Thursday, 19 November 2009

The 7 habits of highly effective recruitment consultants

Personal involvement on both sides of the recruitment fence, combined with observation of an apparently increasing discontent with the level of service of many recruitment consultants, has provoked me to offer the following suggestions for improvement in this critical area. Your views are more than  welcome.

Once a candidate has applied for a position, ensure that you provide regular feedback on progress.

If you are not the only agency that is representing a client, this should be explained to the candidate.

Ensure that you provide the candidate with a written commitment of what can be expected from you in terms of service and support – and keep your word.

If you have invited a candidate to apply for a position that you are managing, do not subsequently mail them to advise them that they do not have the skills or experience that you were looking for: you should know this already.

If you have not been formally engaged by the client to fill a role (i.e. the client is independently seeking to fill the role, but has invited you to submit CVs which will be assessed only if the initial phase is unsuccessful), explain this to the candidate.

Use technology to draw you closer to the candidate: if the contact between you and the candidate is worse than it would have been in a paper-based world, you’ve lost the plot.

The words “If you have not been contacted within 28 days of the closing date, you should assume your application has not been successful” will never, ever be included in any correspondence that you issue.


  1. And if you are an employer utilising the services of an agency here are 7 suggestions for you:

    Only deal with consultants who ask you intelligent & meaningful questions about the position and the type of candidate that you are looking for. If they ask you no questions, don’t bother.

    Always provide the agency with an accurate description of the role and the organisation and ensure that they supply the candidate with this information.

    Be clear about the type of candidate you are looking for and if you receive CV’s that are wide of the mark, think about any future relationships with the agency.

    Beware of the agency that promises the earth for a role you know will be difficult to fill.

    If the consultant you are dealing with is never in the office when you call, even though they were all over you like a rash to get the business, then maybe they have difficulty in being open and honest with you re progress to date.

    Be clear with agencies how you will decide about whose fee you will pay if the successful candidate’s details have been received from several agencies. The punch up that can ensue over the introduction fee can be nasty

    Ensure that the agency is aligned to the ethics of your organisation. Chances are your relationship will be far more harmonious.


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