Do Recruiters give themselves negative PR?

InterviewI am new to working within the recruitment sector but getting here hasn’t been the best experience, and I have to admit that it left me feeling somewhat negative towards recruitment consultancies. However since working at BlueSky I have met a lot of highly professional individuals within the sector, who are already changing my view that maybe recruiters aren’t all bad.

In my job search experience I have come across some great consultants - they have listened and understood exactly what I want, then fixed me up with a good interview. However, the majority I have encountered, in both small and large agencies have been terrible. Without naming names, I have found some consultants to be rude and pushy.  They haven’t read my CV properly and they don’t listen which results in them contacting me about jobs that are of absolutely no interest to me and completely unsuitable. Here are just a few examples:

  • ‘The salary is £10k less than your current wage - I think you should go for it anyway.’
  • ‘The job is in Norwich - I think you’d be great for it - would you relocate from Aylesbury?’
  • ‘The job is for a finance officer, I know you have a degree in marketing and pr, but I’d like to put you forward for it.’

Since leaving university, I’ve never been without a job and I’ve never been desperate enough to take any old position. So  the number of inappropriate opportunities I’ve received along the way has got me quite used to saying ‘no’, which I have found out is not a word accepted by all recruiters. One wanted to put me forward for an interview, ‘an opportunity I’d regret if missed’. The role wasn’t for me so I said no… several times. After speaking to a pushy consultant I was passed onto an even more relentless manager who informed me that if I didn’t go they wouldn’t help me in my search any more. I’ve never spoken to them since!

And it’s not just me - a colleague of mine relayed the sorry tale of a consultant asking her to change her CV so that her skills would fit a position they were trying to fill! The consultant guaranteed the interview, but the fact that my colleague didn’t have the required skills and wouldn’t be able to do the job didn’t even cross their mind!

This is why I get wound up with some recruiters; do they really realise what they are doing or how they are coming across to candidates and clients? In my experience, I can only think of 1 or 2 consultants out of about 10 who were professional and really had my interests at heart.

If I’ve had a bad experience with a recruiter then I will tell others not to use them. I’m sure that goes for a lot of people, including clients. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool, and now with social media you can reach millions!

I know you shouldn’t tar all recruiters with the same brush, and I know there are some good recruiters out there; this is just the view I have gained from my experience over the years.  And having got stuck into reading various recruitment blogs since I have started at BlueSky, it seems I am not on my own.  Andy Headworth in his recent blog post advises recruiters to:  ‘Look back at yourself through the eyes of your candidates’

Wise words indeed!

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