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Monday, 12 January 2009

An Experience with an Unscrupulous Recruitment Firm

By Stanley Tan

Some Recruitment Companies Would Resort to Unscrupulous Tactics for Self Interests,
As in many other countries, the recruitment market in Singapore is highly competitive. Facing such fierce competition, some recruitment companies would resort to unscrupulous tactics for self interests, with total disregard for the employers and the candidates.

My experience with an unscrupulous recruitment company last week was really an eye opener. I was searching for an Accountant and called up a candidate for an interview with me. In the current economical downturn, the candidate was absolutely delighted to hear from me. He was enthusiastic and agreed to come to my office for an interview.

During our dialogue, he told me frankly that another recruitment firm had contacted him for a similar role. Since he was coming to see me, he would inform them to hang on.

The candidate turned up punctually for his interview. After the lengthy and thorough interview, I immediately drafted the recommendation report and submitted it to the client on the same day.

The next day, imagine my shock and frustration when I received an email from the client informing me that the same candidate had been referred to them by another firm.

The candidate was equally frustrated and upset when I told him about the situation. It was apparent that the other firm had emailed the candidate's CV to the client to "lock" him in though instructed by the candidate to "hang on"; when they learned that he was coming to my office to interview for a similar role.

Initially, the other firm denied that the candidate had given them instruction to hang on. After much insistence from the candidate, they then finally relented and agreed to "withdraw" his CV.

In the Singapore recruitment market, due to the highly competitive nature, many unscrupulous recruitment firms resort to resume-dumping to their clients, in order to be the first company to lodge the candidates' CVs with the clients. Such firms will cut corners, work for their self-interests and totally disregard the interests of the clients and candidates. The clients will typically pay the recruitment firm that sends in the CVs first. This penalized those recruitment firms that go through the tedious task of interviewing, assessing the candidates and drafting proper recommendation reports. In many cases, the unscrupulous firms would have sent in the CVs by the time the recommendation reports reached the client.

Ironically, the clients typically consider the recruitment firms that send in the CV first as the representatives for the candidates. Such practice has indirectly encouraged some unscrupulous recruitment firms to cut corners and resort to resume-dumping to lock in the candidates. That is very frustrating to the recruitment firms that have put in the quality efforts to meet, interview, assess the candidate and draft detailed and proper recommendation reports.

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