options may not be as effective as you would like
      4. Find a true job agents that you can trust to. This is a hard experience. You were lucky if you can find 2 out
      of 20 if you contact the job agents randomly.

      Like the articles said, mostly have no experience, arrogant and think you need them.

      Two scenarios for me to determine whether or not I want to deal with this job agents at all:

      1. You gave them your short version of cv (good ones but no need to be comprehensive, meaning you do not need to send 10 pages of your cv) for a specific position that they advertised.

      For example, I am an SOA expert (architect), so I shoot them my cv for Senior SOA position

      If they responded to your cv by asking less questions about me but more about the job and the position,
      and immediately reveal the client name, then they are not wasting my time and their time.
      They need to build a trust with me first as I had put my trust to him by giving my confidential cv.

      The problem is 9 out 10 job agents do not want to reveal their clients’ names
      and thinking that we were going to deal behind their back.

      2. You did not get any response , a call or email or reason why you do not get shortlisted eventhough
      you are applying the position that you have the most skills.
      You give them another try, say, apply for a job with the same job agents but it is different location.
      If they still do not respond, then
      you want to remove this job agent completely from your list no matter what happens in the future whether
      or not they have a fantastic job opportunity that you can apply for. The chance is 90% they will not
      respond to you.

      I have four lists that I do not want to apply for:
      1. ICON
      2. HAYS
      3. REAL TIME
      4. AUREC

      Unfortunately the list is growing…

      Other job agents, I would say it depends on who you deal with as they are different from consultant to consultant.

      I hope this helps

      Desperately seeking good job agents (competent and result oriented)

      epahgi@hotmail.com

      November 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      • Well said above this person is on the money. I have recruited people of a 30 year period in my life and would never HIRE anyone that had worked experience in Recruitment there might be a handful around that could be alright , but TRUST AND HONESTY is a big part of my selection criteria and this is something that recruitment is putrid with. I have always done it myself. I have had recruitment companies make contact me trying to get my business and they are the worst sales people EVER .. They don’t listen and they know JACK POO about what they are talking about most of the time. All they are concerned about is the NUMBERS for them its a numbers game always for the companies and not for the candidates. Its just as important to treat the candidates with a great amount of respect as they have taken the time out of there day to meet with you and given you CONFIDENTIAL information which sometimes they STEAL.
        SO NO TO RECRUITMENT THEY ARE THE LOWEST ON THE LIST TRUST ME.

        carryington

        January 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

      • Excellent article – one person I know who was with Hays was asked to go ‘exclusive’ with her as a client seeking work and she never during a period of six-weeks come-up with one prospect – good job she never did go ‘exclusive’. She would call every week asking ‘how its going’ and trying to possibly weasel a company name or contact my friend met for an interview.

        Renee Raichuria your useless.

        Kalvin Klein

        August 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

    • i disagree with the fact that recruitment companies ask for a lump sum payment if any employer wishes to take on board the employee they have found. I’ve heard of figures up to 12 to 15k. that’s where the rip off is so instead of keeping that employee on after 3 months he gets moved on to being unemployed again or shipped off to another employer..

      Sparty

      August 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

    • I rest my case.

      Terry

      October 3, 2013 at 11:46 am

    • you are a c$$nt

      BOO BOO

      August 8, 2015 at 5:51 am

    • you are a c??t

      BOO BOO

      August 8, 2015 at 5:55 am

  15. I’ve just back from an interview with a consultancy firm via an agency who wish me to work with some of their end clients. The end client seem thrilled to bits until I pointed out to some of them that I’d applied direct to them 2 month prior and been rejected.

    They are now paying over 1000 euro per day for my efforts when I would have done the job 1/4, 1/5 or 1/8th the cost.

    Agents and dumb HR will be the breaking of some businesses. Fucked up world.

    kommandant

    February 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    • Hold on. Your aim – to work for said end client. Initial result – client rejected you. Next – agency interviewed you, consulted with client. Result – you have work you have achieved your aim. If these clients choose to work with dumb agents, I’d question whether they are worth working for. When you sell your house do you wish someone would knock on your door with a suitcase of cash and make you an offer? When you want to eat do you wish the farmer would call round with a basket of fresh produce? When your IT network goes down do you wish the network installers would fix it for free? And so on…

      John Denver

      June 17, 2011 at 4:47 am

      • They don’t have to pay the health benefits etc. I think that’s why the end up using these agencies.

        Samanthia

        August 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    • so true

      Sparty

      August 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

  16. One more piece of advice.

    Do NOT under any circumstance allow these people to infiltrate networking sites such as Linkedin.com etc.

    As if they care for anything but your contacts and business information. If you have them already connected and they have done nothing of note or value remove them NOW. You genuine network contacts will thank you for it.

    They are on you account for no other reason than to phish for information that benefits them.

    kommandant

    January 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    • So is everyone else, don’t be so niaive.

      Mike

      February 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      • bollocks, your network links are of shit value then or you’re in the industry.

        kommandant

        May 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

    • Thats true I have hundreds of contacts and only speak to a handfull of them; the rest are for me to find lovely clients and plenty of quality candidates 😀

      Monkeyman

      November 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  17. Sham industry that attracts the low skilled sale person – parasites. Sick to death recently of having to dealing with so called ‘senior’ recruitment consultants that seem and sound like they have barely made it through puberty and think communicating in text speak is cool and edgy.

    Apply direct to companies and cut these useless morons out of the equation. 90% + of agents are bad, period and will do nothing of value for you save for skimming their commission.

    kommandant

    November 30, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    • could not agree more

      Simon

      July 26, 2011 at 12:31 am

    • Perfectly put %100 correct… Yes they are the least skilled sales people … worse than a used car sales person.

      carryington

      January 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    • Spot on. It’s good, though obviously depressing, to hear other people who’ve shared the same experiences with these scumbags.
      The way this “industry” has been sold to both companies and prospective epmployees over the years is a lie. It’s not useful or relevant the vast majority of the time, and when it takes over the recuitment of a particular industry, the industry suffers as a result.

      William.

      June 26, 2013 at 2:00 am

    • I’ve been in recruiting for nearly 20 years. I opened my OWN FIRM five years ago because I got tired of how the last agency I worked for treated their candidates AND their clients. They were a piece of shit.

      I give my clients a VERY fair rate (We only place direct-hire, no temp/ contract) and the LONGEST guarantee in the industry. We follow-up continuously with the client to see how the new-hire is doing and to see if they’re acclimating to the new job.

      As for my candidates, (as well as my clients) we’re available to them 24/7. I tell them, “If you can’t reach me, I’m asleep. Otherwise, I will answer your call.” When I first talk to them, I ask them if they’ve ever worked with a recruiter before. I make it clear to them that we do not charge the candidate a fee; that our fees are paid by the companies that hire them. I also make it clear to them that if they’re qualified, and do as I say, I can get them a job. After I secure them an interview, I divulge the name of the company and send the candidates ALL the information they would ever want; 1. How to dress for that particular interview 2. 20 great questions to ask in an interview 3. 20 questions they should be prepared to answer 4. Interview “do’s & don’ts” 5. How to write an effective follow-up “thank-you” letter after the interview. 6. How to stand out and ACE the interview 7. Things not to say in an interview 8. Interview follow-up 9. How to make a great first impression… etc. You get the idea.

      I tell the candidate to call me immediately after his/ her interview so I can get their feedback while everything is still fresh in their mind. I take careful notes and send their feedback to the client, at which time, I ask for the client feedback, which I PROMTLY share with the candidate.

      I read DOZENS of resumes EVERYDAY from candidates that are no more qualified than my dog. There are mis-spelled words, run-on sentences, poor formatting, and out-and-out lies on 85% of those resumes. You’d be surprised how many customer service/ call center people apply for accounting jobs. You’d be amazed at how many bus drivers apply for engineering positions. I have no disrespect for customer service people or bus drivers, but don’t just apply to jobs you have no chance in HELL of getting. I have to sift through the shit to find the diamonds. I re-write and re-format 75% of the resumes I get to make you STAND OUT to my client. If I think that you’re a good candidate, I’ll walk to the ends of the Earth to get you an interview (and I’ve done it MANY, MANY times)

      I’ve had clients write me glowing letters of recommendation and candidates send me “thank-you” notes, gifts, flowers, candy, you name it.

      So, your blanket statement, “All Recruiters Are The Same” is no more factual than me saying that all lawyers are crooks or all doctors are quacks. Nothing could be further from the truth and me and my team are living proof.

      What angers me is when you’re not a qualified candidate and you won’t leave me the Hell alone. If you’re so wonderful, then you obviously don’t need me. And if you’re a job-hopper and can’t hang on to a position for longer than 15 minutes, you’d better have a pretty damn good excuse and I better be able to verify it. Don’t waste my time on your crappy excuses and poor judgment.

      Cindy

      February 6, 2014 at 4:34 am

  18. Yes – totally. The one thing which iritates me more than anything is recruiters getting angry. Why can they not just open their eyes and see beyond their needs is beyond my mind. It sucks

    Han Potts

    November 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  19. After reading this I realize how naive I am. I’ve learnt heaps out of this.
    I have applied for jobs that almost describe me! Only to be told that the employee leaving is not leaving now!
    Just applied for a job that I am eminently qualified for, have signed all the privacy documents, but the recruiter can’t/won’t tell me who the employer is. They were EXTREMELY interested in referees (wanted 4)???
    Might I suggest a blacklist for the worst recruiters. In fairness to the good ones, more thought would need to go into this to prevent the good ones being blacklisted by bad applicants

    tony

    November 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm

  20. I hate recruitment agencies and they make things so difficult when looking for a new job. Why should I have less employment rights and earn less money as the other people working around me. Whilst working for recruitment agencies they have called me on a friday and cancelled my contract of employment with no notification how the hell is this fair. You send your cv to them and half of them do not have experience in the field of work you applying for so all they are doing is ticking box’s and thinking of there commission. They are just
    glorified sales people who think they can make money of my skills. Why should you be the gate keepers of employment you Scum bags.

