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Fed up with fake job ads

#1 Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 10:32


Is anyone else out there also fed up with fake job ads? You know the sort - they usually read as follows:

STRATEGY CONSULTANT URGENTLY REQUIRED!!! For Big 4 or similar!!! We have a client who urgently needs a strategy consultant with experience of project management, financial services, public sector, energy industry and utilities. Salary £30K-£500K. Apply now quoting reference CW-JK451A/FF4M!!!

Then when you phone up, you end up talking to somebody who sounds like they've never used the phone before, let alone having the slightest clue about the ad you're calling about.

Anyone else encountered this?

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#2 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 11:22

Mr Cool to Anon (#1)

I'm afraid this is more and more common, despite what some recruiters who use this forum suggest.

Years ago agencies had to place expensive ads in the Sunday Times in order to atrract quality candidates. At 10k an ad, no one in their right mnd was going to place an ad for a job that didn't exist. Now most recruiters sign up to annual licenses to use the main job internet sites (they do not pay per ad). As such there is no incremental cost in placing false ads.

But why place these ads, even if they are free?

Firstly it makes the agency look busy (and by extension successful)

It also makes it look like the agency knows something about the niche in the false ad (e.g. Lean), and so clients thinking of recruiting Lean consultants might be attracted to using that agency.

It also allows the agency to stockpile CV's for use in a few years time when times are better and they are back to "Search" mode.

It also allows agencies to conduct telephone interviews with candidates where the main focus is on "fishing" for data on what other client companies are up to, who really is hiring (who else are you interviewing with? is a common question!)

And finally in large companies, it allows under pressure junior recruiters to con their bosses into thinking they have active placements to work on and thus wins them some breathing space from getting fired for not making target.

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#3 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 11:50

Tony Restell ( to Mr Cool (#2)

Just to add to the above, we have consistently over the years refused to offer unlimited job posting deals as we feel this undermines the quality of the adverts placed. We actually charge advertisers for each day that they have an advert on the site - so that they have a financial incentive to remove adverts the minute the roles have been filled (or the openings retracted). Whilst this isn't a foolproof system I would hope therefore that you do see a higher quality of adverts on Top-Consultant than elsewhere.

Tony Restell

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#4 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 12:36

ruth B to Tony Restell ( (#3)

As a specialist recruiter I come frm the other side of this and don't generally advertise my roles as the volume of sub standard or totally irrelevant applications I get is ridiculous - esp. if something is as juisy as an M&A role or Director level. Personal reccomendations and targeted headhunting is generally theway to go unless ther is a specific, ongoing need with a client.

Top consultant takes the right approach and I'd advertise here, but only when a client agrees.

Sometimes you need to contact decent recruiters directly to find out what is going on if you are on the market, or wait for the tergeted headhunt call!

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#5 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 16:53

Anon to ruth B (#4)


I sent you my CV recently but you didn't reply. Does that mean I am filed under irrelevant? or did I make it up to substandard?

It would have been nice if you could have let me know as I often see you posting on here to drum up business/candidates.

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#6 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 20:01

Anon to Anon (#5)

Are we allowed to name and shame on this forum? I have to say from my experience Mindbench are a disgrace. I see them advertising all sorts of brilliant jobs everywhere. I called them up, with specific job references, to talk about a few. The guy who spoke to me (I think hes the main guy there - the one who sends out their newsletters) was unbelievably rude)

- He dismissed the jobs I rang about

- He had no interest in me, he was clearly fishing for information about who is recruiting and as soon as I stupidly gave him some, he was itching to get off the phone

- And when I asked if I could send him my updated CV, he said "No, we've got one, that'll do" (the one they had was 9 months out of date, and considering I'm only a few years out of uni, thats pretty out of date)...disgraceful behaviour...

I am an unemployed management consultant (well, contracting atm) and I for one will be remembering who has treated me badly during this difficult time, and who has been polite, professional, and kind to me - there are some brilliant recruiters out there (like Ruth) and there are some disgracefully unprofessional ones - hopefully one day when our career's are back on track, we'll be in positions to reward those recruiters who've treated us well with our business, and to shun those who were unprofessional to us

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#7 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 20:23

Another anon to Anon (#6)

Hear hear. Had a similar experience with the company you mention. But they're not alone either.

