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Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.

 
#1 Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
16/02/2010 16:31

Agent 01

In this day and age, what can a recruitment consultant add to my career?

The ones I have spoken to lately have been not very helpful at all. They seem to understand not one iota what it is that a management consultant does.

Many of them call themselves 'headhunters' but I'm not convinced that many of these do much more than collect CVs of candidates that are not actively on the market and then apply for jobs on their behalf, in the hope that they might 'score'.

The higher-end recruitment consultants (let's name no names) seem to be fairly far up their own bottom and pretend to know more about consultancy than the experienced consultant that is seeking their advice about career opportunities. They seem to know almost everything about management consultancy... except how to help you get a better job.

I'm sure there are some good ones out there, but they must be rare. So... How can one navigate this cowboy-ridden field and get through to the diligent, conscientious agents that actually understand the sector and add value to a hopeful candidate's career?

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#2 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
16/02/2010 17:02

Egg to Agent 01 (#1)

I work in recruitment and would be interested to know whether the above opinion is wide spread - every thread I read on here about agencies is negative.

Also what do people (in a hiring position) really think about; A - The 'speccing' of CV's, B - Cold calls coming through to them, C - Being asked for a reference prior to a request for business?

Are these methods pointless? Do they do more harm than good?

If so what methods would you advise for gaining business?

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#3 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
16/02/2010 17:16

Mars A Day to Agent 01 (#1)

Agent 01 I share your pain. Not least because I sit opposite a colleague who a) obstructs my view of more interesting people which in itself is a cause to rile the beast of Mars and b) because I listen to this individual, day after day, droning on to MCs telling them their business like it's day one of 'How to be a management consultant and sound like one'.

But how do you quantify adding value to your career? And more important I guess, why do you think it is the job or interest of the recruitment agent/HH to assist your career anyway? By placing you into a role we gain a fee. Whether that role fits in with your career aspirations and the plan you have is frankly your concern. No matter what level of the market one works at, we quickly learn that the candidate is the HH's best friend - while they think that the HH can get them a payrise, better office, nicer car etc - and that esteem dispates quickly when the candidate fails to secure the position in question. You see us as a route to an opportunity, a commodity which has no place in your consideration other than to provide a benefit to you - so why expect otherwise in return?

Egg, the tactics you describe are commonplace but if you have to ask - on a public forum - whether these tactics are pointless, or do more harm than good, I suspect you already know the answer.

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#4 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
16/02/2010 20:05

Jerry McGuire to Agent 01 (#1)

To all consultants that think Headhunters are rubbish.

I agree and I am about to put my money where my mouth is by opening a brand new agency that will finally treat management consultants the way agents in other industries treat their most valuable commodities – their people.

My agency will not simply place you in a job and then forget about you.

First we will meet with you face to face and give you a genuine assessment of what roles and salary you can achieve based on your individual skills.

Second, we will get you that dream job while you continue to do your day job.

Third, we will monitor your progress and suggest ways to enhance your marketability.

Fourth, at appropriate junctures we will place you at career crossroads, giving you two or three excellent and tailored opportunities and advise you on which road to take.

Sounds good eh?

There is one thing. As we are adopting the business model of agencies from outside the recruitment world, we will be matching their method of generating income.

This means:

1) Consultants will be required to sign an exclusive arrangement with my agency. You can only accept a job if you come through me.

2) We will be taking 10% of your lifetime earnings.

Which of you Management Consultants would like to sign up, you bunch of whinging, moronic, wouldn’t know a business model if it kicked them up the ar$e, "please-please-please, I need a job quick cause I never knew the recession would extend to my industry", dolts.

Your sincerely,

Jerry “show me the money” McGuire

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#5 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 13:16

Recruiter too to Jerry McGuire (#4)

We are a mixed bunch from cockroaches at one end to former Big 5 partners at the other. Some of us know an awful lot about the market and others don’t. Some of us add value and others don’t.

Ultimately finding a decent recruiter is a lottery and best done on personal recommendation. A good recruiter won’t cover the entire market but WILL come up with options you wouldn’t have thought of whether they be real jobs or SELECTIVE speculative approaches ie marketing you to firms you wouldn’t have thought of or had time to approach. They can also be invaluable in moving along the process and helping you get the best package. Quite frequently I am astonished at how cr*p firms are at recruiting and wonder how on earth they would manage without my help! Clearly often however they manage very well!