    BOO BOO

    May 29, 2010 at 7:06 am

  21. This was passed to me Thank You my friend!!! now I need to share it !!
    THIS IS TRUE AND MOST RECRUITERS KNOW THAT THIS OCCURS AND I CHALLENGE YOU TO THE TRUTH THIS IS “FACT”

    Many unwary contractors, and even some very wary ones, have been caught out by some very devious agency tricks. To be forewarned is to be forearmed though. Here are ten agency tricks that you should look out for.

    1. They phone you up saying that they have several jobs that you are suitable for. They need you, however, first to supply them with references. Is this true? No, it isn’t. They do not have any jobs for you. They are just trying to find out people who take on contractors and want to know the names and phone numbers of your old bosses.

    2. They’ll say, “Who did you work for at BT. Was it Graham Sutherland”? “No”, you say. “It was John Salisbury”. Now the agent has a contact at your old firm that they can call up to ask him if he is looking for any contractors.

    3. They post jobs on job boards that don’t exist. They are only trying to get themselves a number of extra CVs to increase their own database. When you send in your CV, they’ll say that the job is gone.

    4. They’ll ask you, “Tell us what companies that your CV has already been sent out to, so that we don’t make the mistake of sending your CV there again, which could cost you a job interview”. If you tell them, then they now know what companies are looking for contractors, and they can then put some other candidates up in opposition to you. Don’t think they wouldn’t.

    5. When they are asking you what your rate for the job is they might say, “What’s your bottom line? What’s the least that you would take to get a job? Obviously we will try to get as much as we can for you”. No they won’t. Your bottom line now becomes the most you’ll get for any job. They’ll still try and get as much as they can from the client, but they’ll keep any extra they can get for themselves. How many people have actually heard from an agent “We’ve managed to get you a higher rate than you were asking for?”

    6. They’ll put a clause in your contract that they and the client company can terminate you with a month’s (or a week’s) notice, but that you have no notice period with them.

    7. If you get a job interview through them, they’ll tell you that they’ll call you back when they have any news. What they mean is that if there is good news, they will be on the line pronto to try and get you to sign up straight away in case you take another job. If it’s bad news, they won’t call you, and they’ll be ‘not around’ when you call in. They’ll give you the bad news eventually but only after several attempts to get hold of them.

    8. When you don’t get the job for an interview that they sent you to, they’ll say they’ll look for other jobs for you, but they won’t. They’ll quietly drop you. They don’t like people who don’t pass interviews for them.

    9. They tell you that if you introduce them to another contractor that they get a job for, they’ll pay you 250 or 500 quid. They will if you find out about it. They won’t contact you, unless you call up asking for it. If they get this person a job three months down the line or a couple of years down the line, there’s no chance at all of them sending you a cheque out of the blue, even though the finder’s name (your’s) will be on their database.

    10. Once they’ve got you a job, they may say that they weren’t able to get you the rate that you wanted – that the client will only pay 5% or 10% less. This is rubbish. They told the company what your rate was initially and the company accepted it. The agency are now just trying to help themselves to an extra bit of commission for a job that is safely in their pockets. Don’t fall for it. Tell them that the client can forget it then, and see how quickly the agent changes tack. They don’t want to lose surefire money.

    There are many good agencies around of course, and the good ones like the dodgy ones even less than you do. They get their industry a bad name, spoil their relationship with contractors, and take their business through unfair means.

    Don’t let them do it.

    THESE ARE THE FACTS -MIKE

    November 9, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    • Mike, thanks heaps for posting this info! The more we can educate jobseekers about what to look out for, the sooner these dodgy practices (and companies) will go the way of the dinosaur!

      evenitup

      November 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    • So true, just had the disapointment of late of finding all of this out. Agecies never used to opperate in this manner back in the 90’s. I have been employed throughout the 2000’s just to realise all of this now while looking for a new job. Agencies think they own you now like they have purchased you from some slave ship and want to trade you.

      God forbid if the company if they want to hire you permanently if you are a temp. The costs of trading you out (selling your body to them) is a huge cost.

      These parasites need to bannned in Australia, like some leading European Countries have done.

      ScrewedOver

      September 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    • They’re Parasites and need to be exposed !

      Recruitment Agencies post on a daily basis fictitious jobs that purely DO NOT EXIST only to market their own Company name so they portray themselves as a popular Agency. If there were that many jobs available on our current market then why would our unemployment rate be so high?

      That is a good question to ask in the first instance.

      You apply for a Recruitment Agency position they have just posted on several employment search engine sites, you obtain a quick phone call from a young girl with an annoying squeeky voice and arrange an interview the following day. You quickly go shopping for a new outstanding corporate outfit to wear. Polish your shoes and paint your nails.

      When you get to the interview, usually the day after they have just advertised the position, they then go onto say they have “nothing on offer at the moment, though we do get positions in on a daily basis”. Oh great, here we go again.

      You have responded to this particular Recruitment Agency due to the fact they have posted numerous jobs on a daily bases which have flooded the pages on internet job search employment sites. Your hopes are up, you get somewhat excited and prepare yourself for it, you think that this particular Recruitment Agency may possibly have something for you !

      The Recruitment Agency have many people herding in and out like cattle, your in line with many others like you in the waiting room, all looking eachother up and down.

      You are guided into a little dog box waiting for the interrogation to start while you have to fill out unnecessary paper work, they want you to re-write your Resume AGAIN. They have your Resume and details in front of them.

      No, you can not badger my Referees for a reference check if you do not have a ‘real’ position available for me.

      By this time you are about to give up entirely after you have registered with several different Agencies in the last four weeks. I know I have fantastic professional qualifications and years of experience working in blue chip companies, it’s not me, it’s you.

      The Recruitment staff leaves midway through your interview to answer an “important” phone call then sends in another person who asks you if you would be interested in a job in which you are clearly over qualified for and clearly stated you would not do.

      No, I will not file all day long when I have a professional background and many years experience climbing the ladder. I would have submitted my Resume to McDonalds for that wage.

      They will send anyone they have on their books just to fill the position.

      TEMPS have to jump into someone else’s mess without Company Inductions or most times without a handover, with the SAME experience as the person who has left the role due to the boss being a tyrant who has gone through several staff over the last 6 months and have had to source new staff with several Recruitment Agencies.

      They are expected to get all the work done between 9-5 so the company does not have to pay time and half back to the pathetic Recruitment Agency. The person in that full time roll has a higher wage and can work back to get the job finished. The Temp has to do it a lot quicker and usually does a better job at it ~!

      The following week is another job posted by the same Recruitment Agency you just registered with. I am clearly suitable for this role and call them to let them know I would like to be considered for this position and please put my Resume forward.

      “Yes certainly, I will let Amanda know and she will get back to you”. You never hear from Amanda, you never met Amanda, you met Rachael and Molly, they were supposed to be the Administrators in that field of expertise.

      Recruitment staff have a ‘quota/target’ to meet by calling in candidates for no reason at all, only to have the candidate waste their time, and incure expensive long term parking fees around the CBD when clearly they are unemployed !

      Candidates are forced to park in expensive parking facilities due to the fact that they have to do more testing on their pathetic incompetent antiquated computer systems which clearly do not give an accurate result in your abilities.

      Whoops! I accidently hit the Enter button, I am incorrect, oh no, the wrong pull down menu, I am incorrect! I used F4 shortcut button to do that, not the menu key, I am incorrect! arrrrhhhh this is making me look stupid. Can I see the results please? No, that can not be right, I am a technical wizard. I use MySpace, not Facebook !

      Yes, I can use Word and Outlook, it is stated on my resume, and I sent you a .doc file through my private Outlook address. I was using DOS programs when you were five!

      Candidates never usually hear back from them and are left feeling like they have failed and you have now diminished their self esteem. They have wasted half your day and have set you up for disappointment with THEIR LIES.

      Mature candidates (over 35) waste their time speaking to ‘young’ Recruitment staff that have clearly no understanding of what the position entails, they have only been briefed on the position description when the candidate has had extensive experience and knowledge working in that field of their chosen profession for many years. I would not have applied for the position if I did not have the experience.

      Young Recruitment staff have no life experience when dealing with mature candidates with extensive professional backgrounds and are NOT able to conduct a mature interview.

      Your questions are insulting my intelligence. I would love to tell you how it really is.

      I might have to buy myself a job, let’s say I start ‘ANOTHER’ Recruitment Agency.

      Recruitment Agencies should be banned in backward Australia like many other leading European Countries.

      These people establishing these body trading businesses would have been better off opening a Brothel!

      ScrewedOver

      September 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      • I just wish ive seen this site 12 month ago.
        would bite my tounge and keep my job until I get another one.
        your Amanda reminding me of nikita (Robert Half).
        thanks for your comment it might help anyone out there to think again before its too late.

        Adam

        January 23, 2014 at 6:57 am

    • I disagree with every single thing you said. You sound quite bitter actually, I wonder why.

      I worked for a recruitment firm for 12 months whilst I was on an overseas working holiday. I wasn’t a recruiter, I was the accounts clerk but saw first hand what happened day to day for this company. None of this happened over the year period I was there. Some recruitment firms actually do have ethics.

      I also have found every one of my jobs through agencies have have not had any of the experiences you write about. Maybe I’m a bit more savvy when it comes to recruitment firms.

