Back to Fluid Thinking
Why We’ll Never Work With Search Consultancy Again
Recruitment agencies; you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. They’re either the meddling middlemen who serve no real purpose other than to provide you with a piece of paper in exchange for a large fee or they’re a genuinely useful source for potential employees.
Either way, it’s fair to say that recruitment consultants now stand proudly alongside the likes of estate agents and journalists on the list of professions that a lot of people feel a sense of distrust and wariness towards.
Unfair? Perhaps – it is, after all, the unscrupulous actions of a few that reflect on the recruitment industry as a whole. But when you’ve just had the sort of experience with a recruitment agency we’ve had this week, it’s a hard perception to shake off.
At this point, we’d recommend you go and make yourself a brew and get cosy, because the following story is somewhat confusing and downright jaw-dropping in it’s audacity. Seriously, it’s got more twists than that movie Inception.
You’re probably aware that we’re currently looking to expand our SEO team and as with any vacancy we post, we’ve received a lot of calls and contact from agencies offering the services of various clients currently on their books. Although these calls can sometimes be incredibly irritating, there are times when they can turn up a decent looking candidate, as was the case when we contacted this week by a certain recruitment agency we’re definitely not going to name.
Anyway, a consultant from Search Consultancy (oops!) got in touch with us this week offering us a candidate with a quite impressive CV; impressive enough, in fact, for us to arrange an interview with the said candidate. We were even told on the phone by the aforementioned consultant that this guy was currently being interviewed for another role at a top Manchester agency.
Which is all well and good, except at the same time our good friend from Search Consultancy was also pitching another role at a top Manchester agency to one of our own SEO team. A person he learned about through talking to us about setting up an interview with his client. So obviously after our call, he dashed off to LinkedIn and went about working his…erm, magic.
Why would he do such a dastardly thing, you ask? Well, recruitment agencies demand a pretty large fee for their services – it can be as high as 25% of a salary. Our mate was basically trying to play us in order to make himself some big bucks; by taking on his client (giving him a big fee) and tempting one of our team away somewhere else (giving him another big fee), he stood to make a hell of a lot of money.
Unfortunately, our pal didn’t account for the fact that hell hath no fury like Fluid scorned so instead of a plentiful bounty, we’re going to name and shame him instead. You’re welcome, Shay.
Here’s a screenshot of Shay Patel trying to tap up our guy on LinkedIn, taken a couple of days ago, as evidence:
Often, when these kind of dodgy practices get exposed, agencies are quick to blame them on employees gone rogue who have since left the company. However, you may have noticed from those screenshots that Shay isn’t a lowly recruitment consultant trying to make a quick buck; he’s the big boss of Search Consultancy’s Digital Recruitment arm! That suggests this is actually quite a widespread and (worryingly) encouraged practice in some parts of the recruitment industry.
There’s nothing technically illegal about what Shay was doing but come on; surely blatantly trying to play employers for your own financial gain is unethical? It’s another sad indictment of the recruitment industry, which is one of the fastest growing in the world, but relies on thousands of desperate graduates looking for jobs, forces them to hit huge targets and then wonders why they try and take these damaging short cuts. We almost feel sorry for them. Almost.
It’s not as if this is an isolated incident either; Simon Wharton at PushOn posted a pretty epic rant about his own recruitment woes a few years ago which is a good read and one we’re sure a lot of people will able to relate to.
You don’t have to look far to find a good recruitment horror story either; just this morning, one of our team told us all about the time he was offered a job by a recruitment consultant which would have been fine…except it was his own job.
So what’s the moral of this story? Firstly, recruitment agencies can be a right tricky bunch and a lot of them are more than willing to play employers in order to catch a quick buck. Secondly, a lot of recruitment agencies need to seriously buck their ideas up if they want to continue working with the lifeblood of their business – the employers.
Oh yeah, the real kick in the balls? Shay actually invited us out for a beer after all this! Thanks Shay…but no thanks.