I have for some time now been developing a disdain for recruitment agencies.
I say this because I have spent some months, nay years applying for jobs where my skills and experience match what is being advertised.
Just like they tell you in the jobcentre, I write an articulate letter of introduction highlighting why I believe I am a good match and how delighted I would be to discuss it further at interview.
I can't say that the response rate via agencies is even 1%.
In addition to this, when I do have interaction with them, I find myself in some sort of circus.
I received a phone call last week which started off on the wrong note, with a young lad giving me the wrong description for a job I had applied for. Turned out that there were 2 jobs going with the same company and he'd got em all mixed up.
From his line of questioning, I could tell he was fishing rather than fact finding. I got to the point where I made a glib remark along the lines of age brings experience and at 57 I have plenty...
Well you could have heard the cork leg drop in West Brom. He closed the conversation with some bollocks about sending me a full description of the job by e mail. This never came.
Decided to have a bit more sport with this nobber, we'll call him Andy (cos that's his name) and he was based at Prime Recruitment.
Dropped him an e mail on Monday just reminding him of my existence and that I was still waiting on something from him about the job.
A reply came next day which just said the the job had been filled internally.
I don't believe him, but unfortunately I can't find out who the company doing the recruiting is except for the fact the are in Wednesbury, because I would contact them directly.
I did a bit of research on the interweb on the general opinion of recruitment agencies and found it to be very low indeed. People like myself subjected to time wasting, lies and underhand tricks to generate contacts for the agency to use at the jobseeker's expense (example, identifying managers names within their current organisation because they know there's going to be a vacancy when this punter jumps the twig).
Seems that recruitment is the new double glazing and the market has become populated by sharks.
Despite flashy TV ads and flowery use of the language, they are providing disservice to jobseekers and employers alike let alone giving the few reputable companies in their industry the same bad name.
Some years ago, there was some sense and possibly honour in the industry. Having been the other side of the desk as a recruiter, if you were looking for someone to stream your applicants you called an agency, knowing that if you placed someone they sent, you would have to pay something like 15% of the job's advertised salary as a finders fee.
Sadly, jobcentres were looked upon as where you went if you were looking for dross, a cruel thing to say, but back then, the government hadn't turned them into the centres of excellence they are today and so, the expertise to stream people for particular types of work did not exist. Advertise for a typist and you'd get sent a plumber.
Nowadays, jobcentres are awash with computer terminals where you can cherry pick the best of what's on offer in the jobs market today and of course pigs might fly.
The jobsearch system (known as universal jobmatch) was sold out by the government to Monster jobs and it is now well documented in the press to be populated with a high percentage of fake jobs (placed by scammers on the make).
Other jobs are again through agencies, that proud and professional institution who if you were recruiting a typist, would send you one with 80 words a minute skills and fluent in three languages, now reduced to casting their net in the same environment where only the single celled pondlife of the labour market lurk, the jobcentre.
Cutting a long story short, the agencies no longer do anything for their finders fee because that's all it's about, their wedge.
No shortage of the commodity in demand, so when they sniff out the jobs before they are advertised in the old fashioned way. The recruiter thinks they're getting hand picked applicants straight from Eton and Harrow and at a snip of a price too.
What is it they used to say, like shooting fish in a barrel ?
There's an awful lot of diss I could pour on this industry but it would make for a long and bitter post.
We do have to start somewhere though and I would just like to say that if you are recruiting and aren't a multinational with a huge HR department, try running an ad in the newspaper with one line made clear, NO AGENCIES.
You'll be showered with cv's, but if you read say twenty, you'll be able to shortlist the ones you like best, interview and shortlist again and in addition to the satisfaction you probably turned someone's life around with your offer of employment, you'll save yourself a few grand and the insult of being lied to blind by some 23 year old with gel in their hair and a big knot in his tie, you know, like Andy...