A Sector with Integrity?

January 26, 2017

Candidates – Innocently you could be ‘one click’ away from losing the power of choice.

Intriguing? It is ….keep reading to the end and you too can learn what we learnt yesterday.

First of all, let me share with you what WE do at Time Recruitment.

When a client invites us to recruit, if we are unable to successfully source from candidates who have   already registered, we advertise the position on the best recruitment platform we know- we pay well for this service.

  • CV’s from candidates will start to come in.
  • We read every CV.
  • We shortlist.
  • We speak on the phone with the short listed candidates, and we invite for interview if appropriate at that stage.
  • Candidates arrive for interview, we take our candidates coats, and we offer tea or coffee.
  • We skill test when appropriate, either in our office or send remote tests to their home if this is preferred.
  • We interview in a private room.
  • We interview for approximately 1 hour, or more, and at the end introduce to all in our team and walk our candidate to the door (their coat now on them again!) to say goodbye.
  • During interview we establish a lot of information, including what the candidate is looking for, gaps on the CV, education, work experiences and much more.
  • We advise on CV’s and we often make the alterations ourselves and forward to the candidate for approval.
  • We take copies of the candidate’s passport, visa, proof of address, and proof of NI – i.e. The Right to Work.
  • If a temporary candidate, we take up references.
  • We email every candidate to thank them for registering with Time Recruitment.

We do all of this prior to submitting any CV’s to any client as this is what proper recruitment is. Proper recruitment is about understanding as much as possible about the client’s needs, the candidate’s needs, and matching both….and always with integrity.

We are a small agency with high standards and operate with compliance, honesty, transparency, and integrity running through everything we do.

For the last two weeks we have been going through our normal recruiting routine for a particular client. We were invited to recruit, in addition to two large national recruitment firms. We had previously successfully introduced a number of excellent (and long term) candidates, so the client invited us to recruit alongside two national recruitment firms. The client needed to use the national firms as they are part of a framework agreement.

We advertised as usual, as did one of the national recruitment firms.  Many potential candidates saw our advert, sent their CV in, and we invited the shortlist in to interview and completed all the stages I have just described. They had also spotted the same advert (posted by the national recruitment agency) and ‘clicked’ on it too, and also uploaded their CV.

The national agency sent an automated response to acknowledge receipt of the CV’s which we now know they forwarded straight to the client – that day.

*Key to this story is that they did not call and speak with the candidates, they did not email, they did not interview the candidates – they did not meet the candidates. They did not take copies of any compliance documentation – how could they as they hadn’t met the candidate’s!

We obsess day after day about compliance in our office.

To highlight – our candidates were unaware that their CV’s were of genuine interest and that they had been forwarded on to the client – as the national agency did not communicate any of this with them – apart from the automated response acknowledging receipt of application.

We did everything right- EVERYTHING.

So… after interviewing we sent the CV’s with short profiles and interview notes and imagine my shock/ disappointment/ horror to learn that the candidates had unknowingly already been forwarded by one of the national agencies.

The client advised that the candidates would need to be considered from the national agency instead of ours – as the CVs arrived first – pure and simple. Our contact was apologetic and grateful to us for the proper service provided but felt their hands were tied.

So… is this what is happening to an industry I have worked in for most of my career?

Is it ok for recruitment firms to treat clients and candidates with no consideration and respect and to just “take the money” if they happen to get lucky?

I have spoken with our account manager at the job site. They genuinely empathised but their hands were tied too and they felt that the client/company needed to set higher expectations with the national agency….or this would continue.

Candidate opinions?  Shocked! They wanted to go through Time Recruitment, their preference is not taken into consideration – these are intelligent individuals who are being treated as a number.

From here?  What can we do except back out and move on and write this blog….and with maturity say “it’s all ok “ to our candidates  – “you need to reply to the national agency now and just play the game with the national agency as the positions are very suitable for you”

I cannot and will not accept that this is good recruitment practice and after 30 years in the industry doing it the right way today has been a massive eye opener for all my colleagues with regards to how our competition is recruiting and they feel just as strongly as I do.

We will continue on as before with high standards but if your company is currently recruiting – and you have managed to read this to the end, please set high standards- you deserve to be treated properly, you pay well for a recruitment service and you deserve to receive a good service.

If you are a candidate, you also deserve a good recruitment service and deserve to be valued.

Keep your principles but also be very careful what you actually ‘click’ on.

Your CV could be sent to any company without any consultation with you.

So today Goliath has won…but David will return!

We will continue to keep our eye on the ‘bigger picture’ …for now the only consolation is that when we pull the door behind us this evening  we know we have done our job properly.

This is the first blog I have written. I was waiting for that special ‘feel good’ topic- this doesn’t feel good at all but it’s written and out there.


If you’d like to discuss this (or any other blog post) with us in more details, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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