Never forget however that a) an employer will only pay an agency fee to find someone they can’t get themselves which often means agencies can only help candidates with particular in-demand skills or a particular CV profile b) as “Jerry” has suggested most of us only get a fee if we place you and YOU don’t actually give us anything at all! How many consultants would work on that basis? This is the business model our clients dictate to us which invariably means the similarity with estate agents is more than skin deep.

Our firm DO make an effort to treat candidates with respect even if we can’t help them but frankly there are a lot of candidates out there that just treat us like dirt.

Rant over!

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#6 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 13:56

Forum Fan to Recruiter too (#5)

Recruiter too - just the same as in any industry.

And I am not a recruiter before the usual rubbish email about "well you would say that wouldn't it" appears.

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#7 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 14:11

kev to Agent 01 (#1)

I totally agree with the comments made here

My advice is this: -

If you can avoid using recruitment consultants, then do so!!

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#8 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 14:15

Sam to Agent 01 (#1)

In my 20 years in industry I have never come across a recruitment consultant who really knows what they are talking about

As far as I am concerned, they are all a bunch of Cowboys!

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#9 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 14:31

Not anon to deleted (#0)

....bit like estate agents?

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#10 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 14:46

Jerry McGuire to Sam (#8)

In my 30 years of recruiting I have never comes across anyone called Sam who was worth hiring.

In addition my advice is this: if you can can get through life without knowing anyone called Kev - do so!

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#11 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/02/2010 16:07

Recruiter to Agent 01 (#1)

Great, another pointless thread.

Given there are around 10,000 recruitment companies in the UK, let alone individual recruiters, what you're really saying by generalising like that is you don't like/trust people in general.

As has been pointed out, it's more likely the problem is with you.

Sam - I find it hard to believe anyone can have a 20 year career "in industry" without meeting a recruiter who knows what they're talking about. This is either a lie, or you're proving you have social skills equivalent to those of a chipmunk.

To the OP, in answer to your question, do what you'd do when using any services. Talk to people and compare them. As has also been said this is a free service for candidates, recruiter quality generally reflects candidate quality.

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#12 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
19/02/2010 11:57

mac to Recruiter (#11)

Someone once said to me 'the only person who gives a sh1t about your career is you'.

Recruiters are after a fee (and presumably some future business and word-of-mouth referrals). Candidates should be reasoonable in their aspirations and manage their own career path.

Recruiters may be able to assist with the career path but should not be viewed as the people to get you everything you think you deserve.

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#13 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
23/02/2010 15:15

anon to mac (#12)

I'm amazed how many management consultants are slating recruitment consultants for their lack of understanding or knowledge of an industry/sector. Of course that's going to happen, as a recruiter, if I knew all about various industries/sectors I would be doing your job, not recruiting for it.

The fact is, most recruiters will try and learn as much as they can, but by physically not being in that industry your knowledge is never going to be as extensive as someone who actually does it on a daily basis.

It's common sense.

If you've had a bad experience from a recruiter, then that's unfortunate, but like in all industries there are good firms and bad ones - and this applies to management consultancies as well, you'd be naive to think it doesn't.

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#14 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 11:32

MT to anon (#13)

I totally agree with the last post here. How can you expect a recruitment consultant to fully understand the job a Consultant undertakes on a day to day basis?

I work as a recruitment consultant and admittedly try to understand as much as possible about the company and role I am recruiting for but it is my job to find these opportunities for you the consultant and let you make the decision.

I also find it incredible that most of you candidates moan intensely about a service you get for FREE!!!! you don’t pay us a penny.

To flip this around I work with loads of consultants and IT staff who in truth are complete ignorant w*nker$ and do the exact same thing to recruitment consultant that you are accusing recruitment consultants of doing to you!

Do you know what we do on a day to day basis? I think not!

Its the same theory in all instances of this nature. There are people who are good at there job, there are more people who are not! I don’t pretend to know everything you do because i am not arrogant enough to think I could understand exactly what you do day to day. Maybe if you are a GOOD Management/IT Consultant you should think about taking the same approach.

