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“Working with recruitment consultants: could do better…”

I was trying to think of a way to make this blog a “help us to help you” message but as I looked at all the elements I ended up creating a long list of frustrations I wanted to get off my chest. In the end I realised that if I was a teacher I’d be marking many candidates a C+ and commenting “could do better”.   Without sticking you in our shoes and having you do a week in our jobs it is probably hard for candidates to imagine what we do all day. So I thought perhaps I’d try and give you a quick insight into the realities of my world…

Today’s job market is highly competitive and Chiumento has very strong routes to market.  Each vacancy can attract anywhere between 20 and 200+ applications.  This contrasts sharply with the increasing client trend to ask us only to send them our top 3, 4 or at most 5 candidates.   We are also often under considerable time pressure. Perhaps only 72 hours from posting a job on our website to submitting candidates to our client. Often the first CVs are coming in within 5 minutes of the job being advertised. Plus we are scouring databases that between them contain over 100,000 HR CVs.

Trying to reduce 200 candidates to 3 is tough.  In the time frames we work in it is impossible to phone 200 people to try and “fill in the blanks” of incomplete or unfocused CVs.

My key message is that your CV has to sell you to the Consultant and make it really clear how you fit the specific role you are applying for.

So how can you attract our attention with your application, what would make you stand out?

  1. Look at your CV, rarely now does one size fit all! We can only judge your match to the role on what you provide.
  2. Covering letter….. take time to produce one and make sure it covers off the practical issues of your application like travel time and cost, does the salary meet your expectations as well as highlighting your expertise and experience. Candidates who drop out of interviews because the job is “too far away” or turn down an offer at a salary level they originally said was fine are a constant source of challenge.

Most of all be prepared to discount yourself if the job is not a match. With up to 199 other CVs to choose from, your odds of success are minimal unless you can show you are a close match.

So you have now provided a well thought out CV and cover letter.  Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.  Ensure you are contactable: Is your phone number on your CV? Check your mobile during the day and  let us know a time to call you.  If you miss a call from us call back as soon as possible – bear in mind the speed of response our clients expect. If we can’t reach you we may be asked to offer that interview opportunity to someone else.  Check your email regularly too.  You’d be surprised how many candidates apply using email accounts they hardly ever check for incoming mail.

Be realistic about one to one contact as we may be handling 20-30 live vacancies at any one time and will be searching through thousands of candidates to find a match. We need to focus on supporting candidates who are most likely to succeed and when it is your turn, you’ll really appreciate why that’s important and the difference it can make.

If you want to discuss a role apply first…….we promise we do not send your CV anywhere without discussing a role first.   If you call we will then have your CV in front of us, we can discuss your application and whether your CV will secure you that all important interview.

A good recruitment consultant is a real ally. You will want them on your side. Follow my guidelines and you’ll make us very happy.