Tag Archives: Permanent Recruitment

How Not To Pitch For A Job

How Not To Pitch For A Job or How One Job Applicant Got It So Wrong

How Not To Pitch For A Job

How Not To Pitch For A Job

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this is true in my profession as well.

I speak to hundreds of candidates every month and as soon as the conversation begins, I’m working out which one of the roles and companies I deal with you’re going to suit best.

The Wrong Way

“It’s not that I want to do it, it’s that I can do it.”

This is what the applicant on the phone was telling me.

He’d applied for a job that he was more than capable of doing, but as he’d just said “he didn’t really want to do it”.

This wasn’t doing it for me!

I’d started the conversation by asking about his current job, but he didn’t want to have that conversation.

“I know who the company is, they’re just down the road from me.”

I tried to get the conversation back on track by asking him why he’d applied for the position, but to be honest I had a lot of work to do to get excited about him as a candidate now.

It turned out he was unhappy with the insecurity in his current role and these are his words not mine, the “impending demise of the business”.

Again I wished he’d let me carry out the telephone interview in the right way, but he was keen to explain to me why he “wanted to be put forward” and everything wrong with his current employer.

I would have got to this, as part of my interviewing process, and you’ll have to take my word for it, it would have been more constructive if he’d let me.

I started to speed the conversation along.

I wanted to help him, but the reality was that his CV didn’t show half of the experience specified in the job description that he was telling me he had, and I suggested he revise his CV and we’d talk again the following day.

Why You Need To Do It

The candidates that I have the most success in placing are the ones I know the most about.

When I put you forward for a role, I’ll highlight all of the reasons why you meet the expectations of the job.

Why you may be a good match for the company.

What you’re looking for on a professional, and sometimes an emotional level, and how that matches the role on offer.

When I’m discussing your application with my client I’ll be able to answer all of their questions and give an honest appraisal of you as good fit for the role (or not as the case may be).

The client hasn’t spoken to you, so they won’t know anything about you, but if we’ve had an open and frank conversation then I’ll know.

I’ll also know more about my client than you will.

I’ve been talking to them, getting to know them, learning what makes a good fit for their organisation.

Sometimes I’ve found out by trial and error, and sometimes I’ve found out because they took the time to explain it to me.

The eventual benefit to both you and the client should be that I match the right people with the right jobs and the right companies.

The Right Way

“Tell me why you left your last job?”

I was part the way through the interviewing process but this was the point were I really started to feel the match with the clients brief was a good one.

“I like to get out onto the Shopfloor.”

“I like to interact with the engineers working for me and understand what the issues are. That way I think I do a better job.”

“I seem to spend so much time preparing for meetings, reporting against KPIs, and fire fighting, that I very rarely get a chance to implement any real changes.”

He went on to explain “there was always pressure to get the product out the door, without any real concern about quality, or putting systems in place that meant we could the job in a proper organised manner the next time it was needed”

I asked about the kind of company he would be interested in working for, the kind of environment he thought he would do best in and he went onto explain what he felt that would be.

As we discussed the job further, he offered more examples that weren’t included on his CV (you can’t include everything am I right?) that made him an even better fit for the job.

I was absolutely confident he was what the company were looking for, and after 2 interviews they agreed with me by offering a salary at the higher end of the pay scale.


If you find a good Recruiter that’s interested in placing you in the right role, then if you want my advice, work with them.

Let them do their job, answer their questions, provide them with information that you think will help them, and above all trust them.

If you find a bad Recruiter?…..Run

What’s your opinion?

Has spending time talking to a Recruiter helped you find the right role or have you had to do most of the work yourself?

I’d be interested in your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

CV Advice

How To Get More Interest In Your CV

After years of picking through countless shortlists of candidates, I’ve been forced to develop ever efficient ways of recruiting.

So when dealing with ad response, or merely searching through CV after CV to find the exact skills i’m looking for – I tend to go immediately to the most recent entry and start looking for proof that you can do the job that I’ve been asked to find someone for.

