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Speaking with an agency client recently, they told me a story which even I found surprising. This was not a story about exceptional service, $2 million dollar billings, or a Recruiter with no ego – all of which I would have found mildly interesting. Instead it was about the new depths that some recruiters have plumbed. Now sadly, shoddy service in this industry is of little surprise. With no barriers to entry and a recent economy where even the most phone-shy dosser could make a placement, bad service is nothing new. However, this story relates to another “rec to rec” company, and technically a competitor. *My ego is of course far too large to view anyone as a true competitor, but let’s go with it. Apparently these day, standard process for this Recruiter is to send the CV of an unlucky candidate to all of their agency clients, and many who aren’t, via the “BCC” function on Outlook. Instead of a “Hi James/Laura/Fabio”, there is a simple “Hey” and then three poorly spelt yet rambling sentences describing the recruiter in the broadest terms possible. Sometimes, the candidate isn’t even a Recruiter, and the blurb doesn’t bother to explain why this CV has been sent. Just why you’d want a Tokoroa fishmonger on the tools is left a mystery.

There’s more. This Recruiter, perhaps in an attempt to create a fervour of excitement amongst their audience, no longer uses the “BCC” function. Instead, he/she/them just fills up the “To” box with whatever Recruitment Manager names spring to mind, and hits send. And to make it worse, this Rec to Rec doesn’t even ask the candidate if they can do this. It’s all about the numbers right?? Pondering this whilst walking my dog this morning, I tried to put a positive spin on these actions. Contrary to my curmudgeonly ramblings that you’re reading right now, and my propensity to call people Dickheads, deep down I’m a very positive person. You cannot survive as a career Recruiter if you aren’t a glass-is-half-full-this-placement-will-land-it’ll-be-a-record-quarter-thinking-motherf*cker. However, I cannot think who this behaviour benefits. It doesn’t even benefit the Rec to Rec! All I can think is that just like how black people reclaimed the “n word”, and some corners of the LGBTQIA2S+ community have embraced the term “queer”, this Recruiter is trying to legitimise the term “lazy, feckless oaf”. It is a moniker they richly deserve.

I also had a email this week from a JOYN client. They had recently been hit up by an agency Recruiter. What was not clear from the email, was if this recruiter wanted to be a supplier, or if this was a lazy attempt at a headhunt. Personally, with emails, I try to tap the keys to form sentences to explain why I’m tapping keys to form sentences. Anyway, the Recruiter then goes on to say how excited they’d be to find out more about what’s happening at Tower. My client does not however work at Tower. They don’t even work in Insurance. Their company name doesn’t sound like Tower. We do not know where Tower came from. Anyway, they go on. This Recruiter is prepared to offer my client access to a “national wide-salary survey”. Now the National Party has always been the preferred political leanings of fat cats, but I don’t need to know what the chubby ones earn. Anyway, there is a “nation-wide” salary survey which I can download for free on this companies website. This was sent from a global agency that we all know (but not Hays by the way – they would have at least attached a CV). They sign off by mentioning that they found my non-Tower client on “Linkdein”. Now I’m not a grammar Nazi, and this very blog will have a few typos in it (I limit my writing to 37 minutes), but I write this for fun to a varied audience. Getting someone’s industry and employer wrong, and then littering the pointless email with errors is just lazy.

And now is not the time.

I’ve read a few things recently about how tough the market is, or is becoming. I personally disagree. Maybe this is my natural optimism, or inflated ego typing, but our clients continue to be busy. They may not be “stupid busy” a la 2022, but there is plenty of work out there. All of the clients I have met since December 1st 2022 have briefed me on at least one role. Every one of them. Now the types of role might be different, and they may be more selective on who they hire, but hire they will. I will just have to work harder and smarter to deliver the goods. And this (eventually) brings me to the point of this blog. As the market shifts over the next 12 months, business will look to their suppliers. At first, they will rationalise. Instead of using four recruitment firms, they may use one or two. If the market continues to tighten, businesses will decide whether to use an Agency or hire directly themselves. The deciding factor on your success during these changing times will be the quality of service and value that you can add to your clients. Lazy, feckless oafs will be the first to be dropped. However, even in a recession, great recruitment companies, staffed with great consultants, will survive.

Just make sure you’re one of them