      Moo

      April 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      • Maybe this person genuinely had some bad experiences with recruitment companies. Give him a break – “savvy” my arse.

        Sam Jones

        November 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm

  22. […] broken, and it needs to be fixed.  And by that we don’t  mean just getting rid of all those awful recruitment companies who operate on an old school sales model, rather than a knowledge economy talent […]

  23. I just saw this site – it is interesting.

    I think that some of the “10 Things” are valid and some are not and I have been recruiting for 6 years now. Different recruitment companies work on different models and there are two common models that companies usually combine in order to make placements and stay in business.

    1) Find a candidate for a job your client can not fill

    2) Market a good candidate and find them a job

    In both models recruiters can be dishonest however the second model does tend to add the most value for candidates. This is mostly done by recruiters who work within skill shortages…So if you are someone with skills in high demand, ask a consultant who his / her clients are and whether they are prepared to market you to them. Recruiters have the contacts and if you are good at what you do(And have a good reputation) and work within a skills shortage then one good recruiter could result in you getting a few interviews and being briefed on the company / job before you even get there!

    I tell candidates exactly who I work with and tell them to try direct to the companies I do not work with. I let them know the feedback from all the companies that I represent / market them to. I give them advise about their interview skills and resume. At the end of the day, I am proud of what I do and I add value to candidates by getting their details in front of decision makers and I add value to my clients by finding them difficult to source candidates.

    The funny thing is that I have worked for 3 different agencies and all of them are open and honest with the utmost integrity and 95% of the people I know in the industry are honest and very hard working. There are individuals in my industry who do act in misleading ways but they are the minority and if you have a problem with a consultant you should complain to company managers / directors or if it warrants then take legal action.

    I should point out that most recruiters who I know (working as specialist consultants) only work with highly experienced candidates and only work on assignments to find experienced candidates as this is what we will get paid for, our clients do not pay for lack of experience and so we advise people who we can not help to go direct to the companies they want to work for.

    Mark

    July 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    • What education do you have in this field? Because what I’ve found is that the vast majority of people working in recruitment are sales people. Idiots who should be flogging dodgy table lamps. Take it from someone who has now been unemployed for a year, but people like you make me ill.

      Growl

      March 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      • I hate to break it to you but sales skills are the most important skill you can have. If you had exceptional sales skills I can assure you that you would not be unemployed for a year. Most of the top jobs in the world are sales jobs, ie preseidents, CEO’s directors. However I do agree recruitment is lower level sales job but still a bloody good skill to master.

        Tim

        April 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

        • Sales is for thick-sh*t…no good…zero-education…waste of time people…

          Kalvin Klein

          August 28, 2014 at 7:45 am

    • Mark,

      As a young person who studied Computer science at university and worked at a bank SIMULTANEOUSLY until the recession got terrible in 09, I had hope.

      When laid off I had no choice but to take a recruitment job, not knowing what lay ahead.

      Over the past two years i have endured Personal Bullying, mental torture, public humiliation and strangely enough, financial ruin working for 4 of the largest recruitment brands in the world, finally to escape and get back into banking only recently.

      Please do not fool yourself.

      The number you quoted is not 95pc its more like 5pc (if even that) and recruiters, especially in the IT and “specialist” industries are the worst, using some of teh most dishonest tactics to make placements.

      you sound like a smart guy. wake and and do something better with your intelligence.

      for the sake of all of the underpaid temps and frustrated underemployed contractors.

      Jaded Graduate

      August 13, 2011 at 5:14 am

    • Mark

      I disagree with you. With all due respects that if you are really that good and ethical based on your experience, then I will say those recruiters who have those values are 1% not 90% that you claim.
      I can assure that most agents are not trying to build a relationship with the candidates by picking up the phone when they call them, giving the feedback and proactive to give the feedback eventhough they are
      no feedback. After all, we are all human, when they let me down once and once is more than enough!

      BTW, I have 30 assignments in 23 years as a contractor and most jobs that I got through myself and referral are 70% and job agents 30% (mostly my first 10 years experience). My skills and experience are well sought by the client and I can market myself easily. Now I am making close $300K a year if I work for a year but I do not have to.

      epahgi@hotmail.com

      November 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  24. Just looked at this board’s posts. Wow!
    I’m a 30 year 3rd party self-employed recruiter in Defense Engineering for the past 6 years, 20 years Commercial I/T prior to then. My views are as follows.

    Company Recruiters. Hardest part with these people is getting in the door with them initiating a business relationship. They’re generally there as gatekeepers to keep everyone out assuming everyone is inept or unqualified and doing so they perform an invaluable function to the company. They all hate to spend money on a fee therefore all of us 3rd parties are essentially “urchins with a phone/computer” no matter how professional we are acting as though they’re doing you a favor picking up the phone. It becomes much better once established. I work with many exceptional HR/Talent Acquisition people as even though they still hate paying fees they appreciate the value I add providing them qualified passive invisible gainfully employed candidates. One other thing. Generally, many of the positions advertised are “come on” ads to keep a current candidate flow for managers they assume will need someone 3-6 months down the road. There’s no urgency more often than not.

    Candidates. In this climate, they’re desperate and forget you work for the company and not them. As arrogant/condescending as HR can be the candidates are often entitled. Since all my candidates are employed I run into few candidate problems anymore except occasionally not getting back to them on a company’s non interest due to the company not giving me feedback on the resume. You never know these days when a company will respond, if at all. Candidates should realize everyone’s acting in their own interests and no one owes them anything unless they start paying fees again as they did in the 1970’s.

    3rd party Recruiters. I’m not sure how many are actually left. If you aren’t top shelf you aren’t making any money in this market–even those who are, are fighting for their lives in survival mode. I know I am. Maybe some young rookies living in their parents’ basement are out there……but I have living expenses hitting the phones hard every day. So the lousy recruiters out there? They’ll be gone within 6 months. The good ones? IMO 80-90% are already gone since 2000. Most experienced recruiters? Lots of time on the Internet where Corporate Recruiters mostly competing with them for the same candidates.

    Lastly, again, I appreciate the quality corporate HR Recruiters I’m privileged to work with. Real pros in the business. No nonsense. Understand value. Realize I’m an extension of them, try to assist my efforts, return phone calls/emails, and try to get feedback on resumes submitted. My sense is these people will be the last HR professionals remaining in the corporate world.

    Bill

    Bill

    July 4, 2009 at 4:03 am

    • Even It Up! thanks your for your insight Bill. We think you are spot on with your appraisal of the situation and predictions for the future.

      evenitup

      July 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

      • I just wanted to say quickly to Bill. I understand what you are saying with regard everybody acting in their own interests, but surely you don’t feel honestly, that you owe the candidates ‘nothing’?! I am very taken aback by this expression.
        If a candidate doesn’t get treated, at the very least with respect, do you honestly think they’re going to be happy working for you? They are doing fantastic work on your behalf – if you didn’t have the candidate, you wouldn’t have anybody earning money in that organisation at that time, and therefore no commission.
        Does that even enter your mind?

        I believe many recruiters treat candidates almost like seconnd class citizens. Don’t forget, in the future, these candidates could be calling on your agency to ask you to resource candidates for them. You need to stop thinking purely about making money and realise that candidates have feelings too, and its actually in your best interests to nurture all relationships that you can.

        Seriously, a serious attitude change is required here I think. I’m only sorry I didn’t see this post earlier.

        And no, before you ask, I’m a recruitment consultant. For me, customer service extends to everybody and always bloody should do!

        Han Potts

        November 11, 2010 at 7:26 am

  25. I’d like to ad another few unethical practices of my own.

    1) The large quoted salary range in job ads (e.g. 70 – 100K). This will allow a greater range of applicants to submit their resumes for storage into their database.

    2) Outright false advertising and lying to candidates. For example, a job ad I responsed to in seek was listed for Sydney however after submission of my resume I was told it was actually for Melbourne and the listing was a typing error. After 2 months the ad is still floating around in seek.com

    3) They work on commission. As with all people that work on commission (e.g. car sales people) they are often shifty and passive aggressive. Moreover they often exhibit poor social ettiquette unles they know you’re a sure win.

    4) The most unethical of all as been informed by my friend that works in recruitment. If they negotiate your salary on your behalf they will bargain down your pay with you. That way they either a) get to keep the difference of what the company is actually offering or b) get a larger commision from the employer as a percentage of the pay difference.

    A state or national register should be established whereby all recruitment agencies should be forced to register and listed in order to offer their services to the public. In order to keep the register functioning, all agencies must be forced to pay a small contribution fee to help sustain it. A formal standard ethical code of conduct should be established and those that violate it multiple times should be de-registered and put out of business.

    Hudson

    July 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  26. Even It Up you make one assumption, that I have never done any of those things. By your own admission this is a site for jobseekers, not the hard up, hard luck welfare cases – or are you making another assumption that they are one and the same. Just because I now work as a recruiter doesn’t mean that I didn’t live the life that you so eloquently describe, but I never played the victim and I never sat there waiting for things to be handed to me. I was realistic about my skills and qualifications and the reason that I got to where I am today is because I worked hard and I started at the bottom. I waited tables and paid my babysitter with my tips, I studied full time because my lecturers allowed me to bring my baby into class. Too wrapped up in my own situation? I have lived both sides and there are choices for both – if you act like a victim, then you become one. I am trying to help jobseekers by assisting them to see that sending applications to jobs that they don’t have the qualifications for helps no one. I am not adding to their burden, I am in a position to advise and guide – if they empower themselves by being realistic about their abilities and have dreams that they put into action, then they can be anything but you can’t run a company until you understand how a company is run. Oh, by the way, I also volunteer to assist the unemployed on my own time so I am in a position to comment on both sides. I have been them, I help them and now I make a living by placing them. Every single time I comment Even It Up you turn my questions into a negative. I have empathy, not sympathy and the ability to educate and assist not to enable and victimise.

