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Re: Recruitment Agencies

#1 Recruitment Agencies
25/03/2003 00:00


Has anyone had success through a recruitment agency this year?

I believe they are a dying breed. Any feedback/experiences welcomed.

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#2 Re: Recruitment Agencies
25/03/2003 00:00


Hi Jennifer

Last year, when I was looking, I was very surprised that the offer I received through Prism (Technology, media etc sectors) was much more attractive than those that I generated thru my own network. I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking, esp. in the Technology, Media sectors (and others, for all I know). As my example demonstrates, even when transaction rates are low, good companies are looking for good recruits. Any way those two are brought together, counts as a success in my book.

To repeat, no-one was more surprised than me that the agency worked best in this instance.

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#3 don't rule them out!
25/03/2003 00:00

Tony Restell,

Jennifer. As we speak to most HR Managers in consulting each month, below is our overview of what is happening.


By way of introduction, though, I would start by comparing the need for recruitment consultants' services with the need for management consulting services... You know how you sometimes talk to people who just can't understand why clients would ever employ external consultants rather than use their own inhouse talent to sort out problems? There are some very compelling reasons why clients DO use consultants, and there are equally some compelling reasons why HR Managers will ALWAYS make use of recruitment consultants. Here are some of the key reasons; then my overview of what is happening in the market:<br><br>

1. Insufficient internal resources to find and hire the necessary staff (in today's market, most internal recruiting departments have been scaled back enormously, so consulting firms don't have the resources to hire en masse when multiple requirements appear)<br><br>

2. Political considerations (a firm that is in the media because they are making redundancies may be very reluctant to openly advertise for new requirements - imagine the backlash! But these firms do still need to fill key skills gaps and ARE still recruiting - but it's all through recruitment consultants)<br><br>

3. Candidate reach (a third of all consultants are quite happy in their job and do not actively respond to job adverts. The only way to attract these people is to directly approach them, which requires the services of a recruitment consultant / headhunter).<br><br>

4. ...There are more, but I think you get the point<br><br>

The reality in the market is that a lot of HR departments have become very cost-conscious, and often only pay recruitment consultants based on results (actual hires). When incentivised in this way, recruitment consultants naturally have to prioritise spending time with candidates they stand a good chance of placing, rather than all good candidates.<br><br>

This can mean that very good consultants are treated with indifference by a particular recruitment consultancy - simply because they have no roles on their books that require that consultants' particular skillset. Recruitment consultants take a lot of stick for this, but as a candidate you have to realise that these people often receive hundreds of CVs each week and simply have to prioritise in this way - or go bankrupt!!<br><br>

But this isn't an argument for not using recruitment consultants at all - it just means that you need to spend a bit of time figuring out which ones can help you in the current market climate. A large proportion of all consulting recruitment STILL goes through recruitment consultants, so ruling them out altogether simply means you are ruling out being considered for a lot of the opportunities you would like to be interviewing for.<br><br>

So in conclusion - take a balanced approach. By all means apply direct, but also find a recruitment consultant who wants to help you and let them work their magic too! Hope that helps and good luck with your career search. Tony

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#4 Re: Recruitment Agencies
27/03/2003 00:00


Hi Jennifer

as already mentioned by Tony, there are numerous reasons why employers will utilise the services of a recruitment or search and selection organisation. In some ways I agree with you, for junior to medium skilled consultancy staff, the internet has opened up many channels for perspective clients and candidates to market themselves, cutting out the need for agency intervention. However, when the level of staff needed requires &quot;business justification&quot; to ensure that sign off prevails for the hire, this is where a search and selection organisation such as ERG International can assist. As aforementioned by Tony, not all Professional Services employees are actively looking, particularly those that are enjoying success in a tight market place with their current organisation, this is where knowledge of the market place and hidden candidates acquired by Headhunters like ourselves brings extra benefit and justification for the fees we charge. When opting for assistance injob seeking, ensure that you deal with an organisation that can talk with knowledge about your market place and can show examples of work that they have done in the past for someone with a similar skillset to yourself. Consider it in a consultative manner, do not send your CV out to numerous agencies, the likelihood is that the level of competition you have opened up will not be appreciated and time and effort given to you will be minimal. Strategically approach and research the organisations in line with your skillset, give them the qualification time they need with you and highlight a road map to success. Set them time limits and if success does not come, ask to be removed from their database and move on. If you would like further advice on how to create a winning relationship with a recruitment partner, please do feel free to get in touch.

