Secrets Of A Recruitment Consultant – Part Two

Never get on the wrong side of your recruitment consultant. Many people make the vital mistake of forgetting that their recruitment consultant is in fact their employer. I have had people racially abuse me, shout, hang up and have a generally bad attitude. And it is these people that are looking for help in finding a job.



Lesson 1 – Show Respect

The way you present yourself , both physically and characteristically are fundamental in getting you the right job. As your consultant, we are the link between you and your future best life.  We observe behaviour, language, gestures and how people carry themselves. I have conducted many interviews in which the candidate cursed or slagged off a past employer. This is not a good approach to an interview and as you will be the face of our company it is highly unlikely that we will place you in work. Respect yourself and your right to the best job. Come well groomed, well prepared, on time and enthusiastic. Trust me; we will thank you for it.

Lesson 2 – Provide Us with Your Best Referees

You know that part of your resume where you stick down the names of a couple of past employers? Well, be very careful about who you select because we do actually call them. There have been a couple of instances where a referee provided by a candidate has not been too chuffed about their nomination. Just last week I called the referee of a backpacker who knocked on my office door for work. His nominated employer had only hired him for one day before he sacked him. I still ponder over the reason my German friend used his disgruntled ex-boss as a reference. Obviously he thought I would never call. Beware – We call referees!

Lesson 3 – We Live In a Great Big Melting Pot

People are generally lovely. There are some that are not so nice. I took a call from a man recently who wanted work. He was rude and obnoxious and was really not going about getting a job in the right fashion. He was getting frustrated with me as I could not offer him what he wanted and he resorted to racism. I was told I didn’t belong in his country and he was sick of being met with Irish backpackers. Well Sir, I am certainly not going to be assisting you any further in your job hunt! Racism for most of us is not even a consideration as different cultures are widely welcomed by most of us. However be mindful that South Africa is a wonderful big melting pot of colour and creed and we should withhold the utmost respect for each other. Just recently we fired an associate of ours for being racist towards another staff member onsite.

Lesson 4 – Communication Is Everything

It is a cardinal sin to let a recruitment agency down when you have committed to working. We are not on call 24 hours so it can be very disheartening to arrive into work with a message from our client wondering why you have not arrived. If you are running late for a placement or are not planning on showing up at all, please have the courtesy to inform us at the earliest possible time. This gives us the resources to organise an alternative and keep everyone happy.

Lesson 5 – Resume Is the Foundation

If you are on a job hunt and want to approach an agency, please do not do so empty handed. It is just a teeny bit silly to rock up at reception with no appointment and no resume. We are not rocket scientists; a resume is very helpful to us and helps us assess what your skill set is. Even if you are not particularly proficient using computers, collate all your previous job history onto one document. This allows us to build a good solid picture of the kind of candidate that you are.


Have you any other tips for approaching a recruitment agency?




  • Mark

    Of course the job-seeker needs to impress the recruitment consultant, their livelihood depends on it. With this in mind you would think that the respect the recruitment consultant expects to receive from the job-seeker would be reciprocated, unfortunately it is not.

    The arrogant attitude that recruitment consultants show towards the job-seeker, knowing full well the position of power they hold over a desperate job-seeker can unsettle or anger the most seasoned job-seeker.

    A message to the recruitment consultant, this is a life you are dealing with. You are arrogant enough to believe that you know the job-seeker within the first 12 seconds of meeting them. You do not, yet you are so ready to dismiss the job-seeker within those first critical seconds. You are so blinkered by a set a processes, that you have not the courage or the desire to look at the human that sits in front of you.

    Perhaps this is why on so many occasions you need to recruit and re-recruit for positions that, if you had been a little more open minded may have been filled many months before.

    Perhaps this is why so many employers are giving away expensive ineffective recruitment consultants in favour of recruiting for themselves.

    Compassion, integrity and honesty are not included in the recruitment consultants handbook. Instead, the manual appears to be full of arrogance, subterfuge and presumptions.

    The job-seeker is human, please treat them as one.

    • Louise Keogh

      Thank you for your reply Mark. I agree with your experiences as I too have had similar encounters. I was once on the other side of the “desk” so to speak and met many arrogant recruitment consultants. In fact I have encountered many arrogant people in many different walks of life. I have learned through experiences and meeting as many lovely people that is very close minded to tar everyone with the same brush. My blog is my experience as a recruitment agent. It is my advice to people from my experience in this profession. Also if I was take your outlook I could say that every single person that comes to me seeking a position is unskilled, posseses a poor resume and has a bad attitude. But wouldnt that be presumptuous?

  • Tyler Shelton

    Thanks for this very informative blog about Secrets Of A Recruitment Consultant. Much appreciated.

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