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Those recruitment consultants...

#1 Those recruitment consultants...
12/12/2006 17:33


OK. A great example about shoddy recruitment consultants.

Last week I was told by a recruitment guy that I would receive a phone interview from quite a reputed and desirable place.


The day after I confirmed, I realised that I would not be able to take the call at the contact number I had given.


I email the recruitment guy and told him the correct number. No reply. I phoned him. Put on hold and then cut off. I emailed him again. Phoned again. Left a message - he was 'busy'. Emailed him again.


Come today. Surprise surprise. No phonecall.

The thing is I have the contact details for guy who was going to interview me. Should I drop him a line, explain the situation and see if I can arrange an interview directly?

Comments appreciated.

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#2 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
12/12/2006 17:45

recruiter to anon (#1)


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#3 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
12/12/2006 18:35

Recruiter to recruiter (#2)

Yes, phone him - That is rubbish.

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#4 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
12/12/2006 18:36

Tim in Toytown to recruiter (#2)

No surprise really at the recruitment agents poor behaviour.

All these recruitment lot are jokers. If I behaved with a client like they did, they'd throw us off the job.

Always go direct, or use a personal contact. If you can't do that, then only use these twits as a last resort.

To answer your question, if you have the end customer's details, contact them directly, and make sure you drop your "headhunter" amigo in the hot brown sticky stuff...

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#5 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
12/12/2006 19:15

Ian to Tim in Toytown (#4)

That is incredible.

I hate them profoundly with a passion - they have no respect for thier profession, and, im sorry but generalisations DO hold.

One in particular, EM, is incredible: they dont take direct calls. I have a little 19 year old on the other end of the phone that tells me that I a) cant have the details of any consultant b) cant speak to them and c) the only way to get in touch is to FIRST post my CV. Then, if some 25 year old that has never done a day of consulting in his / her life would deem me worthy, I would perhaps get a call.

This is absurd - perhaps this works with grads - I have over 12 years experience and am on 200k. Im sorry but I think they have just lost what would have been a very lucrative fee.

What a profession.

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#6 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 10:11

Defence to Ian (#5)

That's a bit steep! They are not all like that. If you have a situation where you get poor service why not take action against the particular company/recruiter rather than blaming the whole industry? I had terrible service from a local garage recently but I don't now hate all mechanics. Not all of them anyway.

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#7 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 11:31

Alison to deleted (#0)

DO you not see that he specifically names EM consulting above?

I agree, they are the bottom of the bottom. I am surprised that companies still give them roles...

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#8 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 11:45

A Recruitment Consultant to Alison (#7)

As a recruitment consultant I agree that it is completely unacceptable that you did not receive a call back and would contact the consultancy saying you wish to deal with them directly due to the poor service you have received from your recruitment consultant. However, I strongly disagree that we are “jokers” and “twits” that don’t deserve “respect”.

Every minute of my working day is dedicated to placing people into jobs with management consultancies. Within a market with around 20 vacancies for each of my 47 roles, candidate relationships are key and I pride myself on mine. No personal recommendation or referral can prepare you for an interview as well as I can when I have probably had at least 4 people interview for that role this week. I hear candidate feedback about questions asked and HR feedback about what went horribly wrong and what they loved. When an offer is based, on average, after three hours of time with your potential employer, my advice is invaluable.

I am always worried when candidates say that recruiters ignored their CV but they were placed elsewhere. Stating the obvious, recruiters only make money if they place people. Therefore if your CV suggests in any way that you could be suitable for a role, there is absolutely no reason why we would ignore it. Unfortunately however, I see at least 30 CVS a day where people have ignored basic requirements and argue that they are perfect for a role they are not. Likewise if I spent all day on the phone to people calling in I wouldn’t ever make any money, a ridiculous business suggestion, close to me suggesting you simply win business, trust and relationships but never actually conduct any projects.

If you find the correct consultant they will go out of their way to be honest with you and direct you into a role they think you can get. Otherwise they are simply wasting their valuable time. I myself used a great agency for my last move and if I was considering a move again would go back to my contact there. That’s my recommendation – if you’re looking for a role ask friends that recently joined or left which consultant helped them. And if we say we can’t help you- don’t see us asarrogant or stupid , just honest that we currently don’t have vacancies suitable to your experience.

Lastly be assured that management consultants are not always angels. Regularly candidates will say they haven’t met clients when they have, say they’ll turn up for interviews and don’t, and say they are looking for a job when really all they want is to use the new offer as a bargaining tool with their current employer for a pay rise. I am wise enough however to realize that this is the nature of my game and that I am dealing with people not machines. Not every candidate of mine is nightmare and nor is every recruitment consultant.

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#9 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 11:45

JJ to Alison (#7)

I agree EM are the worst.

....also I suspect companies don't give them roles. I applied several times for roles advertised on their site for which, on paper, I would be ideally suited, yet had no response.