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#15 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 11:57

anon to MT (#14)

I'm amazed by the last 2 posts.

If you don't understand what we do how can you assess whether or not we are a good match for the role?

I understand now why I receive so often so-called "opportunities" that are totally outside my area of expertise.

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#16 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 12:04

anon1 to anon (#15)

The other interesting point is that many, many, many recruitment consultants constantly lecture us humble job seekers on what it takes to be a consultant. As if they know everything and we know nothing. Despite having 15 years experience of being a MC.

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#17 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 12:44

Fe-ic to anon1 (#16)

It's disgraceful - they learn a small amount about something and then try and extrapolate from it in such a way as to look like experts.

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#18 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 16:12

rec to Fe-ic (#17)

Anyone had good experiences from them? If it was all bad they wouldn't exist

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#19 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 16:50

anon to rec (#18)

if they were paid by us consultants many recruiters would have gone out of business.

But, as has been said above, they are not paid by us and as long as consultancies see value in them we have to support them.

What value? Simply few consultancies could handle the hundreds of CVs they would receive so they need a gate keeper. Consultancies never see the good candidates these arrogant, ignorant recruiters have rejected, only the selected few.

Recruiters have the odds on their side: among 200+ CV's it's not too difficult to select acceptable matches for the role even by applying simplistic screening rules:

- strategy role: keep only the MBB and the hell with the applicant whose boutique experience would have made him the perfect match for the role

- It/business consulting? look for ACN...

That's how many poor recruiters survive for our misery and the shame of real professionals.

Now come on recruiters, knock me down

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#20 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
10/03/2010 17:46

say it again, Sam.... to anon (#19)

The arrogance of some consultants is amazing!

Recruiters cannot make money without good candidates. If you are failing to engage with good recruiters (who understand your industry, know the cultural differences between firms, able to “sell in” occasionally, keep in contact with the you, etc), then it is extremely likely that the fault lies with YOU.

It has been said before, but you arrogant consultants do not appear to hear the message. If you want to engage with the high quality recruiters then you need to be a high quality consultant. If you are just an average consultant then you will attract the attention of the very average recruiters.

The recruitment industry and the consultancy industry actually share many characteristics. They have both exploded in volume over the last twenty years and two professions that used to be staffed by those with genuine experience, industry knowledge, personal grit, etc are now greatly populated with recent grads who follow a fairly standard on-the-job training path, and whose income is greatly driven by macroecnomic levels of demand rather than their individual ability to add value (and charge for it)

One more time....

...if you are being treated as one of the great unwashed, it is because you ARE one of the great unwashed.

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#21 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 00:12

Anon to say it again, Sam.... (#20)

Some recruiters are fairly narrow minded when looking at candidates. I work for Accenture doing mostly strategy related work and some more operational projects too. However recruiters rarely give me the time of day for other roles which I have good experience for and will only consider MBB applicants, instead offering up IT and back office type roles despite having never done such work.

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#22 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 07:33

Anon2 to Anon (#21)

I also find that recruiters are very, very easily impressed by brand names. Are you a moron working at ACN or PWC? Then great, come on in, you're exactly the calibre of consultant we want and need!! Worked as a freelancer or at a small company doing really impressive, high level stuff over the last few years? Then f*ck off, we've never heard of you.

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#23 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 08:12

anon to say it again, Sam.... (#20)

to say it again Sam

Typical answer from an arrogant recruiter inflated with himself: if we had poor experiences with recruiters it's because we deserved it.

Well sir I've got a good MBA, worked with McKinsey and am now director with a strategy boutique. That does not make me exceptional I'm the first one to acknowledge it, but that don't put me in the looser category either. Yet I don't recall how many times I had to deal with morons like you when I looked for a job a few years ago.

For your info we don't engage with poor recruiters like you. YOU call us boasting you have outstanding opportunities that don't exist. Or you lure us with promising ads with nothing behind. You waste our time and at best all we can expect from you in to have our CV posted on the web site of a big 5 that will never answer us (though they do when we apply directly...).

and by the way Bogart never said "play it again Sam". He said something like "you played it for her, now play it for me". Your culture is as poor as your recruiting skills.

