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Dealing w/ recruitment consultants

#1 Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
16/03/2009 10:05


Hi al,

Have never used them before but now am applying for jobs.

2 questions:

1. Should you always follow up an application for a role (sending cv and covering note) with a phone call or is it assumed they will phone you if they're interested and phoning them won't make any difference to that?

2. Our office attire is very casual. Whilst I would obviously wear a suit and tie for a job interview does this apply when you go to see a recruiter also?

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#2 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
16/03/2009 10:26

Mars A Day to anon (#1)

2 answers:

1. Would YOU want every person who sends you an email or piece of correspondence to CALL you, often repeatedly throughout the day? No.

2. If you cannot be bothered to make an effort with your appearance when meeting a recruiter, why should they bother with you either? Approach the recruiter/HH meeting like you would an actual job interview.

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#3 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
17/03/2009 11:30

Tony Restell ( to anon (#1)

Some interesting insights from Andy @ Sirona on these and related topics of finding work through a recruitment agency. Well worth a read:

<a href= target=_blank>Ten things you MUST understand when looking for a job</a>

Tony Restell

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#4 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
17/03/2009 13:04

jj to Tony Restell ( (#3)

"Would YOU want every CALL you"

They may not want you to call but you should call anyway. Many times I have sent CVs via recruiters websites and when I phoned they had clearly not seen my CV.

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#5 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
17/03/2009 14:54

Mars A Day to jj (#4)

jj chances are they HAVE seen your CV but don't want to waste time in an argument about suitability, often hinging on definition of words, a candidate interpreting an advertisement as somehow paramount to a contract, or some other complaint that they are (unfairly) being exluded.

Like this:

Advert for strategy consultant, calls from 4+ years experience in a recognised strat house , say with some exposure to M&A, an MBA from a recognised bs etc

Candidates will apply by the dozen and more with 8 years experience at Bearingpoint or Telstra telecom or somesuch, read a book on M&A, and who needs an MBA - got an MBA from school of hard knocks etc. Tell them they are not right and they demand feedback, say that their JD at Telstra or wherever was as 'Strategy Consultant' so they have the right experience, or that they have been working on SME projects (aka working for their mates and some cheap fixed price work for a local wholesaler) which involved 'strategising' etc.

If you send your CV to any recruitment agent/HH for a role you are RIGHT for, or even for a role they are confident they could sell you into, they WILL call you - it's in their interests to do so.

Otherwise my previous post applies nihil obstat.

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#6 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
17/03/2009 17:06

DCF to Mars A Day (#5)

That's all very well if you are a competent and honest consultant. Experience suggests that there are more than a few incompetent and dishonest ones, who are genuinely incapable of tracking applications and who have no brief to find candidates for the job advertised and who provide no other service than emailing your CV to some person of no importance in HR, who then ignores it.

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#7 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
17/03/2009 18:00

jj to DCF (#6)

Mars - pleased to hear you work that way but many don't!

My last job was advertised by a well known agency. I sent my CV and was not called. I chased and they did not return my calls. So I applied direct to the company and got the job.


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#8 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
18/03/2009 10:58

Mars A Day to jj (#7)

jj good to hear; I would add a couple of points, which are not meant as an excure - the sooner some of the cowboys are run out of this industry the better...

1. they may not have actually had a mandate with the client.

2. was the ad one of these generic 'we have lots of opps' type ones? They are usually for gathering CVs and have no jobs attached to them - avoid.

3. the recruiter may not have had the experience or relationship with the client to understand or explore the suitability.

4. your experience may have been off profile according to what the RC had from the client - you would be surprised how may recruiters will fail to fully map a requirement, so that critical points and areas of compromise are missed

5 the RC may simply have been incompetent/lazy (most likely).

But the point I'm making jj and DCF is that chasing a recruiter is rarely useful - if they cannot get back to a suitable candidate quickly, how will they handle the selection process, fight your corner to help you groom your application throughout, and handle the offer negotiations?! I work with candidates right up to the point where ink hits paper on the contract, check everyone is happy (client AND candidate) and move on.

the other point is of course the sheer volume of unsuitable applications from any advert one cares to run - it's shocking and hugely time consuming. I'd hire a few monkeys from some well known cowboy outfits to screen them all for me but I expect they would struggle to open the email, let alone judge someone's potential for a role correctly.

