What are the greatest misconceptions candidates have about recruitment consultants?
That we advertise bogus jobs. What they do not realise is that it is illegal to do so. Candidates can rest assured that all jobs advertised by Hays really exist.
That recruitment consultants do not care about placing candidates in the right job, we just care about placing them. Our aim, however, is to develop a repeat business relationship with the companies we deal with, and we can only do this through making the best job placement with well-suited candidates who stay in the role.
Candidates get frustrated when their consultant is unavailable for them to speak with. What they do not realise is that recruitment consultants spend the majority of their day on the phone and visiting companies to ensure that vacancies are placed with their recruitment organisation. They need to do this in order to have available positions to discuss with candidates.
Another misconception is that temporary assignments can be easily changed or moved between. Yet candidates cause many difficulties if they decide not to continue in a temporary assignment or if they do not arrive for an arranged interview with a company. Your recruitment consultant has worked extremely hard on winning the trust of the company to place vacancies with them. A candidate taking such actions can be enough for a company to decide not to deal with that recruitment consultant again.
What service does a consultant provide to me? Who do they act for? Me or a potential employer?
Your recruitment consultant aims for a "win win" situation between candidate and company. It is their role to ensure they provide an impressive shortlist of candidates who meet the criteria the vacancy requires. It is, however, sometimes not possible to submit all suitable candidates, as the company want a limited shortlist in order to save them time. The consultant must therefore determine the strongest candidates. Even though you may not be shortlisted for a given role, the consultant will consider you for all suitable future roles.
On meeting with a candidate, a good recruitment consultant gives feedback on a candidate's interview technique and resume layout. It is the consultant's role to ensure a candidate has all of the information about a role to enable them to decide whether they are interested in it. If they are, thorough details regarding both the position and the company are given to ensure you have the best chance of securing the role. Candidates who have not been on interview for a long period of time, or who are entering the marketplace are assisted with "pre interview coaching" to improve their chances.
If you are not the successful candidate, your recruitment consultant will give you feedback from the company as to why you were not selected. If you are the lucky one, your consultant will negotiate to secure you the package you are after, without jeopardising the offer of employment.
Is it reasonable to expect a consultant to give me career advice?
Yes. At Hays, we are the recruiting experts, so our consultants have the experience in their business sector to enable them to advise you.
Will most recruiters schedule my initial interview with them after hours?
Most recruitment consultants work from 8am - 6pm (at least), and appreciate it if you can meet with them within these timeframes. It is not possible to meet with large numbers of candidates after hours, as it is also the role of the consultant to attend networking and client functions to maximise the number of roles they have to offer you. Of course, we do see some candidates out of these hours, but these timeslots get snapped up very quickly.
How confidential is my conversation with a recruiter?
The recruiter needs to be able to "tell your story" to potential companies, and will advise you of every role before your resume is submitted (unless you have agreed otherwise). You can rest assured that your current employer will not find out about your job search through us. No reference check would be taken up with them until you advise us we are able to do so.
What can I do as a candidate to get everything possible out of my contact with a consultant?
Keep them informed as to which jobs appeal and which do not. Never go on an interview to make the consultant happy - go on it because you are interested. If you are in a temporary assignment, let them know how to contact you. Also advise your consultant if you are nearing the final stage with another role.
Will a consultant mind if I tell them I am seeing other recruitment firms?
No. Many candidates are registered with more than one recruitment firm. However, often there is no need to join a number of consultancies, as a good recruitment consultant will have a number of companies wanting to interview you.
Should I admit that I'm not sure about leaving my current job and that I am just trying to suss out what opportunities might exist in my field?
Yes. Recruitment consultants are more than happy to discuss the trends, and types of roles available. You should not book a whole interview slot, but instead request a "discussion" during which they can assist you in determining whether you are better off moving or staying where you are. It is not fair to your recruitment consultant to have them work at getting you an offer for a new role, only to use it as leverage to get what you want with your existing employer.
What does a consultant expect from me?
Honesty, to fulfil any commitments you make (eg work for the full duration of your temporary assignment and call in if you will be ill or late, etc), listen carefully to the details of a role so that you are able to explain the duties to the interviewer, to be a great ambassador for the recruitment consultancy (impressing the interviewer), and to keep in touch.