Recruitment Roulette

Sales can be a ruthless industry, I’m under no illusion. Recruitment, as a form of sales, is worse.

I work with integrity, decency and as far as possible, transparency. But I’ve encountered another agency who, in my opinion have crossed the line and I will ‘Name & Shame’ soon if I encounter this same well-known agency AGAIN jeopardising the future of any candidate with whom I am involved because this isn’t the first time. So, here’s the story…

I received a CV in application for a Car Dealership Sales Manager post I’m working on for a good client of ours. When I engaged with the candidate, I typically ask if they are in consideration for other roles. In this case, the candidate was upfront, telling me that he had submitted his CV twice the previous evening for what looked like similar roles. He is a great fit for the role and was very keen. I knew I must act quickly, because I know what the industry is like. However, he assured me that he hadn’t spoken with the other agency, despite them leaving a voicemail for him. I asked him politely to give me an hour to prepare his CV and put together a proper submission to the client before speaking with the other agency. He told me that he had no plans to engage with the other agency, knowing that they were probably working on the same role.

So, I put together my submission and forwarded it to my client. I received a response within minutes that they had already received a CV for this candidate. I’m not one to just walk away, so I challenged it and what followed turned into a harsh re-dressing, essentially questioning my honesty and how well I know my candidates. It hurt, frankly.

A couple of days have passed and today we learned from our client that they have just about filled the role, with a suitable candidate almost at the point of a job offer. We asked what happened with the candidate that we had submitted, apparently he didn’t show up for the interview that the other agency had booked. Since he was a ‘no show’ they have excluded him from the process.

Once again, I spoke with the candidate. The only contact he got from the other agency was a text message in the afternoon telling him that they had set him up an interview for the next morning, something that he hadn’t requested at all. Let’s not forget, he had not spoken to them at all. He responded, pointing out that he couldn’t attend and, furthermore, still wasn’t certain who their client is. This was the last he heard.

So, what happened? I’ll tell you. This other agency received the CV and immediately forwarded it to the client without first qualifying the candidate. They then set up a tentative interview, assuming the candidate would just agree. When the candidate responded negatively, they simply left it and didn’t even bother to cancel the ‘faux interview’ they had set up. Consequently the candidate has been removed from the process, for absolutely no fault of his own. I think you can imagine how he currently feels.

But how much of this stuff goes on behind the scenes and when did healthy competition have to be dragged down into pure bloodsports?

So, if you’re a candidate looking for work, take care, putting your CV into the hands of just ‘any old recruiter’, either directly or indirectly, can result in career-changing events. They’ll door-stop every other agency by spamming it to every viable client, knowing that a ‘first in the door’ policy is regarded as best practice and subsequently block out those of us that are trying to do a thorough job.

I refuse to be shifted from my position, I won’t adjust my tactics to keep with the rogues and just hope that the reputable employers will soon begin to see the true value of those of us that hold a level of decency in our work.