Thursday, 17 January 2013

Broken record....

This is something that I have posted about before and will no doubt post about again: Recruitment Consultants and Agencies.

At the start (as usual), I post my normal disclaimer that I am an ex recruiter myself and have lots of credible and fantastic recruitment consultant friends who will probably read this. None of what I am writing reflects on anyone whom I know personally. Special mentions to those I consider amongst the best: Hannah Robinson, Laura Harris, Sophie Buck, Liz Southwick - to name but 4. If I were to name all the consultants I was in touch with and who I rated, we'd be here all night.....;-)

Again, I find myself looking for work. My contract ends 15/02 and due to the nature of the market generally, my last few roles have been temp/contract which suits me fine. I know how it works and like to consider myself as a pretty good, proactive candidate with lots of experience: In short; a potential source of commission to anyone willing to help! Sadly, my experience generally is that there are so many poor, ill educated and bad mannered consultants out there who quite frankly give the industry a bad name and reinforce the age old adage 'never trust a recruitment consultant'. (I may have made that adage up but generally they do have a fairly shitty reputation).

I'm not going to name and shame the bad ones - again, we'd be here until 2075.

I appreciate that recruitment is desperately busy but the lack of response I get is staggering. I get phoned left right and centre about new roles all sounding promising; my CV goes across, sometimes I get an interview. Last week, I was called about a role at a company in Summertown, the girl who called said she thought of me 'instantly' and that I was 'perfect' for the role. (I met this bint once and loathed her on sight as found her incredibly disingenuous but ho hum). I chased her after 4 days and was told 'they have not selected you - no idea why'. Fab; really, really helpful. Following an interview (also last week), was advised that 'I have no feedback but they've decided they need someone who drives'. So, I took unpaid leave for an interview that YOU as a Consultant hadn't properly verified - I would say that's desperately lame and unprofessional - if I was being polite.

Then, yesterday, the pinnacle of my experiences thus far: I get a call from a lass who has been 'passed on' my CV by a colleague. From the start, her inexperience and inability to listen absolutely shone through. I told her what I'm NOT looking for in terms of location, salary and terms and she says 'I've got a role in Milton Park paying a basic of £18k'. 'That's the complete opposite of what I'm looking for and is 7k too little'. 'Sure, what about Estate Agency?' 'I don't drive'. 'I'll make a note of that'. 'It's on the top of my CV' and on it goes. You expect me to work with you and take you seriously when you don't have any listening skills?

The other thing that boils my piss is job adverts. So many agencies don't seem to have any understanding of age legislation or discriminatory terminology, describing companies or roles as 'dynamic' 'youthful' and needing 'young' or 'mature' candidates. I am also stunned by the bad spelling and grammar that is frankly indicative of a lax approach - how difficult is the spell check facility? It makes you and your company look unprofessional and thick - and it's not a company I would want to work with.

So - my advice to any aspiring Consultants out there:

Drop the bullshit
Learn to spell or use spellchecker
Listen - keep your enthusiasm and inexperience in check (if applicable)
Get colleagues to check job adverts
Always extend the courtesy of replying to emails even if a brief note
Don't make promises you can't keep
Be honest and credible at all times
Don't be over familiar if you don't know me
Always give feedback regularly - if no response from Client after a few days explain this without ME having to chase YOU
Make sure your Linkedin profile is credible and not littered with spelling mistakes
Always give the impression of having a brain even if not true
Always make me feel as though I am important and not just a chore in a long 'to do' list
Remember that I can make you money and if you are unprofessional and lacking in credibility I will not work with you
I have friends and Clients who I will name and shame to, if I have to
Your job is to generate revnue but if you cut corners in doing so it will catch up with you
If you think a job isn't right for me - say - and give tangible reasons why.

You're welcome - fuckwits.