    Julie

    July 1, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    • Even It Up! defers to other readers to respond to this post.

      evenitup

      July 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm

  27. I’ve just spent the morning respectfully opening and reviewing every single application (65 in all) for a real position that I advertised with clear selection criteria. ONE applicant had the appropriate skills and experience.

    40 applications had no cover letter or indication why they applied.
    14 applications had a general cover letter that in some cases was addressed to someone else.
    10 applications had a cover letter that mentioned something along the lines of “I haven’t had experience but I have a great attitude”.

    I have said previously that I am more than happy to point the finger at poor recruiters despite being a recruiter myself. To clarify on some of the comments though, I am self employed and a single mother, I do not get paid if I don’t get results so I do understand what pressure to feed your family is like. Going through these applications this morning has actually prevented me from making any money, I wasn’t after some big commission, just fair pay for work that I complete which I can’t do if my inbox is clogged with inappropriate applications. I understand that people get desperate, but if you send your CV for a role that you aren’t qualified for, it means that the people who do have the skills don’t get the service and response time that they deserve.

    Stand up and be counted if you are treated poorly, but I would like to know if anyone thinks that I should spend another two hours responding with rejection letters for people who have shown no courtesy in the first place.

    Julie

    July 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    • No disrespect, Julie, but maybe you need to find another job… one that pays more failrly and encompasses all the work that is done by you. But this is not the forum for that. What I can say is who can blame people for applying for anything an everything, especially in this climate? Because how do you know that they haven’t applied for a truckload of jobs that they are qualified for and got nowhere? How do you know that they are so sick of the whole process that they are really beyond caring and are just putting a whole lot of irons in the fire? How do you know that they aren’t stuck on Centrelink having to fill out demeaning Activity Logs, and sending applications allows them to get some financial support while they are looking for work? How do you know that all the suitable jobs aren’t take for these people? How do you know Julie? You don’t, because you are too wrapped up in how you are affected by your own situation. No disrespect.

      evenitup

      July 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm

      • I can only echo what you have said evenitup! The majority of recruiters get so wound up in themselves. No, Julie, I’m sorry, we don’t care you have to read up on 65 applications, frankly because this is PART OF YOUR JOB isn’t it?!

        If you want to be listened to by clients and candidates, then give the mutual respect us job seekers deserve. I would strongly advise, stop thinking about what Julie wants, and consider just helping someone instead of sit there whinging about them.

        Han Potts

        November 11, 2010 at 7:32 am

        • Han it’s a bit difficult to give respect to job seekers when many are unable to write a cover letter in anything other than text speak!

          Moo

          April 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    • Julie, severe defensiveness is a sign of guilty conscience.

      Hudson

      July 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    • Julie,

      I’ve been on this site for all of 5 minutes so I can’t judge you as good or bad…

      You comment that you reviewed 40 application that had no cover letter or indication of why they applied. My sent mail has 86 messages to recruiters with the text “that information is in my cover letter, would you like me to re-send it for you?”

      At that point I stopped including cover letters. Most verbal conversations manage to include recruiters accidentally saying something like “oh yeah, there was another attachment with the CV.”

      If you actually reviewed all 65 applications without immediately discarding the 64 that didn’t meet criteria than you need a new job. Those 64 should have taken you no more than 64 minutes (if not 54 with 10 straight to the bin).

      As for rejection letters, set up a template and spend all of 30 seconds dealing with unsuccessful candidates. With so many other recruiters not sending rejection letters that will put you way ahead of the pack.

      Good Luck

      Geoff

      July 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm

      • Julie, Like Geoff I have only spent 5 minutes on this site and feel the need to express my opinion from your self indulgent expression. I am still astounded at how recruiters such as yourself continually complain (to the sound of violins) how difficult it is making your way through applications that in your opinion don’t fit the bill. If I am not mistaken that is what your are paid for. 65 applications wow how did you cope? I once recruited for a position with 1000 applications all of which received a reply from myself all may be it generic. I am currently a jobseeker and a grow daily frustrated with never receiving an reply to many applications. Technology allows for this to be very simple. Recruiters really should be held more accountable and I am exceptionally happy to find this blog as a forum for that.

        Frustrated Jobseeker

        August 31, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      • Julie, Like Geoff I have only spent 5 minutes on this site and feel the need to express my opinion from your self indulgent expression. I am still astounded at how recruiters such as yourself continually complain (to the sound of violins) how difficult it is making your way through applications that in your opinion don’t fit the bill. If I am not mistaken that is what your are paid for. 65 applications wow how did you cope? I once recruited for a position with 1000 applications all of which received a reply from myself all may be it generic. I am currently a jobseeker and a grow daily frustrated with never receiving an reply to many applications. Technology allows for this to be very simple. Recruiters really should be held more accountable and I am exceptionally happy to find this blog as a forum for that

        Frustrated Jobseeker

        August 31, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    • To Julie and Moo

      Cover letter is not compulsory and does not help that much.
      The rate result for me to get a job interview and offer without cover letter is very high 70%.
      What you put in the cv Does matter alot! and I have the skills.

      IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE RECRUITMENT COMPANY, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXTRACT THE INFO FROM IT. MY CV CONSISTS OF THE PROFILE, PREVIEW OF MY SKILLS AND EXPRIENCE IN THE FIRST PAGE. THAT SHOULD SERVE MUCH MORE THAN COVER LETTER AS IT IS EMBEDDED IN THE CV. WHEN GOOD RECRUITERS AND MANAGER SEE MY CV, THEY LIKE TO PUT ME ON THE TOP .

      I am not trying to brag but this is how I feel about me.
      Even during the bad recession and financial crash,
      I get 6 interviews out of 20 applications I submitted in 1 month.

      So stop mentioning the cover letter as an excuses anymore

      Poo on you

      December 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

  28. Its too bad that many of the recruiters that feel maligned by the dodgy operators will not read this response but the CENTRAL issue in the recruiting game is the fact that neither recruiters nor the businesses that use them are subject to any laws or regulations. This is why things are so bad. Contractors sign engagement contracts that strip all their legal rights. Agents act to prevent contractors taking action against businesses when their contracts are terminated or when they are bullied or victimised in the work place.
    Sure recruiters do bugger all for their money and engage in unethical practices but what can you expect from people with minimum education and no standards or codes of conduct (as if any ever would comply).
    Recruitment firms do what they want because they can do what they want. Business and government want them to stay in place so that they dont have to deal directly with people and can act with impunity towards contractors and not be subject to any workplace legislation. In this type of climate contractors are always going to be treated badly.

    Electra

    June 28, 2009 at 10:26 am

    • Even It Up! petitioned one of our Ministers, and he said he understood that there was no protection for jobseekers and this needed to be addressed. Next thing we hear is that he’s pally pally with one of the recruitment agency heads and they regularly have drinks together. Now we aren’t saying there is anything wrong with that, but how can the system be changed when the very people who can change it are in cahoots with the ones who don’t want it changed?

      evenitup

      June 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm

  29. As a recruiter what i find shocking is that many of the recruiters on this site are resistant to learn from their clients / candidates what concerns them.

    Hey, I am taking this as a learning experience, realizing that I can always improve my technique, and who best to learn than from my customer.

    Actually Some of the alleged recruiters on this site would be best off actually recruiting instead of entertaining on the recruiting networks. Yes, I checked some of your names out, and really question if some of you folks even actually do recruit, and if you do, is it just a part time hobby? Taking the amount of time you are on the networks.

    What shocks me is how many of the recruiters look at candidates as a commodity. It is about Names, names and more names, and they continually forget about the people that they represent.

    I apologize for the many who come into this easily accessible industry, and who pollute this industry with the continual degradation, hopefully one day, it will improve.

    as a recruiter

    June 25, 2009 at 1:48 am

    • Even It Up! loves and salutes you! Seriously! We were hoping for this sort of response when we started Even It Up! but have found that this open-mindedness is actually quite rare. I’m actually thinking about profiling great recruiters and would love you to be the first 🙂

      evenitup

      June 25, 2009 at 9:29 am

      • great recruiter thats F”k all

        BOO BOO

        August 8, 2015 at 5:52 am

    • TOTALLY!!! Thank you! Job seekers OR client, we all deserve to be treated decently, and with respect. Simple as.

      Han Potts

      November 11, 2010 at 7:34 am

  30. Here it comes from a recruiter who has been one since tennis balls were square.

    Trust me when i tell you that your irritation and downright disgust with a ton of recruiters is not half as irritating and disgusting to you or candidates as it is to those of us who have been in this industry for many years. We do more apologizing for the pond scum in our industry who are just out to make a buck any way they can or don’t have a clue what they are doing, don’t respond to candidates and will lie, cheat and misrepresent. We hate them worse than you do because they give all of us a bad name.

    On the flip side. We do represent our clients. The reasons they use recruiters are many. If there is one internal recruiter with 20 or 30 jobs to fill there is no way for them to even begin to look at all the resumes they will receive. There is no way for an internal recruiter to be an expert in every division of the company they work for unless they only have five employees so they list specific positions with recruiters who have experience in that verticle. They can’t do their job and spent 14 hours a day talking with candidates who are not qualified , pushy, call the company an hour after a phone interview and demand to know their status, call the internal recruiter at home, leave nasty messages on the recruiters office or cell phone if they didn’t get interviewed or didn’t get the job. Yes, all those things do happen and they happen on a daily basis. So the thrid party recruiters are paid in part to handle all the crap from the unqualified, crazy, pushy, mad, unstable and irritated candidates who are not being considered for a position thus insulating a company from the assualt of all of the above. At the same time working like hell to find a qualified, stable, experienced candidate with good references, reasonable personality and attitude who will in fact fit the sometimes very complicated job descriptions that hiring managers develop.

