The good, the bad and the ugly.

Recruitment as an industry is maturing fast, with many people now seeing it as a highly attractive career.

An ever greater number of companies are introducing graduate training schemes, and recruitment techniques are, in the main, becoming ever more professional.

Sadly, however, there are still far too many examples of appalling recruitment practice in the industry.

A recent survey we conducted, amongst over 200 candidates, revealed that over 80% had suffered what they described as a bad recruitment experience.

When probed on these experiences, they turned out to be far from simple personality conflicts or even the all too common lack of interest on the part of the recruitment consultancy in helping the candidate.

An astonishing number, in fact well over 50%, came down to nothing less than professional misconduct, either accidental or deliberate.

Here’s just one example of truly appalling recruitment practice:

A top quality candidate had set his heart on an opportunity with a particular company via recruitment consultancy Number 1. He had been to a first interview, which had gone very well and was waiting for news.

When he told recruitment consultancy Number 2 about the situation, they told him that although he might not be aware of it, the job had in fact been filled (even though it hadn’t).

At this point, disheartened but realistic, the candidate was of course open to hearing about what else the agency might have to offer.

Stories such as this are what prompted us to produce The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, a guide for candidates, designed to help them avoid becoming the victim of bad recruitment practice.

The guide gives examples of good recruitment practice (honest and professional), bad recruitment practice (honest, but not professional) and ugly recruitment practice (neither honest nor professional).

Other examples of ugly recruitment practice include the invention of fictional candidates to slow a process down, deliberate deception of both clients and candidates and the unfair application of pressure to force someone into accepting the wrong position.

Our hope in compiling the report is that by pointing out some of the potentially ugly and bad situations candidates might encounter on the search for a new position, they will be better able to avoid the downside of recruitment.

– David Hughes is managing director of financial recruitment consultancy Executive Connections. For a free copy of the guide call 020 7304 9000 ?:

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