Will your recruitment consultant work hard for you, if you are registered with other agencies?

by K B , updated on May 20, 2016

Q&A: Recruitment Consultants

I received these questions on my blog.

I thought I would answer with a post.

They’re good questions.

“Hi Karalyn,

I have now registered with several recruitment agencies when applying for positions advertised on the Seek website.

I have two questions please … I have heard that if you register with many recruitment agencies, and these recruitment agencies are aware of this fact, they “don’t work as hard for you”. Is this true?

Secondly, I have done skill testing in Microsoft applications such as Excel and Word, as well as Data Entry and typing tests, with the first recruitment agency I registered with. Is it above board to offer these test results to other recruitment agencies, to avoid the necessity of repeating them?

Thanks for your help!”

OK, here goes.

A recruitment agency will work had for you if you have skills in demand (that they can place), or are immediately up for a job they have on their books.

If you have registered with many other recruitment agencies, and are about to sign for a job, then the consultant may leave it there with you, and wish you luck.

Good recruitment consultants will ask you qualifying questions about what you’ve been up to in your job hunt so far, other recruitment agencies you are registered with, and how serious you are about securing another role.

If you’re a “gun” applicant a recruiter may ask you to work with them exclusively for a time. You should think carefully about this – for many reasons.

If you are not so hot as a candidate, or it is unlikely that the agency will be able to place you, a good recruitment consultant would encourage you to look elsewhere and make some recommendations about who may be better placed to help.

When I worked in recruitment I would consider how many places a candidate had registered with as an indicator of how keen they were to move, or even how bad they were as an applicant – it really depended on the scenario.

As a candidate you have every right to ask the recruitment consultant for some honesty in the process.

If you’ve registered with a few agencies, and worry about how that may impact your relationship with a consultant, there’s nothing wrong with the question

“Are you likely to be able to place me?” If their answer is yes, you can tell the consultant that you are happy to work with just them for a while.

Two provisos apply to this answer.

* This scenario applies for more junior candidates. If you’re at the executive level your relationship with a recruitment agency will be different.

** I use the qualifying term “good” recruitment consultant. If you are with a bad or an inexperienced consultant, all bets are off.

On your second question on testing – you can always offer to show your results. Some recruitment agencies use the same testing systems. Some don’t.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

InterviewIQ February 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm

#recruitment How hard will your recruitment consultant work for you, if you’re registered with other agencies? http://interviewiq.com.au/will-your-recr

WorkCoachCafe February 3, 2011 at 12:57 am

@InterviewIQ How hard will your #recruitment consultant work for you, if you’re registered w/ other agencies? http://interviewiq.com.au/will-your-recr… #jobsearch

InterviewIQ February 3, 2011 at 6:45 am

@WorkCoachCafe Thanks for the RT ronnie ann. Hope you are surviving the snow.

WorkCoachCafe February 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

@InterviewIQ Thx for asking. We lucked out when early morning icy mix turned to rain yesterday. Make me jealous. Are you sunning yourself?

InterviewIQ February 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

@WorkCoachCafe Sun is good. But most of Sydney is cranky due to lack of sleep. Nights are hot. I can’t believe I am complaining about this!

WorkCoachCafe February 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

@InterviewIQ “Nights..hot..can’t believe..complaining” I so get that!! Hot & no a/c much of last summer; barely slept. May it cool down soon

InterviewIQ February 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

#resume #jobhunt Will your recruitment consultant work hard for you if you are registered with other agencies http://interviewiq.com.au/will-your-recr

LukiSoeradinata February 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

RT @InterviewIQ: #resume #jobhunt Will your recruitment consultant work hard for you if you are registered with other agencies http://ow

Daniel February 15, 2011 at 5:48 am

While it’s good to get some feedback from a recruitment consultant, unfortunately I’d say there are as many bad ones as there are good ones.

In UK, for every great consultant I’ve met, I’ve met one who had a look at my CV and then tried to sell me a job completely different to what I want to do.

karalyn February 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks Daniel, that does happen. Kind of defines a good consultant vs an average one. Although a very good consultant should be able to tell you or give you ideas about roles that you may have never thought about.

Daniel February 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

Yes, and there have been a few who have! I think it would be an idea to set up some form of feedback site about certain consultants and how they treat customers, but as millions are out of work currently, I suppose everyone just tries anything.

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