Steve Morris

Sales Director - ERG International

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#5 Re: Recruitment Agencies
27/03/2003 00:00

Shoaib Anwar

HR was developed by large businesses as a filter to get what was required for the interest of that particular company seeking employees.

Recruitment Agencies are an extended arm into the the world for those particular companies.

What is really sad is that there is a lot of potential talent out there. This could really be like dicovering gems that could become an asset for any company.

But in the progress (the good years) of all large businesses HR was a perk for managers who in the old days use to have the responsibility. Not to forget reqruitment agencies they then became a playground for these HR experts.

I think if we remove both HR and Rec. Agencies and managers got hiring as part of their responsibility the world would be a different place. It can be done there are a lot of people who might disagree with me but it can be done. The resources invested in HR and recruitment can be invested in a fewer number of people who can actually work with the more productively in enhancing the business sector they are responsible for and could be more focused on the needed people.

Its sad that I have had a long carrier of 18 years of international consultancy jobs and just before 9/11 i was made redundant and have not got back into any job.

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#6 Re: Recruitment Agencies
27/03/2003 00:00

biradar c.p.

I am a chemical engineer with 13 years of experience. Presently working with LPA of India Limited. I am involved in conducting safety audits, fire investigations and training programmes on safety and loss prevention. Looking for openings in the other organisations engaged in safety and loss prevention or general insurance business.

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#7 Re: Recruitment Agencies
28/03/2003 00:00

Juan Carlos

Jennifer, these two guys Tony and Steve (rec Agents albeit), are basically waffling on to describe the past we once new. A lot of hot air and natural gases are being expelled. Recruitment consultants are not sustaining the value add and clear evidence is ubiquitous of shut-down. If Blair is the Poodle of Bush. Rec Agencies are the poodles jumping through the hoops of firms waving a bouncing cheque.

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#8 Re: Recruitment Agencies
28/03/2003 00:00


Shoaib are so right !!!

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#9 Juan - you're wrong
28/03/2003 00:00

Tony Restell,

Juan - has an internet job board and NO recruitment consultants. So when I comment on how much work is still going through recruitment agencies, and how much recruitment is being done by firms through direct advertising, these comments are based on FACT.<br><br>

The recruitment market in consulting has been difficult for over a year now. If recruitment firms are getting no business, how comes so many are still in business?! The reality is that the weaker recruitment consultancies have lost most of their business and gone bankrupt; the most professional firms still have lots of work. Top-Consultant's experience - a large proportion of all recruitment is still being done through recruitment firms. Rgds, Tony

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#10 Re: Recruitment Agencies
28/03/2003 00:00

Chris sale

Still here! Still placing people, albeit not quite as many! Lots of our clients ARE less active and it is not easy to rise to the hopes and expectations of the candidates who contact us because we have to be very focussed on business development and meeting the needs of our clients. In the current climate networking is, for many, a primary method of fining a new job: where we continue to do well is where a client has a very specific brief requiring a hard to find candidate. That is, after all, what they pay us for! Chris Sale, Director, Prism

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#11 Re: Recruitment Agencies
28/03/2003 00:00


I left the RAF last year after 16 years in management, project management and technical roles all requireing leadership and a variety of skills supposedly in demand in the comercial sector. Despite signing up to many agencies, I had no success and the only interviews I got was down to my own efforts in identifying the right person in the company I was interested in. Feedback from agencies was generally poor. That said, I have had more luck this year (Top-Consultant being one) but no real success to speak of. Of course, they could be doing the job but because we do not see what is happening behind the scenes, it is easy to suggest they may not be a successful avenue. It could just be my CV is not good enough but that is where the feedback is required. Interesting to hear some other views.


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#12 Re: Juan - you're wrong , maybe/maybe not
28/03/2003 00:00


Tony, I take your point on some reasonable earlier arguments which don't reveal &quot;between the lines&quot; political aspects. I am aware of big 4 consultancies hiring through local media (on the one hand) and trimming back the &quot;same internal skills&quot; employees with the other; to install (1) Lower salaries /poor contract terms (2) Advertising presence sending out the message &quot;we're still doing fine&quot;...when they are not. As far as Rec. Agents still in business...they don't much care for such goings on as long as the pay-cheque for placing comes in. Moreover, there are such things called &quot;business loans&quot; that help to gear flayling companies to weather the poor economic climate. Can you publish evidence &quot;statistical&quot; and backed up from a variety of sources other than from your Top consultant subscribers, &quot;a large proportion of all recruitment is still being done through recruitment firms&quot;. &quot;large&quot; is what in terms of population?

..and the success rate of applicants?

