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Recruiters – Friend or Foe?

We often review things at in the eye of the candidate or client. This time, I asked the recruitment consultants within a global recruitment group to offer feedback on what is happening in the market from their perspective. It makes interesting reading….

Fact – it is no longer a candidate short market

There are now a large number of candidates actively looking for work due to widespread redundancies and budgets for contractors being cut.

Despite competing with an increased number of candidates the recruitment consultants are surprised at applicants still sending in out of date resumes, often poorly presented. In a candidate short market, recruiters may have on occasions overlooked this if the content of the resume itself was good. These days when you’ve got a pile of applications to plough through, this lack of attention to detail is reason enough to put people in the ‘No’ pile.

So, what are candidates doing to stand out from the crowd?

For some, not a lot. Some individuals who have been made redundant are entering the market deflated, or those who are not getting called for interviews are becoming dismissive in their approach. A number of recruiters felt that the current economic stresses allow candidates to become complacent and when they ring in about a role and they tend to moan about what is not happening for them. Whilst the consultants can be empathetic to their situations they are not employed to be counsellors. Instead requesting that candidates need to switch it on and be positive when applying for any and every opportunity. Positivity pays.

Every consultant agreed that people should follow up every application with a call and sell themselves over the phone. Naturally the consultant may not be available as they are also targeted to meet their clients so can be out of the office a fair bit. Candidates should prepare a short pitch as to why they are right for the role. Many individuals have not been in the market for some time so have very little idea as to how to construct their resume and ‘work the market’.

The recruiting client

Employers still look for the exact fit. This is frustrating to the candidate and the recruiter! Some have intense selection criteria and will simply not be flexible on anything. Then, when they have interviewed so many people the consultants find it hard to track down the interviewer for feedback. Feedback is vital for the candidate to progress whether successful or not.

There is a definite shift towards hidden jobs our there. Employers are offering their staff referral incentives and not publishing ads out to the market – online or in print.

And finally, the recruiter

The main shift in this market appears to be working with the right recruitment consultants. There has been a lot of commentary around recruiters being authentic, genuine with their advice and available for candidates. When the market turns it will be these consultants who have a great rapport with candidates who will then have new clients to represent.

Candidates become clients and vice versa.

As for you, the candidate – consider how you project yourself on paper, over the phone, in person, on the stage in interview and receiving feedback.

Recruitment consultants need you as much as you need them.
Maximize your interaction at every opportunity.


Sally-Anne Blanshard is the founder and Director of Nourish Coaching and helps people reinvent their careers, businesses and life through structured coaching programs.  She has been featured on TV, Radio and is often quoted in newspapers and magazines.

Nourish Coaching – Feed your Career Cravings – Satisfy Life’s Appetite. 0433 162244

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