Fortunately there are a few good guys out there who do at least take a few seconds to call you back. Won't name them here but you know who you are...

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#8 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
08/10/2009 20:44

james to Another anon (#7)

sorry guys, recruiters are just like estate agents - a total waste of time and out to make some cash on your years of hard work. anyone who thinks different are kidding themselves. Plus they have no or little understanding of consulting and danger of miss representing you in front of clients.

i found its better to go directly and network...

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#9 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
09/10/2009 09:14

Anon 3 to Anon (#5)

Anon - if you put your name as Anon on your application too, there's no wonder the recruiter couldn't get back to you :-)

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#10 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
09/10/2009 10:59

Richard Stewart to Anon (#6)


it has been brought to my attention that there is mention of Mindbench on this forum.

I am the Founder and Director of Mindbench would like to discuss directly with the person who says that they had a bad service. Please email me and we can organise a time to discuss this. I would like to understant more the nature of your experience and see if we can assist you.

We genuinely believe that we offer the best service to clients and candidates and operate with the highest levels of integrity at all times. There will be times when candidates are disappointed that they don't meet our clients tough requirements. Our focus is on the top-tier firms and the best candidates in the consulting market place. We would like to be in a position to offer every candidate in-depth career advice, however we acknowledge that candidates who dont meet our clients criteria will not neccessarily be given as much advice and guidance as those that do. This said, we will always be direct, honest and polite. If we can't help a candidate we will telll them that and we don't want to waste any candidates time by giving them a false impression of opportunities or their chances in the market.

Thanks, Richard MD and Founder Mindbench

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#11 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
09/10/2009 11:27

Bloggsy to Richard Stewart (#10)

Nice try at damage limitation! Though I think I know who I believe on this one.

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#12 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
09/10/2009 11:44

sm to Bloggsy (#11)

We need to differentiate here as there are two issues. One is about fake job postings, the other is about poor service from recruiters.

I am sure the first happens, although I can't understand what purpose it serves.

And I know the second happens as I've experienced it myself (Richard and others).

There are only two companies I can recall that have called me back as promised (BLT and Shilston for what its worth)

I wonder if we'll get any award-winning recruitment company on here to make a similar admission, it might help.

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#13 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
09/10/2009 21:12

Original Anon to Richard Stewart (#10)

Hi Richard, I am the original Anon who brought Mindbench into it. Nice attempt at damage limitation indeed.

As the poster above says, there are 2 issues: 1) fake job ads; and 2) unprofessionalism and lack of courtesy

I can't accuse Mindbench of doing (1), because I don't know this for a fact, althought I strongly suspect it is the case and with good reason.

However I can categorically confirm, from first-hand experience with you Richard, that you are a perpetrator of (2). I like your subtle attempt at undermining my argument and justifying your behaviour by suggesting that perhaps I am a substandard candidate. Firstly, as an Oxford Grad with 2 years at a genuinely top-tier strategy consultancy, I am surely not sub-standard, even if I admit I'm not someone with highly-sought-after experience. Secondly, since when did it become acceptable to be rude and unprofessional to people with less illustrious CVs anyway?

I would take up your kind offer of discussing this issue, however seeing as you managed to trick me into giving you the names of places I'm interviewing, I'm not going to risk you "getting your own back" in any way. Therefore I will remain anonymous.

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#14 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
10/10/2009 16:50

Sick and tired of scummy recruiters to Original Anon (#13)

Typical questions asked by recruiters:

-Tell me about your job. What's the name of your line manager? What's the name of your team? (trying to screw you by cold calling your boss and offering other candidantes).

Right answer: tell as little as possible. Concentrate on your skills and the tools you use rather than where you work and who your boss is.

-Where have you applied recently? How's the job search going? Have you had any interviews recently?

