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RE: recruitment agencies

 
#1 RE: recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 15:10

Newbie to deleted (#0)

Although I've never applied through agencies dealing exclusively in MC jobs as my background is in Marketing, anything up to a week for a response is quite normal. A lot depends on whether they are sorting out CV's their end (and providing a good service to their client) or simply forwarding your CV all over the place (providing a poor service) - the latter potentially taking much longer.

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#2 RE: recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 15:16

anon to Newbie (#1)

I'm not going to start a debate here as there are plenty of other threads on the merits of recruitment agents, but in my experience, it is imperetive that you continue to pester them until they give you a definate answer. The majority seem to have the memory of goldfish and your cv is probably filed away somewhere collecting dust.

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#3 RE: recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 15:42

headhunter to deleted (#0)

Although I am, strictly speaking, a 'headhunter' I think I can speak for the recruitment industry more widely here. Recruitment firms have a primary duty to their clients, and as such have to pack alot into a short space of time - we cannot respond to every single CV we receive, and usually won't unless it is suitable to a current search engagement. We store all suitable CVs so we can talk to people who are suitable in the future though, so they don't simply collect dust! Sure there are disreputable rec firms out there, whom will send your CV everywhere, and some big name firms who are actually appalling (read some of the other threads), but often it is simply whether or not you are appropriate for their clients at the time. I for one do not market candidates to companies, I work with companies to find candidates. If you are not suitable at that point I will simply store your CV and talk to you when I am representing a suitable client, and if that time is no longer suitable for you then that is my loss, and let's keep in touch. I would advise sending your CV to one or 2 recruiters you trust, and ask them to keep you informed of anything they are working on which might suit you, but also pursue your own networking.

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#4 RE: recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 16:17

student to headhunter (#3)

Thanks for your replies!

Re Headhunter... fair enough that lots of candidates etc. But I cannot get 1 thing... why would you behave in a decent way towards ALL the candidates who applied (by decent I mean "Hi, we'll come back to you in 1 week time" and after 1 week "Hi, unfortunatelly..."). It's not about making world better but because of pure business: majority of the applicants will find a job (sooner or later) and at some point in their careers will be recruiting others. And then you, as a recruitment agency, want to be the first of his/her list because it =money.

All the strat firms realised this and they do reply to everybody. Should I think then that recruitment agencies are just dumb?

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#5 RE: recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 17:20

another Recruiter to student (#4)

Student - to be honest, there are simply not enough hours in the day to respond to all applicants, and frankly, we get paid by our clients for placing good candidates, not rejecting candidates.... when I sync-ed my mail this morining I has over 100 applicants - not one of them would have got the job I advertised for, so I could spend the rest of the day rejecting them all, or go about finding a suitable candidate.... which one do you think I went for?

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#6 RE: recruitment agencies
02/12/2006 16:32

XX to another Recruiter (#5)

Recruiter - Fair enough that you should not feel obliged to respond to completely unsuitable applicants. However it would be in your interests to at least get back to the ones that are suitable.

When I was in the market last year I got virtually no response from agencies when I applied for consultancy positions. Yet when I applied direct I got several interviews and offers. I now work for a leading consultancy.

Why was I not considered suitable by agencies but was considered suitable by the clients?

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#7 RE: recruitment agencies
03/12/2006 01:19

Pandora to XX (#6)

Employers don't use headhunters to find people they can get themselves through direct applications - it'd be a waste of money to overlap channels like that.

External recruiters and direct recruiters look for different types of people to fulfil different roles, even under the same job title. Generally, an employer can find the 1 in 10 candidates themselves and get them to apply by posting a few adverts, relying on reputation and networking. Headhunters make their money by bringing in the 1 in 1000 candidates who would not otherwise have applied.

As a rule of thumb, if you have to approach a retained consultant rather than vice-versa, then you're not the right person for that job.

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#8 RE: recruitment agencies
03/12/2006 12:03

XX to Pandora (#7)

Actually I don't think the clients differentiate between agency and direct applications - they are just looking for the best candidate.

Also as a "good candidate" (must have been as I got the job) I knew the companies I want to apply to but did not have the tiime to spend hours in the working day chasing applications - I wanted an agency to do that for me.

I think the issue is that many agencies tend to wordmatch rather than think for themselves. They miss out on potential fees because of this.

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#9 RE: recruitment agencies
03/12/2006 13:04

anon to XX (#8)

I think Pandora is talking about headhunters (executive search & assessment firms like Saxton Bampfylde Hever) and XX is talking about recruitment agencies (high street firms like Hays, Reed, Manpower). They're different beasts.

