Why would you enlist the services of a recruitment agent? Because searching for a job is going swimmingly? Because your inbox is blossoming with invites for interviews? Because you’re being noticed, patted on the back and rewarded for your copious efforts?
No. Let’s get something said, for us and for future history students who use posts like this as primary source material: the job search is brutal. Ah, the stories our parents and grandparents tell us of hard times. The downtrodden jobseeker painted a picture of pounding the pavement only to hear “Nothin’ for ya, laddy” or a sad tale of “rejection after rejection”.
Now, we don’t get these fancy-pants ‘responses’, or have our our delicate sensibilities patted on the head with those namby-pamby ‘rejections’. Maybe on a good day. No, what we get now is ignored. The tweaking of our bulging CVs, the hours we pour into applications culminate in sweet FA, a hiccup in the wind, a fat sack of not alot. Honestly, babyboomers today, they don’t know they’re born.
A recruitment agent, in the thick, blistering wilderness of the job hunt, can look like a warm crackling bonfire, with a stack of marshmallows on the side. Someone who will sit with you, dab at your grazes with iodine, tell you you’re fabulous, and fight your corner.
Media Recruiter John Leaver says, “I try never to forget that recruitment is a distress purchase: if clients and candidates didn’t have to use agencies they wouldn’t.”
A distress purchase is a purchase made at some critical or upsetting moment, often involving a failure or an unplanned event. Unemployment – often unplanned, often with feelings of having failed.
Another example of a distress purchase is the purchase of a funeral. The funeral director will sit down with you, console you, go through your options, and subtly up-sell you on every choice you make. Because it’s a business, and those caskets with the DVD player in the lid aren’t going to sell themselves.
It’s easy to forget a recruitment agent does the same. A recruitment agent will sit down with you, comfort you and try to help. The higher a salary they get you, the more money they make – but they’re a business too. Perhaps no one is biting, and they may find they have to downsell you. Get you to take this other job now, perhaps a job a little below your expectations, a lower salary than you had in mind, a bit further away than you’d prefer to commute…
They may be helpful. They may even be a lifesaver. But they’re a business too.
Recruitment is a distress purchase. Don’t let them sell you the diamond coffin.