Holden Jones Blog - Battle Royale

The CV Battle Royale

Two recruitment Titans stand on opposing sides of a client, each brandishing the CV of the next big placement. One has the permission from the candidate to submit the CV, the other doesn’t care. The second agency just wants to beat everyone to the punch, sending every semi-suitable CV, hoping one might stick. A little commercial rivalry, yes, but serious problems arise when the candidate is offered the job. Which agency is awarded the placement fee? Let Battle Royale. commence

A Battle Royal is a fight to the death (sorry if this sounds a little morose), to the very end, last person standing, and it happens in recruitment. Two opposing sides (recruiters) battle over a CV that they have both submitted. The first without the permission of the candidate, the second with permission. The client wants to interview, but who claims ownership of the CV? It becomes a fight to the death (or, to the commission). Last recruiter standing. This is not a good place to be. Fighting over the fee for changing someone’s life and placing them in their dream job is an horrendous way to end fantastic recruitment project.

The scenario: the first recruiter has shot-gunned a CV(s) without having a clue or concern whether the candidate is interested in the role. The second recruiter has taken the time to speak to the prospective employee about the job’s functions, the culture of the company, the salary on offer and has comprehensively qualified that person for that role. The candidate is offered and accepts the post and the first recruiter is awarded the fee. Why? They have used little skill, spent no time speaking with the job hunter, not taken time to understand what company would suit them best, discussed their salary expectations, worked out their potential commute. The second recruiter did all this and probably a lot more. They have invested time and used their market and industry knowledge to find the best match for company and candidate, yet they are rewarded with nothing. 

Why do unscrupulous agencies do this? To beat everyone else to the punch. To get in first. To ensure they get the fee, with no consideration for the hiring company or the person they might place. They want the money and nothing else and care little about long-term commercial relationships. They are the sharks of the recruitment industry and this is bad recruitment practice. Remember, the candidate is therefore unaware that they are being sent which in turn means that this rogue agency that sent them is also unaware of the candidate’s possible issues with certain companies, beliefs, or more simply whether an ex-boss now works at that business for example.

What can be done? That’s simple, organisations need to learn about good and bad recruitment practice. There is such a thing as ethical recruitment (we practice it every day). Time should be taken to consult with clients, training them in the art of people-sourcing and the pitfalls they may encounter.

Working on a contingent basis means a recruiter not getting a fee unless they make a successful placement. Do organisations understand the amount of work a recruiter undertakes to make one placement? Their hard work will go unrewarded if an underhanded consultant has sneaked an un-qualified CV into the inbox of the hiring manager. But that’s not the fault of a company or individual manger, it’s because they aren’t aware of the work involved in a proper and professional recruitment life-cycle. Communication is the key. If hiring companies understood a little more about recruitment practice and ethics, they would quickly realise the difference between good and bad agencies, allowing them to make an informed choice of who should be supplying personnel and who has earned the fee. As a hiring manager take a moment to put yourself in the position of the candidate (you may need another job someday) and ask yourself who you would feel most comfortable representing you.  The CV Battle Royale