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#10 recruitment agencies
01/12/2006 00:00

student

I've applied to 3 recruitment agencies for some MC jobs I saw on their websites. It was 3 days ago and I haven't heard from them till now. Should I consider this as 'thank you, but...'? I don't wanna call them and look like miserable loser... I called 1 agency and after I asked for the lady XYZ they put me on hold for 30sec and after than told me that lady XYZ will be busy whole day with one client. I took it as polite f**k off but just wanna be sure...

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#11 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 13:29

Anon to student (#10)

Can't comment on this specific instance but I'm guessing as a general rule that if you are suitable for a job you will be called fairly quickly.

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#12 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 14:23

headhunter to student (#4)

Student I do see your point; but to work with both clients and candidates in a manner that allows an extended, professional service relationship we need to limit how many clients and candidates we are working with. Who would want to feel they are just one of any number of individuals? I coach candidates and clients through the search and selection process, and although I work for the client I consider the interests of the candidate to be important and want to be able to devote time and attention to their questions etc. I cannot do this if I am to spend all day declining unsuitable candidates. A bland email advising of an unsuccessful application provides the candidate with no additional insight than if they heard nothing. And further - if we are being honest - the requirements of our clients are usually set down in any advertisement we run; we cannot be drawn into consideration of every candidate just because they see fit to send their CV for a role they are not qualified/experienced to undertake, so which is wrong for them for another reason. The candidate whom applies for a role and receives no response should ask themselves whether they were right to apply, and if so how well do they actually meet the requirements? There seems to be a reliance sometimes (admittedly infrequent but increasing) that candidates apply for positions and expect the recruiter to come back and justify why they are NOT suitable - an unacceptable and ludicrous situation. If you send a CV to a recruiter and your details look right for the role you will almost certainly be contacted.

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#13 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 15:26

student to headhunter (#12)

Good to see my thread back (at least I’m not getting blind ;-). Regarding “the other side” (agencies and headhunters) comments:

- Re Another Recruiter 01/12 and Headhunter 04/12: I understand that you cannot spend all day on replying to unsuccessful candidates, but then I find the current business model of recruitment agencies not good. The good business model is where all parties (or at least majority) are happy. That’s not the case now so there is definitely improvement area.

- Re Headhunter 04/12: I don’t agree. Bad news is better than no news. I do not expect feedback, but I would appreciate a note “thank you, but you were unsuccessful”. When I don’t have any info I still have hopes and waiting for a call is exhausting. I prefer to have straightforward no and stop waiting.

- Re Headhunter 04/12: I’ve seen many job offers described in 4-5 sentences, 2 of them relating to the candidate qualifications. Based on such a blur description (which in many times consists of general soft skills) you cannot judge objectively if you fit the profile.

- Re Anon 04/12: I know that if I’m the right person they would call me quickly. However I just got frustrated with the process. I find it highly unprofessional and just rude.

To wrap up, I just got disappointment with the agencies. I know that I’m not the best candidate ever, but it’s not the point. I was hoping that there are recruiters (who BTW are supposed to be HR orientated so know how to deal with people) who will look at my CV and if it is unsuitable will inform me about this. But I guess I was naïve ;-).

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#14 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 15:47

Crabbit to student (#13)

Ah, you've just nailed the problem. The people who work for recruitment agencies rarely (if ever) have a HR background. They are sales people. What they care about is their commission. If you aren't going to help them get that, they're unlikely to be interested in you. And that goes for both headhunters and agencies.

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#15 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 15:49

headhunter to student (#13)

Student - I agree the model is not perfect by any means; but no business model is. As far as matching to advertised requirements go I do take your point about some ads are too vague - perhaps these are best avoided? And regards the soft skills, these come into the equation if the hard skills are met. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate, or a perfect recruiter for that matter, and I am no exception. But I am pleased to see someone somewhere holding a mirror up to the industry to let it see its flaws. Improvements take time and alot of commitment, so I doubt we will see much as a whole. My best advice is to cultivate relationships with a couple of recruiters whom are strong in your area of expertise - they will keep you in mind when roles come up which may suit you, and if you can help them along the way - recommendations, insights etc - the favour is not forgotten.

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#16 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 16:19

student to headhunter (#15)

Re Headhunter: Agree that nothing is perfect, but then recruitment agencies operate in a highly imperfect model. Let’s assume (using one of the figures from previous replies) that 100 candidates replied and only 5 of them (optimistic scenario) fit the profile and only they will get any reply. That leaves 95% of unsatisfied clients which I guess is far above any acceptable business standard.

Re2 Headhunter: Agree that improvement takes time, but – as you can see based on some other posts from the recruitment side – there is no willingness to change!!! Apparently recruiters do not see the reason to improve and actually they even try to justify their unprofessional behaviour (i.e. ignorance).