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#24 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 08:41

Sam to anon (#23)

Actually - if we're going down that road...

The quote was not erroneously attributed to Bogart, but to Ingrid Bergman who said "Play it Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'" So please don't be so quick to judge on the culture skills... (nor, to be fair, on the spelling skills - 'looser'?)

Just me two cents guv'nor!

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#25 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 10:15

say it again, Sam to anon (#23)

Response to anon (who responded to me)

“Typical answer from an arrogant recruiter inflated with himself” – error no. 1 – I’m not a recruiter, I’m a consultant.

“that don't put me in the looser category either” – error no. 2 (unless you somehow think its bad to be “loose” (sic). Bit less yoga perhaps?

“I don't recall how many times I had to deal with morons like you when I looked for a job a few years ago” – error no. 3 – you shouldn’t deal with or need to deal with morons. That’s my point. Hang up. Only deal with good recruiters. If you have to it says more about you than about them.

“For your info we don't engage with poor recruiters like you. YOU call us boasting you have outstanding opportunities that don't exist.” Error no. 4 –when you were looking for a job a few years ago you didn’t approach any recruiters? You just waited for recruiters to call? No wonder you had a tough time.

“Or you lure us with promising ads with nothing behind.” Error no. 5 – do you believe every advert you see? Do you think driving a Renault people carrier will really make you more virile? Drinking Malibu will transport you to a tropical island? Weird! Want to buy some swamp land - I've got some pretty pictures?

“and by the way Bogart never said "play it again Sam". Error no. 6 – I wasn’t quoting Bogart – what on earth made you think I was?

“Your culture is as poor as your recruiting skills.” Error no 7. – You have no facts on which to judge either and yet are happy to express this opinion. Is that the searing analysis technique they taught you on your MBA, or is that a McKinsey thing?

“That does not make me exceptional I'm the first one to acknowledge it,” – Finally something we can all agree on. And so nice of you to recognise my intellectual superiority and call me sir! There’s hope for you yet.

Let’s face it. You’ve done a not-first-rate MBA, a few years at McK, where it was “out” rather than “up” and now you’re a big fish in a small pond. No wonder EZ, KF, H&S et al are not knocking on your door.

I graciously award you a B+.

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#26 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 10:46

WHOA to say it again, Sam (#25)

WHOA

that is a LOT of errors!!!!!!!!

I have never before seen a flame like THAT!!!!!

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#27 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 11:01

Anon to WHOA (#26)

Yet another mature thread on Top Consultant. Keep it up folks, you are contributing to the forum's slow death.

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#28 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 11:51

anon to Anon (#27)

"forum's slow death"?

Hate to say, but 27 posts (this is 28) disagree.

The odd bit of flaming and grilling doesn't mean that this is not a genuine topic. There is meat in between the bones of riposte.

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#29 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 12:18

Anon to anon (#28)

anon, I am not disputing the validity of this or any other thread. I do dispute that calling people "morons" etc is not how I would expect professionals to behave. Would they do it if they were discussing this topic at a seminar? I doubt it.

The slow death reference is because five of us were discussing this site earlier and of the four who had heard of the forum two no longer visit because of the regular flaming and grilling is not what they expect to see on a professional forum.

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#30 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 12:25

anon to Anon (#29)

anon,

In that case I accept your point. The odd bit of grilling shows passion for the argument, but yes, too often it descends into tabloid language.

Shame, but I reckon I'm going to knock it on the head too.

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#31 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 13:52

Anon to anon (#30)

Let's be honest, nowadays recruitment agents are only good to TRY snatching consultants from one Big 4 to another...

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#32 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
11/03/2010 17:42

rec to Anon (#31)

So to confirm, am I to hold off from booking the venue for the 'Recruiter/Consultant Xmas Get Together'?

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#33 RE: Recruitment Consultants - The whys and wherefores.
18/03/2010 18:00

Recruitment Awards to Agent 01 (#1)

The Top-Consultant Recruitment Awards for 2010 have just come out; thats voted for by canddiates - have a look at the winners/top recruiters - there probably the people worth talking to...

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