Right answer: I have just started looking and applied for a few roles, but havent had any interviews.

What is your current salary? (cheeky bast_e_rds).

I dont know the right answer to this one.

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#15 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
11/10/2009 13:41

John Smith to Sick and tired of scummy recruiters (#14)

I am not a recruiter but can understand where they are coming from as I have been in the industry in the past.

The cold hard truth is that it is an industry driven by targets. You try to maximise success by focusing your effort on money generating activity. Calling people back who aren't likely to immediately generate you money is putting effort into activities which are less likely to help your balance sheet.

Creating fake adverts however is a pointless waste of time to all stakeholders.

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#16 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
11/10/2009 17:51

another ex-recruiter to John Smith (#15)

Target of an ad is to generate candidates. Much better to advertise an interesting job that will attract 10 good candidates than a dull one.

Once you have candidates you have a telesales opportunity.

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#17 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
11/10/2009 17:55

another ex-recruiter to another ex-recruiter (#16)

....also recently I applied for one of those fake job ads and was invited for interview. I suspected the job was fake but I went anyway.

Now I had a face to face selling opportunity for other roles they might have in the near future.

It is all a silly game and highly irritating but then so is golf.

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#18 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
13/10/2009 14:38

Anon to another ex-recruiter (#17)

so what happened?

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#19 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
14/10/2009 10:05

Give as good as you get to Anon (#18)

Get your own back - send a fake CV with stunning credentials....

.....then keep avoiding their calls, answering briefly when you "are in a meeting and can't talk" etc.

See how long you can keep them hanging for before they give up on you. Prize goes to the one who winds up the recruiters the longest!

Game on!

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#20 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
14/10/2009 10:53

Walter Mitty to Give as good as you get (#19)

I got my own back on an agency by submitting an excellent but fake CV and then even went on the interviews....

It backfired when I go offered the job on a 100% salary increase. I took it and for a short while I was Head of Ortheopedic Surgery at a major hospital.

Unfortunately I'm not a doctor....

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#21 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
14/10/2009 11:26

seeker to Walter Mitty (#20)

You get the good with the bad when it comes to agents,

The skill is in spotting a bogus ad from a proper one - usually ones that have a very generic role description or broad salary range. Before I put in the effort to write a covering letter and update my CV, I'll ring the agent (most will have a phone number) to get a better idea of the role. If the agent isn't contactable or palms me off, then you know they're not worth your time.

Overall I've applied to about 30-40 ads and have selected only 2 to 3 agents which I work with. They're the good ones which will constantly keep in touch with you, build a relationship, and put forward solid roles at leading companies. I always try to meet an agent face-to-face to form that relationship.

Never feel that your at the mercy of agents to secure a role. They're probably under the same pressures to place candidates in order to get paid. And with any market, all the crap agencies will eventually go out of business if they develop a bad reputation.

I also note it's often the individual agent, and not necessarily the agency, which can mean the difference between opening or closing a door to a role.

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#22 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
15/10/2009 15:13

recruiter too to Anon (#1)

1) those who are shouting loudly about lack of professionalism and how poor agencies are almost always anonymous. I think personally that making accusations under a cloak of anonymity is also unprofessional but perhaps I am just old fashioned

2) Yes there are jobs which are clearly complete tosh. However there are lots of other reasons why jobs stay advertised: the agent didn’t put them on in the first place as job boards often pinch each others jobs or have reciprocal arrangements; sometimes jobs are listed for a minimum period ie 2-4 weeks and a lot can happen in that time; the agent may have made a mistake and often admin/process isn’t everyone’s forte (“recruiters are human” shock)

3) We really really really don’t want CVs for non existent jobs. My team and I spend many hours a day reviewing candidate profiles one way or another and fielding calls and an ad generates 40 responses for every candidate who’s of remote interest. Many of the candidates we send polite (but I am sorry, standardised) rejects to then ring up and ask for feedback (not complaining: just explaining) so it is an incredibly time consuming waste of time if we don’t have a job to fill

4) We ask where you are interviewing because we want to avoid wasting time if you’ve either already covered many of our clients or are so active in the market that realistically the chances of our helping you are slim. WE aren’t after leads as we don’t cold call as we prefer to get our work though our contacts. Yes we are interested in market knowledge but then so are you!

