The Truth About Recruiters

Written by Julie Holmwood

I am often met with frustrated clients who are completely out of ideas on how to deal with recruiters

You see the perfect job advertised. There is no company name, just a tag to say this post is being managed by ABC recruitment agency and that all CVs should be sent to them. You excitedly draft a cover letter. Attach your CV. Hit send. And …..
Well, nothing. That is it. For many the story ends there!
When you are gainfully employed and dipping your toe in the proverbial water this is an annoyance. When you are on the bench and need to find work fast this can bring you to tears. You feel so helpless and unsure of how to make any progress when everything you do, results in the same empty inbox, devoid of replies to your many, well-crafted, CV send outs

Here is the thing (the inside story from an ex-recruiter)

  • No-one in the world of recruitment is targeted on their ability to reply to emails. In fact I have a friend, Director of a specialist headhunting firm, who only replies to emails that have £££’s attached to them. In other words, there has to be a fee hanging from your toe to warrant his time
Short-sighted!? I always thought so. But his company has been running for thirteen years and this has always been his policy
  • Point number two. Clients don’t care if their recruiter answers candidate emails or not. They don’t pay the recruiter for their level of customer service, even if it is on their company’s behalf. They are results orientated. Bottom line
  • Internally, recruiters are targeted on three candidate-based things (you are the candidate). The number of CVs they send to clients. The number of interviews they generate. The amount of placements they make and therefore revenue billed.
In truth, you don’t need to do either of the first two with any degree of consistency, as long as you achieve the third one, everything else is over-looked.
In my first recruitment role (I worked for two consultancies during my time in the field) two of my colleagues broke every good conduct and etiquette guideline in the book. Plus more besides. But because their billing matched my then employer’s targets, they were allowed to leave havoc in their wake.
  • Candidates don’t secure the recruiters job or earn them any commission. Well, that is and isn’t true. Of course, the placed candidates do. But all the other people, the hopefuls, just take time out of a busy schedule and a waiting deadline
Nowhere have I seen or heard of any agencies that reward their recruiters for candidate service or creating a positive image within the market. (I am happy to be corrected if you are that agency)

The other major factor in the overall game is the recruiter-client relationship

  • Often recruiters are given limited time with their clients and minimal insider knowledge. They are not from the industry they recruit for. If they are given any training at all, it is on being a recruitment consultant. Not on their specialist industry.
  • The contact for CVs within a company probably doesn’t have on the job experience of the role being hired for either. This means you have to get past two people who do not have the knowledge to read between the lines or finish your sentences for you. If your CV doesn’t match their job spec you get deleted
  • Companies engage recruiters to find ‘best matches’. They are typically only interested in soft-skills after all of the technical competencies have been matched. It is rare that a hiring company will interview a candidate the recruiter has a gut-feeling about. This goes back to the recruiter-client relationship; very few are built on mutual respect and trust
Imagine if you will that you are doing a spot of DIY. You take a piece of fabric into the store and ask them to match it as a paint colour. They fiddle with the machine, it shudders a few times, they remove the pot …. And the colour is nothing like your piece of fabric. This is how the company view non-matching CV submissions from recruiters. Make too many of them and they drop you from the team!

So when should you use a recruiter?

  • Agencies are brilliant at getting you in-front of their clients WHEN your CV is a perfect match for the job spec. If you are a good colour match paint for their fabric, you might have the best experience ever!
Watch out for tomorrow's article which will give you some CV submission guidelines as written by a tired, overworked, recruiter
Author of 'Get That Interview' and 'Click Your Way to Career Success', Julie is the Lead Career Coach at Churchill Brook. She works with clients to develop their personal branding, promote themselves via social media and to find their passion, both in the work they are doing and the work that they want to do. Her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant. She is available to work with limited clients on a one-to-one basis OR via our executive CV and LinkedIn product options (check out ‘what we offer’).

Before joining Churchill Brook in 2009, she spent twelve years as an international headhunter, where she successfully helped her clients to recruit exceptional people. She is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry

AuthorsTalk to her on Facebook,  Twitter and LinkedIn

Another article you might enjoy about creating a CV for a recruiter

If you would like to see more articles about working with recruiters please let us know below
© 2011 Churchill Brook International
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