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  1. #1
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    Default Recruiters - Melbourne

    Hi all

    I'm currently living in NSW but looking for HR jobs in Melbourne (HR Grad w/ 3 years recruitment and generalist experience).

    Besides contacting businesses directly, I thought it might be a good idea to contact one or two good recruiters as well.

    Not having much knowledge of the Melbourne recruitment scene, I was wondering if anyone has had any good experiences with either HR speciality recruiters/consultancies or mainstream recruiters with good recruiters working for them. Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks all

    Chris

    PS. This relates to recruitment in one way, but I looked at both threads and think it belongs more in HR Careers :-)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris888 View Post

    Not having much knowledge of the Melbourne recruitment scene, I was wondering if anyone has had any good experiences with either HR speciality recruiters/consultancies or mainstream recruiters with good recruiters working for them. Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.
    Chris

    Having been in a similar situation some time ago I would rely on your own 'steam' and energy to target the web sites of companies in your preferred industry. Also hit the normal traffic areas, SEEK, Linkedin, etc.

    Absolutely do not rely on ANY of the recruitment agencies.......it will sap you of energy and confidence.

    You will find success marketing yourself and using any network to which you have access.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Default

    RFitzlion

    Thanks for the advice - will do.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Chris,

    I agree with PMRFitzlion that you shouldn't "rely" on recruitment consultants, but it would be foolhardy to shun them completely, because the reality is there are many employers out there who do rely largely on recruitment agencies to find the people they need. I know from years of experience in the industry that there are plenty of positions that are advertised only by recruitment agencies, particularly temp/contract roles.

    There are plenty of flaky operators in the recruitment industry, probably more than in most other industries, but there are also some very good operators.

    Recruitment is very personal, and your experience in dealing with recruitment agencies usually will hinge on the individual consultants you deal with. Also bear in mind that their role is to find the best people for their customers - not to find you a job.

    I think it's fair to say that most recruiters are not very good at returning calls, unless they think they you fit one of their current requirements. They probably have thousands of people on their database, so it can pay to keep in contact with recruiters once they have your CV - you need to be front of mind when the next requirement comes in (even though they said they will contact you when something comes up!)

    As for suggestions, I would stick to the recruiters who genuinely specialise only in HR. In Melbourne I would contact Tandem Partners, The Next Step and HR Partners, in no particular order.

    There are always going to be people who are scornful of the recruitment industry, but I can assure you there are also many people who are grateful to recruitment agencies for introducing them to jobs they didn't know existed!

    The funny thing is, in the last few years many hundreds of people left the recruitment industry and now work in corporate HR department as in-house recruiters

    Cheers,
    Moz

  5. #5
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    Default

    I agree with Moz to a certain degree - A LOT of agencies don't return calls or even bother to give feedback once you have gone for an interview. But not all. I'm in Sydney and I find agencies like Adecco, Frazer Jones are pretty professional. They are all over the state and have different divisions who specialise in a particular industry for example HR, Finance. Companies who may have recruited a finance manager for instance will go back to that agency if they have a good relationship. I'm not to impressed with agencies like The Next Step or HR Partners. They tend to be rude, not listen ( both as a candidate and employer) and dismiss a candidate based on CV alone. I had a candidate once who applied for a job with our company and was successful. This same person had gone through those agencies and been dismissed. So the moral of the story is choose wisely.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I think we're all agreed on this topic. The key to any relationship is the individuals you are dealing with. Sadly, turnover in recruitment agencies is often quite high and, in recent years, they've been largely manned by a lot of British travellers who move on. Too bad, as I've found most of ones I've dealt with to be very good in fact - particularly at Hays.

    What we are dealing with however is individuals' (recruiters) biases plus, as an employer, those who actually don't listen to the brief they are given about the job and type of person you are looking for. Exactly why when you find a good one, follow them if you can.

    Unlike Anita-Nicole, I have had good responses from first of the two she mentioned, but feel I am pidgeoned holed a little. As to the latter mob, zero response when you make contact or when you respond to their ads, but then out of the blue when you are in a job, they make contact. There is no doubt that as a candidate you can never assume they rememeber you ie if you apply for a job one week then several weeks later you see another with them, you need to apply again. I'm convinced the majority don't use their databases because they always say "if you see something of interest, get in touch".

    So, yes, you have to do all the legwork yourself but ask around for peoples' recommendations down there. If you contact companies, ask them who they use (even if they say they've nothing now) if they use recruiters. A breakaway group from TNS in Sydney - Tandem Partners - are good, small but I've known the principals for a couple of decades and recommend them. Not sure if they are in Melbourne but it would be worth a call to ask for their recommendation on who to call.

    Good luck
    Tiger

  7. #7
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    Tiger

    Your right about them not getting back to you and having to reapply again. Unfortunately that is the reality of some agencies. Get the sale and the commission.

    While we're on the subject another thing that infuriates me is when they ring you up 12 months later and say we noticed you were on our database and wanted to know whether your still in the market! If you are they expect you to trot all the way in and re-register and if your not they expect to want your business??? I'm like where were you when I was actually looking for a job??