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#9 Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
18/03/2009 12:13

Pete to Mars A Day (#8)

Ha! I applied for a job via the recent recruiting fair that I know I can do to be told I was not suitable. I suspect turning 40 may have had something to do with it of course.....

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#10 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
18/03/2009 13:02

Recruiter to Pete (#9)

you know you were suitable for? As a recruiter I've heard that a lot, you mention your age, if you are 40 and looking for a role in a management consultancy you should be at least on £90k, if not a lot more. A lot of companies use age as a bench mark of how good people are, in consultancies salaries are generally similar, so if someone is on a much lower salary it often shows they are not good enough/aspirational enough/good at leading or managing teams etc.

The number of people who feel they are spot on for a role is unbelievable.

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#11 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
18/03/2009 13:08

jj to Pete (#9)

Mars mentioned candidates reading job ads too literally. I think recruitment consultants are much more extreme than candidates in taking client requirements as if they were carved in stone tablets.

The client says he wants someone from FMCG does not mean at the expense of good candidates from other industries. As a consultant I have worked in many sectors and underneath they are all the same.

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#12 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
18/03/2009 13:32

Recruiter to jj (#11)

But if a client says he wants FMCG candidates then that is where you are going to look. If I had someone who was not FMCG but still had relevant skills I would forward it to the client with caveat of 'I know he doens't have FMCG but his skill set is very strong etc...'

Essentially, as a recuriter you can only go on what a client wants, and for us it is frustrating too as if we could place more people, we'd get more money. We're not trying to stop people getting jobs, we're trying to make money like everyone else!

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#13 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 09:11

recruiter too to Recruiter (#12)

If I put my number on it’s because I am happy to take a call. However it is NOT worth calling if you want to find out who my client is. It is also NOT worth calling if you want to “clarify the spec” i.e. I’ve asked for x experience and you don’t have it. In a similar vein it is NOT worth calling if you don’t match the requirements. More than ever our clients will only pay us to find a square peg for a square hole: so if I ask for depth in FMCG and experience in a major consulting firm that’s what I want. You may well be able to do the job but you are not what my client will pay me to shortlist .It IS worth calling if you want to check I sound professional because otherwise you might not send your CV, but make sure you come up with a sensible chat up line otherwise I might wonder why you’ve wasted both of our time!

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#14 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 10:07

Rceruit to recruiter too (#13)

I would also say, as a recruiter, that there really is no point in calling. If your CV has been sent and you receive nothing back to indicate it did not arrive then you will be called if you are deemed suitable.

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#15 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 10:14

recruit2 to Rceruit (#14)

In addition I guess that alot of people on here who have been or are in a hiring capacity themselves. If you are hiring and you know what skills a candidate will need to do the job, would you be happy with a recruitment consultant who then supplies five applicants who don't have the correct skills?

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#16 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 10:18

Cynic to recruit2 (#15)

Hi recruiter2, yes - I would go for intelligence over knowledge any day. My rationale being: just because somebody has 5 years experience of doing XYZ and knows all the lingo inside out, it doesn't necessarily mean they were actually any good at it.

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#17 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 14:25

jj to Cynic (#16)

Importance of specific experience is vastly overrated in recruitment. You may have a round hole to fill but in six months the business will have changed anyway and the hole will be square.

Much more important is getting quality people who can demonstrate achievements in a wide range of roles rather than this week's specialist subject.

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#18 RE: Dealing w/ recruitment consultants
20/03/2009 16:26

anon to jj (#17)

However, right now, employers are asking for people who are bright and capable, but also have specific experience of doing the job before and will be happy to do it day-in, day-out for the next few years. It's a risk management approach - no point hiring people with vast unrealised potential and ambition if the state of the business won't allow for that ambition to be realised.

It may be short-sighted, but that's what's driving hiring the hiring decision. As we all know, clients don't always take their consultants' (recruitment or otherwise) advice about looking to the long-term rather than responding to short-term stressors :-)

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