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Recruitment Farce

#1 Recruitment Farce
05/08/2002 00:00

Chase Garnet-Lawson


Is it me or I am I the only one out here getting very annoyed by time wasting recruitment firms? "Don't fit the bullet points- don't fit the job" and btw I won't say what those are either!!

Does anyone know of any good firms / contacts? I am a very experienced Programme/ Project Manager with an outstanding cv but am getting tired of this situation. Any comments will be considered / or laughed at as read. Thanks.


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#2 Re: Recruitment Farce
05/08/2002 00:00

Oliver Blaydon

Drop me a line I may be able to help, if I can't I will tell you rather than keep you habnging on.

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#3 Re: Recruitment Farce
06/08/2002 00:00


No, you are not the only one. I am completely fed up with recruitment consultants and tend not to bother with them at all nowadays. I feel more time is wasted by job seekers now because of them. I actually worked some years back, for a period of two months, for one of the leading recruitment companies in Europe and I can tell you that many of the jobs which are advertised on web sites either do not exist or, more likely, have been poached from a newspaper! Basically, the 'consultant' goes through the weekend job ads on Monday morning, sees a job he or she thinks they can find a candidate for and then tries to locate a suitable person who is then offered to the company which has placed the advert, hence such vague statements on recruitment web sites as 'leader in its field' and 'salary- excellent'. The only jobs you can be sure exist are the ones placed in newspapers by the recruitment company itself. This is because the 'consultant' gets a nice bonus for flogging the advert idea to his client. I couldn't stand it. To be fair, the commissions can be high and their work environment is very much 'hard sell' so they can't be bothered wasting their time with anybody who doesn't fit their exact requirements. What I can't understand is why companies bother with them really. It costs typically 33 per cent of a candidate's annual salary to use their services!

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#4 Re: Recruitment Farce
06/08/2002 00:00


I find them a complete waste of time.

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#5 Re: Recruitment Farce
08/08/2002 00:00

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

I would agree with the posts below on most points. I should point out that I am a Headhunter and have fairly regular dealings with people who post on here. I would suggest to never trust anyone who introduces themselves as a "recruitment consultant" as they are probably just jumped-up telesales boys, I do not [and legally cannot] consult any candidate as I am not a qualified careers advisor and neither are 99% of people in this industry. Recruitment firms never consult clients on any aspect of their recruiting programmes except to encourage them to spend as much as possible. I think that this is wrong and one should advise one's client as to the best route to market. In defence I like to think that I do a very good job and I know of many people from Manager through to Global VP who would testify towards this. However, the majority of my colleagues are total sharks. Why do I work in this industry? I am naive enough to believe I might change it over time, I enjoy seeing how happy people are when they do move to a new job that changes their life for the better and it does afford me a comfortable lifestyle. The days of charging 33% are well and truly over, though.

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#6 Re: Recruitment Farce
08/08/2002 00:00

James Smith

Recruitment Consultants do have an important role to play if they are as professional as our friend from Tunbridge Wells purports to be. However, in my experience of dealing with some of the biggest names in the UK recruitment game over the past few months the majority of RC's are unreliable scum who continuously lie and deceive.

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#7 Re: Recruitment Farce
09/08/2002 00:00

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

I agree absolutely. Traet every "consultant" with circumspection and by no means think that just because a company is a big name or an established record the people you are dealing with are professional. Take advice from colleagues as to headhunters with whom they have had good dealings. On the whole the best headhunters work for very small firms so that they can operate as they see fit and not to the binding, selfish dictats of large recruitment firms. Also, one should be aware of the vast difference in the quality of individuals who specialise in contingency and retained recruitment.

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#8 Re: Recruitment Farce
26/09/2002 00:00

Terry Critchley

Chase. I find exactly the same thing. With 33 years in IT, my CV

covers vast ground and I am convinced that the CV 'readers' often

don't understand many of the items in the CV. I believe they attack about 10-15 of submitted CVs (often 200/job - they say) and pick what they think are best 'bullet' fits to pass on to the client. They also rely heavily on qqualifications such as ITIL, PRINCE2 and the like. People who have been around a long time can often do this sort of stuff with their eyes closed, having qualified at the UOE (University of Experience).

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#9 Re: Recruitment Farce
19/02/2003 00:00

Alastair Watts

Next time you are looking for a positon, then do all of leg work yourself. The idea about being a Head Hunter (As i am) is networking. If you are happy dealing with 2nd tier recruitment consultancies then you will get a 2nd rate service. I wish you all the best in your next career move.

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#10 Call us
11/02/2008 12:37

Stephen Sharman to Chase Garnet-Lawson (#1)

Call us or email us asap.

