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Do recruiters add value? ;)

#1 Do recruiters add value? ;)
16/11/2006 23:40

Mr M

OK - ill put this example to you then, for comment - from both industry colleagues and recruiters alike.

I was in the process of changing jobs 6 months ago - spoke to a few consultants that mentioned 2 positions, both in strategy, that really appealed to me.

They sent my CV over, and alas - a negative response returned. I didnt have the 'right' experience, or, 'enough' experience, or whatever. Fine.

But being my stubborn self, I contacted the HR department for both jobs direct - and left my CV. 4 weeks later, what do you know - not only was I called from both firms - I recieved offers from BOTH!

Now, the way I see it there are only two options:

1) The recruiters never sent my details through in the first place

2) The recruiters lie about roles: they offer you specs that they still have not been assigned, for companies they probably dont work for. When thier deals fall through the floor, they just inform us we have been 'rejected'.

3) They misrepresent our application. You see, I am strongly convinced 95% of recruiters do not know what they are talking about. They see 'performance improvement across all stages of the value chain' and well, match it to a spec that says you need 'performance improvement experience.' Thats as far as thier understanding goes. THATS the real problem. I sometimes feel like jumping down the handset when the 24 year old on the other side of the phone says he can absolutely understand my 18 years experience in business turnaraound and exit strategy formulation...

There are exceptions, mind you. I have spoken to some recruiters, generally ex consultants, who are SUPERB and have a fantastic network of connections. I usually find these to be the smaller, more personal companies.

I think the moral of my midnight ramble is to preach the strength of our power! By networking and connecting, such as with this site, we can easily bypass the system - and cash on handsome referral schemes.

Comments welcomed!

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#2 RE: Do recruiters add value? ;)
17/11/2006 09:16

Insider to Mr M (#1)

I logged onto this forum this morning, and have seen 3 recent threads about disgruntled candidates, complaining about the standards of recruitment companies. I am a Director of a MC focussed Rec company and I wanted to share my thoughts.

The recruitment industry, in my opinion, has a higher % of "bad eggs" than most sectors. We all promote ourselves to clients saying “we are not like those cowboys”. There are a number of reasons for these bad eggs:

1) The cost of entry into this market is VERY low, but the rewards are very high. All you need is a telephone and access to the internet and anyone can set up a firm. This low barrier to entry means that inevitably you are going to get cr&p companies forming

2) The ways rec companies target their employees promotes poor performance. Most consultants in one form or another are targeted on number of Cvs sent to a client. So what happens - Clients receive a stack of cr&p CV's from a recruiter. The recruiter thinks "throw enough sh1t at it and something will stick" the client opens the first 3 of 20 CV's and then presses delete. I imagine this is what happened to you.

3. Recruiters do not lie about roles - what’s the point. They do however lie about actually working for the company. It’s pretty easy to log onto E&Y website, download a job spec, phone a few candidates, say you are working for E&Y and then submit them.

The recruiter thinks -worth a punt - could earn 10k

E&Y think- Who is this company? They don't supply us - Delete

The candidate thinks - E&Y - fingers crossed, and hears nothing

There are hundreds of other reasons why SOME rec companies are cr&p – poor training, poor employees, clients hate them, 20 year olds “running the show” ect

That said, there are a number of companies that are very good. However, I am not going to promote my competition, nor shamelessly promote ourselves.

Comments / Questions

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#3 RE: Do recruiters add value? ;)
17/11/2006 20:21

JJ to Insider (#2)

I had same experience - in particular applied for many jobs thru Michael Page and got no I started applying direct for jobs advertised on their website and got two offers.

I think they either deluge the client with CVs as suggested in the post above; or they are selective and only send the three CVs to the client that most closely match the spec.

So if you do not exactly match the spec I suggest applying direct.

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#4 RE: Do recruiters add value? ;)
17/11/2006 21:40

Anders to JJ (#3)

Personal views only...

Use recruitment companies as a last resort. Above a certain level there is NO mileage in going through the typical body shops.

The personal network that either you or the 'recruiter agent' (do not want to use the phrase head-hunter) has is the crucial element. NOTHING else will really work reliably. You may be lucky with the agency route but such occasions are few and far between.

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#5 RE: Do recruiters add value? ;)
20/11/2006 17:51

Susan to Anders (#4)

Having worked in the industry for over 3 years, I completely understand you ask yourself the question if recruiters add value. I would like to say that there are search & selection consultants who want to deliver a quality service to not only their clients but also the candidates. Unfortunately most recruitment consultants just want to add one thing and that is money to their own bankaccount. I think the best way to look at our business is to make use of the network a recruitment consultant has. See who you know and can approach yourself and then make a list of organisations you would like to speak to but do not have the contacts for. Ask the consultant (after they know more about you and your background) who they would be able to approach and then decide if you feel comfortable with the consultant speaking to those clients on your behalf. Hopefully by this time you have met the consultant, they have told you how they work, where they can help you etc.

There are a lot of agencies who will mailshot your CV out to every company in the business. Consultants like myself will see absolutely no point in that as it will harm more than it will do good. Unfortunately, because of these kind of consultants some of us have to work very hard to show that we can add value.

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#6 RE: Do recruiters add value? ;)
20/11/2006 19:51

Tony Restell ( to Susan (#5)

As Top-Consultant's annual candidate survey has just gone live (in which we give you the chance to name & shame bad recruitment consultants and praise professional ones), might I suggest anyone with strong views about the agencies that have represented them take 2 mins to complete the following:

<a href=></a>

Thanks - and copies of the findings will be sent out to all contributors.

Rgds, Tony Restell

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