"Who's your boss?"

Approaching recruitment for the first time is always a bit of a tricky one. You dread the thought of getting someone onboard only to throw them overboard again after a few weeks because you totally misjudged their capacity to work, think or be part of the team. You advertise your position and after a few weeks of interviews you start to wonder if you aren't just doing it all wrong. It's in these moments of sheer desperation that that the Recruitment Agency beckons.

Well, actually, the Recruitment Agency isn't just beckoning, it's phoning you up every other day from Glasgow, West London and various other locations, telling you all about the FANTASTIC engineer that they've got just sitting on their books BEGGING to be hired by you if only you'll sign their paperwork and agree to let them inundate you with CVs. They only charge an eye-watering percentage of the recruit's first year salary.

Now, before I go all nuts here - there are exceptions - companies who build their reputation on their relationship with you and the candidate, who are used over and over again over decades by technical people and who do a great job. But frankly these are rare and when you find them, you hang on to them for dear life. Yes, they cost good money. But they also send you great people and they do so politely and respectfully. They also don't cold call.

So I want to offer you some helpful advice on dealing with those who can't read or understand English.

Cold emailing is pretty simple. Every mail server has an option you can set which will cause emails from a specific domain to be dropped on the floor and ignored forever. When Airsource is emailed by a recruitment company, they get a polite email explaining why they are being blacklisted and then - into the blacklist they go. I know this isn't very nice, but frankly, emailing me when I've asked not to be emailed by you isn't very nice either, so my conscience is clear.

This goes for those who claim not to be recruitment agencies;

When you are next looking to recruit, wouldn't you like to: - Reduce you(sic) cost per hire by thousands - Reduce the time it takes you to recruit - Increase the exposure of your vacancy and have it potential(sic) viewed by millions of active job seekers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356(sic) days per year. FooDeBlah is not a recruitment agency - in fact we're very different. The biggest difference is that we do not charge an end placement fee.

Yes, 356 days a year. After all, even agencies need to have some time off. But different? Different you say? You, sir, look like a duck. You talk like a duck. You walk like a duck. You email as if you were a duck. You are on my blacklist.

Of course, you then get the agencies who think that getting on the phone to you is somehow special - it's actually ok to call me up and waste even more of my time instead of emailing me. That somehow I won't be nearly as annoyed.

Two particularly cute stories - I had a nice chap from Glasgow who just "happened to ring me up" and "hadn't seen any ads online" so couldn't possibly have noticed anything whatsoever about my request to not be contacted by an agency. When challenged that in fact this was a load of old rubbish, the poor bloke got all teary on me - "if we never called up people who asked not to be contacted, we'd never get any business." Deary me.

The second one was a more aggressive gentleman who rung me up and insisted on trying to pry as many possible details as he could from me. I resisted, explained that frankly we weren't interested in his services and that he really shouldn't ever call us again. He got a little shirty at this point and said "Who's your boss?" My reply was "I'm the CEO of Airsource."

Nick Clarey
in Opinion

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