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?