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An important message to frustrated candidates from a misunderstood recruiter

Much as candidates dislike recruiters, recruiters are not always enamoured of candidates. According to one senior recruiter, this is born of a misunderstanding.

If you are a candidate who feels the urge to berate recruiters, he would therefore like to request that you read this first:

"In all industries, there are good and there are bad. This applies to all sectors of the economy and to all walks of life. And it goes for financial services recruitment. Some of us are bad, but a lot of us aren't. We are good people doing a good job.

If you are a candidate and you are frustrated that your career is not going to plan, I understand that you might want to take your frustration out on someone and that that someone might be a recruiter.

However, this would be to misunderstand the role of the recruiter. Taking your frustrations out on us displays your ignorance of the recruitment process.

Fundamentally, we are nothing more than intermediaries. Our role is to find the right candidates for our clients and to manage clients' expectations about the candidates we can find. Sometimes, our clients have unreasonable expectations and we try to explain to them that holding out for perfection isn't viable.

Where possible, we try to help candidates and to introduce them to a better opportunity than they have at the moment. However, we are constrained by what our clients request: we can't put forward candidates who differ too much from a client's ideal.

If you're ambitious and you want to do something that will take your career to the next stage, but which isn't necessarily a linear progression, you may not meet clients' requirements for a particular role. In these circumstances, we won't be able to help you. But don't be rude, don't be aggressive. Be patient and think of other ways to reach your goal.

Most of all, remember that all recruitment firms have databases. On those databases we record everything that goes on and we track every individual we come across. If you behave rudely to us out of frustration, it will be noted for posterity. In future, recruiters who have never come across you before will read those comments on the database and form an opinion of you based upon your past behaviour. Do you really want this? Probably not."

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • He
    1 August 2011

    @ Lawyer

    It is people like you who need to be careful who you badmouth. The author of this article is dead right; there are some real to**ers in the recruitment business, to be sure, but there are also some good people simply using their skills to do a job which ultimately benefits both the client and the candidate. I assume that you were once passed over by a headhunter and have never got the bile out of your system. This doesn't make you look very clever.

  • Th
    The Posh Headhunter
    27 June 2011

    Boss: your and most others' comments concerning Recruitment on these boards need to be put into perspective.

    Most good recruiters are NOT candidates' agents, certainly not at the higher end of the talent/remuneration scale. We work for clients and like tailors, we work to order, offering a bespoke service matching the clients' needs. The lower down the recruitment pecking order you go, the more you will find desperation and mediocrity. It is these traits that cause the lesser recruiters to over-promise and under-perform. The more experienced of us might not give you the time of day in the first place - but as stated above, we will find you if we need you.

  • Bo
    25 June 2011

    Nine out of 10 recruiters are a waste of time, the remaining one usually tries hard but fails. If you wish to chance direction within finance, they can't help you as they lack imagination. All these monkeys want is quick cash for placing you in a role you don't want. Most of them can't even spell.

  • Th
    The Posh Headhunter
    25 June 2011

    I am a headhunter.

    I work for clients, who pay my fees and provide hiring mandates. I come up with fresh ideas, work on strategy, map out their competitors' teams and P&Ls, research market opinion of my clients' businesses and meet people endlessly in pursuit of assisting my clients with their hiring goals. I act as a part-time PR agent for my clients as a result, communicating their chosen message when I approach the market on their behalf.

    Occasionally, I represent a senior and/or particularly agreeable candidate, if I choose to do so. However, when I introduce such a candidate to a prospective employer, I instantly become that employer's agent. Why ?

    The clients pay our fees and provide the jobs for which we submit candidates. We know who our masters are. We are not career counsellors or "recruitment agents" (think Reed or Office Angels if you don't know the difference).

    If you are still unsure as to why our industry exists, go and ask your boss and your HR dept why they pay out huge fees to headhunters, year after year. The good ones deliver and we provide a high end service. Oh and one other thing - don't call me; I will come for you if I need you.

  • Ex
    24 June 2011

    I am running for UK prime minister next time and promise to ban recruitment and recruiters forever. I hope you will vote for me.

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