Jump to content
The Pom Queen

Recruitment Agencies - The Truth

Recommended Posts

This was posted on one of our sister forums. I thought it very interesting.




The job these candidates are applying for may not even exist.

WE'VE all missed out on scoring a dream job, but have you considered that wise, helpful recruitment agent might be lying to your face?

Or pumping you for information about what's happening at your work?



News.com.au spoke to a former recruiter who worked at three different agencies about what life is really like in the cut throat industry.



On the recruitment game



The former agent - who didn't want to be identified - said recruiters make their money filling positions in exchange for a commission from the company and the business is all about the bottom line.



"You are just dollar signs. Often you know they're not the best person for the job and they'll get into the role and quit in two weeks. But all you care about is invoicing the client before they do.



"It's an awful lot of resume flicking and luck. Sometimes you find other recruiters represent the same candidate. If you find out the other company has put them forward, you try to convince them they're your client, otherwise they get the $20,000.



"It's hard because sometimes I've had four or five jobs on the go and you have 500 messages. Often there is no way to get through them all so you're just deleting them."



"It's awful, I used to feel sorry for them. Some people are so lovely and you're lying to their face."



On how much they make



"It's anywhere from 15 to 30 per cent of the salary. Let's say a business development role is $60,000 base, if there is a car included it's usually 20-25 per cent of that whole package, so we're talking $10-13,000 for one placement and of course the consultant gets a piece of that depending on how well you are performing.



"It's a lot of money for what is sometimes just resume flicking … you're thinking 'oh my god I just billed $15,000 from this candidate I've never met who happened to email me'.





On creating fake jobs to drum up business



"Often when it's quiet and you don't have much going, you'll put a fake job online to get candidates in," the former recruiter said.



"Let's say I was working on a marketing job, I would put up a generic ad saying a company is looking for business development manager with five years' experience blah blah blah.



"You'd get resumes, call up candidates and say 'you've got good experience,' when what you're trying to do is work out where they're going for interviews so you can ring up that company and say 'oh I heard you're looking for staff' then you pitch other candidates in."



The fake position is never filled and the people that applied are none the wiser.



"Sales people are always full of BS, they say 'oh the roles been filled or the client has pulled the role. Smart candidates can generally see a fake job and they're very wary. Particularly in IT where they do it all the time."



On how they're really just pumping you for information



The recruiter said once they have someone in an interview, they can find out "whatever you want" about their workplace.



"You try and find out who their managers are so you can call them a week later and say 'oh I heard you're the IT manager at XXX here's my card'. A lot of the time you're just trying to get information out of the candidates about the place. They might dish the dirt on 'five people are leaving' and that's great because that's five roles you can fill. Often it's a fact finding mission.



"It's harder over the phone but usually in the interview, because they want the job, there's so much trust in their recruiter and you don't know what they're thinking. Half the time they're thinking 'I hate you'."





‘I think I’m worth $50 an hour.’ ‘How about I pay you $25?’ Picture: Thinkstock.

On fleecing people out of their pay



"Let's say you have a temp candidate that wants $50 an hour. The client will often say we're going to pay you $80 so they pay us and we pay the candidate. So we say fair enough and you get your candidate in.



"The candidate knows their worth $50 an hour but you say to them 'oh this client is on a really tight budget' you don't tell them who the client is at this point. You say 'look, they can only afford $25 or $30' whereas really you could pay them $40 and still make a profit margin."



"Another thing we did is really screw down the temps, particularly if they're new. You have a lot of people that come from overseas, so they wouldn't know much about the market so you would try and hook them in on a six-month contract where they were being grossly underpaid.



"A lot of the time people are desperate ... you can just say whatever you want and the candidate will often take it and you think 'wow I'm going to make commission this month.'"



On advice for job hunters



The recruiter said he eventually got out of the game and is now retraining for a different career.



"I always say don't go to recruiters, go direct to the company. They've got an internal recruitment team and they don't care about making budget, they care about filling the role. I always tell people to stuff recruiters unless they can prove to you they've got this ongoing relationship with company.



"If you're going to a recruiter for a temp job, don't believe their BS about 'they can only afford this much' really put your foot down and see what you can get."

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow eye opening. I have only got experience of this from the UK. But yes I do always think recruiters are slimy. I push them to get what I want which often annoys them but I know better. When you say go direct to the company. How would you recommend one does that? As often they use certain recruiters and don't have an internal hiring dept. thanks for the advice!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found in Perth that Recruiters will often put candidates forward for roles, without the candidates permission.


They will also tell candidates that they are recruiting for the role, thus stopping the candidate from applying direct, when the company has not actually placed the job with that agency.


My advice would be that if you can work out who the company is who is recruiting (from the agency ad, if it is genuine), then apply to the HR Department direct. You can always give them a call and ask them if they are advertising xxx job via xxx agency. If they are, you know the job is genuine but you will find the HR team would prefer you to email your CV to them directly.

If you are looking for help applying to a job, writing a CV, cover letter or answering selection criteria, contact the experts at www.fremantlehr.com.au.

Based in Perth and helping clients worldwide to get the job they want in the company they want.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recruitment agent are nothing more than sales people and usually just as devious and slimey as car sales people. I have no time for them through experience. Waste of time IMO.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now