Anyone can tell you that a bad experience tends to unfortunately stick out in your head more so than a good experience. It can just take one person to really upset a company brand but a whole group of people can do some serious damage and in this case, it most certainly has.
The following tale is by no means tarring the bunch of wonderful recruiters that are out there, working hard and doing great – it is merely an account of one group of recruiters who, in my opinion, should not be doing what they’re doing.
A few many moons ago, I was looking for a job. I had found what I thought was a winner amongst all the confusion that can be had when sifting through the Monster website (although I have to say that Reed’s daily emails to me were absolutely fantastic-always relevant and always what I wanted to apply for.) It was an Events Management role, something that I was very keen on at the time and seemed absolutely perfect for the minimal experience I had. It essentially said that you needed to have a degree, have some experience in a working environment and that you would learn all the Events Management experience you would need in your assistant role. So, with great excitement, I applied.
A few days later, I received a phone call from a recruitment agency company who were apparently dealing with the job I had applied for. The girl who I spoke to said that she was happy with my CV but that she needed her supervisor to ask me a couple of questions to see if I could progress to the next stage. I tried to tone down my natural exuberance and answer sensibly, with some success miraculously as I did indeed progress to the next round. I was put back onto the girl who had contacted me who started to tell me about the role. She started to describe the role, which after a few minutes was decidedly not an Events Management role. I stopped her and asked why she seemed to be describing a Sales Executive role rather than the Events Management job I had applied for. She said that the Events Management job was no longer available but that this job she was describing to me was pretty much Events Management with a little sales thrown in. Confused, but sadly naïve as I was, I believed her.
Once I had agreed to the interview, I was contacted almost immediately by somebody else in the company who had lined up a different interview for me – once again, they said it had lots of events management experience to be had but would involve a little sales as well.
Three recruiters and four arranged interviews later, I sat there feeling a little bemused and not sure whether to celebrate the supposed events management jobs that I had been put forward for. I looked up the recruitment company online and immediately felt my face fall. It stated most specifically on their website that they were a sales recruitment agency for graduates and after a few minutes browsing their site, there could be no doubt that they trained and recruited sales people for various companies.
I tried to convince myself that all I would have to do was endure a little bit of sales work and then I would be able to do what I really wanted to do and so, I went along to the interviews. Obviously, once in an interview it became evident that these were purely sales roles. However, on receiving any job offers, a bombardment of emails and bordering on bullying calls to accept the job I’m sad to say worked on me. Thankfully, the job that I accepted was a lovely company to work for and so, I started working for them. A month in, my manager and I realised that sales was definitely not something I was cut out for. Luckily, instead of throwing me to the wolves, my manager recognised that I might be better suited to a Marketing role and to be honest, I have never looked back.
Some months later, I met up with a few people who had been put in jobs by the same recruitment company and who were now, whatever they had originally wanted to do, all in sales jobs. After a few conversations, I discovered not only that a few of them had applied for that elusive Events Management role but also all of them had been approached by this company following that application. On further investigation, we found out that the Events Management role that had been advertised was in fact a fake job that the recruitment agency had put up to entice graduates, such as myself, into sales roles by pretending that they very similar to Events Management.
I know that now if the same thing had happened, I would have told the recruitment agency that I didn’t want to go into sales but they were very convincing and persuasive that my role would only encompass minimal sales and would, a few months down the line, be faded out by the events management. I’m not sure whether this is something that just this specific recruitment company used, but I think that this kind of tactic is taking advantage of fresh graduates who are easily carried away by the idea of having a job than actually checking the reality of that job. I heard other stories from the people I met that when people had specified certain things, even when they wanted a sales role, their specifications were completely ignored and indeed some were even lied to about the jobs they were going for.
In hindsight, which is of course a wonderful thing, I wish I had been a bit more switched on and less carried away by the promises and in some cases, outright lies from this agency. However, to those recruiters I would like to say thank you. Without you having pushed me into something I didn’t want to do, I would never have got into the job now that I love. Although, I think I was extremely lucky and not all graduates are as lucky as I have been.Is advertising false jobs and lying to candidates just something that recruiters do sometimes to get their commission? Have any of you had similar experiences?