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Be nice to your recruiter when he is offering you career advice, for he is not getting paid

Recruiters are having a hard time. Although there are jobs out there, they are generally exceeded by candidates. And the candidates don't seem to match the jobs.

"We still have a flow of roles across the business, but clients have very high expectations and the CVs we're getting don't match them," complains a director at one front office recruitment firm. "People sending in their CVs aren't the top performers."

As such, both recruiters and headhunters complain of spending more and more time providing careers advice to unplaceable candidates and less and less time placing people in roles and earning a fee.

"Careers advice has always been part of the job, but there seem to be a lot more people wanting your time nowadays," says a consultant at a search firm. "I spend a lot of my days advising people how to go about marketing themselves in this environment as well as showing people that they're employable outside the City."

There can be advantages to this, but they won't pay the mortgage next month.

"You always hope that the candidates you advise will remember you and use your services as a client when they find a new role," says the consultant. "There will be payback in the future. On the other hand, it's also good to be altruistic and to try and help someone anyway."

However, other recruiters insist on the inadvisability of offering too much in the way of gratuitous advice.

"At the end of the day, we need to get paid and to spend our time on the people who can bring in fees," says one. "People will value the advice you give if it leads directly to a new role," says another. "Away from that, I get the feeling that people think careers advice is just a resource recruiters offer for free."

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Yo
    Your secretary
    18 November 2011

    YourBoss@ you seem so masterful....

  • Sa
    18 November 2011

    Why all the anger@ i've been thinking about becoming a recruitment consultant- how should i go about this?

    im slightly hesitant because id never want to do what 'horrid' recruiters have done to me. Sorry, but there are some who are rubbish and some who are good. The reason why we candidates get angry with your lot is because of the bad behaviour- such as never calling you and when they do, it's just to find out where else your cv has been sent to so that they can do the same, etc. I have plenty of other horror stories to tell, but id like a chance so that im known as a good recruiter. Some one who can see the potential in others, some one who they can confide in and off course make money from positioning them. See- win win situation id say!

  • Wh
    Why all the anger?
    16 November 2011

    Recruiters are not bankers. Recruiters are salespeople. We shouldn't have to 'talk you into a job' if you don't know if your right for it or not then you shouldn't be applying. Recruiters are not your peers to bounce ideas off surrounding the latest compliance regulations. That's not our job that's a chat you need to have with Fred who works next you. However ask Fred how any recruiting manages he spoke to last week from your top 5 competitors. Ask him how big all their teams are and what plans they have to grow or change and what spaces they will have to hire in their team. Ask Fred to email you the complete benefit package of your competitors so you can see how better they are paying. Ask Fred to speak with a CEO directly about you and let him know you are on the market without getting clogged up in HR. Ask Fred to personally take your CV and talk you up to every hiring manager in your industry and tell them why you are worth the extra 8k you're asking for Our skills are different to you. We are there to create you opportunity. I have no idea why that makes some candidates so angry but that's your cross to bear.

  • Yo
    11 November 2011

    @ I do like / used to like recruiters

    Well done - left you a chance to demonstrate your attention to detail skills and you have succeeded! You will therefore get to keep your job, for now.
    Now back to work, chop chop, theres a good lad.

  • Po
    11 November 2011

    Lets be honest here, there are good recruiters and there are awful ones. Without a doubt, those who know what their talking about will always be remembered where as those who don't and do nothing but try to shaft you will not. Actually those who try to shaft will be remembered but for their lunacy behaviour. But it is perhaps unfair to generalise as a whole as there are some good ones. They are the ones who give you good advice, do not put pressure on to you to take a role you clearly don't like, ones who do not send other cv for a role that you told them about, ones who believe in you and will make you feel good and not rubbish because a previous position didn't work out. David Camici is one of them.

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