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#11 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 12:58

Mars A Day to Chase Garnet-Lawson (#1)

Until someone reinvents the wheel the recruitment industry is exactly that, an industry, just like the industries it profits from (and MC/IT makes money from the same business model so lets put all the BS aside).

Sure there are cowboys in RC, like there is any line of business; all those little recruiting firms which promise autonomy etc etc are - lets be blunt - little more than lifestyle businesses, often created by 1 or 2 people to give them something to do after their career in x, y or z has ground to a halt. They need to go into the office and handle a few roles a year for their friends back in industry, consulting whatever it was. So you could spend all the live long day talking to them, one after the other, and get no where because they simply dont have the clients - just a few mates they hire for sporadically. Likewise you could send your CV to one of the big firms - and have it spread so far across the market that is starts to resemble low fat butteresque spread on Homer Simpson's bagel. And there are a lot of people who call themselves 'headhunters' - myself included, who are probably just trying to be honest about the commercial realities - we are here to make money Chase, just like you are, we have mortgages to pay, bentleys to run, kids to put through private school. Kidding.

Its time we called a spade a spade and stopped this nonsense of expecting a recruitment consultant/headhunter to take an interest in our lives/careers/futures. WE ARE NOT YOUR MOTHERS. WE DONT LOVE YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL. What we do is enter into a commercial partnership with the client, and hopefully with you the candidate; if we can broker the right meetings great - everyone wins; if we cannot then shame, move on. I doubt you spend all your time thinking how can you be more useful to that RC you spoke to last week. Of course not. And if you have an RC run rings round the market for you, then decide to take a job off your own back do you compensate the RC for lost time/effort? Of course not.

Grow up.

And take this to heart; when you call an RC or send your CV, you have made the move and they are under no illusions as to the above. Most are working under pressure you will never experience. And they have no obligation to tell you who their client is unless they want to send your CV to that client.

If you remember that RC/HH you speak to is making a living - and they may well be trustworthy, reliable, and interesting in doing a great job - as are you you will see things as they really are. A commercial arrangement where when things go well you both win, and if not both come away having lost and gained nothing.

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#12 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 13:18

Blunt to Mars A Day (#11)

Why rely on RC/HH? Perhaps you need to understand your market/industry, get to know the players and recruit directly to them. After all, RC/HH capitalise on the laziness of people not researching and applying directly themselves. Don't totally put all the blame on RC/HH but also include HR of businesses.

If you haven't, then it is time that you grow up. Use your initiative. Create industry links. Be your own recruiter. After all it is you that will need to sit in an interview and sell yourself, not your RC or mother/dad/whatever.

If you have any dispute against any RC/HH, and if they are with the REC, contact the REC and ask them to investigate. Their Code of Conduct is downloadable from their website. (

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#13 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 14:13

Mars A Day to Blunt (#12)

Blunt I am a member of the REC but frankly if you take that talking shop seriously I doubt your credibility.

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#14 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 14:25

Blunt to Mars A Day (#13)

Sure, they are a 'talking shop' but they are supposed to be governing the industry - apparently. If they are not the salt you say, then what does that say about the RC industry then? And whilst we are that note, we should question YOUR credibility. Smoke away.

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#15 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 15:11

Tony Restell ( to deleted (#0)

It's ironic isn't it. As consultants we hate it when the media and those outside the industry say things like "why on earth would someone pay a management consultancy so much to advise on this or that issue" or "what can a team of consultants possibly add to their organisation". It's obvious that as an industry, the sums of money spent on our services must mean that huge value is generally being added to clients, albeit with some high-profile exceptions...

... yet when it comes to questioning why consulting employers use recruitment agents, the slant on this forum always questions what value a recruitment agency can possibly be bringing to the equation. Well clearly by the sums being spent, a great deal! But of course, just as with consultancy, there are exceptions to the rule - and probably more exceptions to the rule than in other sectors.

However, in my experience something like 50% of all experienced hires made in the UK consulting industry are hires made using a recruitment agency. The reasons for this are many and varied - and largely valid too. I could write a lengthy piece just on that subject. But for now, take it from me that every consulting firm would love to reduce the amount of recruitment agency fees they pay, but simply can't. They need their services and the hires that they bring into the business - and the advent of the internet hasn't removed the need for their services, just changed how candidates come into contact with recruitment agents or potential employers in the first place.

But if 50% of all hires are being made via recruitment agencies - many of whom will be working on confidential hires that will never be advertised openly - then it surely can't be in the interests of any high flyers to simply wash your hands of having any further dealings with recruitment agents. You need to use your contacts and network to get recommendations of some quality recruiters and then work with them to get exposure to all the vacancies out there that aren't being filled direct (for a whole variety of reasons).

