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Recruiters need to care more: Expert

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HC Online | 11 Nov 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
With the unemployment rate forecast to increase, recruiters need to learn some bedside manners, one expert says.
  • Anonymous | 11 Nov 2013, 01:54 PM Agree 0
    With the last bulletpoint regarding providing more feedback, I think most recruiters and HR folks would agree that they'd like to do this. However, a few issues can arise - the candidate will try to argue why the feedback isn't accurate or if it is constructive criticism doesn't handle it well or worst case scenario is legal implications arise which is why most employers stick with vague responses to play it safe.
  • Judy | 11 Nov 2013, 01:59 PM Agree 0
    What a great article and so timely. I just hope that some recruiters are reading it! A friend of mine was made redundant about a year ago. She is skilled, marketable and experienced in a number of areas, however her encounters with many recruiters (and 'encounter' is the nicest word to describe her interactions with them) were nothing short of diabolical!

    As a HR professional, I was appalled to think that people/agencies such as some of the ones she had been forced to deal with could potentially represent me and my organisation in the recruitment market!

    She was treated as a number; she was not kept up to date with applications or interviews she had attended; she was not provided feedback or information; she was put forward for jobs she (a) clearly wasn't qualified/experienced in or (b) weren't her forte for reasons of location or remuneration.

    My friend did get desperate after almost 11 months out of work in a tight market, to the point where she relayed to me that for the first time in her life she was wondering aloud about age discrimination (she's all of 45), particularly with such obviously inexperienced recruiters talking to her and clearly knowing so much less than she.

