Monthly Archives: June 2015

64,895 Placement Fee’s Sitting Begging – or not as the case may be.

Doing-the-same-thing_Albert-EInstein“Hi Darren,

I tried to ring you earlier but unfortunately you weren’t in the office. I wanted to discuss the 64,895 candidates we have looking for work in our Energy sector at and finding out the best way to get you connected to these candidates.”


I received this email today, I have no idea why they tried to ring me, I don’t work in the Energy sector and never have. To be really honest with you, if there are 64,895 candidates out of work or looking for work on Reed’s database alone, I’m glad I don’t work in it. The Energy sector must be in a pretty bad state right now.

But bigger questions are needed in this instance. The first one being why on earth these people are just hanging about, living in squalor on some database somewhere? It raises questions about the quality, integrity and actual value of these individuals and the database itself. Surely these exceptional candidates have more about them than just waiting for a recruiter to call them, don’t they?

But more importantly if these people are such a valuable asset, why hasn’t Reed set up a division specifically focused on actually placing them in positions directly. Surely the rewards for such a commercial exercise would be far more tangible than charging me a nominal fee for doing that job for them instead. Oh, they have. But even their specialist division doesn’t have jobs for these candidates, apparently.

But to go back to the original email. This kind of approach to recruitment is one of the key components that has led to the industry being dumbed down. It is practices like this where for example any number of recruiters and organisations are all looking for an easy solution and essentially fishing in the same pool of stagnant water that has turned the expectations of excellence into an acceptance of mediocrity.

Can you imagine for a moment being a client organisation in the Energy sector who has requirements and they go out to their illustrious carefully selected Preferred Supplier List of recruiters. All of whom upon receipt of the job specifications dive head first into that deep dark tepid pool of water and begin dragging out the same candidates for the same job time and time again under the misguided impression that they may be the first one to have done so.

I’m not sure who is the loser in this vision, the poor candidates who are inundated with requests for their attention time and again by recruiters presenting precisely the same opportunity, the same candidates who have already more than likely been approached by the actual hiring organisations own internal recruiters anyway and discarded. The clients who must ultimately end up with exactly the same candidates they themselves have already rejected when they had a short uneventful swim in this stagnant pond.Or the poor recruiters who fail to recognise the point Einstein made in his infamous quote about insanity.

A quote which by the way has never actually been attributed to Albert Einstein.

Regardless, the original email lacks any tangible value or benefit to anyone as far I can determine. Reed do have their own specialist team who recruit for the Energy sector, so if they don’t want these candidates why would you!

It is this sloppy, quick fix, low cost approach to recruitment that has ultimately led to the over-riding devolution of the industry. Another fine example of driving expectations to the very bottom.