Recruitment agencies in the UK….

I, like a lot of professionals have in the past, and still do, used recruitment consultants and agencies. However, in the UK the market is absolutely rife with them (and even more so if you ply your trade in London, like I do from time to time).

I personally have so much time wasted with the brief, ambigious conversations that they employ to try and engage me so that I will be a candidate for them or from the other side of the fence, trying to find potential candidates, that today I thought I’d post up a few pointers for all the recruiters out there.

Just to clarify this, these are generally the cold calling recruitment agencies who have scraped my details from one of the job sites they are subscribed to. Not the recruitment agencies I actually approach myself (and I’m sure that alot of you out there will have had experience of a few if not more of these :p).


As a Candidate:

  • Every client you have is not “one of the largest digital agencies in [London]” so stop keep using that tired and played term – no one is fooled.
  • When you call someone PLEASE have all the facts to hand: Is it a contract or perm? Duration? What is the day rate? Whereabouts are they located? We have better things to do than waste 5 minutes on 1 minutes worth of information.
  • Have our resumes to hand and please at least give them a cursory glance over so you are aware of what we do in a professional capacity.
  • If I’m actively looking to change company please don’t phone me and provide details of a job at the company were I already work if you have an up to date resume which details this.
  • Don’t call us because your search returned a hit for Tree Surgery in which our details appeared. If it’s not our current expertise or day job we can get a bit annoyed!
  • PDF is not a dirty word – perhaps we actually applied a style to our resumes that we didn’t want you to ruin by tacking on your cover sheet and deleting of all our contact details…
  • You are not working for MI6, therefore I fail to see how “is it safe to talk?” comes in to it. You keep your numbers private so if we didn’t want to talk to you we’d have just rejected the call.
  • Your slice of the pie means the client pays more and we receive less, a necessary evil as you are providing a “service”. However don’t try and be our mate, because you aren’t. You are business associates. Learn to live with that.
  • If we tell you how much we charge for a day rate please don’t attempt to negotiate it down as we’re not a market traders. You guys never lower your rates so why should we.

As an Employer:

  • Please don’t call me with candidates I need to recruit for the company I work for, then try and poach me for another company – This is unethical and just rude. You are not a “cheeky chappy” by doing this!
  • Likewise if we have a recruiting requirement “more” is not better than “less”. So please don’t just send over all the hits from your 30 second database search.
  • If the candidate is unsuitable and you have been informed of this STOP KEEP SENDING THEIR RESUME OVER! :p

Now don’t get me wrong there are a lot of decent recruitment agencies out there and they are providing a good service, however these few tongue-in-cheek points above can make the business relationship a lot easier and smoother if they all just took the time to be organized and succinct.

If you have any additional points that should be added please feel free to leave them in the comments :D

Mike Jones


  1. And PLEASE do not ask me if I am interested in a role which you clearly know I have no experience of or that I am totally unsuitable for, only in order to go on to ask me if I know anyone who would be suitable for the role. I don’t ask you to code so please don’t ask me to do your f&*king job!

  2. Great list, so true! I’d add:

    Don’t call me up selling your staffing solutions, only to be taken back when I’m not interested. Do your homework and realise that my company runs a jobs board. Oh, don’t call up the owners of the company and offer them inappropriate roles, it does your reputation no good whatsoever.

  3. Oh and BTW, please do not send me experienced administration staff that have never filed a piece of paper or answered the telephone in their entire lives. It really is not helpful to my office.
    I thank you.

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