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Inexperienced Recruitment Consultants November 6, 2013

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
Tags: , , ,

I’m so bored sitting here completing a job application, I might as well have a moan about my favourite bete noir, recruitment consultants. Brief story, I was recently canvassed about role and according to the recruitment consultant, the client was ‘open’ as to the type or calibre of auditor they wished to recruit. I thought to myself, ‘happy days’ and requested a copy of the job description (or JD in recruiter parlance).

My optimism was short-lived as the ‘JD’ contained two requirements, ‘US GAAP’ and ‘SOX’. The problem here is if you have been working for a British firm, your exposure to US GAAP is going to be fairly minimal, so it’s text-book knowledge. Not great. As for SOX, I’ve never done much SOX work as the firms I’ve worked for haven’t needed to be SOX compliant. So in short, if don’t have these in abundance, you’re stuffed.

So I picked up the phone and had a conversation with the recruiter. It went something along these lines:

AM: “Hello, it’s AM. Regarding the JD for US of A Inc, are you sure they are open-minded about the type of candidate they require?”

RC: “Yes. Why do you ask?”.

AM: “The JD includes the need to have experience of US GAAP and SOX”.

RC: “And?”

AM: “Although the client is open as to the candidate they require, in practice they will want someone with US GAAP and SOX experience as it’s a US firm. These are the key attributes they will look for”.

RC: “Oh, I see”.

Now, can you see what I can see? The recruiter did not understand the actual skills or knowledge required for the role. Using another example, earlier this year I had to teach a young recruiter the rudiments of the financial services industry. Sadly this is a recurring theme I see time and time again, especially with younger consultants who are straight out of university, desperate for a job and doing recruitment as a short-term gap filler until something more meaningful comes up. More worryingly, if they don’t understand candidates’ skill sets, how much under or over selling is going on?

As an aside, I’m not the only one having recruiter problems. Bermondsey Babe (BB) has been on phone tonight bemoaning her lot. BB is going for a Deputy CFO role. No problem per se but the recruiter thinks that if she is successful, she will be able to commute her three-month notice period to her existing employer and walk across. The recruiter also thinks he will be able to fill her role once she has vacated it. Wrong on both counts. Due to BB’s seniority, her existing employer won’t let her go at short notice and second, they will probably use a Head Hunting firm rather than a candidate led recruiter to find an appropriate replacement.

So then, happy days. The question is, when do I cross the floor and become a consultant myself?


1. ITauditSecurity - November 8, 2013

You’d think recruiters would do a better job because they would mean more placements and more money. But most recruiters view people as meat.

If you keep this in mind, it helps understand recruiters and why they relate to you as they do:

Recruiters for people for jobs, not jobs for people. In other words, jobs are the focus, not humans.

2. Audit Monkey - November 8, 2013

As you touch upon, if recruiters offered more of a tailored service and actually understood the nature of the positions they were recruiting for, it might be more beneficial. Conversely, inept recruiters provide the opportunity for the candidate to secure positions for which they may be unsuitable.

ITauditSecurity - November 15, 2013

So true.

Above, I meant to say:
Recruiters FIND people for jobs, not jobs for people. In other words, jobs are the focus, not humans.

Next time, I hope I find the right words. 🙂

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