    To even it up on this side. A good recruiter is not an agent for the candidate. We walk a fine line between doing the best we can for a qualified candidate that we believe is a fit based on our knowledge of the company, the corporate culture and the job description but we are hired by the company. It may sound somewhat crass but candidates are inventory. Inventory that walks, talks, has feelings, needs and is most of the time in a life crisis of a job change but inventory that we must qualify to fit our clients order. I have many close friends and business associates that started out as inventory and ended up as friends or clients. Please Mr. Candidate, you don’t pay us, we need you, we respect your talent and ability. If you fit what we are looking for we will represent you to the fullest and best of our sales ability. Yes, we qualify and then we sell. It is many times the case that you may not fit the job you apply for but you will be a slam dunk for one that comes in a week, a month or a year from now.

    Recruiters do not write job descriptions. Our clients do. Please read the job description and if you don’t have the qualifications, don’t fire your resume in then demand that we talk to you about something you have no clue about.

    For instance,
    as we speak our firm is posting several jobs for the healthcare industry. Long and very specific requirements that our client needs in terms of the industry, a specific and highly specialized subspecialty skill set in molecular medicine. To date, we have received over 150 resumes from highly qualified candidates in communications, the automobile industry, the grocery industry, manufacturing, agriculture and unbelievable numbers of resumes from nice kids who have a high school diploma and are working in the restaurant business when the job posting states in CAPS that the industry and subspecialty experience is a firm requirement. As well as an MBA and a minimum of 10 years experience in a mangement role. If we respond letting these candidates know that although the resume is great they are not a fit due to no industry experience or knowledge, many call and want to argue that they are fast learners and demand that we send their resume to our client. If we did our client would cut us off and tell us never to submit another candidate. We do keep those resumes and will contact those candidates immediately if there is a position that will fit their background. We have to beg for asking salary ranges , salary history and honest reasons for leaving the last position.

    Let’s be real. There are lousy recruiters and outstanding recruiters and there are lousy candidates and outstanding candidates. And by the way, if candidates tell us one thing then tell the employer something different in terms of money or experience or references. We get to take the heat for that one from our clients. Big Time.

    Sandra McCartt

    June 23, 2009 at 5:39 am

    • Sandra,
      Your plight is regrettable but the fact remains that in an open and fair job market everyone would have the right to apply for the job. Sure, businesses want someone to do the filtering and you fill that need but you do so without any real idea of the nature of the role or any formal experience in the field. Most of you simply run a search engine over a CV (or have a receptionist do it) and then cull the rest. But do you stop to think about the effects of zero income? People are under real pressure to find work and you refer to them as crazy, rude, mad and unstable inventory. What kind of a person are you?
      The fact is you want the 100 job applications so that you can corner the market and secure your commission. If you were really concerned about people then you would quickly focus on a few applicants and try and understand what the employer wanted and really try and match the two. Instead you scan a bunch of CVs, give people false expectations and then focus in on the product that might give you your handful of cash. I really dont understand how parasites like you can justify your existence and throw it back onto the “scum” that are trying to pay their mortgage and feed their kids.

      Electra

      June 28, 2009 at 10:43 am

      • Even It Up! completely agrees! And one of the major problems is that we all assume that the job market is open and fair! After all we are told that the by the media, by employers, by the employment industry, by government, by educational industries, by recruitment companies… It’s only when you are looking for work and realise that you have neither the connections in high places (notice the Peter Costello won’t have to front up to Centrelink – the government is already talking about offering him a job!) nor the money to support you while you are seaching that the penny finally drops that the system is incredibly unfair… and is getting worse.

        evenitup

        June 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    • you proved my point EXACTLY!!!!!

      quote
      as we speak our firm is posting several jobs for the healthcare industry
      end quote

      If you’ve been in the Industry “since tennis balls were squre”—-why in the WORLD would you torture yourself with posting an Advertissment.

      AT THE ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM you should have 20,000 contacts to call on.
      Heck, I have 500-700 contacts in my PERSONAL rolodex alone
      (are they people that would show up to my wedding or funeral)—NO!, but they are business contacts…I would at the BARE MINIMUM cold call for a req (in my field of interest).

      THANK YOU—you proved my point EXACTLY!!!!
      Recruiters DO NOTHING by act as screener and gate keeper….nothing an $8/hr temp worker could do …..by reading through resume and the Hiring Manager could call on the “qualified candidates”.

      Absolutely SAD you claim to be in the industry this long and you’re out there POSTING job requirements…..sad, sad, sad….

      I wish I knew your client so I could RAT you out….

      NoValue

      June 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      • and if you don’t have the contacts…why not do what a recruiter is PAID TO DO…and that’s pick up the phone and cold call on candidates and “RECRUIT THEM” to the new employer…..

        WOW!!! WHAT a concept!!!!

        ANY…and I do mean ANY recruiter that is “posting” jobs (to Job Boards)—are a bottom feeder recruiter that do NOTHING but give a black eye to the industry….

        NoValue

        June 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm

  31. It’s an old and tired argument. Recruiters exist because we’re better at finding and placing candidates than internal human resources departments. Sometimes this is a structural matter, as being able to focus on a sector instead of all positions, and sometimes it’s a financial incentive (you work harder when you get paid for success) but the essential problem is jobseekers don’t want to take the time and effort to learn how to get a job, so they count on the companies and recruiters to do it for them.

    A good recruiter will talk to dozens of candidates for each position. Considering we don’t close every job, and if so, only one person is hired, 95% of the people we speak with will never be hired through our efforts. Those people get angry they were not chosen, and so vent their frustrations.

    Case closed.

    If it was as bad as some claim, then those with complaints should be able to easily find work on their own, and maybe even start a company that eliminates the need for recruiters.

    Good luck with that. Until then – focus on your job search and what you can do. If you can’t work with recruiters, go do it alone. Your salary won’t be higher, and you’ll have to deal with rejection and cold-calling and networking, but if you can do it, you should.

    If you can’t, you should focus on working with recruiters that you like, and quit wasting time complaining that some people aren’t nice. We all have plenty of stories about unkind, arrogant, rude, lying, harrassing, two-timing, candidates, but we recognize that they are just human beings, and don’t assume all candidates are horrible.

    Jim Durbin

    June 23, 2009 at 5:08 am

    • Jim, yes your argument would be nice if recruiters had 1/2 a brain. They will call you, on the most OBSCURE of keywords found in a resume.

      I “get it”—it’s some phone jokey trying to keep his “call volume” up because some stupid 1/2 wit of a Manager thinks that the answer to all life’s recruiting problems happens to be found in “volume”—make more calls get more placements, more reqs. blah, blah, blah. ..

      The frustration is in knowing that as a applicant, I know for a fact I’m nothing but a statistic (plate filler)—for the recruiter on said job.

      I cannot tell you how many times I have had to said “NO, Don’t submit me for that”—for a number of reasons (the top of the list being..I sure as heck do NOT want to be represented by the Yo-Yo that’s calling on me).

      I’ve been in this world long enough to know that A-it’s who you know that gets you a job and b-there are MAYBE—MAYBE 3-5 recruiters I’ll happily deal with because I know they are TOP NOTCH and will represent me fairly.

      (heck, I even had a friend where the recruiter changed his resume–without his knowledge—put a skill set on there that he never claimed—so during the interview–naturally he’s asked to expand on that…and my friend was like “um, I don’t know what you’re talking about”—the Hiring Manager points to his resume and says—“it’s right here on your resume”…..DISGUSTING!

      NoValue

      June 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

      • Do you mind if I ask what you do for a living?

        Jeremy

        September 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

    • Jim Bo

      Your answer shows that you are a typical job agents who had no clues what the candidates expect from you.
      Do you know
      1. How many phone calls or spasm emails I receive from the job agents every day and these jobs were
      irrelevant to my skills ? at least 10-20 times a month. Worst of all, different people from the same agents
      kept calling you eventhough you had advised the first person that you communicated to that you were not s
      seeking emplyment and you wanted them to remove from the database so they did not contact me.
      What an idiot they are!

      2. How many times do I feel that the agents wasted my time because
      They refused to reveal who the clients are for the jobs that the candidates applied and matched with
      their skills and these agents responded to the applications that the candidates forwarded their cvs to
      apply for the positions ? 90%

      Since the job agents had read the cv and responded to the application but they continued furstrating
      the candidates with another 10-20 questions… Wake up. You waste the candidates. You could ask
      short questions that were not answered in the resume? For example, when will your contract expire?
      Then you have to immediately reveal the client and the jobs that the candidates apply for.

      Their excuse is that the candidates may go behind their back to apply themselves. Wake up Old Fart!
      If you could not trust the candidates then you do not expect the candidates would trust you

      First, Candidates have put their trust to the agents to be represented for a certain position by sending
      their confidential cv? So it is your time to trust the candidate by revealing the clients.

      3. How many times will agents ask confidential questions to candidates that may bridge the confidentiallity
      that the candidates had with other agents? 99.99%
      Consider a scenario when an agent asked me questions : I have a position that match your skills
      would you be interested in knowing further? Then I reply: ” it depends on what jobs they are and who the
      clients are as I have also applied other positions with other agents?” Then these agents started asking
      questions ” which companies did you applied for with other agents?”