5) My team and I try really hard to return all calls and I’m very sorry it there’s anyone out there who we haven’t. It will happen though. I wonder how many of the people complaining always return calls from agencies? In my experience most don’t, at least not without a prompt even when they have registered with us.

6) There are loads of people reading this job board who will feel they have had a bad experience with my firm. I’m not complacent and I would prefer there were none but we are a small team receiving up to 1000 CVs a week. We WILL make mistakes and there will always be people who are convinced they are right for the role and are cheesed of when we say they are not and others who want a personalised “reject” service and are upset when they get a standard email

7) Why am I anonymous? Well for one I am not criticising anyone and then hiding and secondly I was racking my brains to think as to whether there was anything I could possibly gain from going public. I am not any of the firms mentioned.

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#23 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
15/10/2009 17:50

Mr Logical to recruiter too (#22)

Does point 7 not contradict point 1?

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#24 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
19/10/2009 14:34

anon to Mr Logical (#23)

"There are loads of people reading this job board who will feel they have had a bad experience with my firm"

So you are Rakesh Pabbi

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#25 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 15:43

Ruth Bannister to Anon (#5)

Dear Anon,

really sorry to hear that you sent me your CV and I did not come back to you - you may have caught me at a particulally bwad time or something. Want to apologise as I do generally get back to my candidates ( even those who are patently responding to any ad with a decent salary range). Could you resend - let me know you are from here - and I'll give you a call.

Many thanks

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#26 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 15:45

ruth to Ruth Bannister (#25)

sorry left my spelling at home today.

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#27 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 16:12

Mars A Day to ruth (#26)

I've never been so glad to know my balls are firmly attached to my body as when reading the obsequious, apologetic and frankly nonsense reassurances of recruiters... all this BS about 'I always call every candidate, no matter how irrelevant/plainly aspirational etc... we are devoted to customer service...' yadayada. If you are not right, I won't call you or take your call. Calling me 5 times in a row and threatening to complain won't endear you to me either. All I ask is that you can be identified and located - and I'll call YOU. All this cr@p about 'we call everyone' etc is not only a lie but debases what a decent HH spends all day doing.

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#28 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 16:56

Recruiter to Mars A Day (#27)

Thank you Mars, the truth. No chance these agencies with hundreds of responses to ads call everyone back.

One thing I would say though is that I do call everyone back. The only way people would know to call me is if they've been referred to me by someone who I've dealt with and, in the interest of keeping current relationships on good terms, that seems to make sense.

It takes very little time to tell someone nicely they are not suitable for my area and pass them on to other recruiters who deal with crap people. Having to do that once or twice a day is fine.

Not posting job adverts is generally a good way to cut down the pointless incoming calls for recruiters. That would also solve the fake job ads problem, win-win! Maybe ban mass advertising for open positions from multiple agencies, or have someone like the REC police it properly?

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#29 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 17:11

Mars A Day to Recruiter (#28)

I do make a point of responding directly to a referred individual, out of courtesy, but it is policy in my company that my team have to advertise (even though we then effectively ignore the response). I just think being honest if the best way forwards and I'm frankly sick and tired of both hearing recruiters apologise for not speaking to everyone who cannot be bothered to read an advertisement and make a reasonable assessment of their own suitability when they owe no such apology, and then lie about responding to EVERYONE in which case - if it were true - they would not be working in a search firm anymore because they would have made no revenue and be fired.

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#30 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
21/10/2009 18:19

ruth to Mars A Day (#29)

Mars, don't tar everyone with your own brush. I'm a niche recruiter and I work hard to deliver to candidates and clients and am happy to use my own name on such boards as I'm happy with the way I work. It takes 2 secs to send a standard reply and unless I've specified on the advert that only succesful candidates will be contacted I do endeavour to respond to all queries. If you can't be arsed then thats younot me.