Look at it this way - if a consultancy is prepared to pay the recruitment firm a fee equivalent to 25% of your starting salary, then the role you are going to secure via them must be business critical and the employer isn't likely to quibble over a £few thousand to secure your services. By contrast, roles posted on a corporate website may be out of date (it costs nothing to post them there), low priority (there's no certainty the role will get filled that way, so can't be that critical) or in a part of the business that is suffering (hence hiring costs have to be kept to a minimum). Not all roles are created equal - and for all their shortcomings, the involvement of a recruitment consultant does say something positive about the position you might be about to fill...

Tony Restell

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#16 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 16:01

Mars A Day to Blunt (#14)

Blunt the point I am making here is that too much dressing up goes into the RC industry - we are not career councellors after all, and although I am often asked for advice from clients and candidates, I do so as a view on the market, not as advice to an individual that x would suit them best. The decisions need to be commercial and as recruiters we need to be commercially minded. Candidates need to understand this dynamic so they can get the best from the relationship also.

With regards the REC, it is a drive towards a chartered status for the RC industry which will do it no favours other than stifling the entrepreneurialism which is the lifeblood of the industry and - at times - the genius of it. I am a firm believer that over time the cowboys simply lose faith in it - I have been working with my clients for some time, have solid relationships with them, and have seen any number of quick win merchants come and go.

By all means question my credibility; my point to you was that the REC is ok as a platform to talk about the RC industry, but as a force it has never really gained the momentum it promised - and that they wont use an RC to find their next CEO underlines their lack of faith in their own product, and is not doing any favours for them among RCs. We DO need something LIKE the REC, but not in its current - ineffective - form.

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#17 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 17:34

POwer of Greyskull to Mars A Day (#16)

Maybe the reason why RC/HH are ignoring or rejecting you is because your CV is not as good as you think it is. Just a thought.

I would say the majority of complaints come from 50-something, Senior Stretegic Programme blah blah managers that have over inflated salary expectations, poor career progression and impending retirements.

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#18 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 17:46

anon to POwer of Greyskull (#17)

what do you mean by poor career progression

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#19 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 17:57

The POwer of Greyskull to anon (#18)

In a nutshell, a 50 year old doing the same job as a 35 year old. They havn't progressed up the career ladder quick enough.

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#20 RE: Recruitment Farce
11/02/2008 18:05

anon to The POwer of Greyskull (#19)

What about if they are doing the job of a 50 year old but are getting the pay of a 35 year old because they have been loyal to their employer (not a job hopper) and have suffered low pay increases as a result

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#21 RE: Recruitment Farce
12/02/2008 06:10

Hard Reality to anon (#20)

Tony as ever makes some very strong points. Nothing is perfect. There are good and bad head-hunters and there are good and bad management consulting firms. The lifestlye consulting piece by Mars is equally applicable in both fields. As a head-hunter talking to clients at the top end of my industry (consulting is a small part of what I do, I tend to use consultancies as candidate source sites for senior hires within my industry client base), I spend a lot of time listening to them complaining about the over priced and poor service they receive from the management consulting sector. What do I do...... I DEFEND YOU>>>>> . why? because very often on my client sites, you lot (the more experienced, not the kids who will bail out by the time they are 25) are the only people who talk any sense. You create the change mandate we sort out the necessary staffing requirements. If you are doing your job properly (this clearly only applies to certain projects where my involvement might be necessary), there will often come a point where your advice to the client is that they need to bring in permanent expertise - although some advise their clients that they should sign a 1 year extension for even more money (good effort!!). You might have re-designed the org structure and identified gaps. You should therefore be recommending recruitment partners to assist the clients. We pick up a lot of work in this way, by being introduced to the client by a consulting firm as the "next stage" in the client's development. We can actually work together!

In my experience recruiting for strategy consultancies is a nightmare. Long winded processes and poor returns on a lot of time invested. Working in partnership with strategy consulting firms and recruiting for their clients is pretty lucrative - if a client is going to pay consulting fees, they are not going to quibble over my fees!!

More confrontational note would be this. Does anyone else see the irony. 1 industry charges extraordinarily high day rates so that people with very little experience can sit on a client site and mess around with powerpoint/spreadsheets. The other gets paid a significantly smaller fee (when calculated as a day rate equivalent amount) which is either 100% or mostly dependent on them actually producing the result the client asked for. In the event that the deal is done, this industry even agrees to part refund the fee in the event that the client is not happy..... hmmm

As a sales guy, I admire the top guys from the strategy consulting firms. They are the best sales guys in the world and associating with them has been a wonderful experience. Let's not focus on the ethics. We are all there to make money from our clients. That is the focus (at least at the top end). By working together, we can do great things - at least financially. Whether there is any real value add is a completely seperate issue, which we can leave to the idealistic graddies....