      What a jerk they are ! If you , as an agent, wanted the candidate respected your confidentality then
      you better start acting one by not asking confidential stuff to the candidates!

      With all due respects, 23 + years I am in the IT industry and keep counting on..
      My success rate of getting the jobs my self without the agents help is 70% to 30%.

      So wake up you stupid and arrogant job agents! If you want to be successful in the recruitment company, then my advise to you is to treat the candidates the way you want them to treat you b putting your shoes in the candidate site. If you are a candidate, what would you expect the job agents to act on your requests?

      Candidates would not be upset with you if you could NOT find the jobs to them if and only if:
      1. You responded immediately their calls or feedback request
      2. be honest and do not waste their times

      Understood?

      epahgi@hotmail.com

      November 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm

  32. There is point #11 that has not been covered…

    I receive many sales calls so if the caller ID is not familiar, the call goes to voicemail… I do check it as soon as possible… My gripe is this…

    More than HALF of the calls from recruiters I can not understand a DANG thing they are saying… there is no option to press ‘1’ for English… the voicemail goes unreplied and gets deleted…

    If I can not understand a word they are saying in the voicemail, I definitely will not be able to understand a word they say in a phone call…

    Garrett

    June 23, 2009 at 3:21 am

  33. No offense, but your reasoning for hating recruiters is borderline whining. Of course there are bad, inexperienced, downright arrogant recruiters out there– but as Julie wrote very well, there are plenty of great recruiters who work very hard for qualified candidates. I, myself, am a candidate recruiter primarily, trying to get the best for each and every candidate first– and deal with the client second. You also have to understand, especially in these times, that there’s always someone more qualified than you out there— so I make sure to tell each candidate that there’s no guarentee of an interview no matter how qualified you might think you are. And as every recruiter will tell you, 90% of candidates who submit their resumes on job postings, etc. are absolutely UNQUALIFIED per the job description— or their resumes aren’t reflecting the very basic’s of what the minimum qualifications are (no, I’m not the hiring manager– I can’t “read between the lines”) and they do take up valuable time in looking for the right candidate for the position that’s available.

    Like it or not– gatekeepers are here to stay, and are the paid “filters” for clients. As a job seeker– if you would massage your resume per the position minimum qualifications, focus on job descriptions and only apply if you ABSOLUTELY QUALIFIED, take “I can learn that” out of your job seeking vocabulary— you can make things ALOT easier for yourselves and recruiters. Thanks—

    MattyMat

    June 23, 2009 at 3:11 am

    • MattytMat — Not being able to understand is not bordline whining — it is a reality, particularly in the IT field…. I know too many consultants that do not bother calling back if they can not understand the person leaving the message…. most of the times we end up finding out later through the gig we have secured has dropped many recruiters because they were not producing due to the lack of speaking distinctly…

      It all boils down to the botton line for both sides….

      Garrett

      June 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

  34. Generally speaking (which I will consistently do in this response, as it seems to be the underlying theme of this website), what I am reading are the complaints of job seekers that are unable to retain gainful employment. Most people who conduct a job search will apply to any and all job board ads with complete disregard for the job duties; then they express frustration when they are not contacted and offered jobs. “As long as the salary and location are a match, who cares about the job description? I am sure I can do the job with enough training.” If you are a candidate, your information is all you have, protecting and controlling who has access to it is your responsibility. Most people completely disregard how damaging it is to their job search to “bird shot” there resume across their market.

    My point is, if you are a qualified candidate in your market, you will never need to use a recruiter. It will be entirely your choice if you want to or not. If you are “forced” to deal with the “gate-keepers”; you have made poor career choices and cannot market yourself successfully without the assistance of a flashy, snake-tongued recruiter.

    As a candidate , you should beware of any recruiter that tells you that you are a “fit” for any position, and that they are going to present you to their client based upon a phone conversation. Also, beware of any recruiter that tells you they will get back in touch with you. An honest recruiter will tell you to follow up with them on a specific date/time, because they are dealing with a massive influx of semi qualified/unqualified candidates.

    Maybe if people stop spending so much time “networking”, channeling negativity, and not taking responsibility for their own job search, we wouldn’t have an over-populated recruiting market. These unqualified, unexperienced recruiters you refer to only exist because most people don’t have the energy or intuition to market themselves successfully.

    Jeremy

    June 23, 2009 at 2:57 am

  35. I am a recruiter, and wanted to comment about the last point made in the post (number 10). Recruiters are gatekeepers because they are skilled at what they do. Candidates looking for a job, will always think they are qualified. Recruiters actually know the company, job, and skills required, so this is why they are granted gatekeepers status.
    This is our job, and this is why we get paid, only brining forth candidates that screened successfully with us. In this market, you can get a cook applying for a programmer job, and vice versa. A recruiter’s job is to prevent the cook’s resume from appearing on the hiring Manager’s desk, and esentially wasting his or her time. We all know that time is money!

    Gal

    June 23, 2009 at 2:53 am

    • That’s all fine and good, and FOR SURE recruiters would provide value were they actually able to. (and they sure as HECK are not worth the 30%-ish of days of old).

      I’m willing to bet there is 90% of I.T. recruiters than could not tell you what’s the difference between Java and C++.

      (HECK, I bet 50% can’t even tell you the company that drives JAVA innovation).
      Here’s a nice little trick for you—JAVA just so happens to be their TICKER symbol.

      Or describe what’s an advantage (or disadvantage) of using each in an environment

      Have ever even SEEN a Linux box, much less used one.

      Please recruiter acting as gate keeper (in today’s environment is plain nuts).
      Yeah, maybe before voice mail existed and a hiring manager could not screen calls and did not want to hear from a bunch of Code Monkey’s.

      Again, I say with CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIN—there’s NOTHING a recruiter can provide that an automated system cannot do better.

      NoValue

      June 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

      • I am a healthcare recruiter, and will be the first to tell you that I can’t perform surgeries or diagnose or develop a care plan for patients. That is not my job. My job is to see to it that hospitals, clinics and private practices along with other venues have the job force needed to perform in the healthcare field.
        A recruiter cannot be an expert in all of the fields for which they recruit. The best we can do is learn the terminology and concepts of each field. I always tell my candidates that if I make a mistake in a medical term to please not hold it against me. I didn’t go to school for that, but I am an excellent recruiter.
        I also don’t make promises that I can’t keep. I never say that I can get them a position, but only that I will try or if something comes across my desk, I will let them know.
        In all positions as an agent (go-between), there are always people who say that we aren’t necessary or even wanted. When I was a realtor, I read the same thing about that profession for years and years, but, as you can see, realtors are still here and used by mostly everyone.
        If you can find a position for yourself, go for it, but there are many working candidates that need and want us to look for them because they don’t have the time or desire to look on their own.
        Every profession has bad apples so my advice is if you take a bite (chance) of an apple(recruiter), and it’s rotten, toss it and get another apple!

        Cynthia Doyle

        June 25, 2009 at 3:48 am

        • quote
          The best we can do is learn the terminology and concepts of each field
          end quote
          —I “HOPE” you mean that’s the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM you do. One would HOPE that you VISCERALLY understand what it means to be an MD/RN/MSN,etc. That you understand the *PAIN* a Doctor’s office feels when they are absent a Medical Coder or other specialized position. I pray God you’re not another recruiter that simply learns “terms” vs. THE INDUSTRY.

          quote
          I can’t perform surgeries or diagnose or develop a care plan for patients
          …..
          end quote
          –My code example, never said you needed to write code….but I sure as HECK hope you know when it comes to surgeries that an E.N.T. would have a different skill set than say an Internal Medicine Doctor. (again, my example, 99% of Health Care recruiters don’t know this!!!!!).

          quote
          A recruiter cannot be an expert in all of the fields for which they recruit.
          end quote
          —THEY SHOULD BE, THUS THE OVERALL FRUSTRATION.
          If you’re in Health Care, I sure as HELL hope you know the difference between…..an

          RN
          LPN
          MSN
          MD
          DO
          what F.A.C.E. means
          What an Endocrinologist does and what kind of patients he/she see’s
          or the difference in a Pulmonologist is to a Neurologist
          and where each would be placed, *WHY* each would be placed in a certain job, and why you’d NEVER call an MSN for an RN type req. 99% of Health Care Recruiters can’t do this. They do nothing but fog a mirror.

          quote
          realtors are still here and used by mostly everyone.
          end quote
          —HARDLY—read the stats—Realtors (despite the downturn) are a dying breed—-but do you know ANY Realtors (except the absolute cream of the crop with YEARS of established clients—that get full commission these days…..NOPE..and a Realtor is another profession of bottom feeders..there is ZERO barrier to entry–expect passing a test–there’s NO SKILL involved—that’s why—Like Recruiters–the industry has such a HORRIBLE reputation)

          A DIRECT QUOTE from the Government Outlook for Realtor Profession (to remain relatively flat—“stable” growth–WOW–I want to be part of an inudstry with “FLAT” growth prospects.

          http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos120.htm

          quote:
          job growth will be somewhat limited by the increasing use of technology, which is improving the productivity of agents and brokers. For example, prospective customers often can perform their own searches for properties that meet their criteria by accessing real estate information on the Internet. The increasing use of technology is likely to be more detrimental to part-time or temporary real estate agents than to full-time agents because part-time agents generally are not able to compete with full-time agents who have invested in new technology.
          end quote:

          OH, by the way, those are 2006 estimates, before the Real Estate Bubble EXPLODED.
          POINT MADE!

