Newest Review: ... one occasion, having told them I no longer wanted to stay on my temporary assignment due to the lies I had been fed about it, I had 3 diff... more
They are there to provide a service, but do they ?
Recruitment Agencies in general
Member Name: Garfo
Recruitment Agencies in general
Date: 30/08/01, updated on 30/08/01 (859 review reads)
Advantages: Some very professional
Disadvantages: Some downright incompetent
As soon as I was given the news, I decided that I was not going to get down about it – face facts, and get on with life ! Having had several not-so-good experiences with Employment Agencies in the past, I was a fairly reluctant to go and register with any of them. However, they are there to supposedly help us find a job, and I didn’t want to cut off my nose to spite my face, so to speak. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but these agencies are there to provide a service to us, as well as the clients they are so proud to represent. We are their bread and butter – if it wasn’t for the flow of people in, out and around the career world, then employment agencies wouldn’t be there.
I have registered with most of the employment agencies in Exeter since the day I was given notice of my position being made redundant (about five weeks ago) and thought I would give readers & members a run-down on their different responses and service provided since then. Some of the agencies are national, if not international companies, but some may be exclusive to this area of the UK.
The registration process is fairly involved with all of them – it’s not simply a matter of calling them up and asking them to find you a job. You need to make appointments to go in and see the appropriate consultant, depending on the type of position you are seeking. Once secured, this appointment can take anything from a quick chat, to 2 hours of filling in registration forms (always so long-winded!), taking various tests (data entry, psychometrics etc), and interviews with the consultant.
My plan : I spent one afternoon walking around town, going in to each agency in person, and checking if I was able to email my CV to the branch, as well as getting the correct consultant details, so I could mark the email
for their attention, if I was using a general office email address. This was a fairly easy task, and all of the agencies were helpful, giving me business cards with the relevant details. So, off home I went, having updated my CV in Word format, including all my contact details and mailed my CV out to them. I also typed a covering letter explaining my situation, the type of job I was looking for, and my salary expectations. I titled my email “Pre-registration Contact”, so that they were aware I was expecting some sort of reply. Responses were as follows, categorized by agency in no particular order :
OFFICE ANGELS – the consultant called me the day after receiving my email, asked me a few questions (all the answers were already in my covering letter sent with my CV), and then told me they had nothing on their books at that time that would be suitable for me, but would be in touch as soon as they did. Not a word from them since then. Hey ho…..
CONCORDE RECRUITMENT – complete silence ! Not even an acknowledgement of my email. Very shabby offices when I popped in to get the contact details. In fact, I didn’t even speak to anyone, as there was no reception area, and despite a bell ringing on the door when I went in, nobody came through to see who was there !
TACT CONTACT - a very professional team, and highly recommended. The consultant called me the day after receiving my email, and booked an appointment for me to visit the agency 2 days later. The offices are well decorated and clean (open plan), and a friendly greeting when I arrived made me feel quite at home ! The consultant I was meeting came through from her desk and greeted me personally, and gave me the registration forms to fill in while she went back to her desk to carry on with her work. Once I had completed the forms, I went through to her desk for as brief chat about what my expectations were, a bit of info about the agency, and then she
got stuck into her files and found 3 positions she thought I would be interested in. I was given the full brief on each position, she checked that I was interested in them, and asked my permission to send off my CV to the companies. Very good – I was impressed ! Next, she got on the phone while I was sitting with her, and “cold-called” a few companies (having checked with me first if I approved!) to see if they would be interested in seeing my details. Wow! I have never experienced this before, but the professionalism really made me feel that these people were well trained, and genuinely making a go of finding me a job. Since our first meeting, they have kept me updated on a regular basis on any new positions coming in, again checking to see if I was interested and asking if it was okay for them to forward my CV on. I have been for a few interviews, the last of which I was offered the job ! A brilliant team, and a model for all the other agencies.
SECURICOR RECRUITMENT – as above for Tact. Very professional, good contact at all times, very keen to help me find a job. The consultant phoned me a day after receiving my CV. Office (open plan) was decent and clean. If I hadn’t found anything suitable by the time I was due to leave my current company, the consultant had lined up a couple of temporary positions to see me through until such time as an acceptance for a permanent job was done and dusted. My CV was sent out to several companies after checking with me, but I had accepted the job through Tact before I was able to attend any interviews. Top marks !
