Why we (you) love to hate recruiters

Friday, 25 March 2011, 19:21 | Category : General
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I was at a rather dull football game a couple of months ago where the half time entertainment brought the crowd to life much more than the game was ever going to. The entertainment saw a team of referees face a team of fans in a penalty shootout. The fans from both sides were united, booing the men and women in black, and getting behind Joe Public, regardless of his chosen team or background. That was the case however, until the final two fans taking penalties stood up; a recruitment consultant, and an estate agent. For all the jeering and mild-mannered abuse, it was not surprising to see both miss, and the referees cheered on to victory.

So it seems that recruiters have found themselves (ourselves – slip of the tongue) grouped alongside estate agents and traffic wardens as the profession that we (you – did it again) love to hate.

At PRN we now look after both freelance and permanent opportunities for senior freelance professionals. The transgression was simple, given that on occasion, both our associates and our clients are looking for permanent opportunities. Yet, the more placements, associates and agencies that we work with, the more we continue to see the bad practices that have given the industry a bad name. To name but a few:

· The Shotgun CV – The agency blasts out your CV (headed with their logo) to all and sundry and henceforth claims ownership of you, putting the kibosh on other (better) agencies working with you,

· Making up numbers – The agency tells you X is Y simply to get you to go to an interview for a job they know is not a good fit, just to fill their quota,

· No exclusivity – One for the PR agencies and HR departments: The reluctance among certain PR agencies to give recruiters exclusivity. Playing the numbers game means that a targeted approach goes out of the window, that a job feels far from exclusive, and leads to the cowboy approaches above.

Don’t get us wrong, there are a huge number of excellent professional recruiters and HR professionals out there – we all have good memories too. It’s just a shame that these seem to be far outnumbered by the bad. So what is the solution?

The key is to be selective about who you work with. Be it freelance or permanent, don’t sign up to every agency under the sun – in many ways you can actually narrow your chances of securing the role you want. Work with an agency that knows the industry, that knows what you are looking for, and that can sell you to your full potential. Where you can, work with an agency that gets exclusive briefs, and is allowed the time to find good people, as opposed to the shotgun CV ownership approach that does nobody any favours.

We will continue to clean up the industry from the outside-in, but we are also reliant on all PR professionals to do their utmost do the same from the inside-out.


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