  8. #8
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    Default

    It is rare to find a service provider in any discipline whom everyone is happy with and within just a few posts we are seeing contradicting views on particular recruitment agencies, views which are shaped due to dealings with specific individuals within those companies.

    This happens all the time across most service industries - "I had a bad experience with Johnny from XYZ so they are a crap company, do NOT use them!"

    As we can see, mutliple bad experiences can influence an individual's opionion of a whole profession or industry!

    Of course we're all entitled to our opinion, regardless of biased it may be (I happen to think lawyers are bankers are all blood sucking parasites )

    Recruitment agencies have a particularly difficult time with public perception because so many do not understand how recruiters operate and what their key drivers are.

    Employers pay recruitment agencies to find people for them. The EMPLOYER is their "customer", not the job seeker.

    In most cases the recruiters work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid for their efforts if and when they actually place someone in a job with the employer. If that isn't enough to make them very focussed, many employers will accept candidate referrals from any recruiter who gets wind of the job, whereas others actively give the requirement to their list of "preferred suppliers". Not surprisingly this can create a "dog-eat-dog" culture and often results in recruiters becoming quite brutal about how they spend their time. This is why most seasoned recruiters won't spend time talking to job seekers unless they think they can place them in a job, (or put them in touch with someone else whom they can place).

    Agency recruitment is a high pressure, high stress job, most recruiters would love to change the way they operate, to see more certainty in getting rewarded for their efforts and to have the luxury of time to do a really thorough job for their customers. However this change can only be driven by the employers - they hold the purse strings and they dictate how they work with recruiters.

    As for databases, I know from experience that many agency recruiters under utliise their canidate database, however database records become out of date quickly and unless they are well designed and have very good data going into them, they can be a waste of time.

    The criticisms of recruiters I am seeing here can just as easily be levelled at many employer's HR departments. It's common to see employers advertising jobs where there is no way to speak to a human, often not even a name on the advert. Many employers don't acknowledge applications, don't call people back and never contact people on their database. When I was a recruiter I placed numerous people over the years who have told me that they already applied to the company who I wanted to refer them to, but no one ever acknowledged their application. Or the candidate was told their details were on their database, but they never heard from them again. Meanwhile I was dealing directly with the line manager who desperately needed someone just like this, but was oblivious to their existence!

    So Chris888, there's another good reason to forge relationships with some carefully selected recruiters, because they often deal directly with line manager

  9. #9
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    Moz

    Appreciate your views and experience on being a recruiter but a couple of things you said offended.

    Firstly as a HR Manager I contact everyone who applies. It's not difficult as you can do it easily through seek. I personally send those that I want to interview an email and personally call them afterward. If those unsuccessful candidates want feedback I give it. Some Agencies these days in my opinion are rude and the turnover is horrendous. You never know who your talking to. If its that bad why do it? There are many companies who have in house recruitment consultants.

    As for dealing directly with line managers that's where those agencies get their bad reputation as far as I'm concerned. I have advertised roles and had my name on the advertisement yet they still rang the line managers. This results in confusion and doubling up and usually poor selection if hired. HR Managers are there to assist those managers as we are the experts in our own roles. I can't tell you how many times a line manager has referred the agency back to me and its already put a bad taste in my mouth.

    I have also had the opposite happen when an agency deemed a candidate unsuitable for a role. We interviewed him directly after we advertised the role ourselves and he was hired. So goes both ways.

    Secondly my husband is a Senior Counsel who specialises in Industrial Relations. He's the one whose stepping in for the lawyers when those line managers are not doing their job properly and the s--t hits the fan!! He's definitely not short of work so bloodsuckers? I think not.

    Moral of the story is there are some good recruitment agencies out there. I for one never said there wasn't. I don't paint them all with the same brush perhaps you should do the same with the legal profession?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleAnita View Post
    I agree with Moz to a certain degree - A LOT of agencies don't return calls or even bother to give feedback once you have gone for an interview.
    Or in my situation where the agencies didn't return my calls, or in one case even said I wasn't suitable for my current role, yet from the first week started hounding me to come and visit me to talk about meeting my future 'recruitment needs'. Guess which ones don't get work from me?

    Lawrence Shaw at Michael Page I found to be exceptionally good, didn't manage to place me but would always return calls, call me before I called him with updates etc and would recommend him

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleAnita View Post
    Moz
    Appreciate your views and experience on being a recruiter but a couple of things you said offended.
    I didn't mean to offend - that's why there was a smiley face after the bloodsucking parasites comment. It was a light hearted comment to demonstrate the common practice of dismissing whole professions or industries as worthless.

    For what it's worth I have friends who are lawyers and close family who are investment bankers (the worst type of bankers!) .

    Firstly as a HR Manager I contact everyone who applies. It's not difficult as you can do it easily through seek. I personally send those that I want to interview an email and personally call them afterward. If those unsuccessful candidates want feedback I give it.
    I know there are other HR people like you who have high standards and treat job applicants with dignity and respect. Unfortunately however, there are plenty of people in HR who don't, especially when if comes to giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

    Some Agencies these days in my opinion are rude and the turnover is horrendous.
    Whole agencies are rude, like it's a company policy - really?

