Recruitment Consultants – Friend or Foe?

Thanks to Caroline Forman who has written this blog.  Caroline is one of the Gateway team and she has worked as a Recruitment Consultant earlier in her career.  She gives her thoughts on the service provided by Recruitment agencies today in comparison with the kind of service candidates could have expected and did experience before the internet arrived.  For Job Seekers today this advice is very useful. As Caroline says recruiters must be able to see you as the person they need to talk to.  That means making sure that you stand out from the crowd.

“If I asked you (in the style of Family Fortunes) out of 100 current jobseekers how many thought their Recruitment consultants were giving them a good service, what do you think the answer would be?

Well I haven’t actually asked 100 people recently but as a Career Management Consultant I do speak to a fair few jobseekers & views are decidedly mixed at the moment.

The most common feedback I get is that after applying for jobs online candidates are struggling to get that important chance to sell themselves to recruitment consultants for that particular job. More often than not they are receiving a generic rejection email which leaves them none the wiser why they haven’t been selected for a job which on paper looks perfect for them.

And so their disappointment and frustration is attributed to that recruiter or recruitment agents in general & the feeling of poor service prevails.

But why is this happening?

Since I was a recruitment consultant back in the mid 1990’s the methods that recruiters use to find candidates and the number of candidates they attract has massively changed. Back then we used to rely heavily on referrals and networking to meet candidates, giving us time to get to know the particular skills and knowledge of each candidate we represented. Since the growth of the internet everything has gone online & all agencies can cheaply and easily advertise every role to the nation. Although this has some benefits I think it is working against the recruiter.

Yes, it means they can access candidates cheaply and quickly & from all parts of the UK. But it also means that a lot more people are applying for each job & that means more time needed from the recruiter to review CV’s & talk to candidates.  There are also a lot more recruitment agencies around these days & a lot less jobs to fill. This means the recruiters have to act quickly & be clever with how they fill their time or they will lose out to a competitor.

They now use CV sifting software & automatic rejection emails to filter out candidates. They no longer have the time to call the majority of candidates to find out more about their experience in case it is relevant. If the CV doesn’t immediately tell them this candidate can do the job they move on in case another recruitment agency manages to send candidates more quickly & fill the job.

They simply don’t have time to talk to frustrated candidates asking for feedback on why they weren’t selected. And since a computer did that selection they wouldn’t have any real feedback to give anyway.

So what is the solution?

For the frustrated job seeker now is the time to take the control back & pro-actively look for the jobs they want. It’s about making sure your CV stands out in a sea of others. It’s about being more assertive when you know a job is right for you & making sure that recruiters can immediately see you are the person they need to talk to.

The clients I work with are all doing this & seeing remarkable results. It takes a bit of time & a different perspective but it works & removes that sinking feeling of making yet another online application & then waiting & hoping for the phone to ring!   Does this sound familiar?”

For more information on managing recruitment agencies contact Caroline or a member of the Gateway team.

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