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are all recruitment consultants bad ?

are all recruitment consultants bad ?

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I work as group financial controller for a group of 18 companies. However, the business owner who is a dictator and rarely takes on board my advice, leaving me frustrated and wanting more.

Previously I was a partner running a £300k portfolio.

As the question says, are all recruitment consultants bad ?

I feel my CV looks reasonably strong, my salary expectation is not ridiculous, I am happy to relocate.

I have applied for numerous jobs from boutique recruiter to big players on the various jobsites (probably at least 30) most of which I feel are within my ability yet, I have not received one call.

Is this other peoples experience ?

Replies (20)

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
28th Feb 2013 16:54

Wouldn't trust a recruiter as far as I could punch one.
I worked in a similar set up to you and decided I had enough so started looking elsewhere.

I was approached by an "agency" through linkedin who told me he had been appointed to fill in an FD role
For a local charity. The role was perfect for me and I gave him my CV which he was going to submit.
He said my CV was best of the 3 he had collected and he would arrange an interview. Whilst I was researching the job
I realised it was actually advertised on their website and thought about applying direct. I contacted him to confirm he had submitted
My CV and he had arranged an interview he confirmed he had and said I would be interviewed the following week.
Like a fool I believed him and didn't submit myself direct. I didn't get an Iinterview. Later found out from someone on the board that the guy
Had not been appointed to do anything he had merely collected 3 CV's and sent them in on a speculative basis they had no intention of paying an agency
Fee so didn't consider any applicants from him. I was furious as had trusted him but never again. I wouldn't even speak to one these days. No firms can afford to pay the fees they are chasing so you could have best CV in world and get no where. They just tell you take the first job you get offered for half the wages they claim you should be earning at your sign up interview. They get their fee whether you are happy or not. Get a good well written CV put together and approach people direct. I had enough of dictators so threw the towel in and started up on my own touch wood it's going well so far.

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Replying to roncon:
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By andy.partridge
01st Mar 2013 11:23

What did you lose?

Glennzy wrote:
I was approached by an "agency" through linkedin who told me he had been appointed to fill in an FD role For a local charity. The role was perfect for me and I gave him my CV which he was going to submit. He said my CV was best of the 3 he had collected and he would arrange an interview. Whilst I was researching the job I realised it was actually advertised on their website.

It sounds as though you didn't know and might never have known anything about the vacancy if the agent had not approached you so you lost nothing.

In my experience there have been candidates who have tried to undermine the relationship that an agency has with the client company by going direct. I have seen situations where the candidate who has been introduced and the client company conspire to cut the agent out of the deal. Again, that's people for you. Nobody comes out of these exchanges smelling of roses. 

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By GSPANESER
28th Feb 2013 17:04

Sounds right

I'm also a Financial Controller looking for a new position, and can totally relate to what you are saying.

It seems that there are too many agents when trying to peddle their wares (sorry, "offer their services to fit the recruitment needs of your business") can't do enough for you, e.g.regular calls, visits to see you at your convenience, etc., but when you are actually wishing to use them as a customer seeking employment you become little more than a number.

The problem is that they are all too busy selling their services to who they deem to be their customers (i.e. the business which is recruiting, and not the jobsearching candidate).

If there happens to be job available then you may get a call back from them. The problem is though that there are not many opportunities about at the moment, especially given the level which you/we are looking at.

Cynicism aside, there are still some good ones out there; it comes down to forming a relationship with an individual rather than the business they work for. (I know, that's easier said than done).

The fact is, though, that ignoring clients is very bad business and will come back to bite them, sooner or later. Most professionals, and accountants in particular, will find such unprofessional behaviour very distasteful. And we don't forget quickly!

 

 

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By taxhound
28th Feb 2013 17:11

Sent my CV

Many years ago, one recruitment agency sent my CV to my current employer.  OK, so my name was not on it, but it was so obviously me - my boss recognised me straight away!

I can laugh now....

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By justsotax
28th Feb 2013 17:20

Had a similar experience

to taxhound in the past - my then employer found it slightly less amusing. Keep to one agency...and make sure it is a reputable one....if they don't want to meet you then i would suggest they are not going to get the best for you.  Indeed when you meet them interrogate them about what they are going to do for you.  Not all are bad, and they can open the door (especially to those businesses who do not want to trawl through speculative CV's and want to have a ready made 'short list' of candidates).

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By Marmite
28th Feb 2013 17:35

Not all are bad but from an employers perspective are a rip off!

20-25% of the annual salary as a typical recruitment fee  - for what exactly???

For the small employer this is far too expensive when the new member of staff perhaps leaves in less than three years for the next "recruitment". 