So yah boo sucks.

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#31 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
22/10/2009 11:10

Mars A Day to ruth (#30)

Very commendable and efficient Ruth: you would make a good secretary.

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#32 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
22/10/2009 12:32

Recruiter too to Anon (#1)

I think that all MaD is showing is that he is a pompous git who is very puffed up with his own self importance. Trying to make a virtue out of the arrogance he displays doesn't do it for me or the candidates he ignores who will hopefully remember when/if they have the opportunity to influence recruitment decisions PS: “recruiter”: I didn’t say we get 1000 CALLS a week: only that we call back everyone who rings in and wants to speak to us

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#33 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
22/10/2009 12:58

Me too to Recruiter too (#32)

How do we know MaD is male? Maybe he and Ruth are the same person. Anyone seen Fight Club?

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#34 Responses to Job Ads
22/10/2009 14:51

Steve to Me too (#33)

Interesting! I’m somewhat under-employed at present, and have responded to a number of recruiter’s / agency’s ads. I’m selective, so only go for roles I believe I can do well in, yet often feel I’m emailing my particulars into an electronic black hole. I would expect the common courtesy of – at least – an acknowledgement, if someone has ‘gone fishing’, and I’ve bitten and gone to the extent of tailoring an appropriate cover letter.

Last week someone asked me to send CV etc. It didn’t arrive, yet I had nothing to indicate anything was awry. He phoned again, and I re-sent, using various addresses, and a test message with no attachments. I copied myself and received them …but not a flicker at his end. Why and how often this happens I've no idea. I subsequently emailed another recruiter asking if he'd received an earlier application (I’d had no response), and he said not, although he obviously got the later one... and was obviously prepared to take the time to reply to that.

I've certainly had trouble with emails in the past. I 'request read receipt', but some folk ignore / decline as it's sort of nagging. Sometimes things cannot be delivered because I've sent them to wrong address; sometimes they return with 'mailbox was full'; sometimes I've attached something too big (which all has to come back again!). There's one consultancy I worked with (who insisted I use their address with their clients) that had a server which often replied 'trying to deliver...' etc. for a day or two, and then said it had failed. I don’t believe any of these reasons explain my recent email problems.

I regard it as common courtesy to at least acknowledge a response to adverts. Including the line ‘if you don’t hear from us you may assume you have been unsuccessful’ doesn’t discharge the requirement for courtesy. Also, that assumption may be wrong – and, if the recruiter is genuine, they might be doing themselves a disservice, as well as potential recruits – and, of course, their clients.

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#35 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
22/10/2009 17:03

Mars A Day to Recruiter too (#32)

To mu detractors... Me? Arrogant? If you want to think that, go ahead. Perhaps your relationships with clients are so fragile that you cannot waste a single opportunity to sell yourself and your services. It's not me that is pompous and arrogant (today at least) it's the vast majority of recruiters who all parade all this integrity, customer care nonsense like a bunch of frustrated HR line wanabees. I think it is hypocrisy and no wonder most recruitment agents are held in such little regards - you can't even be honest with yourself let alone the market.

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#36 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
22/10/2009 20:11

R2D2 to Mars A Day (#35)

Seems we have now reached a point of outright war between HH's - good sport but not paricularly useful. Bottom line is you recruiters are in this for the money and if candidates don't meet the spec or stand a reasonable chance of getting the job you don't bother with them and 99% of time don't call back so stop pretending. Personally I wouldn't wait for a HH to call me back anyway - 24hrs after I send an application I'm going to phone you, I'm the one that's looking for employment, not the recruiter.

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#37 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
23/10/2009 08:02

Anon to R2D2 (#36)

Only 24 hours?

I tend to call around 24 seconds after I have sent the app.

Then, I call again approximately every 2-3 hours to chase progress.

You can tell I have a background in software sales, no?

It works a charm!

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#38 RE: Fed up with fake job ads
23/10/2009 09:34

Mars A Day to R2D2 (#36)

R2D2 - bang on.

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