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Recruitment Consultants don’t always have the best reputations, and this is often justified. If you really want to see how bad we can be, here’s my handy “cut-out and keep” guide for hiring managers and internal recruiters.

Ask us up front to reduce our fees

In a talent-short market, in a talent-short world, a great way to experience zero delivery from your Recruitment agency partner is to ask them to work for less. As you’d imagine, most Recruiters represent candidates to more than one client, so if you’re really keen on having your Recruiter place that candidate elsewhere, ask for a discount whilst others pay full fee. If you want to add some surliness to this poor delivery, tell your Recruiter that you want the discount because the candidate’s CV already exists on your database, or the guy in dispatch vaguely knows the candidate as they once played touch rugby together.

Ask us at the end of the process to reduce our fees

Another fantastic way to fall out with your agency recruitment provider is ask for a discount once the placement is made. Ignoring the fact that we have terms in place to remove the need for these conversations, be sure to ask for at least 3% off, but don’t be afraid to push it to 5%. Again, you can really grand slam this one by saying it should be cheaper as the agency only put one perfect candidate in front of you, and therefore it didn’t take much work. Alternatively, your Recruiter may have made three placements with you this year, and this continued high performanbce should be rewarded with less money.

Forbid us from talking with the hiring manager

If you’re an internal recruiter who has the pressing need for Recruitment partners to provide candidates who are culturally inappropriate for your business, this is a real gem. For best results, brief the agency via email with a 14 page position description attached. Threaten to stop using the agency if they dare talk to the actual hiring manager, and gleefully watch your agency partner fumble around like a teenage boy searching for the clitoris.

Tell us to upload a CV to Snaphire

If there’s one thing agency recruiters love more than having to correct the formatting, spelling, and grammar on candidates’ CVs, it’s copying and pasting the same stuff into an ATS with a mid-90s UI. This experience can be further enhanced by spending three days trying to get a login or resetting a long forgotten password. For the connoisseurs of sh*t-housery amongst you, combine this with a request to reduce the fee due to the fact that the candidate applied directly for a student summer job back in 2003. Magnifique!

Only call us back when you want a better job

Working on the assumption that agency Recruiters have the memory of the common goldfish, nothing hits the spot like ignoring their calls, emails, and smoke signals for two years, only to turn on the charm when you decide that you hate your job. The starker the Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde contrast you can display between the rude dismissive internal recruiter and sycophantic desperado job seeker, the better.

Brief loads of us

What’s better than having one engaged, focussed, recruitment partner working diligently on your behalf? I’ll tell you. Having 6 disinterested Recruiters spending 10 minutes each flicking irrelevant CVs at you on the off chance that they get lucky. Again, if like our Scandinavian friends you want to create a smorgasbord of poor service, combine this with the requirement that all CVs are uploaded via Snaphire, and preference will be given to the firm who is cheapest. That’s Agnetha, Bj√∂rn, Benny and Anni-Frid. Mamma Mia!

Ask for more candidates as a comparison to an awesome candidate

If you’re the type who gets annoyed when people get things right first time, this is a fantastic way to summon the The Four Horsemen of the Recruitment Apocalypse: Annoyed recruiter, wasted time, poor candidate experience, and zero outcome. Instead of being impressed that a Recruiter has hit the bullseye in a timely fashion, ensure that you miss out on this candidate by interviewing a constant stream of lesser candidates until the end of days. Following the nuclear winter, emerge from your bunker with a potent mix of arrogance and indignation that said perfect candidate decided to join Air New Zealand instead.

Anyway, enough from me. Feel free to offer any other handy hints below.