Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Rectuitment Consultancy Industry

Rectuitment consultants have a bit of a hard old time of it, and I am often too harsh if the truth be told. To me they are like a man offering a luxury umbrella on a dry day, while they are someone who suddenly doesnt have an umbrella and no, sorry you cant come inside out of the rain when you are unemployed.

It began that my first two real career moves in the 1990s involved employers trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the consultants and admittedly hedging their bets a little. Both jobs took a while to hear back from and I was in. some time after being in both jobs I either happened to be looking for a new job with the original agency I believed had landed the job for me, or they just phoned up a year into the job out of the blue. Naughty naughty, the recruiiter had not been told I had been employed, and hey presto they could now send a bill to the employer because there is a nice little clause in the contract about candidates presented are embargoed wares if given other jobs.

When changing from the second of those jobs, I did not see the point in going through rectuiters having learned this, and applied directly to a big ad agency and landed a good job. From that job in 1999 I took the slightly dodgey move into the internet consultancy and programming company world, but you know we did not have hindsight of how much a bubble this was- everyone needed web sites, and the emporer's new clothes need a complete shift each year.  Two recruiters and two failed companies later I lost my taste for the economics of agency land and how miserable bosses were becoming in not giving out company cars any more, while expecting bags of free overtime off our backs.  Then of course recruiters were just not interested, the internet bubble was burst, traditional advertising was in a long hang over  and the rush to "client side" was palpable.

Finally I managed after a year of doing very little but part time for my mate's small company, to get then a move into a real job and it proved to be very good. I took three or even four attempts, I had also made maybe five attempts to get into said largish company before, European HQ of a US company. This time there were two jobs and two rectuiters making everything seem like double the opportunity. Howevver I did not fit the bill for either recruitment company. I went direct and the director was delighted with my open application and actually rebudgeted a job specifically for me, minister without portfolio as it may have been, but tantamount to doing a paid for MBA due to it being a wall street listed company and all the reporting of actual sales, forecasts, marketing spends, sector growth and so on.

I emmigrated after just over two years there and that is when my real issues with consultants started. In ten years of being in Norway I have had one temp job doing B2B telesales in my home town, and very, very few interviews infront of employers. Recently I was enticed into a two hour drive and city centre parking prices to an agency who had promised to take me to an employer for a real life job opp'. Instead they apoligised, and then gave me the spanish inquisition on why I left my last job or actually lost it.  I felt very deflated and since then, they have not been answering my calls or e-mails either which is insult to injury.

The trouble is now with the internet and low price volume advertising on the main national web sites, agencies work differently. You tend to get into a bemanning company, outsourcing or what have you via a first advertisement, and then if that is just a temp position but you are a worthy character then you are high on the list for the next as a proven nice little earner. These companies then like Manpower seem to have their books filled with worthies and get hundreds of applicants when they advertise attractive jobs.

. The finders fee and head hunter branch proport to the employers that they have extensive databases of candidates and a business network. This means in fact that they have cheap advertising to the great self selecting database of the public with internet access, or they use Linked in to annoy people sitting in jobs.

Now my language skills have got a little ahead of me unfortunetly, I am able to think and babble on a little too much in Norsk than my previously nicely stalled brain to mouth interview sililoquys used to go. I just need to slow down a bit, but I wonder if now finally I will be able to use the agencies to get something temp now that I no longer want to be a self employed consultant or be sitting in a very boring admin job like my last one, on a permanent contract with no real excuse for leaving. I made a scene and got kind of fired, by mutual agreement but more me telling them nope, this was no good and you cant complain about me.

The key according to my employment services (outsoruced) advisor is that I should now just hassle them on a regular weekly basis for work because so many employers here are hedging their bets on their being a change in the law to enable them to basically take on all new employees they see fit to, on indefinite temp' contracts. Also in the oil industry I would be damned lucky given the oil prices.

However the industry is just going to have a correction in fact, where they will be actually able to rectruit engineers and staff willing to work outside the Norsk sector to right-size finally after many years of not having enough staff and relying on either over time, or actually slowing down contracts of refusing them out right. For me now as a skilled administrator, hey presto in fact those punters in jobs or with Stavanger mortgages do not in the name of hell want to shift now with all the uncertainty. So every cloud has its silver lining and that cant be bad after my last supposed silver lining contained a nasty thunder cloud followed by a bloody tornado of crap, firefighting project failures, tedious unrelated admin dumped on me, poor systems I was not allowed to redevelop and a hum dinger of a bitch as a departmental boss who has gone through about ten employees in three years.

I have worked around recruiters here or been taken up by a dark horse recruiter having backed off from an initial one so unfrotunetly I am starting to meet recruiters who have moved agencies and remember me, and after a nice chat they never call me back. They have me down with hopefully just a mental note. I could still have dollars on my head, but more liklely I am risky to them as they have to land every contract they get so far with. So there is the straight approach to all the others, and there is then also finding out who the employer is and hearing directly with them.

In truth it looks like I will need to accept a bit of a mid paid admin job with a lot of boring stuff in it to keep my self going back into the real employment market, but it is ideal to go through an agency as I say in order to be more attractive to for employers with a good posiition for me, and eminently available. Finally at my grand old age I may have to make peace with the enemy and get on with ringing them incessently to get a foot in the door.

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