The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Definitive Guide to Job Hunting: Top 10 things candidates hate about agencies

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So what do candidates hate about engaging with recruitment agencies? And what can you do about it?

1. Not getting a response when they reply for online jobs: Unfortunately, agencies are so bogged down with advertising response that they might not have the resources to reply to everyone. Don’t regard the process as live until you get a response, and don’t apply for jobs that don’t perfectly suit your CV – This is the simplest way to avoid disappointment! If your CV matches the job, the agency will jump on it

2. Poor interview preparation:  Having no clue whom you are meeting with for an interview, or being unclear about any of the details. This is simply just bad service. Demand the full information before you go, you have a right to know!

3. Taking time off for interviews, only to fall into the Black Hole of No Feedback Again, this is simply bad practice. If you have had an interview you are entitled to feedback. Sometimes, the agency doesn’t get feedback from the employer but then they should tell you that so that you know where you stand.

4. Not getting appropriate advice on their CV Learning after the fact that someone on the interview team thought that their CV showed too many positions when they actually worked for the same company for 10 years, but it changed names 10 times. If your recruiter doesn’t give you advice or ask questions about your track record before sending your CV, move on and find another one!

5. Awkward online processes Navigating a ridiculous, invasive online application that does not save after each field, crashes unexpectedly, is hard to complete thoroughly, and yet is viewed as a negative if it is incomplete. If you are having trouble with the online process, call and ask for help. Sometimes there are ways to get around it, but if the  recruiting employer have strict rules you might just have to grin and bear it if you want to be considered for the role. It should be easy for you to send your CV to the agency.

6. Disappointing feedback – Feeling like you really are the right person for the job but somehow can’t get an interview. Whether that is because of a poor resume, undeveloped communications skills, or not connecting at the right level – Press the agency for feedback. Sometimes, you might have to recalibrate your own expectations but it might just be a misunderstanding about your CV that is stopping you.

7. Long and extended interview processes Going through a more thorough interview process than a candidate for the Supreme Court. I have facilitated interviews that have lasted longer than 6 months. This is mostly not the agency’s fault, because they want process to conclude quickly too. Stick with it and build a relationship with your recruiter, you are in it together!

8. Agencies are too pushy,  resulting in hours on the phone being promised the earth. All of this when the candidate has only agreed to being “open to talking” and is NOT looking for a job. Say NO firmly if you are not interested. A professional recruiter will get the message.

9. Lack of understanding The number-one pet peeve of all candidates is talking to misinformed, condescending, and unoriginal generalists or entry-level recruiters. Find yourself a specialist with whom you feel comfortable. You must be able to trust your representative!

10. Sending CVs without permission This is against the law! It breaches the Employment Agencies Act and violates your rights in terms of the Data Protection Act.


Written by Cathy Richardson

September 12, 2011 at 9:30 am

Posted in Recruitment

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