The REAL irony of recruitment

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There is a thread on LinkedIn that is likely to run and run and run.

It was posted with good intentions and borne out of frustration. The update reads as follows:

“Definition of irony = Chasing a recruiter for several months and time and time again, them NEVER calling you back when they say they will, NEVER replying to your emails, having members of staff who answer the phone blatantly lie to you, then you getting a Head of HR job and said recruiter chases you to meet for a coffee and discuss my needs for recruitment within 5 days of your start date. Now that is ironic in my book! This is not a recruiter or recruitment industry bashing thread but my own personal observation.”

Unsurprisingly it has turned in to exactly what you would expect, a recruitment bashing thread.

Unfortunately the real irony has been missed altogether.

The real irony is that recruitment has turned in to a circle of abuse that only the abused can break.

You probably know this statistic already, but here goes. People who have been bullied are twice as likely to bully themselves.

The candidate that experiences the worst that recruitment agencies have to offer is the only one that can break this circle. They can break this circle when they become the client. The client is THE customer. The stakeholder with the greatest power to define how recruitment agencies treat candidates.

Indeed there are lots of things we agencies can do to improve the experience for candidates – all of which can be measured and reported. Unfortunately it’s an expensive model.

Even more unfortunately, most clients don’t want to pay for it.

The very people who often complain about the conduct of recruitment agencies are utterly unwilling to invest their own time and their (employer’s) own money in improving the candidate experience.

That’s the real irony.


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