          NoValue

          June 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm

      • No Value, I respect and understand your argument. However, if you have never managed ad responses from Monster, Career Builder, LinkedIN, etc, you really have no leg to stand on. A recruiter is given a highly specified, highly technical position to recruit around by a hiring authority. If a recruiter were not able to understand the technical and cultural qualifications enough to fill the position, every body would be making truckloads of money browsing the job boards. A good recruiter, a truly dedicated recruiter, mostly uses the job boards to contact candidates that know someone better qualified than they (that fits the req). to sum it up, if your on a job board and not experiencing success, there is probably a reason. I have placed people that run the gambit from global operations management to executive assistants. and I use Monster, Careerbuilder, Linkedin… yet I have never placed a candidate that I found on one of these job boards.

        and on a more aggressive note, just because someone knows the “technical” aspects of a position, does not mean that they know how to get the job. as a matter of fact, the more technically qualified a person is, the less likely they are to possess interviewing skills whatsoever. This is no fault of there own, they have excelled at there career, but neglected to learn how to express their technical skills in a succinct and eloquent fashion.

        I am not generalizing, but the greater percentage of well educated, qualified, and capable professionals need guidance in the interview process.

        That is where we come in. That is where we are able to help. and charge ridiculous fee’s for doing so! 🙂

        Sincerely,

        J

        Jeremy

        July 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    • RUBBISH…I recently applied for a Job that I had in the past excelled in. In fact I had trained people to excel in that position myself. The rate of pay and fringe benefits for the position were great and to be honest there is probably not a job I am better qualified for. The recruiter emails me saying she was impressed with my resume but I was not suitable for the position. I sent an email back requesting she reconsider and pointed out in detail the reasons why. Suffice to say I got no response. I fulfilled all the requirements in experience and skill requested of the job ad. My references and work history are solid. I now live in Sydney but was one of the states top performers in an almost exact position in Victoria. They were looking for people with experience. NOW WHY wasn’t I put forward to the employer? In that particular position there would be very few people better suited than me as I was in the top 0.02 percent of performers when I undertook the role previously. I can only feel that the recruiter didn’t put me forward for reasons that I don’t fully understand. Perhaps bias for someone else that she wanted to get the Job. In a fair world I would have been put forward to the employer and he or she would’ve decided whether to employ me based on the interview. I didn’t get an interview and I am sure that the employer would have wanted to see me if he knew I existed. I spent a while trying to find out who the employer was myself. Can someone tell me if this is a regular occurrence and what would a recruiter get out of NOT sending a highly experienced and suitable qualified candidate. Cheers and good luck to all those looking for work. Oh the two interviews I have got from seek have both been from private advertisers and were yesterday.

      Max

      June 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

    • You say you know the job and skills required? Not in my experience you don’t. I have yet to meet a 21 year old social sciences graduate recruiter who knows the difference between waveguides, the Bethe-Block equation and particle beam optics let alone appreciate their subtleties.

      Really

      January 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

      • Sorry this reply was intended for Gal (above)

        Really

        January 6, 2014 at 7:53 am

  36. Interesting article and comments.

    As a 30 year self-employed Recruiter my only comment is in my business I can only work with “passive” invisible candidates my clients can’t find that I can/do through massive number of daily outgoing phone cold calls, or referred to me by others without advertising. So none of this article pertains to me.

    However, I agree that many 3rd party recruiters/in house recruiters run ads for jobs that don’t exist today, but likely will exist tomorrow, to keep a current candidate pool flow for their clients/managers. I believe many ads are nothing more than “come ons.”

    I just don’t understand how my fellow 3rd party recruiters can survive presenting candidates to their clients they would likely uncover on their own. Not tripping over the same candidates is the only reason they work with me.

    Just my five cents………

    Bill

    Bill Josephson

    June 23, 2009 at 2:51 am

  37. Why are “agencies” still around? They provide ZERO value in the process, act as nothing but “gatekeeper” (proven by wining positions through professional networking vs. the agency of record).

    In today’s electronic environment with LinkedIN, et. al. Recruiters (like Real Estate Agents etc) will die on the vine.

    ANY POSITION (pre Internet)–that relied on the secret “connection” or “gate keeper role” is D.O.A. in today’s environment.

    There is NOTHING a recruiter provides that Monster, CareerBuilder or LinkedIN cannot already provide

    NoValue

    June 19, 2009 at 2:12 am

    • My friend, you have obviously never utilized the service of a professional recruiter.

      One piece of advice: if you never meet a recruiter face to face, either as a client of a candidate, you are soliciting failure. Most of the bad apples are sitting at home in their underwear shotgunning the market and hoping something sticks. I ask every hiring authority I work with to tell me exactly the person, (name, title, company, etc) that they would consider to be their dream candidate. and I tell them I will go get that candidate. and I try to do so, and if I can’t, I call and tell them that too.

      Don’t throw in the towel yet, you just may find some value.

      -J

      Jeremy

      July 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  38. […] article I’m talking about is titled: “10 things we hate about recruiting companies”. It talks about the process and perceived tricks that recruiting companies and recruiters use to […]

  39. As a career recruiter, I am fascinated to read the blogs and comments on this site. I don’t disagree with the sentiment or experiences of those people who feel that they have been treated poorly – in all likelihood, they have had contact with poorly trained and/or opportunistic individuals. However, could I ask you to consider an alternative for a moment, nearly every position that I advertise receives up to 80% of applications from candidates who have not read the key criteria to meet the skills for the position or they do not have any relevant experience. There are also very few cover letters sent anymore (recruiters aren’t psychic, why are you applying?) and often the cover letters that are sent relate to an entirely different role. I put my phone number on every ad, but am lucky to receive one phone call asking for extra information.

    In relation to the 10 things above:
    1. A general ad is just that, there is nothing that is misrepresented. In some ways it is fishing for both parties and no one catches a fish every single time that they put a line in.
    2. Baiting. When did candidates cease to participate in the process? If a consultant mentions that you are suitable for a role and you don’t hear anything, ring them! If they don’t return your call, then get angry but with the sheer volume of applications things can take time. It’s not necessarily right, but take a bit of ownership for your own search.
    3. Pigeon holing. Well this one just defies logic! I was a temp consultant for 8 years and my best temps were kept in constant work. We are paid on the people out working so the better a temp you are, the more likely your consultant will be to stay informed about when your assignment is due to end and find you another one. If you only give them basic information then how on earth are they going to secure you a role that utilises all of your skills.
    4. Silence. Regardless of what someone has done, every call should be returned. This isn’t a recruitment issue, this goes back to the parents not teaching any manners when these people were in nappies.
    5.References. Two sides to this one. If you are a temp registering with a number of agencies then unfortunately they will all have to check your references but if you’re not giving your best, then how can a recruiter risk their reputation on you. Bad temp=losing client. Of you are looking for permanent work there is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting until late in the process to provide your referees. A good recruiter will understand this and not want to waste anyone’s time.
    6. Agent. I believe this relates to the CIA or FBI, not recruitment companies. If you know someone in the recruitment industry using this term, you are right to be afraid. The common term used is agency which is correct as it is a company or organisation provide some sort of service to another.
    7. Pencils. Please, if anyone can give me an actual example of this ever happening I will eat my computer.
    8. Amateur hour. Sad but true that there are many recruiters without actual industry experience but a quick look on any job site and you will most likely find the same job advertised by a person in a “specialist” agency. They are easy to locate because the agency will only work in that area and those consultants will either come from industry or they will have been recruiting in that industry so long that they will probably know more about it than you.
    9. Once is never, twice is always. Fair enough if you have been treated poorly, but if by being treated poorly you mean that you were informed that there were candidates more suitably qualified or that you weren’t successful on this occasion, then it’s worth considering what it’s like to be abused by someone who felt that they were perfect for a job without all the facts or insight into the other applicants. Who is ever going to say “Actually, I can imagine that there is a person with better skills and experience than me, so please give them my regards and wish them well”. Of course you are going to be upset, but consider all the possibilities.
    10. Gatekeeper status. Please refer to my introduction. I know that there are bad recruiters out there, but there are also an incredible number of unsuitable candidates. Non recruitment people cannot possibly imagine how many people just “spray and pray” which is sending out as many applications as possible in the hope that one will stick. Employers can’t spend time going through these as the admin time alone is horrendous.

    There are some sensational recruiters out there and whilst I fully support and encourage the exposure of those who are unprofessional, Even It Up could do just that, make it even and help the truly knowledgable and dedicated experts to be promoted. That way the rubbish will be removed and the great people will support everyone.

    Julie

    April 21, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    • Julie, thanks for your response. We would love to sing the praises of recruiters who are brilliant… unfortunately there just aren’t that many of them appearing on our website. If it were one person complaining about one recruitment company, you would be right. But the question is: how do you account for the consistently negative experiences that jobseekers are submitting to us when they are applying for roles ranging from administration/service to management and in different towns, regions and states? The problem is a deeply entrenched systemic one, and staff in recruitment companies themselves are telling Even It Up! that there are some highly unethical and questionable practices going on.

      evenitup

      April 22, 2009 at 9:15 am

      • I completely understand the frustrations of jobseekers, in the past six years recruiting recruiters I have interviewed my fair share of the really poor recruiters but so many others are just trying to do a job with integrity and genuinely care about their candidates. As you said, there are just as many people inside who hate the perception of their industry.

        There are two problems though: 1. Part of the issue comes from above the recruiters at management level. As a recruiter you only keep your job while you are producing results i.e. fees. If you get 200 responses from a job board and you have 1 job and you are competing against 5 other agencies how can you possibly do everything and still fill the role? 2. There are so many candidates who just waste your time. If we could get rid of them then perhaps we could go back to the good old days of phones and good service.

        This site has so much potential to promote the amazing people but at the moment the emphasis seems to be on exposing the bad ones. Perhaps the marketing could focus on both – expose the bad, but tell us about the good. The SEEK awards are voted by candidates so someone is happy.