Re Crabbit: You have appoint that recruitment = sales. But in my understanding no business justifies unprofessional (rude) behaviour.

Idea: Take once a week a 1-2 students who will spend whole Friday on sending emails to unsuccessful candidates (on behalf of the agency). 2 students x 8 hours x 30 GBP/hour = 480 GBP. 2 students x 8 hours x 50 emails/hour = 800 emails (which is probably pessimistic assumption as you send the same email to many people, so probably you can send up to 100 emails per hour). So 500GBP vs. approx. 1000 emails. And 1000 more clients satisfied.

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#17 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 17:24

headhunter to student (#16)

student - I doubt anyone would disagree with what you have to say, but the reasons have been explained throughout this thread, by myself, Pandora, another Recruiter et al.

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#18 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 17:40

Village Idiot to student (#13)

Against better judgement, I'm going to jump in on this thread with my two cents worth...

>I understand that you cannot spend all day on

>replying to unsuccessful candidates, but then I

>find the current business model of recruitment

>agencies not good. The good business model is

>where all parties (or at least majority) are

>happy. That’s not the case now so there is

>definitely improvement area.

No, that's not necessarily a good business model. You can go broke being nice to people -- a good business model is one which is sustainable, produces profit, and meets its objectives. Frankly, if the recruitment agencies can fill their vacancies without spending time rejecting candidates, it's more profitable for them to do that. When they begin to have problems filling their vacancies, they will change their tactics.

It's important to realise that not all business is good business -- and saying 'no', either verbally or by not replying at all, is sometimes in the best interest of the business.

>I don’t agree. Bad news is better than no

>news. I do not expect feedback, but I would

>appreciate a note “thank you, but you were

>unsuccessful”. When I don’t have any info I

>still have hopes and waiting for a call is

>exhausting. I prefer to have straightforward no

>and stop waiting.

student, I don't know how many jobs you've applied for in the course of your life (although I'm guessing not too many based on your chosen username), but I generally go in with the expectation that I will hear nothing unless the response is positive. Once you've reached interview stage, it's a different story -- and you're entitled to a decision and some feedback -- but expecting something at application stage just isn't how the real world works.

>I’ve seen many job offers described in 4-5

>sentences, 2 of them relating to the candidate

>qualifications. Based on such a blur description

>(which in many times consists of general soft

>skills) you cannot judge objectively if you fit

>the profile.

You could always do a form of self-selecting, which is what I do when I approached by a headhunter. Rather than applying on the basis of a 4-sentence brief, I ask the headhunter to send me the full spec for the position. Most are happy to do so. That way, I've got a reasonable understanding about whether I'm a good fit or not before I've even applied.

>I know that if I’m the right person they would

>call me quickly. However I just got frustrated

> with the process. I find it highly

>unprofessional and just rude.

However you find it, at some point you have to expect that you can't change an entire industry. Your proposed solution would cost an extra £2000 per month -- which needs to be paid by someone, either via a headhunter's margin or an expense passed on to the client. Neither have a good incentive to incur that cost, as there's no business necessity.

The truth is this: if Headhunter A rejects you today, but calls you again in six months with the perfect job at the perfect employer with the perfect salary, you're going to play ball -- you'd be stupid to turn down such a good thing for such a petty reason as "feeling a bit insulted" because they didn't reply to you last time.

They know this -- hence they have the power.

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#19 RE: recruitment agencies
04/12/2006 21:03

Recruiting to Village Idiot (#18)

It's an emotionless process. If you have the skills and the CV looks like the person may be a potential match to the role you will get a call. If not, you won't.

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#20 RE: recruitment agencies
05/12/2006 13:59

student to Recruiting (#19)

Village Idiot... I must say you're right, and I was wrong. Still don't like to model though ;-) And waould say that good business model is all you said + having growth prospects. If somebody figures out how to make unhappy candidates happy then growth prospects are great.

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#21 RE: recruitment agencies
05/12/2006 14:57

Search consultant to student (#20)

This is quite a tricky area. As a search consultant I do reply to every cv that comes in, this is where my problems start as I then spend most of my day with candidates calling me and trying to argue the point. If I reject 20 candidates in a day and 10 of them call in arguing which is a 20 minute phone call each time then you have nearly half a day wasting everybody's time and takes me away from what I am paid to do.

In this marketplace where canddiates are few and far between my view is that if you are very good for a role then you will be contacted within 1 day and if you don't hear within 2 days you can probably assume that you have not been successful, you will of course be added to a database and contacted when more suitable roles arise.

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