Job search diary and recruiter metrics app

This forum continues with remarkable prescience to touch on topics as they occur to me independently, or within a few weeks of my having a similar discussion off the board! Here goes number three, related to our collective mini-rant about recruiters.

When I find a recruiter is not ringing me back when they say they will, I deploy the policy of calling every day until I get to speak with them. After a ten day gap recently, I successfully spoke to an agent by calling on Tuesday, yesterday, and today. The recruiter “has forgotten” what date my CV went to the hiring client, who is “not get getting back to him” and I am left wondering if I have been represented at all. I have another agent wanting to represent me for the same role, but I cannot move forward on that as I’ve agreed to an exclusivity clause.

In the past I’ve also had to deal with shady business practices and pushy sales patter - it is fair to say I’m generally not a fan of agencies. As I say on the other thread, I am aware there is demand for their services, and that the business model isn’t going away any time soon.


I’d like to see a web-based diary system specifically for recruiter-sourced roles. The user (candidate) logs in to a private area, and creates a new diary entry for each job lead. They log when they make or receive a call to the recruiter, when they submit their CV, when they discover who the client is, etc. They can add comments related to each event (e.g. are they happy with how they’re being kept informed, what are their thoughts on general service, etc).

So far, this is just a handy job-hunting diary system (for which I presently use a private Trello board). Critically though, the recruiter and the client is allowed to log in and see all comments made by other participants in the process (and their login is announced on the candidate’s timeline). So, if the candidate has a telephone call in which they agree their CV may be sent, the client will see that if they choose to log in (and can ask where the CV is if they’ve not received it).

The purpose of this is to assess recruiters from a candidate perspective. If a client is unhappy with a recruiter they can just switch firms, but candidates don’t have that freedom. So, this idea is to redress that imbalance a little bit. Of course, recruiters will want to log in to ensure that everything that is being said about them is true (it’s not entirely an honest industry, and real names will have to be used to prevent recruiters giving each other black marks).

Whilst the diary process is private (and thus does not facilitate recruiters pinching each other’s roles) a key part of this system would be to create metrics on each recruiter. How long do they take to return calls on average? What is their candidate satisfaction index? These would be public.


It is possible that candidates may be nervous about using this system since a big recruiter could misuse their power to black-ball someone who gave honest, critical feedback. However, if there is a star-rating system, a candidate could cautiously give 4 stars rather than 5, perhaps together with diplomatic feedback of e.g. “I’d like to be kept more informed about progress”. That might in itself begin to have a corrective effect.

Hopefully candidates would begin to feel more confident of giving honest and open feedback (whilst being encouraged by the UI to be civil). Some comments could potentially be published in a public feed, whilst hiding client and other confidential information.

This is only a germ of an idea at present, and I wonder if it is one of those things that would take an MVP to test properly. It might have to just be a good candidate diary and metrics system to start off with, since recruiters and hiring clients would not recognise any initial value.

What do you think?

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So you are proposing that recruiters will sign up to a system that lets clients see the feedback that their candidates give them and share that with clients, given the comments over on the mini rant, I suspect that you may struggle with that.

Jobsite one of the recruiting boards, built a feedback system that let candidates rate their experience with agencies that was actually pretty good, trouble is they can be gamed and when a 2 person agency gets to the top, it can be very difficult for them to handle the resulting overload.

In theory its a great idea, and would drive really good behaviour but also very corruptible. I once proposed a customer survey and feedback scheme on consultants following a interview that could be shared and used for internal training and development at a very well know and large international recruiter, guess how that went down… Osmium and Canals.

I am intrigued by the idea of an exclusivity clause, that was for the agency representing you to a client, perhaps it might be an idea to suggest that they cc you into the email forwarding your details to the client which if you don’t receive within a couple of days then leaves you free to talk to other recruiters about the role? This would incentise them as well. It does seem to me that all the power lies with the recruiter especially when making deals of this type - opportunity I think.

Maybe a Snapchat for CV’s, if its not used in 2 days it disappears!!

Thanks for your thoughts, Peter!

I read it differently: the comments over on the mini-rant are exactly why candidates would sign up for this. Candidates realise that the industry is not going away, but by-and-large they’re cheesed off with it.

Recruiters would be more than welcome to ignore this system, but then they won’t get to see their feedback, nor verify that items of feedback are genuine. In case it’s not clear, I don’t propose that the system is used to circumvent the recruiter from their middle-man role: clients would not be able to see candidate names.

Not if recruiters finally decide that it is better to sign in and check that all users are actually their clients, rather than competitors trying to harm their stats. Or is there a problem I have not understood? :smile:

Would you explain how this can be gamed? Why would a feedback system cause overload? I’m genuinely keen to understand the flaws in what I’m proposing (as well as hearing if it has largely been done before).

Aargh, next time I will keep my thoughts to myself, I seem to have started a movement!

In reverse. Feedback causes overload because if you are top of the league for being great, then more clients and candidates contact you because you are so good, recruitment is not a scaleable business, so each additional client and candidate increases workload thereby overload on a small business who are more likely to provide better service( caveat - not always)

Gaming it can be done by asking candidates to provide positive feedback or asking candidates you place to provide feedback rather than all candidates, skewing results.

I agree candidates would love the system, but given the opinion of recruiters many people share, I dont think recruiters would.

I think I am confused over the system, so you are proposing that a candidate logs on, starts a new card ( trello) with the name of the recruiter and the client they have been put forward for and then adds information about the process and their experience. The client can log in but not see who the candidate is, just the comments, the recruiter can log in but not see who the candidate is. Given the challenges that online forums have with trolling and negative posting, that seems a recipe for libel and all sorts of trouble.

I think the idea of providing a rating system or even feedback system to candidates to help improve the industry would be awesome, I just think it needs to be something that is open and also both sides buy into.

I think a beer might help!

(Gah! Apologies for the wordiness of the below…)

Heh, no - your thoughts are most welcome! I do not mind if the idea is not workable, just would like to understand why.

Gotcha. My view from the other side is that it doesn’t seem to be as free-market as you suggest. I look through recruiter ads from a variety of sites, and I have to liaise with the recruiter attached to the role. I cannot apply for a role through the recruiter of my choice (and more’s the pity).

Clients do have more of a choice, true, but a system of this kind would have to be huge for them to take any notice of it. My guess is that even good clients don’t really care about the candidate experience, except insofar as it helps or prevents them getting good people in for interview. I would guess clients are cost driven here, since recruiting is so expensive.

That’s to be expected. Whilst it is not intended to annoy recruiters, I would imagine they would be extremely resistant to using it. They might feel they are losing control over their sales pipeline (not the intention, but I can see how they would think that).

Nearly right. The client can see who the recruiter is (helpful if they are using several) but not the candidate. The recruiter can log in and see everyone - both client and candidate, by their real-name. The “troll” phenomenon would not be possible, as far as I can tell, since recruiters can complain if they don’t recognise a candidate.

I accept that critique, and it might be sufficient to kill the idea dead. As I outlined in the first post, candidates may be inclined towards self-censorship too, to avoid annoying an important source of roles for them - and that would defeat the purpose of reviewing recruiters.

Of course, my generally negative experience - and the same for the handful of folks in the other thread - may be the opposite of most people’s experience in the UK. My system proposal, furthermore, may risk introducing the perception of antagonism into new recruiter-candidate relationships that could be counter-productive.

Good idea! I don’t have space in my diary in the short term - and neither do I have time to build this either, really :smile: - but a chat around the theme at some point would be most welcome.

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