Recruitment agencies bad for Employer Branding?

One thing that you find out really fast while looking for a new position is that recruitment companies and their recruiters often are virtually impossible to reach…

Too many do not answer their phones, do not reply to sent e-mails and are often very stressed when you eventually get hold of them…  The most common response I have received (if you get them) in telephone is can you call another time/day or I am on my way into a meeting, can you keep it short… wow, no I cannot keep it that short… I am trying to pitch myself to you to get a meeting!

There is one company here in south of  Sweden where I have tried approx 60 times to get hold of a recruiter and now one year after and 6 different positions that has gone through that recruitment company, still not been able to get hold of him via phone or mail…

Or like the recruitment firm that I came to an interview to a couple of weeks ago where the recruiter spent 40 out 45 minutes telling me that she could not use my experience for any client since I have had some positions that are approx 2 years in each company and that it is impossible to deliver anything until year 3 in a position… and she claimed that it was a common idea among marketing managers in this region of Sweden… She did not even care to listen to what I could deliver as an potential employee with a long term experience from international companies… Just dissed me totally…

Needless to say that when I get into a hiring position they will not get any work sent their way… Nor will I ever recommend them…

Is this how you as an employer really want your brand to be exposed to the candidates?

What would your own first impression be of a company who you have to call 10-15 times to get hold of and that do not reply to your e-mails… an initial gut feeling response would be I would not do business with a company that treated me like that as a potential customer…

So I have a few very simple advice regarding this to both recruitment companies and HR-departments that would boost the general employer brand and possibilities to recruit when it comes to a time when there are a scarcity of competent people to hire.

  • Set dates and times where you will be able to take calls and answer e-mails or chat and make sure that you are available goes both for agencies and companies
  • Do not start a process with advertising etc and then go on vacation… see above!
  • Brief true and well on what is to be expected for the future in the position and a bit about where they expect the employee to be in the coming years
  • Make sure that the recruitment agency understand your employer branding effort and the true culture of the company… not the wished for corporate culture
  • Do a follow-up with those that did not pass to the different stages of the process and learn their experiences… and you might actually learn something from them about your image and if there are things to improve in the recruitment process
This is not rocket science… Just common sense… Protect your brand, it is by far the most valuable asset you have second only to your employees…

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