    One day recruiters, the shoe will be on the other foot. And let's just say from this HR professional's point of view, I will be making very careful decisions in the future about who represents me and how my organisation is represented. You are the face of your client. Even if you have no candidate care, which is wrong to start with, you need to be making sure you are at least representing their values when recruiting for them.
  • RivercityIR | 11 Nov 2013, 02:43 PM Agree 0
    The recruitment industry as a whole needs a massive massive overhaul. Even so far as to test and licence individuals and companies.
  • Al | 11 Nov 2013, 02:46 PM Agree 0
    I agree with your thoughts Judy - As an HR professional I never deal agencies where I've heard stories (or experienced them myself) of bad candidate care. With the market the way it is and where we're likely headed - a smart agency would create a point of difference by focusing on exceptional candidate care. News of a good reputation in that area would spread fast.
    I disagree with Anon's comment however - As someone responsible for inhouse recruitment, I always make a habit of giving constructive feedback. Whilst the candidate might not have been right for us - I'd rather give feedback that helps them get a job elsewhere rather than see them make the same mistake (eg a basic interview error) over and over again. I never feel 100% comfortable about giving the feedback but I take the time to do it and I've only had one defensive response (in the past 2 yrs). On the whole candidates are so surprised to get a personal phone call giving feedback (rather than generic email saying thanks but no thanks) and really appreciate you taking the time to call them. The keys to making sure the feedback goes well is preparing first and asking the candidate if they would like some further feedback before launching into your reasons. No point giving feedback to someone who doesn't want it. If you're worried about potential legal action you probably need to have a closer look at the reasoning you use for your hiring decisions as it doesn't sound like your comfortable with how/why decisions about who to hire are made.
  • EW | 12 Nov 2013, 09:03 AM Agree 0
    The same goes for recruitment companies being open to constructive criticism from their candidates particularly about what they 'are not doing' for their candidates. I experienced an appalling merry go round at the hands of a number of recruiters after my redundancy and after providing the biggest recruiter in the industry with my feedback about their candidate care, I of course received no response or thank you from them.
  • Over 55 | 12 Nov 2013, 04:11 PM Agree 0
    I agree, these people in recruitment services, need to remember, that they have a job today, most of them do not even reply. One particular company person rang me and told me to take off my qualifications and that I needed to rewrite my resume, as she would not be forwarding my resume to the Employer ! She, then sent me her private email address to send my resume to, so that she could authorise the redone resume !! I, then emailed and stated my concerns to her company and gee the email, she sent me was just so rude and abrupt, I was shocked beyond words !
  • Anonymous | 13 Nov 2013, 05:46 PM Agree 0
    It is the interesting agency beating from so called HR professionals that I find very amusing. Alot of the perceived 'lack of candidate care' comes directly from the lack of recognition by these same 'HR professionals' toward agency recruiters. HR professionals are the company contact that agency recruiters generally deal with and they usually do one of three things; i) never get back to an agency recruiter regarding a candidate that the recruiter has submitted therefore no meaningful feedback can be given, ii) if they do get back to an agency recruiter then simply give a yes or no answer or iii) give the feedback that 'the candidate is not suitable, they found someone better'. I have heard many anecdotal stories from candidates who have said that the HR departments and HR 'professionals' of many companies are just as bad if not worse than the recruitment consultants. At least a candidate can call the agency recruiter, speak to someone for feedback or leave a message and in the majority of cases will get a call back, not always but most recruiters do. The recruitment landscape is changing and the divide between internally focused HR professionals and externally focused recruitment professionals is becoming ever greater. It is about time both sides stop whinging about how bad the other is and accept that each plays a relevant part in the attraction of good talent to a business. HR will never be able to recruit as effectively as a dedicated internal or external recruitment professional.
  • Kristian | 13 Nov 2013, 07:43 PM Agree 0
    Agree with a lot of what this person has to say...and I actually work in the industry and have done for 8 yrs. As an industry we have no official standards and in all honesty are not held accountable for the way we interact with clients and candidates except for our own ethics and professionalism. But I have to say its not as easy as the artcle makes it out to be and certainly isnt restricted to Agencies. The amount of people I speak to who complain about organisations not responding to applications is astonishing and is considered "the norm". People also have to remember we can be dealing with 1000 of people built up over many years and in reality it is just not possible to keep in contact with all the people all the time. The expectation that they have applied so its now up to the agency to do the work is misleading. For me personally, someone who initiates contact and keeps that contact up is the person who I will remember out of the crowd. And the final point I would like to make is feedback - from day dot I was taught to give as much feedback as possible to the candidate but when the client is limiting the information they give you then what are we to do. HR and Managers need to realise that you need to work with us on this and not just give a "yes" or "no" answer as is becoming more and more the case. Again perosnally this artcile shouldbe directed not just at Agencies but also those internal teams as unfortunately their standards probably arent that much better.
  • RivercityIR | 14 Nov 2013, 10:16 AM Agree 0
    Recruitment was always a core HR function. External "specialist" companies only came about because someone saw a money making opportunity and jumped on it. Internal HR consultants can recruit just as well and can be held better accountable for their action or inaction than external companies are.
  • Kristian | 14 Nov 2013, 12:05 PM Agree 0
    Not to get off topic but...

    Business is created by an opportunity to make money and by someone "jumping on it" so not sure why this point is relevant? Also well worth looking to why there was an opportunity for this industry to be created in the first place. I would guess it would be because there was a lack of ability to service a businesses need. This isnt to say that it was being done badly but more because demand out stripped capability.

    Secondly increasingly recruitment is moving away from being a "core" HR function with more and more larger organisations moving to either a totally outsourced recruitment solution or investing an internal team. Taking it away from being a "core" HR function and more to a stand alone division of an organisation.

    Accountability is an interesting use of words. Maybe with internal clients the recruitment function is held more accountability in terms of finding a solution but with candidates, which is what this is about, there is little to none and that is from many years experience and speaking with candidates daily. Lets put it like this; If a candidate comes to an agency there is an expectation that agency will find that person a job, keep in contact with that person, provide feedback etc etc. Internal solutions once that person has been disgarded from that opportunity what accountability does that function have to find them a job, keep i n contact etc etc?

    I will say that I have met some excellent Internal recruiters who really know how to Recruit and I have met some extremely bad ones....just the same as agency.
  • BC | 23 Nov 2013, 01:07 PM Agree 0
    Recruitment companies are a scam! They create phantom jobs that do no exist to make themselves look as if they have work. They are full of people who have no experience in the field they are hiring and they couldn't give a rats about clients. They should be licenced and audited to ensure they are being honest and open!
    I will never apply to, or use an agency to gain employment!
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