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The Cat and Mouse World of Recruitment

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cat and mouseYou are looking for a new job and you want the entire process to be as smooth and straightforward as possible. If there is an in-house recruiter working with a recruitment agency then you want them to work closely together to get the result you want. Usually everything goes swimmingly, but sometimes what happens is this…

  • An in-house recruitment releases a job out to the agencies on its PSL (preferred supplier list). 
  • The agencies submit CVs, but often the end clients T&Cs state that once a CV has been with the in-house team for six months the agency no longer has ‘ownership.’
  • The in-house recruiter identifies an outstanding candidate from one of the many CV’s the agency has sourced.
  • The in-house recruiter finds that that candidate has been on their database, sometimes for years! - with little or no communication with the candidate. 
  • Although GDPR warning lights should be flashing at this point they are often ignored.
  • The in-house recruiter tells the agency, “sorry but this is not your introduction, this person is known to the business already” 
  • The candidate, who has been approached by the agency’s consultant, who then nurtured her interest, sold her the job, described the company culture and explained why it is such a good fit, is now wondering why the employer is warning her not to speak to the nice recruitment consultant who was so helpful…

This cat and mouse behaviour creates a dilemma for recruitment agencies.  Do we just accept that in the eyes of some in-house recruiters (who probably came from an agency in the first place) that we’re a pest to be played with and crushed when desired?  

It’s time to take a stand. In my view, there are too many agencies who get on PSLs via rock-bottom prices and then just throw CV after CV at the in-house recruiters, hoping something will stick but sucking it up when they are told “tough **** you will not be paid for this introduction” There are not enough agencies prepared to say, “once you’ve released the job to the agencies, that’s a sign that you, the in-house team, can’t fill it, so don’t suddenly find that the candidate has been on your database, gathering digital dust.”  

This is not just my view.  Some of the industry’s biggest influencers, the likes of Greg SavageMitch Sullivan and others have been writing about this for years.  Sometimes the mouse needs to bite back - and there has to be a conversation involving a place where the sun doesn’t shine… 

My view is that if in-house teams just want agencies to be resourcers then we are all wasting our time.  The good in-house teams (and there are many) know they need recruitment agencies. Let’s stop competing against our clients and let’s work together, and if it’s not a mutually beneficial relationship then as then agency you need to walk away for this business, this might be painful in the short term but long term the market shift could be huge.

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment


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