I note many of the roles they advertise are the same ones they had a year ago. Probably non-existent. Perhaps someone from EM would like to comment?

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#10 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 15:28

Musicalnotes to anon (#1)

As a search consultant I take a particular interest in threads like this - not least because I get to see just how appalling some of my competitiors are, and also to see those credible and dedicated recruiters among us trying to defend the minority of good recruiters whom are tarnished with the brush thst should be reserved for the majority. And I do mean the majority.

The problem is that within any given rec firm you are dealing with an individual - there is no standard performance metric to which all recruiters even within one firm operate; you can speak to a great recruiter and a terrible one within the same firm. But I guess that is as true of McKinsey as it is of say Heidrich & Struggles, let alone mickey mouse operations like EM or MP.

Name the bad rec firms by all means, but bear in mind that there will be some good ones in there who are doing a great job, work to the best interests of both candidates and clients, and whom resent the poor standards around them both in their firm and across the industry. I dont work with either EM or MP (thank God!), but frankly wouldn't want to be judged on the mediocrity of some of my so called fellow recruiters.

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#11 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 16:00

RecruitGal to Musicalnotes (#10)

I'm a recruitment mgr for a consulting firm.

I was left speechless this morning when a junior person from a recruitment firm called me up to ask me for additional feedback about a candidate that we had interviewed and rejected two weeks ago. It turns out that they hadn't even told the candidates the outcome of the interview! After two weeks! They had been given our feedback the day after the interview, but hadn't bothered to tell the poor individual, who presumably thinks my firm are now (a) incredibly impolite, and/or (b) complete bunch of incompetents.

This kind of thing makes me crazy...

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#12 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
13/12/2006 16:38

On the other hand .... to RecruitGal (#11)

On the other hand I work with the majority of the management consultancy firms eg Deloitte, Accenture, IBM, Ernst & Young, PA ....... and can assure you that only one of these firms always gives feedback the following day. I am forever making excuses for delayed feedback and roles being put on hold.

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#13 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
14/12/2006 16:13

Balance to On the other hand .... (#12)

I've worked with a few who never provide feedback, others that come back after 6 weeks asking if the candidate is still available, others who run a full application lifecycle - interviews included - when the work has not yet been won and only inform us of this after 2 weeks work.

It goes both ways.

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#14 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
14/12/2006 16:54

Tony Restell ( to Balance (#13)

I think a very important point has been made which I would very much like to emphasise. Within any recruitment firm there can be some consultants whose professionalism leaves a lot to be desired - and within the same firm there can be individuals who are absolute gems. I would therefore certainly endorse the view that it's worth seeking the advice of your friends and peers to see which recruiters they have worked with that have really impressed in the past.

Having spoken with several of the biggest consulting brands in the last fortnight, I can confirm that they are still making 50-60% of their hires through recruitment consultancies / headhunters - so refusing point blank to work with any recruitment consultant is just harming your career. The key is to identify those individuals who are most likely to represent you in the professional manner that you would expect to be represented.

The results of our most recent reader survey identified the following seven individuals as recruitment consultants that readers felt had gone beyond the call of duty and who they would unquestionably recommend to others. I list these individuals below in the hope that this helps readers who have had disappointing experiences with recruiters in the past. This annual survey is currently being re-run and the updated reader votes will be published in February. In the meantime, try:

>> Chris Sale - Prism Executive Recruitment

>> Martin Hancock - Prism Executive Recruitment

>> Angela Heath - Beament Leslie Thomas

>> Andrew Bott - EM Consulting

>> Nick Coppin - Holker Watkin (formerly @ Madison Maclean)

>> Karl Mann - The Cornell Partnership

>> Victoria Lack - Prism Executive Recruitment

Hope this proves helpful.

Tony Restell (

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#15 RE: Those recruitment consultants...
14/12/2006 20:57

Random Acts of Language to Tony Restell ( (#14)

Tony, interesting that several of those you list are with firms being slated by contributors to the board. I make no comment on what it means but would agree that I've worked with good and bad in most firms I've worked with, both Consultancies and recruitment firms.

I'm also conscious that the vocal contributors may not be representative, so treat comments with a pinch of salt. People don't tend to recognise firms or people for doing their job, they just find fault. Of in my former life as a telecoms manager, nobody ever thanks you when the telephone works.

Notwithstanding all of that I'm going to have a mild bitch about one of the ''big four'' advisory firms, internal recruiters. After about two weeks of phone calls and emails asking me to submit an up to date CV for a role which looked quite interesting I got a standard ''thankyou for your interest'' email with no useful feedback. A phone call to the persistent recruiter elicited nothing useful either. Not so much annoyed but frustrated that after the enthusiasm to get my CV I didn't even get the courtesy of a personalised knock back.

So it's not just the recruitment firms which have weaknesses.

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