What exactly is the value of recruitment agencies / headhunters?

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Frogeyes
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A lot of the firms, of all sizes and scale, recruit people either by an in-house applications system or simply by receiving CVs from the applicants directly by email. What is left for headhunters appears to be a myth to me.

Yet what is it that makes headhunters more qualified than the employing firm to make judgments about a candidate's worth? After all, all of the headhunters that I personally know are dim-witted people who have not only done very poorly in the academics and therefore have no hope in joining the professions they are recruiting for, but they have also made terrible decisions in studying for a degree (eg Management) which they probably aren't interested in and have very little prospects in getting a classification worth the paper its printed on.

With that being said, what value do recruitment agencies add to the recruitment process, that in-house recruitment processes do not already have?
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999tigger
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(Original post by Frogeyes)
A lot of the firms, of all sizes and scale, recruit people either by an in-house applications system or simply by receiving CVs from the applicants directly by email. What is left for headhunters appears to be a myth to me.

Yet what is it that makes headhunters more qualified than the employing firm to make judgments about a candidate's worth? After all, all of the headhunters that I personally know are dim-witted people who have not only done very poorly in the academics and therefore have no hope in joining the professions they are recruiting for, but they have also made terrible decisions in studying for a degree (eg Management) which they probably aren't interested in and have very little prospects in getting a classification worth the paper its printed on.

With that being said, what value do recruitment agencies add to the recruitment process, that in-house recruitment processes do not already have?
You seem bitter. Bad experience?
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Frogeyes
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(Original post by 999tigger)
You seem bitter. Bad experience?
Not bitter as in having a bad experience from visiting their premises/being served by them;
But bitter as in having a worthless but posh relative having a more successful career in headhunting firms than me who comes from more humble background and who studies a traditionally demanding subject (which is also the hardest to get a first in) from a better university
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DuckDodgers
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OP isn't wrong here. My first job was for a recruitment company (IT) and they were all largely posh gits who'd got the job because they owned a suit (men) or were pretty (women). I reckon there's some good independents at the top level but for many, it's simply a sales position where you don't need many skills or even much knowledge of the industry.

As for your question - it's because for mid-high level jobs, many in-house companies don't know how to filter the best candidates. They use recruiters to do the hard work, which is precisely what my own organisation is doing right now. If people have less than five years professional experience they really shouldn't bother with recruiters.
Last edited by DuckDodgers; 2 months ago
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Frogeyes
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(Original post by DuckDodgers)
OP isn't wrong here. My first job was for a recruitment company (IT) and they were all largely posh gits who'd got the job because they owned a suit (men) or were pretty (women). I reckon there's some good independents at the top level but for many, it's simply a sales position where you don't need many skills or even much knowledge of the industry.

As for your question - it's because for mid-high level jobs, many in-house companies don't know how to filter the best candidates. They use recruiters to do the hard work, which is precisely what my own organisation is doing right now. If people have less than five years professional experience they really shouldn't bother with recruiters.
🀣

I am more interested in knowing by what criteria do they filter out the "not-so-good" candidates.
After all, it is usually the employing firm which has first hand knowledge and experience on which candidates are actually doing well on the job, so the employers must be in a better position to judge than those "recruitment agencies"?

And, just being curious here, what does a "high-end recruitment agency" mean? Having high-value clients?
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londonmyst
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Mostly their experience, extensive contacts and general willingness to comply with eccentric or ethically dubious client criteria in order to earn their usually high fee.
The usual practice of waiving their fee in the event that one/both their selected candidates cease employment within the client's business within 90 days also seems to encourages client confidence.
I used to work as a recruitment consultant during my undergrad and first postgrad.
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uberteknik
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The better organisations put the candidates through a comprehensive vetting process: checking credentials, experience, qualifications, references, remuneration etc.and implementing aptitude and personality tests plus interviews before selection for their client to interview.

This takes much of the mundane work away from the client who would otherwise need to sift through sometimes hundreds of applications to reach a short list of candidates. This process requires dedicated staff and very often, the client does not have the personnel resources to execute.

In this respect, the recruitment company offers a service which saves both time and money and reduces the expensive risk of mismatching.

My understanding of 'high-end' means Directors, CEO's and high worth roles (Β£200K++). usually, but not exclusively, found in FTSE companies.

(I have used recruitment companies to recruit teams of suitably qualified and experienced staff in the engineering and IT sectors)
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DuckDodgers
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(Original post by Frogeyes)
🀣

I am more interested in knowing by what criteria do they filter out the "not-so-good" candidates.
After all, it is usually the employing firm which has first hand knowledge and experience on which candidates are actually doing well on the job, so the employers must be in a better position to judge than those "recruitment agencies"?

And, just being curious here, what does a "high-end recruitment agency" mean? Having high-value clients?
I have no doubt that the employer would know more but it's a time-consuming process and often employers don't want to do it. Also, we're dealing with human beings so if somebody assures you that a candidate is a good option then it takes the pressure away from one person and puts it onto somebody else. That's something employers seem to love, especially mid-large ones where about the last thing anybody ever does is take blame for something going wrong

High-end is pretty much managerial and director level, as somebody explained above.

As for filtering out, I think it's about the narrative. I always assume a recruiter wants to tell their client that a candidate has X years of experience in a relevant area. Being over-qualified seems to be a desired trait.

Temp agencies aren't as bad IMO.
Last edited by DuckDodgers; 2 months ago
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