I would much prefer a site (like accounting web) allowing the advertisment of jobs in smaller accountancy practices within a specific geographical region.  - I would happily pay a small listing fee.

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By andy.partridge
28th Feb 2013 18:14

Free service

Honestly, what do you expect from a free service?

Recruitment consultants are commercially driven sales people. They are quick or they are dead because client companies generally have the same vacancy registered with several agencies and a candidate is generally registered with several agencies.

That means that they must concentrate hard and fast on the best candidates.It also helps explain why their fees seem so high. Most of the work they do does not result in a sale for the reasons above. I won't bore you with tales of candidates that didn't turn up for interviews or accepted the job offered but didn't turn up for work on their first day. That's people for you.

It's a tough environment to work in. It is the client company who needs to be kept sweet. Their vacancies need to be filled. It's not about finding 'you' a job, I'm afraid. In an environment where there are loads of spare candidates, the one that is waiting for a call is easily forgotten. I can only suggest you are more proactive.

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By sash100
28th Feb 2013 20:17

Competitive

The problem is all the recruitment companies have too many financial controllers etc on their books and extreme busy.  The do not need another financial controller to add to their ever growing list.  I know it is frustrating and you do seem to have very good skills and experience to offer to employers.  In fact, I cannot even see much light down the tunnel for accountants looking for work.  It is a dire situation with so many accountants chasing for one job. 

Another sore point with recruitment consultants they more often than not do not have an accounting background and cannot distinguish between financial controllers that maybe ideal for the role.  Like people have said best to be proactive and ask for an explanation why you are not suitable.  Put pressure on recruitment consultants.  When recruitment consultants send CV through, sure they select those based on memory and who they have had interaction in the past couple weeks.

Sometimes, it feels there are more accountancy companies than jobs, every year there are new accountancy recruitment companies that enter a lucrative market. 

Actually, there are too many people who seem to think they know everything and are very difficult to deal with.  If you have the experience and skills best to set up on your own and have the control. 

If you want to stay as a financial controller then network may be a option. Belatedly only realised how important networking is.  Build networks as it may work in your favour in the future. Good luck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of these recrutiment consultants are not from an accounting background and cannot distinguish from one financial controller from another,

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By The VAT Doctor
28th Feb 2013 22:16

Who is the client

There are some good ones out there.  However, it is important to realise that you, the applicant, are NOT the client of the agent and, for agents, I feel they believe a better use of their time is hobnobbing with their prospective clients, trying to secure exclusivity deals etc, rather than dealing with candidates.  In much the same way, it is often assumed that HR people are acting for the employee, when this is not the case.

I have a feeling, with the advent of the internet (allowing businesses to advertise themselves), the fact that businesses are more switched on to the whole process and the financial issues (why pay someone when you can do it yourself?), that times are tough for recruiters at present.

I think it is definitely worth doing some legwork yourself if you hear of a role, as immediately you represent a significantly cheaper hire than one introduced by an agent.

The only exception I would make is senior hires, when headhunting is often required, so an agent may actually be able to introduce good people already in roles.

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Quack
By Constantly Confused
01st Mar 2013 11:51

What frustrates me is I have been told by several employers that there is no point in me sending in a CV to them as they use an agency.  So if I want a job with them I have to wait until an agency tells me about it!

Why not just advertise first, then ask an agency if decent applicants are thin on the ground?  I want to give you my CV, you at some point might want me for a job.  Why put someone between us and pay them part of my salary?

I know unsolicited CVs head for the bin, but why not just have a file or a data base with a line for each applicant saying 'Mr Smith - address - tax advisor specialising in CT' then, when a job becomes availiable, skim the list and ring up a couple of them.

Thousands saved!

Sorry, sore point...  I begrudge someone taking part of my salary just because they have needlessly interposed themselves between me and another party.  Imagine if you met the partner of your dreams and they told you you would have to join Match.com and hope they passed your details on...

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Replying to shaun king:
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By andy.partridge
01st Mar 2013 12:19

Really?

Constantly Confused wrote:

I begrudge someone taking part of my salary just because they have needlessly interposed themselves between me and another party. 

What makes you think it works like that? Isn't it rather like a client of yours saying how they begrudge giving you a part of their salary because you have needlessly interposed yourself between them and HMRC?

The service is a valuable one to the client who either lacks the skills, experience, time or other resource to draw up a shortlist. And, come on, the agency isn't taking part of your salary at all any more than the recruitment manager of the employer is. The agency is, in effect, a subcontracted part of the employer's HR function.

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Replying to johngroganjga:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
01st Mar 2013 12:42

No

andy.partridge wrote:

 Isn't it rather like a client of yours saying how they begrudge giving you a part of their salary because you have needlessly interposed yourself between them and HMRC?

