Thursday, 15 January 2009

Debby Lloyd Rants: CVs are real people too

Today I’m going to have a Jeremy Clarkson style rant on account of the activities I can see affecting candidates and clients in today’s marketplace, although I will take issue with Jeremy over his views on Green.

EcoSearch has known that is THE place to be for the last two years. There were those who thought we were opening some tofu eating hippy commune and as we are on New Greenham Park, former home of the Greenham Common women’s action group against Cruise Missiles – they probably had a point. Although Dale Vince I believe was keeping Swampy company at the same time on the A34 and look where he is today – counting UFOs – but that’s a different story for another day.

I ramble, anyway, the rest of the recruiting world has now woken up to the fact that renewable energy is where the action is.

Add in the impact of the credit crunch and this is what I’ve heard this week:

From EcoSearch Client A (in a similar Jeremy Clarkson style rant to me):

“Debby – you won’t believe this but I’ve seen one CV cross my desk this week by 4 different recruiters of a person we interviewed through you 3 months ago!”

Now what do you think he’s thinking a) about the recruiters and b) about the person who’s CV this is? More importantly what impact is this behaviour having on this person’s career? – Let’s not forget, we are dealing with real people with valuable careers to protect, although some people treat them as a paper commodity and I wont begin to go into the inordinate amount of time wasting for the client company. (I could even go into the ever expanding datacentre implication issues for data storage and energy consumption but that would be churlish).

From EcoSearch Client B:

“Debby, I am being hammered by recruiters offering me candidates that have no relevance to my business and don’t know the difference between a kw and a mw turbine. I don’t have the time, it’s such a distraction!”

From Clare – EcoSearch’s wind sector specialist (in a fist slamming, angry kind of way):

“Debby, this candidate has just found out his CV has been emailed “somewhere” into our client by a recruiter who hasn’t even had a conversation with him and qualified what career path he’s looking for and can’t tell him who its gone to or where it is” 

Cue EcoSearch team who break into Bridget Jones style cries of “No!” on a group basis across the EcoSearch office. Net result – this candidate hasn’t been positioned effectively in this organisation and will no doubt end up wasting his opportunity to entrée a great career. Not to mention the service level to the client which is clearly second rate.

Recently I’ve assisted a Candidate re-format his CV. Even when we are personally unable to place someone, it doesn’t mean we don’t help, especially where the candidate has been mutually helpful to us. The candidate’s new CV went up on Monster yesterday and in the space of 2 hours he had 16 recruiters “specialising in renewable energy” had given him a call. However, (with an incredulous look on face and raised voice):

“Debby – the quality of the conversation was so poor and some of them couldn’t even say Photovoltaic!”

But the absolute prize of the day is currently held by Steve – our carbon and engineering sector lead. Who had a “specialist renewable energy recruiter” ring him up today – having seen the jobs on our website (posted for our own client’s hiring needs) and ask if she could help us with our hiring needs …

“When she asked me what my job title was I told her ‘it’s the same as yours … Executive Search Consultant!’

Cue EcoSearch team group laughter and hilarity. Unfortunately in her haste to make the call, she thought we were a renewable energy company. I thought our website looked good, but maybe we should revisit it ….

So, to make sure you get the service you expect as a job seeker...

  • Demand written confirmation that your CV is not sent to any organisation without your prior knowledge. 
  • If it is, you can request they withdraw your CV - YOU choose who represents you. 
  • Work with your consultant in putting a defined list of target companies together.
  • Mark your CV up with big red letters “DO NOT SUBMIT WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT”.
  • Demand to know who is getting your CV (although email forwarding is uncontrollable to a certain extent).
  • You should receive written candidate service level terms of business from the company you work with or at the very least the consultant should have explained how they work, what to expect, timescales for working together and communication expectations.
  • Keep in regular touch – build the relationship. 
  • Don’t work with multiple recruiters at any one time. 
  • Use a specialist.
  • Any consultant with integrity will work with you on fully understanding your needs and making the most appropriate introduction. Anyone that only spends 15 minutes on the phone with you and wants you to tell them 50 companies you want to work with …. cue large ringing bells - run a mile

And for more information download the “recruiters – working with them” helpsheet below.

Recruiters - Working With Them

We can’t help everyone (as much as we’d like to), we aren’t perfect and we are not the fastest, but my goodness - some people need to raise their game out there … let’s keep it professional!

OK, I’m back to my desk now …

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