        Julie

        April 22, 2009 at 11:47 am

        • Julie, as we keep saying to all and sundry, we would love to be able to post positive experiences (and have!) but overhelmingly, the stories are negative. The content on this site is user-generated, so can only post what is submitted to us. It’s funny though, how people (i.e. recruiters, those in HR etc.) have difficulty with negativity… perhaps they like not what they see in the mirror?!

          evenitup

          April 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm

        • Julie,
          I strongly agree with you. I feel that in general people tend to focus on the bad. After all, many people were at some point or another placed by a recruiter, a good recruiter. Candidates do not see that, they only see that you are not returning you call, that you feel they’re not a good fit (when really they know better than you can can promise that if you give an interview, they WILL get the job) and get upset.
          As for EvenitUp’s comment Recruiters like every other group of professionals get upset with anyone bashing the profession based on a few bad apples. In this industry there is a high turn over, people try, and the bad apples fall off the tree, and the good, honest ones stay.

          Gal

          June 23, 2009 at 3:04 am

    • This response is much better Julie. Your points are interesting, and you have visited every possibility. The only recruiters I’ve thought are useless are the ones who disagree with you on something (they can’t expect everyone their entire life to share their views) and they never call you, because thay appear to be holding maybe some sort of grudge. This you have to agree is WRONG.

      Han Potts

      November 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    • Julie Julie Julie

      I spoke to someone that I became friends in the recruitment , did you know how many turn around people in the recruitment world? 70% . Believe me if you see most of people profile in linkedin that work in the recruitment industry , their life span is very short even shorter than a boxer profession.

      They usually stay with one company for few months to 3 years, Unlike the contractor who jump from jobs to jobs because of the length of the contract (sme as short as 1 months to 3 months, other are luckly enough to work for 6-12 or more months). It is not that they are not incompetent. It is the nature of contract work.

      On the other hand, in the recruitment world, they have to perform to keep their jobs as they need bonus to survice and if they are managers, they have to have a target. So don’t be surprised if Jon Doe was a manager 2 weeks ago and in 6 months , he could disappear to other job agencies.

      The questions: how is your life span in the recruiment space? This will tell us whether or not you are a good recruiter.

      WIth you response to question 2, it is fair for you to say that we need to call the agents to get the feedback.

      Do you know
      1.80% of job agents do not respond to your email or phone call for more than 2- 7 days when you requested the feedback. When you managed to finally talk to them, they replied to you was “busy”. How long it took you to email saying “sorry you are not successful” or you could even generate an email template saying ” you are not successful”. That should not be hard or should they?
      2.90% of job agents when they promise to come back with the response in specific date but they did not. Then you heard from the job agents few later that you were not successful after you called them again. They replied to you : “well, I was so busy, I was about to tell you that you were not successful. Or I just heard the news few minutes ago” Few minutes ago? Gave me a break ! Did you think that I was psychic?

      epahgi@hotmail.com

      November 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm

  40. You have outlined many of the problems and failings with employment agencies, but there are many more:
    The job of recruitment agent is one of the few which requires no Qualifications at all (and no experience in the industry being recruited for). However, recruitment agents consider themselves superior to all applicants, when they are often inferior in terms of qualifications, experience and responsibilities held. They give themselves pretentious titles such as “consultant” and they all claim they are the best in the business.

    The recruitment industry is effectively totally unregulated by legislation or regulations. All that exists are a few voluntary codes of practice. Recruiters are not bound by any code of ethics, unlike many of the applicants who they talk down to. I heard (some time ago) that recruiters wanted to set up a new Aust Standard for recruitment – mainly to deal with the many “unreliable/ untrustworthy” applicants they had.

    Agencies often advertise highly-paid positions which don’t exist – just to lure in more applicants to their books.

    There are now so many agencies in business that they outnumber actual employers in many fields. This leads to distortions of the jobs market (not to mention delays, confusion, extra costs and waste of applicants’ & employers time and efforts). Many agencies often start recruiting for vacancies which they have heard about, without ever being hired by the employer to do so.

    Agencies don’t make any decisions or take any risks themselves. They are parasitic in that they depend on former employers for employment references for example. They do not pay anything for this advice, yet they expect it on demand, from senior staff in other companies who they often don’t even know. These senior staff have busy, responsibile jobs with un-related companies and have several former employees.

    These agencies don’t produce anything and the world could easily operate without them. It seems that they only exist because employers are prepared to pay highly for not having to answer the phone!

    These are only a few of the many problems I have found with the way agencies operate in the marketplace these days.

    Robert S

    February 26, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    • Thanks Robert for your comments – you sound like you have inside knowledge. The fact that the industry is unregulated if very problematic… What needs to happen is for jobseekers to stop using them. Full stop, end of story! Critical mass is critical in this case!

      evenitup

      February 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      • Have just run across this site and was amused by some of the rants from both sides.

        I have worked for over 10 years as an IT contractor in the financial services field. I have had to use recruitment agencies in Europe as well as here in Australia.

        My experience has been that
        1. the client (bank or insurance company) have a selected panel of recruitment agencies though whom they will accept CVs for consideration in any advertised vacancies. They will not accept Cvs sent to their HR division or Hiring managers, should these people be known. The clients have a policy in place that prevents this avenue from being used by contractors. If you want the job they are offering you have to use a recruitment agency.
        2. In general, the contracts for recruitment are standard around the industry but vary on a Schedule of appointment – this is a list of items such as Notice Period, costs per day for labour hire, the start/end date of contract etc. This Scxhedule is where the contractor can negotiate – rarely can they negotiate on the remainder of the contract clauses – this is a contract set by the recruitment agency to protect themselves and the client from prosecution should such a thing as early termination occur (for whatever reasons).
        3. There are no insdustry standards governing recruitment agencies and their practices. This is particularly difficult when candidates are advised that they must pay extra from their negotaited rates – for example, for Professional Indemnity insurance. The contractor should know that PI should be covered by the agency on behalf of the contractor for the client. In some cases PI can be purchased by the contractor but it will rarely be of sufficient value to truly cover a potential breach – the fee for PI is steep.
        4.There is no site to govern the margins faced by contractors on their daily rate or fees charged by recruitment agents. This should be transparent and IF IT WERE, would cause the poorly managed and run recruitment agencies to shape up or ship out as the saying goes. It would also assist contractors in choosing an agency that they approved of with regard to profit margins and accountability to the client and the contractor.
        5. there are good and bad in all areas of employment. I got badly burnt recently bu a alying client who ruined my reputation with the recruitment agency. I had previously had a contract with them and done exceptionally well with excellent references from satisfied management in the client. Next time around it all went sour and now I am not trusted by the recruitment agency and have had my name and reputation smeared amongst the panel of agencies opearting for that client. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I have good skills and excellent referees and have found other work.
        5. The Australian It contracting market is SMALL. I have found it best to target jobs that I am qualified for, to write at least a covering email on what points I can offer to the employer with regard to the job, to ring about the job straight after applying and speak to the recruiter – they get to at least hear my voice and know I am interested in the job, and to follow-up where I can as politely as I can. This last one is hard if you have someone who is very inexperienced or rude on the phone to you – however, Mum is right, good manners are never wasted.
        7. Eventually you get to know the good recruitment agents – the ones who follow-up, who call you even when the market is poor/slow, the ones who appreciate your input about clients/job interviews etc and that keeps the process flowing. Otherwise, doing it yourself is IMPOSSIBLE – see point 1.

        gaz

        September 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    • I agree with you Robert. Unlike accounting, medicine, law, psychology, actuaries etc. recruitment consultants don’t need degrees or expensive heavily regulated post-graduate qualifications to qualify for their roles. That is why in the corporate world there is and will always be an air of condescension towards recruitment consulting as a profession – even when in need of their services.

      Hudson

      July 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    • I agree, and the thing is I am in recruitment!

      Say for example, before I entered this working field, I was a candidate for many years. The number of agncies who just branded you from day one as a ‘temp’ and said ‘we will let you know if anything permanent comes up’ was atronomical. I asked to have quick money for the immediate future, but then I really wanted something permanent.
      The jobs I had which were temporary were very poor standards. The working conditions were terrible – I wouldn’t even let my 3 cats enter the building and I was expected to work there?!
      The agencies’ response was always ‘well you could have stayed there and earned money, you just left’. I’d really love to see them go and work in the same conditions for mimimum wage. Idiots!

      Whilst I agree there are recruiters out there that are fabulous, there are too many who seem only to think about theirselves and almost verbally punish candidates simply because that candidate was looking out for themselves. Now, who in this world can tell you off for looking after number one?! Simply put, they didn’t get their conmmission and are just having a stupid flap about it. Grow up! The world doesn’t, I repeat DOESNT revolve around you.

      I admit, there are some candidates’ attitudes that would make you want to shake them. But we are not all like this are we?!

      Now I’m a recruiter, I just simply attempt to make right the wrongs in recuitment I experienced.

      Han Potts

      November 11, 2010 at 10:39 pm

  41. Great post and I agree I hate all those things about recruitment companies.

    Geri

    January 22, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    • Geri, I’m sure Even It Up! will keep adding to this list!

      evenitup

      January 23, 2009 at 7:13 am

  42. I’ve got another one…agencies that try to sell you (the candidate) a position more junior than what you are looking for because as you are more senior than the available role they think that they are guaranteed a placement – as you will be the most experienced candidate. I have seen this happen hundreds of times (and then they get angry that you tell them the position is too junior, or if you get the role, you don’t take it or leave after before 3 months – so they have to recruit again for free.)

    Bek

    January 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm


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