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#13 Re: Recruitment Agencies
31/03/2003 00:00

Phil Powell


Couldn't agree more!!!

I have just taken early retirement/redundancy after a banking career spanning 32 years all of which was international and has covered such 'mundane' jobs as managing director of an african country and latterly running multiple change management projects over 12 countries in africa rangings from Sierra Leone to Botswana and Kenya to Cameroon.

Like you I registered with agencies and guess what . Nothing....

Maybe its my age . As a 'senior citizen' at the tender age of 52 I have probably been written off by all the 30 somethings who run the agencies.

Yours in hope!!!!

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#14 Re: Recruitment Agencies
31/03/2003 00:00

Silvia Boschetto

I have had more success by using contacts, web jobsites and the newspapers than the recruitment agencies. When I tell them how many interviews I have had they are very suprised and everyone of them tells me not to expect too much as there isn't much out there so I don't know where they are looking or if they are too narrow/regimented in their approach.

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#15 Re: Recruitment Agencies
02/04/2003 00:00


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#16 Re: Recruitment Agencies
06/04/2003 00:00

Pascal Allouard

Dear Steve,

I am actively looking for opportunities in the consulting arena, after many years in IT and consulting as Enterprise Architect in CRM. I am very interested by your kind offer for further advice on how to create a winning relationship with you. My email is:

Best Regards,

Pascal Allouard

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#17 Re: Recruitment Agencies
07/04/2003 00:00

Mike Walker

Hi Jennifer,

Firstly where are you - I'm in Southern UK and agree with your sentiments plus more....

Recruiters have yet to learn something - we are the real clients and not the hiring firm. Sure they pay the inflated bill raised by the recruiter, but we provide the oil that lubricates the recruitment wheels. Were it not for a ready labour pool, their (recruiters) revenue stream would most likely evaporate - certainly their costs would rise in their attempts to access and source more human capital.

And yet from my experience, most of us get treated like a cheap tradeable commodity - often not even responded to and certainly no personalized feedback provided. I have had a complete NIL job success response to over 100 applications from recruiters despite being qualified to MBA level and having had years of solid, profitable business growth and devlopment experience.

I have also established that few recruiters run proper databases and neither do they scan their candidate data for various new opportunities as & when they get them.(as promised in the typical rejection letter).

Does anybody know if any recruiter or headhunters run a CRM system where the 'C' stands for candidate and not customer ?

So good luck to them because they are not on a winning strategy insofar as sustainability goes and one day when we are all gainfully re-employed, guess which strategy I will not be pursuing when it comes to employment of new staff especially given that recruiters spend far too much effort qualifying the past instead of measuring future potential.

This is yet another issue - what corelation exists between a candidates past success and future performance? Practically none, but its a foundation stone upon which the recruitment industry seems to be focussed - almost certainly they have lied to their clients as to its importance!

Sustainable competitiveness comes not from trying to maximise internal efficiencies, but from being creative and pursuing your core strength's relentlessly.

Recruiting I'm afraid to say has simply become a spare parts outlet which is foccused on finding replacement stock at the lowest possible cost - albeit pirate parts that wont stand up to long term use!

Its high time that companies woke up and realize that they don't get the 'best' candidates, but are typically sent a few 'easy invoiceable' ones that look the part and that won't fail before the guarantee is up....witness how many recruiters are squeeling that they are oversubscribed at the moment and cannot cope with the volumes of candidates?

If you can't stand the heat, get outta' the kitchen I say !

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#18 Re: Recruitment Agencies
07/04/2003 00:00

Mike Walker

Hello Chris,

Perhaps you can enlighten us all and provide some 'insider tips' on how we can get your attention in an oversubscribed market ?

I would also like to know how much of the typical job spec'n is actually a 'must have' because from my experience most companies have a very, very blinkered view of their operating environments and really are at a bit of loss when it comes to specifying a job and/or candidate. Witnesss how so many many ad's these days containing flowery and certainly hard to measure superlatives...'drive, innovative, persuasive, keen sense of (whatever) , self starter' etc , etc. I would love to know by what qualitative means these skills are measured - especially at the CV level, from where most of us get screened out?

As long as job specifications get published with subjective wording like this, the whole world will keep applying and your job won't get any easier! ( BTW, Do you guys actually read every single CV when a few hundred get sent in for each position going ??)

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#19 Recruitment Agencies
17/04/2003 00:00


Thanks very much for all those that answered. Special thanks to Juan,Shoaib, Mike & Phil; they certainly provided insight to this question (where I could not have read in a book).

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