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Name collectors

#1 Name collectors
12/11/2008 09:11


Having contacted a few agencies advertising various consultancy roles, it now appears to me that it is common practice for agencies to advertise for positions that do not actually exist. They say they are recruiting "Managing Consultants for Big 4" or suchlike, but when you phone them up, nobody knows anything about it. Some are a little more specific about their non-existant vacancy, making it more difficult to spot that they are lying. Do any of you guys have any tips for spotting these time wasters at an early stage? Also, any tips for dealing with agents generally (in particular, being able to tell which are the good ones and which just want to collect CVs or shove you into any old role as fast as they can)? Thanks!

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#2 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 09:48

been there to Cynic (#1)

ask them to send you the role spec, if they spin you some yarn about how its not a specific role and that it is general hiring, get your spikes on and run the other way

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#3 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 13:41

anon to Cynic (#1)

The adverts often give a clue. Vaguely worded adverts, or those which claim to be recruiting a "number of roles" for "a Big 4 firm" tend to be suspect. Adverts which are repeated in the same form over a long period are often catch-alls. Similarly, adverts which were posted a long time ago and have not been taken down are either not connected to a real role, or were connected to a long-filled post. A final clue is adverts for posts which are "too good to be true" (graduate roles paying £50k, etc.). If you ever come across a certain advert for graduates to undertake strategy consulting in the mining & metals industry, you can see that as the classic example of a fake advert.

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#4 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 13:43

rollercoaster to anon (#3)

Any recruitment monkey that says a friend recommended you. Or even worse, a friend recommended you through linked in.

Do you want to hear my impression of a dialling tone?

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#5 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 14:59

The Hunter to rollercoaster (#4)

Rollercoaster - I can only assume you are junior level and are not good enough to actually be referred.

As a "proper" recruiter, I do a huge amount through friend and colleague referrals. Networking is a massive part of what I do and I'll always ask the question after a referral, "do you mind if I tell x that you referred them?" Often they will say no they'd rather I didn't.

Funny though that I've never had a problem with that approach because more senior people understand the game!

Back to the original post, it is a problem and there is no easy answer, one tip I would say is ask about names within the target company i.e. "who are you dealing with there?" If they don't know or are unwilling to tell you then they probably don't have a firm mandate. I guess I would also ask as early as possible, "do you have a current role / firm madate from the client to talk to me about?"

Whilst it still doesn't count for too much yet you might as well check that they are REC registered which at least means they are supposed to be acting ethically (although how much the rules are upheld or regulated is still debatable).

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#6 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 15:13

Mars A Day to The Hunter (#5)

REC registered is very important: there are only so many times one can read and re-read the back of a box of Frosties or Golden Grahams before it all gets overwhelming and we need something even less taxing to look at - such as their mickey mouse diplomas. Incidentally the firm I work for is REC accredited and I couldn't care less if the REC board came round and danced naked on my laptop.

Simple answer is when talking to the recruiter do they actually know the firm well enough to represent you? They should have a real sense of the firm's culture, hiring processes, hiring priorities etc, and what has worked/not worked for candidates before - if they have a clear mandate they will have been inducted into the inner circle with the client, probably already have a track record, and will be able to talk about them with some authority. The name gatherers tends to be quite vague, and talk quite generically.

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#7 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 15:21

Blunt to The Hunter (#5)

There are some good job agencies and job agents, but there are LOADS of crap job agencies and job agents. Filtering the crud is a tiresome process which will sap alot of your personal time and I wouldn't recommend it.

Yes, they are able to post a job advert riddled with lies, enticing people in to give their CVs, have a chat and for the job agent not to give anything away. The crux of it is the CV doesn't go anywhere except populate their database for the anticipation they receive REAL adverts from employers.

The other people on this thread have given some sound hints of how to shift through the crud, but your best bet is to research and go direct to employers, bypassing the problems you currently face.

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#8 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 16:00

Dan to deleted (#0)

Call me naive, but is 'name collecting' such a bad thing?

Many people start the hunt for a new job by supplying their CV to firms without a strong sense of who they want to work for - only what they want to do.

In these cases, meeting the recruiter for a generic chat will surely be of some use - once they know you better, they can make recommendations about what roles, companies etc. are best for you.

I am always dubious however when a recruiter rings me up unprompted / out of the blue - they had better have a client name ready for me within the first 2 minutes...!

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#9 RE: Name collectors
12/11/2008 16:15

rollercoaster to deleted (#0)

Networking is key - but recruitment monkeys have cottoned on to that and lie. However they don't have your number so just speculatively call via the switchboard. A true referral is more likely to be a direct call.

'The Recruiter' From a recuiters perspetive you should question why someone is providing a name but not willing to be name checked in your call. I could provide some good names of useless people where I am for you to call just so we get rid of them!

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