That's not even slightly comparable, it would be if HMRC told a client that they wouldn't accept tax returns from them and all returns had to come through an agent., but my client's are free to cut me out when they please.  They pay me to do something they don't want to risk doing themselves (or often don't have to time to do).

Agencies have been a help to me in the past (it's useful to join one place and they do the leg work, sort of the compare the meerkat of the employment world, and in which case I realise I am paying for the service by losing out on part of my salary), but now we seem to be at the stage where they are almost compulsory. 

It amounts to me sending in a CV somewhere, being told they don't take direct CVs and I need to join an agency, then having to join an agency and tell them to put me forward for any jobs from said employer (and pay them for the privlege of doing what I have already done).

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By cathygrimmer
01st Mar 2013 12:32

Mixed experiences

As a candidate, I have found the agencies I've used over the thirty plus years I've been in tax to be pretty good - but these have generally been agencies specialising in tax and accountancy positions. The last employment I had (which was more than ten years ago so maybe things have changed), the agent managed to get me an interview after the date for candidate submissions had been closed and second interviews had been done.

On the other side of the fence though, I've not been so impressed. The purpose of using an agency, as I understood it, was to weed out the unsuitable candidates and save me time (and, therefore, money). Without exception, every time I have been involved in recruitment, I have been sent juniors' CVs for manager posts and vice versa, candidates with only corporate tax experience for personal tax work etc. Given how much commission is paid, you would expect them at least to be able to do a paper sift correctly!

Cathy

[email protected]

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Replying to Vaughan Blake1:
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By andy.partridge
01st Mar 2013 12:39

Commission is £0

cathygrimmer wrote:

Given how much commission is paid, you would expect them at least to be able to do a paper sift correctly!

Unless the agent finds you the person you employ the commission is usually £0. So if they don't find the right person often enough they will soon go out of business.

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By cathygrimmer
01st Mar 2013 12:51

@ Andy

I know what you're saying, Andy, and perhaps I didn't explain myself well - I would get juniors' and managers' CVs for whatever level I was recruiting for - so I would do the paper sift and the agency might still place one of their candidates and get the commission. I suppose what I should have done was tell them I wouldn't look at any CVs unless they sent me specifcally targeted one - but I didn't!

Cathy

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By andy.partridge
01st Mar 2013 12:54

@ Constantly - Blame the employer

It's certainly comparable because it's not compulsory for a company to use an agency. The agency doesn't interpose itself anywhere. It is the client company that instructs the agency, not vice versa. Doesn't it imply that agencies, in general, do a pretty good job?

I still don't see for a moment how you perceive that the agency is taking part of your salary?? Strange.

 

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Replying to Chris Gladwell:
Quack
By Constantly Confused
01st Mar 2013 12:57

#Sigh#

andy.partridge wrote:

It's certainly comparable because it's not compulsory for a company to use an agency. The agency doesn't interpose itself anywhere. It is the client company that instructs the agency, not vice versa. Doesn't it imply that agencies, in general, do a pretty good job?

I still don't see for a moment how you perceive that the agency is taking part of your salary?? Strange.

 

Whatever you say ;)

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Replying to DaveP569:
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By andy.partridge
01st Mar 2013 13:09

Ok ok

Constantly Confused wrote:

Whatever you say ;)

So you don't like agencies. I get it.

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Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
01st Mar 2013 13:02

Good advice from an agent can be priceless

When searching for a job a few years ago I wrote what I thought was a great cv and hawked it around to agencies and potential employers. Zero interest. I might as well have been firing my cv into a black hole.

An agent gave me a call and kindly put me straight. I'd written a cv that would have made me want to employ me if it came across my desk. It wasn't going to make anyone else want to employ me. He told me how to alter it and let me make the changes myself. Within a week the interviews and resultant offers were flooding(!) in. I'd previously been selling my skills in a way that potential line managers found very threatening to their own position. By re-emphasising what I was capable of in an unthreatening way I suddenly looked like exactly the person they wanted.

The agent who gave me that advice never got a penny for it. The offer I ultimately chose came through a different agent.

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By Richard Willis
03rd Mar 2013 20:10

If you use the right agency!

In 2008 I was made redundant on the demise of the manufacturing company for which I had worked for 29 years.  Since then the only jobs, bar one, both temporary and 'permanent' that I have had have been gained through only three agencies, Reeds, Hayes, and Manpower.

In respect of all three I have been totally honest with them and, particularly in respect of Reeds, they with me.  As a previous poster has said, you need to build a relationship with an individual is at all possible.  You need to make yourself the person that they think of first when a suitable position comes on their books.  The knockbacks are hard but something will eventually turn up.

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