    When you say "some", what does that actually mean? What percentage of the recruitment industry are you referring to?

    By the way, rudeness isn't the sole preserve of the recruitment industry - there are rude people in every profession, even HR.

    As for the comment about "horrendous" turnover, again is that the whole industry?

    Ironically I read an article only last week about a recent survey showing very high rates of staff turnover in HR. Nearly 35% of HR professionals have worked for their current company for less than a year and 61% have worked in their current company for less than two years. I'd say that's pretty horrendous.

    I have also had the opposite happen when an agency deemed a candidate unsuitable for a role. We interviewed him directly after we advertised the role ourselves and he was hired. So goes both ways.
    I'm sure we can all come up with experiences to support our particular views.

    Only the other day my wife, who is a senior line manager, found out that one of her most valued team members, and the one with the greatest potential, was rejected outright when he applied through HR, my wife didn't even get to see his CV! The only reason she became aware of him was because he sought her out directly and gave her his CV. Of course now she is wondering how many other gems have been rejected by HR over the years.

    This of course doesn't mean that all HR people are incompetent, just "some" of them

    The sad part though is that my wife is stuck with her HR department, she has no choice but to deal with them. Whereas you can simply avoid using recruitment agencies.

  12. #12
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    Moz

    Like you I have had bad experiences with HR depts and they can be rude or dismissive. They'll interview you then send you a generic email saying unsuccessful etc. You know what I would do? Ring them and ask for feedback. Simple. It puts them on the spot and accountable. Surely they should have an answer for you. If not ask the line managers as they should have been in the interview process also ( depending on the role).

    Whole agencies - it means just that. Same as if i was treated poorly by the HR dept i would have a tainted view of that company. ( I could name them) but what's the point. I think we all know who they are. The travellers ring any bells??? As for policy yes I would say it certainly must be. How many times can you tell one consultant that you can't travel here or are not interested in a particular job only to have another ring you up and ask the exact same thing days later! Then when you decline (again) they dont bother! is it 2 strikes and your out policy? Where's the communication?

    Turnover - again seems to be the industry. You only have to look on Seek and youll see a name you knew from a different agency. Again my experience and have no desire to look into figures. I had a friend who worked at 4 different agencies in 12 months because of the way the commission structure works or the hard calling. Sales. Her words not mine.

    As for HR I'm sure it happens. I'd say for completely different reasons ( managers lack of respect or undertanding for what we do) or only being used as an administrative service. I'd move on to. Life's too short to work with people like that. You only have to look at the courts to see what companies these are!

    As for your wife I sympathise. She obviously has an incompetent HR dept or they are using the wrong screening techniques. Perhaps she should speak to them and find out what their processes are and let them know? They might even take notice.

    Incidentally my husband is a Senior Counsel (SC). You know. Wig and Gown? Not a lawyer. There is a difference. I'm sure you didn't mean to offend but still the legal profession nonetheless.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moz View Post
    Chris,
    The funny thing is, in the last few years many hundreds of people left the recruitment industry and now work in corporate HR department as in-house recruiters
    Not so funny when you actually work with some of them (not all) and you wonder HOW?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFitzlion View Post
    Not so funny when you actually work with some of them (not all) and you wonder HOW?
    But they didn't get those jobs on their own, the companies made the decision to hire them, to bring them in-house.

    I will leave you to form your own opinions regarding what this says about the companies that hire them and the pre existing HR departments within those companies.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moz View Post
    But they didn't get those jobs on their own, the companies made the decision to hire them, to bring them in-house.

    I will leave you to form your own opinions regarding what this says about the companies that hire them and the pre existing HR departments within those companies.
    Moz

    Why the war against Recruitment Consultants and HR Departments? Recruitment is Recruitment. There is more involved in Human Resources than just Recruitment. For a Generalist who may get involved in everything sure they will practice recruitment along with everything else, but you dismiss "HR Departments" as a whole. Yes I referred to Recruitment Consultants as a whole but we are talking about Recruitment and that is all a Recruitment Agency does. Recruitment.

    For a HR Department to function effectively it greatly depends on the company structure and who the HR Manager/Advisor reports to. I for one will not work for any company where HR does not report directly to the MD or CEO. This is because I see myself as a Partner to the business not a mere Administrative support to line managers or other managers who give HR the work they do not want to do. It is those companies that have their HR Dept reporting to someone other than the MD who tend to suffer as HR is continually fighting an uphill battle with Snr Managers who neither understand or care to understand what Human Resources actually is and what it can bring to the business.

    Most of my experience comes from Greenfield Roles which means I have had to set up HR Departments from scratch and I can tell you when those best practice policies and procedures are in place and legislation is up to date and employee retention has improved it is then that the company realises the value that HR does bring to the table. I still consider myself a Generalist although I specialise in ER/IR Relations. This was not by choice but rather thrown upon me as I was setting up these departments only to find cultural issues company wide. This is when Human Resources really start to do their work and become truly valued and have an impact on the company.

    So in my opinion to answer your quote - perhaps the HR Department just wanted someone to handle recruitment and recruitment alone. If I was looking for an HR Officer for example I would not hire an ex agency recruiter.

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