Last week I read an old but amusing article about how horrible external recruitment agencies actually were and why on earth did we work with them again? You know; they have no knowledge, are slow or too aggressive, they throw resumes without really interviewing the candidates, send resumes of people that actually aren't interested, send unsollicited resumes, they lie about the qualities of the candidates and on and on. As corporate recruiter myself last week I got another call from a desperate recruiter who just needed to get a visit or a job to work on. Despite the crisis they still need to make their 50 calls or 10 visits a week even though nobody is even hiring a receptionist. Their job isn't easy and there we are, corporate recruiters putting salt on the wounds. But....let's have a look at us corporate recruiters through the eyes of a external recruiter.................
1) you call the them to try and visit them and they never seem to have time, claim to have a preferred supplier list or simply very few open positions. Looking at their job site you actually do see that they have 35 open jobs with an average open days of 65?
2) They claim that all agencies always shout the same thing; that we're the best, leading agency, very specialized but yet able to fill all your positions. They claim we never come up with creative solutions but ....have you ever seen an innovative corporate recruiter?
3) So in the end they do let you come over because they have a job open. You spend 2 hours of your time talking about the job, process and fees and go home thinking you got in the bag. Then when you try to follow up you simply can't reach them and they are not returning your emails/calls. Three weeks later you hear they are working with another agency and apparently didn't bother to inform you. Relationship building anyone?
4) Great, they finally give you the assignment but of course only on a contingency basis. The seem to forget that we as well have our cost to cover, recruiters to pay for etc. They feel insulted if you then try and work quickly and send them resumes on the fly. What do you want, that I invest loads of time and money while you give the same job to 3 other agencies? You get what you pay for right? If you want pure dedication and high quality services you pay for it.
5) Before you can start you do of course first need to be set up as a vendor which requires you to fill out 4 different forms, take calls their Indian call center trying to make sense of what this person is talking about. The contract itself is of course a corporate contract and is so complicated and utterly one-sided that you need to get external help to try and understand it and to make sure your not being tricked into something. But you need the work so you sign with the exception of the payment terms that you set at 14 days.
6) You try and get a complete picture of the positions (beyond the badly written shopping list they call a job description) but the recruiter is not very interested in helping you and doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable about the position. Your request to talk to the hiring manager is denied because "they don't want to bother the hiring manager too much". So we are left (again) with an incomplete picture and later they complain that the candidate isn't that perfect or tell you that you've oversold the job?
7) You are able to present 3 candidates (that you feel are really good) and never hear from you again? The recruiter apparently went to Disneyland for 2 weeks because it is impossible to reach him/her. Due to the terrific backup plan other recruiters have no clue what so ever about that position and tell you to wait until the recruiter is back. After getting close to being sued for harassment you get a short email that they have an internal candidate, a hiring freeze or simply have closed the position.
8) It takes approx 3 weeks before they are able to arrange an interview with your presented candidates and then they complain that your candidate has taken another offer? Oh and yeah, can you send 3 more candidates because they feel they can't take a decision without having seen at least 5 candidates?
9) After a gazillion emails and calls you then finally get some feedback on your candidates. They really needed 3 weeks to get all the managers together and get feedback. It turns out that the manager doesn't actually know whether he has the budget for the hire and it first needs to be approved by the VP. The VP however is again busy with a reorganization and it might very well be that the job no longer exists.
10) After a process of 4 months, 3 phone screens, 8 interviews spread out over 3 days, an assessment center they need you to check references because they are still not quite sure about this candidate. As if references are going to give the best insight?
11) OMG, by now you are taking medication against your anxiety attacks but they are ready to make an offer. The thing is that they only have a budget of 80K instead of the 100K they talked about before. But you know, there is a crisis going on so the candidate will just have to accept it. RSU's and a sign on bonus are out of the order of course so you really need to pull all the plugs and again sell the job and company to convince the candidate.
12) And yes, you did it! The candidate accepts their horrible offer and you are ready to send your eagerly awaited invoice. The candidate later tells you about the absolutely horrendous onboarding where it took 5 days to get an email address, 8 days to get a laptop and most likely 2 months to get that company car he order (while driving around in some battered Ford from the guy they fired last week). Training seems to be non-existent and his manager doesn't seem to have time to get you settled in.
13) While your contract clearly states that you have a payment term of 14 days their Indian service center now tells you that they always have 45 days in any contract and that the recruiter doesn't have the authority to change that. And they didn't get a PO number so it's going to take a bit longer as it's against company policy to open a PO after the service has already been delivered. So it's just gonna take a bit longer than those 45 days because they closed the books already for this month.
14) While you are busy trying to find new clients they all of a sudden remember you because they decided to let go of the candidate and although the contract says you don't refund the money they would highly appreciate it as they will not replace. When you try to find out why they let go of the candidate they somehow are not able to articulate the reason. The candidate you placed tells you that he still doesn't really know either but does know that he is the 5th in a row in the last year that has been let go off.
So, corporate recruiters; let's not always bash so hard on external recruiters! We are not always making things very easy and don't always create conditions for success. Perhaps next time I'll try to come up with some ground rules to work together. In the end we both have the same objective?
oh and yes, this piece is for a bit of fun................