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#22 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 10:50

here we go again. to Hard Reality (#21)

I am utterly bored of this subject, which seems to repeat itself over and over again. Yes there are dodgy recruiter, yes there are dodgy management consultants. The thing that drives me mad is that the people who moan about recruiters seem to be mostly second rate candidates who should be sorting themselves out rather than expecting recruiters to help them. The better recruiters/head-hunters are paid to get hold of the hard to reach candidate not to help the person who is desperately looking for a new job. I can understand a client who has paid for a service (be it recruitment or management consulting) complaining about poor service but the people moaning about recruiters have paid nothing for the service they seem to think they deserve. If you have paid for a service, you have the right to complain about it. As a candidate, who has not paid for a service and would, presumably, happily work with any other recruiter who calls you, you have no right to complain about the way you are treated.

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#23 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 12:06

anon to here we go again. (#22)

you're right about it being boring. Use recruitment consultants for what they are - an additional tool in your search for a job, don't see them as the be all and end all. And if you don't get a call back, I doubt you'll be going forward for that job (through them).

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#24 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 12:26

common sense at last to anon (#23)

Thanks Anon, you have summed this up perfectly. Try recruiters by all means. If they work, great, if not try something else. By the way, has anyone noticed that this thread seems to have started in 2002???

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#25 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 14:13

mk47 to here we go again. (#22)

It is not about paying and serving. Applicant - recruiter realtionship is a mutually beneficial PROFESSIONAL realtionship. So applicants have the right to expect professionalism (and respect) from the recruiters. Recruiters have all the right to ignore unqualified applications. However, once a dialogue is initiated rules of professionalism fully apply. Recruitment industry is flooded by incompetent personnel and because of non-existent auto-control, deception and manipulation is endemic.

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#26 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 14:17

anon to mk47 (#25)

Please can you give some examples of the types of deception and manipulation they get up to?

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#27 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 15:47

anon to anon (#26)

It's Mars' fault this thread got resurrected! He responded to the Stephen Sharman troll.

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#28 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 16:47

anon to anon (#27)

'rules of professionalism fully apply'.....if an agency fails to provide what you consider to be a professional service then don't use them again. There's an element of luck, both bad and good, to recruitment and they are neither as bad as what some people think they are or as good as what they may tell you they are. They should be neither demonised nor lionised for what they do. If it works for you (as either a client or a candidate) then it works for you.

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#29 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 16:57

recruiter to anon (#28)

Yeah, if you don't like it then TOUGH. You get what you pay for

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#30 RE: Recruitment Farce
13/02/2008 17:05

reco to recruiter (#29)

incidentally discussions like this do liven up a recruiters day. A duller job you are unlikely to find.

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#31 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 09:18

in conclusion to reco (#30)

The second best feeling in recruitment after closing a large deal, of course, is the feeling you get when you reject a really annoying candidate. Obviously you do not contact the candidate directly, just let him chase you for a few weeks before eventually giving up and delivering the bad news in a typically patronising way... wonderful....

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#32 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 10:54

Mars A Day to in conclusion (#31)

This debate is so boring I am considering hacking at my own wrists with plastic implements.

I sincerely hope this is the end of this banal and unnecessarily overheated exchange.

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#33 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 12:16

Kitkat to Mars A Day (#32)

well you started it, Mars, when you unnecessarily bit back at some guy who refreshed an old thred!

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#34 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 12:37

Mars to Kitkat (#33)

Tony how about deleting this thread to put an end to it?

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#35 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 13:16

no keep it.... to Mars (#34)

just because you embarrassed yourself, Marsyboy.....

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#36 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 15:57

Mars A Day to no keep it.... (#35)

Well that will teach me to leap to the defence of the recruitment industry...

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#37 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 16:06

I wonder to Mars A Day (#36)

I wonder what's been the longest thread on her (I do, I wonder that) and I wonder whether this thread will beat it.

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#38 RE: Recruitment Farce
14/02/2008 16:07

Whoops to I wonder (#37)

that should have read 'here' not her.

I certainly don't wonder whats been the longest thread on her

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#39 RE: Recruitment Farce
16/02/2008 08:08

still going to Whoops (#38)

Why not? Who knows where it will lead if you get to know the longest thread on her.

I really need to get a hobby.....

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#40 RE: Recruitment Farce
17/02/2008 08:35

7077 to still going (#39)

interesting point. problem is that if someone looks up thread 1 and posts a comment, this will not even be the longest running on this forum

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