Have a rant… recruitment consultants

There are far more ‘issues’ between HR and recruitment consultants than you covered in your ‘Focus on… consultants’ feature (Personnel Today, 22 November).

As a recruitment manager who has to hire a lot of sales people, I find that resentment between HR and agencies is growing, in line with the pressure on the candidate market.

Our main gripe involves fees. Agencies may be happy to reduce their fees, but then they don’t want to put in the effort to fill our vacancies.

We also feel that agencies don’t live up to the promises they make in their sales patter, and they often aren’t very consistent.

We may have a good patch with a run of candidates who suit our business – then it all goes quiet. That makes me think the agencies just got lucky with a few candidates who responded to job ads, as opposed to going out to find people who matched our requirements.

What we want is a two-way relationship with our recruitment consultants.

In an ideal world, we would give them as much information as they needed, and they would put the effort in to earn their commission.

But very often, they don’t do much to warrant that fee. I’ve seen situations where an agency puts a candidate forward for several jobs all
at once, and then persuades the candidate to take the job that gives the agency the highest fee.

Agencies sell good candi-dates to the highest bidder, and don’t provide any real level of service.

They might choose to call themselves consultants, but I really don’t see much consultancy going on.

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