I get contacted by agencies a lot.
Sometimes they have “found my details on a job website” yet they want me to send them my CV (despite it being on the same site they found my details on). Sometimes they’ll say “I’ve got your CV here”, then proceed to ask you what qualifications/experience you have.
Sometimes I get emails that start with something like “Dear Ben, I am contacting you because I found your details on Jobsite and am recruiting for a role in…” and ends with something that says “if you think this might be suitable, please reply to this email”. And in between, there’ll be a job specification for a nuclear physicist or a consultant heart surgeon, or something else that involves many many years of training and experience. Do they think I’ve just neglected to mention on my CV the 10 years I spent saving lives in a third world hospital? Obviously I can do a triple heart bypass with just a coathanger and some drinking straws from McDonalds. It’s an absolute piece of piss.
“Oh shit…yes.. I was part of the team that built the Large Hadron Collider. Only I was smoking so much weed during that period, I don’t remember it so good. I knew there was something I forgot to put on my CV”.
There’ll be a bit right at the end saying that if I know anyone else suitable, maybe I’d like to forward this on to them. Are they just sending these emails to everyone they’ve ever spoken to? What is this? The six-degrees-of-separation method of recruiting?
Half the time when you apply directly to an agency who has advertised a role on Jobsite, you get a confirmation from Jobsite that the recruiter has received the email. And that’s it. You’ll never hear from them again.
Sometimes an agency will phone me about a job role, and ask me questions that let me know that they don’t really understand what they’re recruiting for. I once had the Jobcentre ask me if they could put me forward for a role that required 3 years experience of programming in C++. They were quite surprised to hear this required specialist knowledge that not all people working in the IT sector just instinctively know.
A couple of months back, a guy phoned me and told me about an urgent temporary 3-month role for an IBM specialist company. They use IBM software, and they want someone to support it. I’ve never supported IBM software, and there’s nothing on my CV to suggest otherwise, but he persisted anyway. They had stipulated someone who knew IBM software and had worked in an ITIL environment. I don’t, and I haven’t. Unconcerned by this though, he told me he’d put me forward and send me the full job description anyway. I can only imagine what the reply was, given that he never came back to me, nor sent me the job description.
Anyway, given my post about how recruitment companies might be a massive waste of time, I think it’s only fair that I write about the better ones when I do have a good experience.
Which brings me nicely to Temple Quay Recruitment.
Last week, I had a phone call from Laura at Temple Quay Recruitment. She had found my CV on a job site (probably Jobsite), and has a technical/IT vacancy to talk to me about. I didn’t hold out much hope for this.
I couldn’t have been more surprised to find out that it was at a level I could work at. The client had even asked for someone with the exact qualification I have. What a bit of luck. And Laura knew what qualifications I had without having to ask me, given that she’d actually bothered to read my CV.
After telling me about the role, she even told me which company it was for. This isn’t as common as you might think, though also not exactly rare. Not every agency will tell you, but some do. Either way, I put down the phone thinking the conversation went reasonably well, but still expecting never to hear from her again.
So colour me even more surprised when my phone rang half an hour ago, and it was Laura phoning me about it. As it turns out, the company went with someone they know. Still, getting a phone call to confirm I won’t be being invited for an interview, is considerably better than just waiting and wondering, and never hearing anything more.
So there you go. Not all recruitment companies are a waste of time. Most of them are, but not all of them.
(Slight disclosure. One of the IT support companies I’ve worked for in the past, looked after the computer systems at Temple Quay Recruitment. However, I’ve probably never met Laura, and I doubt anyone there remembers me, given that it was quite a few years ago.)