Confessions of a Recruitment Consultant

Many recent graduates seeking their first job after university are turning to recruitment consultancy. The lure of such is often the decent starting salary and promise of big bonuses as well as fast progression, as advertised in the plentiful listings for these positions. I have a sneaking suspicion that the fact that there are an ample amount of these types of jobs available is the reason why graduates are gravitating towards recruitment consultancy, in fear of not finding something they are more interested in. I’ve heard first hand that it is indeed hard work, but what’s really involved? In ‘Confessions of a Recruitment Consultant’, one anonymous graduate lets us in on a few little secrets, some hilarious but some quite worrying. 

One particularly striking aspect I learnt from reading the interview is the lack of consideration given to most applicants. The recruitment consultant says that they sometimes spend ‘as little as three seconds’ looking at a CV, that they ‘physically don’t have time to open every CV’ and that ‘there is a lot of blind luck involved’ regarding whether your CV will get looked at or not. This is understandable in one respect, but still quite disheartening for the graduate jobseeker. Perfecting your CV can take a lot of painstaking work, so the idea that it will be scanned, if noticed at all, isn’t too great!

It seems as though there is a lot of confrontation and backstabbing involved in the job too. The interviewee once received hate mail, which read, “I hate you. I hope you die and your career is ruined”, which obviously had an effect on their self-esteem. They also make the following claim, referring those who use underhand tactics to get ahead in the profession: ‘If I was more ruthless, I’d be more successful.’ Speaking of underhand tactics, the graduate who is ‘too nice to work in recruitment’ still admits to lying to candidates all of the time. I get the impression that this is what is expected rather than a personal quality of the graduate consultant.

On a lighter note, there seems to be quite a few comical instances in which a candidate has made a major faux pas, such as including drunken or semi-nude photos with their CV. This little anecdote is the best, ‘I once interviewed somebody who turned up holding a baguette and sat stroking it for the duration of the interview.’ So if you’re the type of person who sees the funny side of life, then recruitment consultancy isn’t all bad! Another positive aspect for this consultant in particular is the idea that they have the ability to make people’s dreams come true. How nice!?

For me personally, this is a job that I wouldn’t like to get into, mainly due to the urban legends going around about ruthless competition and intense pressure. Some people however thrive on such and are thus suited to a job in recruitment consultancy. Upon reading the interview, I imagine that many would be put off applying for a job through an agency, let alone at an agency. Have you been put off by the ‘Confessions of a Recruitment Consultant’?

 Image available under a CC License from Vincent Diamante.