ADECCO – the registration process here took 2 hours in all, including the chat with the consultant. Nicely appointed open plan offices. I was contacted pretty quickly to go in and register. Only one job possibility on file suitable for me, but she was unsure of when the position would be available, as the company were very undecided whether they wanted anyone at all
! The consultant was very friendly. However, since registration, I have had to call in to check if she had any news for me (“sorry, nothing at the moment”), and she has now gone away on holiday. I would have thought she could have called me to let me know about this, and to let me know someone else would be on the lookout for suitable positions for me in her absence. Started off well, but took a downhill slide after that !
CALIBRE RECRUITMENT – Nice offices. I was emailed acknowledgement of receipt of my CV, and a request to call and make an appointment to see the relevant consultant. She greeted me personally when I arrived and took me through to an office to fill out the registration forms, asking me to ring her when I was through. We stayed in the office for our chat about my expectations, after which I went through to the main office area to do a few computer-based tests. The disappointment with the consultant was that she kept suggesting positions that were obviously not within my field of interest, as well as salaries below my expectations. Puzzling ! I left there feeling frustrated, as it seemed she hadn’t listened to what I had to say, and just wanted to fill the positions she had on file, no matter who she put forward for them. No interviews set up, and no contact after registration (this really bugs me!).
BROOK STREET – A great team of people – very friendly. Registration wasn’t necessary here, as they already had my details on file from a couple of years back when I was making a few enquiries about a post they were advertising. Their offices are open plan, and newly decorated. The consultant contacted me very quickly, as she was very excited about a job they had on file she felt was ideal for me. Turns out it was the same position I had previously made enquiries about (this should have set the alarm bells ringing!). She checked if I would like her to forward my details for the position, and I wa
s called for an interview the following week for that job. The interview was a complete joke – basically it didn’t happen because the manager was too tied up on the phone! No feedback from the agency after that, and no contact since. Disappointing after a good start.
BLUE ARROW – One of the consultants called me the day after receiving my CV to let me know that the consultant I needed to see was on holiday that week, but she booked me an appointment there and then for the following week. Their offices aren’t great – a bit run down. I filled out the registration forms (yawn!!), raced through an audio typing test (don’t know why I had to do that in the first place !), and then had a chat with the consultant, who was pleasant enough. Again, I found her pushing me into completely the wrong directions as far as the job-specs went. Since then, no contact from them. When I called to let them know I had accepted a position with another agency, I was told that the consultant I had met was on leave – nice of them to let me know (again!).
SPRING PERSONNEL – Contacted me after receiving my email, but didn’t have anything on file at that stage, so said they would keep in touch. 2 weeks later they called to ask me what I was looking for and to find out my salary expectations. These were detailed in my covering note I sent with my CV! Conveniently, this was the same day I accepted the new job, so I told them not to worry.
PERTEMPS – I did have to make a follow up call a week after sending my CV through to check that it had been received. My designated consultant was a little disorganised, and said she would call me back a few days later. She did, and we arranged a meeting for a couple of days later. Offices a bit pokey – she didn’t seem to have her own desk! After filling in the reg forms, she took me through and sat with me at a little coffee table right in front of 2 other consulta
nt’s desks. She was very professional, though, and mentioned a few clients who I may be interested in working for, and forwarded my details to a few companies. She did keep in contact fairly regularly, and always checked positions with me before sending off my CV. Thumbs up for them, I think!
WESTAFF – Another follow up call from me, to find they were going through a bit of a reshuffle internally, but I would be contacted shortly to arrange a meeting. They did call me back, and I went in to register. Their offices are nice and big, each consultant in their own office. The consultant I saw was pleasant enough, a little plastic though. Unfortunately, they had nothing on file for me, but for some reason she wanted to send my CV through to another branch quite a distance from where I’m based.
A lot of you may have found this a somewhat long-winded, but hopefully it’ll give anybody from the area a reasonable insight (and warning!) into the employment agency choices in Exeter. I didn’t register with all available agencies out of personal choice, but this does cover most of them.