Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Recruitment: 4 reasons for a national enquiry

with 3 comments

Even It Up! was contacted by a recruiter in Sydney who is very keen to see a national enquiry into the state of the industry. At their prompting, we have sent correspondence to a number of key federal politicians to try and open up a discussion (at the vert least) about the industry.  Our email (written with input from the recruiter) and their context statment follows.

I wanted to contact you because am lobbying to improve the way that jobseekers are treated when they apply for work.  The Even It Up! website has been operating since December 2008, is building a national and global profile, and attracting media attention (both on and offline).  The website is like Choice magazine, but for jobseekers, who post assessments of the recruitment practices of recruitment companies and direct employers.

One of the areas that needs urgent attention is recruitment industry, in particular recuitment companies. This industry is largely unregulated and is responsible for causing distress to a large number of jobseekers, including those who use them for both temporary and contract work.

In a nutshell, I would like to see an enquiry into recruitment companies and how they operate with a view to:

  • regulating the industry (RCSA accreditation isn’t working – just ask jobseekers!)
  • minimum degree qualifications of “consultants”, with a HR component (no qualifications are required to enter the industry, which is predominantly sales-focussed)
  • implementing continuing professional development of consultants
  • overhauling employment conditions ( I am told that most consultants are on commission, work horrid hours to an unrealistic budget and job targets, and there is no representation)

It is my belief that there are some good operators in the industry, but these are few and far between, and mostly, the jobseeker has to deal with consultants who are glorified salespeople on a powerkick. By the way, my YouTube video 10 Things We Hate About Recruitment Companies gives a synopsis of why jobseekers hate dealing with them.

I am currently also collecting information from jobseekers via my 1st annual Jobseeker Experience Survey which will benchmark the jobseeker experience and provide hard evidence as to what parts of the jobseeker process recruiters do well and not so well.  I’d be more than happy to forward the results of this survey to you when I have collated and analysed the results.

I’d really appreciate it if you would forward this email to Prime Minister Rudd and his Chief of Staff.  I am also working on this at a state level, and have met with Minister Jay Weatherill, who is responsible for overseeing the reform of SA’s Public Service (although feel I am being “appeased”).   It is my contention that if the government is serious about jobs, then it needs to ensure that barriers and obstacles to getting work are removed, if not minimised.  Unfortunately, it is the general jobseeker experience that there are several obstacles – including recruitment companies – that are a barrier to getting work.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Diane Lee
Even It Up

Context statement

I have been working in recruitment industry for close to 13 years, and my question has always been if banks, real estate, mortgage brokers and even the media are regulated, why not recruitment companies? When the Howard government was in power, I wrote to John Howard’s Chief of Staff asking for a national review with a recommendation to regulate the industry.

I received a reply from him stating that some leading recruiters state that the industry does not require of people like Andrew Banks and Julia Ross. Well they are very much misguided.

When it comes to fees there is no set cost structure which means that recruiters can literally charge what they like irrespective of the level of service.  Every recruiter should have a degree in the Arts, Communication or Behavioural Sciences with a HR Component to their studies as a bare minimum. There must also be a recruitment consultant practicing certificate organised by a registered central body like the RCSA and also there needs to be a code of conduct which consultants and owners are legally bound to abide by.

One of the greatest issues affecting recruiters is their conditions of employment.  Recruiters are expected to work excessive hours during times of a Global Financial Crisis to meet their budgets combined with ridiculously low base salaries which around $30K-$50K per annum less than a state government bus driver.  Clearly things need to change.

Written by evenitup

July 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I am currently a new job seeker. I have over 15 experience as a PA. I have had to report my every step with a Centrelink Job Reporting Company. I have used Recruitment Agencies in the 90’s with great success with them back then. So I have now registered with four Agencies in the last four weeks and I am utterly pissed off ultimately being SET UP with lies.

    The Centrelink Personnel has badgered me on a weekly basis asking me if the Recruitment Agencies have any work for me yet. Despite I have contacted these agencies about other jobs they have just advertised that I am clearly suitable for and please put my resume forward. I hear nothing, zero. I have discovered the same adds posted on a weekly basis. Lies.

    Maybe we need to put our concerns forward to departments like Centrelink. In fact I have noted most of my concerns and have alerted my stresses to my Job Officer and have also sent her many publications on this topic.

    So now Ms Job Officer, please do not add anymore stress to my job search. I’m going direct to companies and this will take ultimately a bit longer. It’s not the 90’s anymore !


    September 13, 2010 at 12:07 am

  2. Just for the record, a lot of consultants do work towards a Cert IV in Business (Employment Services) while they are employed with their company (or it just might have been the company I worked for).

    There is no real reason for a recruiter to do a degree when the HR degree has perhaps two subjects that cover what the job actually consists of. 50% of this role is sales (going towards 70%) while the other 30-50% is sourcing, matching and placing.

    The problem is that half the recruiters are generally sales people and have the salesperson atitudes with no actual skills in HR and the other half are HR people who dont really enjoy selling….especially the cold calling.

    It is extremely hard to find a good consultant simply because the sales people are the ones left with jobs in hard times because they HR people focus more on quality than quantity but dont make the sales and thus get fired.

    Welcome to recruitment


    September 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    • The request for a HR degree was made by the person (in recruitment) who supplied me with the information for the approach to our politicians. From our perspective, there absolutely needs to be a HR focus because of the fact that the job is dealing primarily with humans in a high stakes environment i.e. their careers and livelihood. People are not cars or houses! Perhaps it’s time for a new business model that minimises the sales focus and concentrates on capacity building through relationships? Just a thought!


      September 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: