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HireScores.com Recruitment ForumCandidates, Job Seekers, Employees, Consultants & Contractors CentreYour experiences (Moderator: HireScoresMark)On The Trail Of Rogue Recruiters
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Author Topic: On The Trail Of Rogue Recruiters  (Read 12779 times)
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« on: September 09, 2009, 07:16:08 AM »

The recruitment industry already turns over 27bn a year, and the UK Government says the vast majority of agencies are honest and responsible.

Based in Stirling, Contract Scotland is one such agency with nothing to hide. It specialises in getting the right clients into the right jobs in civil engineering and construction. But when director Emma Watts goes online to see what some of her less scrupulous competitors are up to, it's not hard to find cause for concern. "You'll see ... jobs advertised in the sector that we're in," she said. "I could go through half of those and tell you that they're purely manufactured. They don't exist at all."

One former recruitment agency employee called Todd left the industry in disgust at such rogue tactics. He said at the end of each working day he'd put a series of adverts on recruiting websites for jobs that weren't there. "You'd come in in the morning and there'd be 30 or 40 CVs waiting for you ... you'd get their CVs into the database," he said. "You were told 'don't get caught doing that'." Todd left the industry because he found these practices so underhand. He said: "I felt very much like I was manipulating people. "I'd gained their trust and obviously they were looking for something from you that you're saying you're going to give them and you have no intention - basically it's a big fat lie."

Another source who still works in the industry and wants to remain anonymous told us it was a far from unusual practice. But why advertise non-existent jobs? "It would be for the purpose of attracting great candidates who they could then 'sell on' speculatively to a number of clients," he said. And what of the people who'd applied in good faith for a job that wasn't there? "They go into a black hole," he said. "They'd probably receive an auto-generated e-mail to say thank you for your application, then never hear anything again."

Another trick is for one agency to muscle in on another's business by simply stealing its job adverts. Ian Sinclair, a Greenock-based IT contractor who gets much of his work through agencies, said that can be easy to spot as some spelling mistakes are simply cut and pasted from one advert to the next. But he was also the victim of another scam. He said: "One agency was trying to recruit me for a job - when I was already in the post doing the job they were trying to recruit me for." Ian told them there was no vacancy.

Fake jobs and stolen adverts are just two of the sharp practices uncovered by The Investigation. They may appear to be victimless scams but industry professionals warn they can shatter a job hunter's already fragile confidence. Charlie is trying to find a job after leaving her previous post in human relations and has copied her CV to several agencies. After several months on the market she's actually growing more hopeful. But she says some agencies didn't help.

'Reputable job'

"Two months ago things were pretty desperate and my confidence was extremely low," she said. "I think I did spend a couple of weeks just not really knowing what I was going to do. "I've had to phone, and then I've had to phone again, and then I've had to e-mail again. "When I do get through on a call they transfer me to somebody else, who then transfers me to somebody else. "I seem to go round in a circle."

So who's looking out for the rogue recruiters? The agency industry has a trade body called the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). It offers training and sets standards. But while the REC has the power to expel miscreant members, agencies don't need to join in the first place.

'Not fair'

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform oversees the industry from Whitehall. It has just 24 government inspectors to police more than 16,000 agencies across the UK. But Minister of State for Employment Relations Pat McFadden rejected any suggestion that may be inadequate. "Most agencies do a good, reputable job," he said. "But where there are rogue agencies we don't want to see that for two very good reasons. "It's unfair on the workers involved to be exploited at work. It's also not fair on the other, reputable agencies that are out there. "People don't want to be facing competition that's illegal."
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 08:27:29 AM »

I think I've had direct experience of this. I remember being in the job centre a few years ago when I was unemployed and finding lots of jobs advertised on the "system" with a particular recruitment agency. I printed the ones off that I liked the sound of and when I called the agency they were eager for me to go in and register. When I did I was told that there was "nothing at the moment" but they'd be in touch. I assumed this meant that they were advertising fictional jobs purely to get people to register and then hoping to get them into a job later. Not good.
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 03:14:34 PM »

This is a cheap tactic if true. I know the recruitment industry is an extremely competitive market but these kind of underhand tactics are on a par in my opinion with candidates lying on their resumes. It should be outlawed.
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 11:06:28 AM »

I agree but how? Most people wanting to register with an agency wouldn't be aware of the REC. Whether that employment agency was a member or not. I think most people would probably think that they somehow missed the boat so they register hoping to get something else. It's tricky.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 10:37:55 PM »

I could name more than one agency in my home town who are guilty of this. Ultimately it leads to a "consultant" telling a pack of lies to a candidate when they phone to chase the position they were almost promised. It's happened to me several times and I'm becoming bitter and vengeful.
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 04:19:07 PM »

Hey there welcome to the forums here at HireScores.com.

I understand what you mean about feeling bitter but are you registered with us?

Forgive the shameless plug but why not score and review these agencies you've had negative dealings with?

Thanks to HireScores.com these bad experiences need no longer go un-mentioned.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 05:07:27 PM »

Hey Feeleep welcome here. I'm Robin  Smiley.
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 01:28:15 PM »

Welcome Feeleep.
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 10:33:02 AM »

I think I've had direct experience of this. I remember being in the job centre a few years ago when I was unemployed and finding lots of jobs advertised on the "system" with a particular recruitment agency. I printed the ones off that I liked the sound of and when I called the agency they were eager for me to go in and register. When I did I was told that there was "nothing at the moment" but they'd be in touch. I assumed this meant that they were advertising fictional jobs purely to get people to register and then hoping to get them into a job later. Not good.

