Running The Gauntlet With Recruitment Agencies
Let’s face it recruitment agencies are here to stay. How can we manage the love/hate relationship between agencies and candidates? As a candidate you need to wise up to some conflicts of interest that are doomed to arise between you and your agent.

But first let’s understand the job market. We’ve all become lazy and fallen down the path of least resistance.

Frustrated jobseekers assume that all it takes to land that perfect job is to blast as many résumés as possible over the internet. Dishing out the same résumé to every job advert you’re replying to is like trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

Unscrupulous recruiters would be quite content to steal their competitors’ employees without any need for training or induction. They seek ways to move people out of employment altogether and hire them back as contractors who have to cater for their own insurance and superannuation.

Employers have axed their human resources departments and scores of recruitment agencies are clamouring to fill the gap. They in turn keep databases of candidates and are in the process of profiling people – treating them not as human beings but as a commodity they can on-sell to someone else. They like to pull up names that match a certain set of keywords and they use scanning software to skim through résumés hoping to find that 5 legged sheep that their client is after.

They sometimes advertise positions that do not exist for the sake of conducting their own job market research and finding out who might apply for that. Worse they sometimes ring you up to find out in not so subtle ways what interviews you’ve had so that they can field candidates in opposition to the other agent who got you there.
So how can we bridge the gap between recruiters and jobseekers? The moment you consider the situation from the other party’s point of view you will start to break the deadlock.

The question a savvy candidate should ask is “What about if I identify the employer’s needs and go about to meet those needs?”

In fact they make it easier for you as most job adverts feature a bulleted list of requirements to fulfil. The message is clear: “If you don’t have those skills don’t bother to apply.”

You might well have those skills but by replying with the same boring boilerplate résumé you make it hard for the employer to search for them like a pin in a haystack. The truth is: if they don’t find what they want in the upper third of the first page of your CV they will not bother to investigate further.

Within reason there are ways to make you look like the perfect fit. Unfortunately it may take you several hours to rewrite a tailor-made version of your résumé which addresses specifically the requirements of the ad. That why most people don’t bother but that’s where lies the prize.