How to Spot a Bad Recruitment Agency
credit: JD Hancock
During the tough times of an economic downturn, when unemployment numbers skyrocket, job seekers need all the support and guidance they can get. Unfortunately, it is a fertile period for bad recruitment agencies to ply their unethical tricks. However, there are some indicators of bad recruiting practice which, when known, will help you spot and avoid unscrupulous recruitment agencies with poor performance standards.
Is There A Fee Involved?
If your recruitment agency attempts to charge you a fee for their recruiting services warning bells should sound immediately. Recruitment agency fees are paid by the company that hires you. You should never sign a contract in which you agree to pay the recruitment agency for something your new employer should be paying for, no matter how great their spiel about a “grand scale can’t fail personalised recruitment campaign” sounds.
Is Your Consultant Less Than Well Informed?
Then why are they a recruitment consultant? Recruitment is a high pressure sector in which competition is fierce. If consultants don’t appear to be knowledgeable about a job sector or specific position they’re not doing their job properly, which can indicate that the recruitment agency has substandard training programmes or just plain poor standards when it comes to performance. If they’re not doing their best, you’re not getting the best opportunity to find employment.
Are They Easy With “Being Liberal with the Truth”?
Then what else will they be easy with? There are many stories on the internet and questions asked in forums about recruitment consultants who say it is fine to lie during an interview or on your CV about your personal or professional history. This basically makes you as unethical as the consultant. Stick to the truth and leave the consultant to come unstuck one day.
Have Your References Become Their New Business Leads?
This can be tricky to find out, but it is a good sign that a recruiter is more interested in generating large volumes of business leads than focussing on getting you into your desired job. Contact your referees after your recruitment agent has called them and ask if they put forth any other business propositions to them. If they did, think about getting a consultant with a little more focus on your requirements.
Are They Embarrassingly Overconfident?
The brash, in-your-face antics of some recruitment consultants can drive you mad. Being overconfident to the point that they guarantee you the job is a sure sign that much of their business approach is hot air. Nobody but the company making the hiring decisions can guarantee you the job. Again, look for consultants who are honest from the start. After all, they are your initial representation to what could be your next employer.
Does Your Consultant Apply Too Much Pressure Toward Certain Jobs?
The role of the recruitment consultant is to find you a position that meets as many of your career aspirations as possible. It is not the role of the recruitment consultant to steer you away from your career interests and toward open positions from which they know they will earn more commission. You should always feel that you share a solid relationship with your consultant and that they are working in your best interest at all times.
Have You Been Asked Too Many Information Gathering Questions?
It is important to be wary of consultants who ask you too many questions which provides them with detailed information about your past employers or companies you have approached regarding employment. This is simply thinly disguised lead generation your consultant will use for other candidates.
Believe it or not, some unscrupulous consultants will ask you to name the companies you have sent your CV to, so that they can avoid sending it again, which they claim may damage your chances. The consultant now has a list of companies currently recruiting, which they can send other candidates to, increasing your competition.
Remember That It’s Not All Bad Out There
If you follow the simple guidelines above and look out for the highlighted indicators of bad practice there is no reason why you won’t find a good and ethical recruitment agency, which in turn will help you to find the employment you seek. As a last point, always remember to ask around about a recruitment agency’s reputation, as they are often built on candidate experiences and word of mouth.