3 April 2013

Rant - with Kassie Patterson HR Manager at Silver Lake Resources

Rant - with Kassie Patterson HR Manager at Silver Lake Resources

(sorry had to remove the Bogan bit - I am a lady after all)

After a really bad week (dealing with bad agencies) and complaining to McShane over numerous phone calls. I asked or probably in fact demanded to be able to write the next monthsbogan rant. My problem is there is so much to complain about its hard to know where to start?

I think my theme will be Muppet List - Internals Unite.

Back in the day when I did a short stint in agency recruitmentwe had this industry joke called a Muppet List - it was a list we would talk about over beers with other recruiters from other agencies and clients who'd been around the industry for a while. It was a list of those candidates who always apply to everything but no-one touches them, the ones who claim to have qualifications but don't - the dodgy ones and after a while you get to recognise their names, remember their interviews or their ref checks and you know to steer clear as soon as you see them apply. Some of these names still stick with me today.

Well this got me thinking - couldn't we apply the same principle to agencies? You know the ones who float unsolicited CV's, who don't know the difference between a Geologist and a Metallurgist and why it matters, the ones who contact line managers behind your back, who forward your CV without asking you, to companies you don't want to work for, those who offer 35% fees at a "reduced rate" - I can go on………

So why don't we as "Internals" unite and build a Muppet List relating to agencies - let others learn from our mistakes and benefit from our negotiations. Share our bad stories - if nothing else, it surely has to be entertaining.

Let me start with one - last week I spent my time talking with lawyers about drafting a letter to a Perth based agency - lets call them Agency C. This agency had forwarded an unsolicited CV to a line Manager for a role that he wasn't recruiting for and against all previous direction given by me on our recruitment process. They were kindly told to piss off and the email and CV was deleted. A month later we enlisted the services of Stealth to recruit specifically for a role - they forwarded candidates and we arranged interviews. I then get a call from Agency C complaining that a CV they sent through of a candidate was now been represented by another agency - many emails ensued and finally they noted they will pursue payment for the placement of this candidate. I initiate the lawyers and they initiate bagging us and trying to get said candidate to take other "better options". So the lawyers letter has been sent to their General Manager and I await the outcome.

But the worst bit - following all of this and amidst my complaining to others of Agency C, it comes out that there are many other HR professionals who have had the same issues with the exact same agency and just like my old Muppet List - recognise the name and know to steer clear!

So I guess the point of this rant is - I'm sick of having to spend time doing things that I shouldn't be doing - like talking with lawyers and writing threatening letters and while I'm at it answering phone calls all days from Recruiters who "specialise" in this and that and want to put a candidate forward for an advert I've posted about 5 minutes ago - because obviously I post adverts for recruitment agencies to make their business development easier not to actually find candidates myself.

As a HR profession (and Line Managers and candidates looking for a job feel free to join the cause) - it is our responsibility to knock these recruitment cowboys out of the park. The only way they survive is by getting paid and they only way they get paid is by providing a recruitment service - if they are not providing a service you're happy with, then tell them to back off. Recruitment is not luck, it's not flicking CV's and hoping they stick,it's not posting an advert just like any company can do and finding the same candidates I can. When I pay for a recruitment service, I'm only happy to pay when a recruiter can find me the exact candidate who is Superman with his jocks on the outside, living on some remote island with no access to SEEK, who I would have never been able to find myself, who is keen to work for us, for the money we're offering and under the conditions that are on offer. That my friend, is service and if you're getting anything less then you're getting screwed - if you feel like the agencies hold the power then come and sit with me for a day and I'll give you a lesson in hard-arse. McShane has felt it first hand and I'm sure is a better recruiter for it  :-)

So the moral of the story is - push back, don't be threatened and share with others. Internals let's unite and start this Muppet List so we can weed out the cowboys and acknowledge the good guys and lift the standard of the recruitment industry for all of our benefit.

If you want to contribute to the Muppet List ask McShane for my email address - I've already got a few I want to share with you.