If like me you’re looking for a job, you’re probably signed up to receiving emails for specific keyword searches from Seek and the Victorian government employment site, and you’re browsing jobs listed on Linkedin and other sites. Many of the jobs listed in Seek are short term contract roles.

When you see one of these jobs listed you apply for it and, most of the time, you never hear back from the recruitment agency listing it. This is because the staff in these agencies are morons who are intellectually incapable of comparing your CV to the requirements of the roles they advertise and determining if you are a suitable match for a role.

As a job seeker you’re further stymied when you see what you assume to be the same role advertised by multiple agencies, sometimes with a different title and/or slightly different wording. You can’t know if one agency is the preferred recruiter for an employer, so you don’t know which one to target. You also can’t know for sure if it is the same role or not, so you have no choice but to send your application in to every agency advertising the role.

This wastes a lot of an applicant’s time. You may feel very productive having sent in four applications, but then you realise you have really only applied for one job. If you hear back from any of the agencies, you wonder why one of their employees responded when the others didn’t, when looking at identical CVs. There’s no logic to it.

Here are four advertisements for what I believe is the same role, and I learned from one agency who the client was. The skills required include knowledge of Sharepoint 2007, HTML, Photoshop, MS Office and Google Analytics. One asks for Adobe Suite not just Photoshop. Two add ‘Senior’ to the job title. One replaces ‘Adviser’ with ‘Advisor’. Now that’s value adding.

I wonder how such employers feel about having the copy of their ads rewritten and altered by agencies, and about potential employees being mislead and having their time wasted having to apply multiple times for the same role. I suppose they simply don’t care how badly the agencies tread prospective staff on their behalf.

oce1 how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

oce2 how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

sdca1 how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

sdca2 how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

In one case the contract term is two months, but in the other three it is three months. The hourly rate varies from $33ph to $55ph. From my point of view, it was a shame I heard back from the agency offering $36ph for this role, not the one offering $55ph.

As an applicant, I have no idea initially who the employer is, or whether I will be employed by the employer or by the agency. I wonder if the $33 or $36 ph is what the agency would pay me, with the difference between that and $55ph what the agency would collect for renting me to the employer. Perhaps the $55ph is the real rate from the employer, and the agency advertising that would get simply a flat finder’s fee for introducing me to the employer.

I really have no idea. As a job applicant, I’d like to know exactly how this dysfunctional incompetent recruitment industry functions. Because I’d like to smash it wide open. I want employers to see the impact of outsourcing their incompetence to others. The result is that they are often not having the best candidates shortlisted for them because the applicants’ CVs are not getting through the moron filter.

how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

6 thoughts on “how recruitment agencies treat job applicants like shit

  • 5 May 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I applied for that role I think, is hard to work out what employer it is for as they never list it. I had one recruiter that would not even consider me as I did not have Sharepoint and its not like I could learn it on the job after using half a dozen other ones, what?! Skills shortage my arse, if people won’t train anyone what do they expect?

    • 5 May 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I was told the employer was the City of Melbourne and the role was to work on That’s Melbourne, which is built on Sharepoint. Sharepoint has its complexities and is often clunky and counter-intuitive (well it is built by Microsoft). It’s fair enough for the employer to expect immediate competency in a short term contract role. More flexibility and training can be expected in permanent roles. I had everything required in the selection criteria but was messed around by the agency I was in contact with and they never followed through on telling me what was happening or what happened with the role.

  • 29 November 2013 at 8:43 am

    Yes I agree. Agencies , both employment and recruitment are ran by people who are incompetent , biased and full of preconceived notions about everything in life. Some of these preconceived notions can be traced to a mere fact that some will not like the sound of your name. Others will be jealous of your qualifications while the rest will not even look at your CV.
    Most act arbitrarily with absolutely no evidence or any knowledge of who you really are; some of them simply and unreasonably fail to read your entire resume or fail to approach it holistically.

    They are a farce, a racket , a capitalism answer to exploitation of the masses. The masses are not homogenous as they used to be ( socially solid ) , they are heterogeneous and scattered , deteritorialised; so you need agencies to collect the ‘contents’ the scattered populace.

    All this is meant to rationalise what is already irrational, they further exploit , manipulate and blackmail you.
    This is an idea of dirty and sick consumer driven neo liberal capitalists. A person can study 4 to 8 years and still get no where with a job, a job which is 100% relevant to your studies.
    It is sad, it is very sad to see people stagnate, deteriorate , to go further studies just to make the ends meet.
    Even those with two master degrees can not get a job, are rejected unreasonable, are never awarded natural justice nor an answer of why they were rejected.
    With these f$%TCers you take them to tribunals or courts , you sue the fuc$%$ers and you get yourself heard.

    All it takes in West is for one natural person to sue a corporation and for that corporation to go bankrupt a year or two later , so just do it, sue them.
    They are a bunch of arbitrarily acting , power usurping idiots! they should be abolished and prevented from functioning.
    It is a farce + and a racket.


  • 23 July 2014 at 6:30 pm

    All recruitment agencies do not behave as such. I am familiar with a recruitment agency that pride themselves in providing exquisite services to all the job aspirants named as Attic Recruitment. Yes I am too in accordance with you that agencies does not treat job seekers properly. But according to me, the scenario is not the same in all case. Thanks for this post.

    • 23 July 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Unfortunately secretarial recruitment in the UK is of little relevance to IT recruitment in Australia.

  • 29 December 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hate agencies so much, every job I’ve ever got has been from responding to an ad in the newspaper.


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