It is about time the JOB CENTRE banned recruitment agencies from using their system. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 10:36:39 AM »

This is a cheap tactic if true. I know the recruitment industry is an extremely competitive market but these kind of underhand tactics are on a par in my opinion with candidates lying on their resumes. It should be outlawed.

I don't give a flying sh*t that the recruitment industry is "competitive"   They are like seagulls at a rubbish tip all fighting over scraps!
The sooner it becomes illegal to advertise fake vacancies and people are put in JAIL the better.

As for people lying on their CV's  that is not an excuse for agencies to behave the way they do.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 10:39:01 AM »

I could name more than one agency in my home town who are guilty of this. Ultimately it leads to a "consultant" telling a pack of lies to a candidate when they phone to chase the position they were almost promised. It's happened to me several times and I'm becoming bitter and vengeful.

I know how you feel.

As admin suggests, post your views about the agencies and e mail the review  link to them. 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 12:52:18 PM by Jasper9 » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 11:01:12 AM »

So glad to have found this forum!  Read the following:-

http://www.contractoruk.com/agencies/recruitment_agency_tricks.html

My OH has had all this done to him and more - it's an absolute scandal.  They are shamelessly playing with lives in an era of economic depression when lots of recently unemployed people are desperately looking for work.  And we are obviously not talking about knock-at-the-factory-gate "start on Monday" jobs - these are experienced executives, who have been working for so long that they are relatively naive about the snake oil salesmen working in recruitment.  My highly-skilled OH has NEVER once had an agency return to him if he hasn't got a job through them - "we'll keep you on file".  Yeah, right.   Angry
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 01:26:10 PM »

This is a cheap tactic if true. I know the recruitment industry is an extremely competitive market but these kind of underhand tactics are on a par in my opinion with candidates lying on their resumes. It should be outlawed.

I agree and it is what makes job hunting so hard - you are told how any mistakes on your CV or a wrong answer in an interview could cost you the job yet the people on the other side are telling down right lies. It is a matter of trust and I sympahise with job hunters who feel disillusioned.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 12:54:46 PM »

Let's have the article here It is that good!

Top 10 tricks used by recruitment agencies!
Many unwary contractors, and even some very wary ones, have been caught out by some very devious agency tricks. To be forewarned is to be forearmed though. Here are ten agency tricks that you should look out for.

1. They phone you up saying that they have several jobs that you are suitable for. They need you, however, first to supply them with references. Is this true? No, it isn't. They do not have any jobs for you. They are just trying to find out people who take on contractors and want to know the names and phone numbers of your old bosses.

2. They'll say, "Who did you work for at BT. Was it Graham Sutherland"? "No", you say. "It was John Salisbury". Now the agent has a contact at your old firm that they can call up to ask him if he is looking for any contractors.

3. They post jobs on job boards that don't exist. They are only trying to get themselves a number of extra CVs to increase their own database. When you send in your CV, they'll say that the job is gone.

4. They'll ask you, "Tell us what companies that your CV has already been sent out to, so that we don't make the mistake of sending your CV there again, which could cost you a job interview". If you tell them, then they now know what companies are looking for contractors, and they can then put some other candidates up in opposition to you. Don't think they wouldn't.

5. When they are asking you what your rate for the job is they might say, "What's your bottom line? What's the least that you would take to get a job? Obviously we will try to get as much as we can for you". No they won't. Your bottom line now becomes the most you'll get for any job. They'll still try and get as much as they can from the client, but they'll keep any extra they can get for themselves. How many people have actually heard from an agent "We've managed to get you a higher rate than you were asking for?"

6. They'll put a clause in your contract that they and the client company can terminate you with a month's (or a week's) notice, but that you have no notice period with them.

7. If you get a job interview through them, they'll tell you that they'll call you back when they have any news. What they mean is that if there is good news, they will be on the line pronto to try and get you to sign up straight away in case you take another job. If it's bad news, they won't call you, and they'll be 'not around' when you call in. They'll give you the bad news eventually but only after several attempts to get hold of them.

8. When you don't get the job for an interview that they sent you to, they'll say they'll look for other jobs for you, but they won't. They'll quietly drop you. They don't like people who don't pass interviews for them.

9. They tell you that if you introduce them to another contractor that they get a job for, they'll pay you 250 or 500 quid. They will if you find out about it. They won't contact you, unless you call up asking for it. If they get this person a job three months down the line or a couple of years down the line, there's no chance at all of them sending you a cheque out of the blue, even though the finder's name (your's) will be on their database.

10. Once they've got you a job, they may say that they weren't able to get you the rate that you wanted that the client will only pay 5% or 10% less. This is rubbish. They told the company what your rate was initially and the company accepted it. The agency are now just trying to help themselves to an extra bit of commission for a job that is safely in their pockets. Don't fall for it. Tell them that the client can forget it then, and see how quickly the agent changes tack. They don't want to lose surefire money.

There are many good agencies around of course, and the good ones like the dodgy ones even less than you do. They get their industry a bad name, spoil their relationship with contractors, and take their business through unfair means.

Don't let them do it.

Gerry McLaughlin

 
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 11:25:08 AM »

Let's not forget though that at the end the author says: "There are many good agencies around of course."
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