This is just how I recruit.

Everyone’s different. I’m a logical person with (some may allege a slight autistic streak) so I look for facts.

The other reason I do this is because I’ve had countless experiences of Hiring Managers and HR people doing exactly the same thing.

I KNOW If you’ve done a certain type of job you have transferrable skills. (I’ll deal with “if you gave me a little bit of training I’d be up to speed in no time” in another blog post).

But if I send a CV to a client, and they can’t see you’ve done the job they want you to do, there is potential for said client to feel I may not have found them the right person.

I’m afraid the spray and pray brigade have ruined it for all of us.

When you’re applying for a job, look at the must haves, work out where you’ve done it, and then add it to your CV.

The simple fact that you wrote it will mean that it will support what I’m saying, and give the client some comfort.

As an added bonus you’re including more keywords on your CV making it easier to write.

If you have a question about this post, please leave a comment 🙂

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Show Me The Money

Salaries Advertised by Recruiters

Image Credit for Salaries Aren’t Always Advertised by Recruitment Agencies

Often you’ll see jobs advertised by a Recruitment Agency and there aren’t any salary details.

It’s Crazy (right?)

You may or may not appreciate the reason for this, so I wanted to give an explanation as to why sometimes I’ve advertised roles and haven’t included salary details.

Sometimes The Client Doesn’t Have A Pay Structure.

I’ve dealt with companies that are small to medium sized businesses, and in some cases the company doesn’t have a salary structure in place.

This often happened when I was working with Engineering Machine Shops to find CNC Machinists.

They started off small, needed some help, hired a person, negotiated the wages on the day, and then rinsed and repeated the whole process the next time they needed someone else.

They ended up with different people, doing similar jobs, on different rates of pay.

So at best they could give me a salary range, but there would always be a small part of them that didn’t really want to say, in case they quoted an amount that was “too high”.

Or tsometimes it was because they didn’t want to lose a good candidate that could be of value to the business.

So they said “NEGOTIABLE”

Sometimes The Client Is Worried

Occasionally people will see an advert for a job that looks like it may be at their company. It could even be their job, they think.

So they call up to find out what they can, posing as an interested candidate (some Recruiters do this as well but that’s another Blog post)

The salary on offer looks far more than they’re being paid for doing a similar job (see above), and so they may complain, or ask some pretty awkward questions of their line manager or HR representative.

Far easier for the client to tell the agency that they aren’t allowed to advertise salaries, and avoid the pain, AND possibly reap some of the benefits mentioned earlier.

This can happen in small, and large companies, and at some point in my career I’ve seen it in both.

But what if the salary IS mentioned but it seems either too high or too low?

This happens also.

In the case of too low the company could either be out of step with salary levels for the role in question, or they could be aiming to keep their costs down.

In the case of too high, if it’s an agency advert, then it could be that the Recruiter has made sure the package looks as attractive as possible, to get the most response from the advert, or that the company in question like to pay well to attract and retain top talent

What I would say is that whenever there is a range, don’t immediately assume that you’re going to achieve the very top, or get offered the very bottom.

My Opinion

Personally I would always prefer to be open and up front about the salary range at the outset.

If the company have a pay structure in place then it shouldn’t be an issue, if they don’t, then there will always be an unofficial range.

Would YOU apply for an advertised job if no salary indication was given? Click the image below to take my survey and answer 3 questions.

Leave a comment below and when I’ve collected 100 responses I’ll send you a copy of the results.

Permanent Recruitment Solutions

Recruitment Agency Permanent Recruitment
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 A lot of Employment Agencies will find you a Permanent job.

In fact when you’re searching for a permanent job it can sometimes be hard to find jobs NOT being advertised by Employment Agencies (I’m going to shorten it to EA if you don’t mind, I’m getting fed up with typing Employment Agencies all the time).

But if you don’t understand how it works or what’s in it for the agency then it can seem a bit bewildering, and if you’re only point of reference is the Job Centre or whatever they’re called now then this may shed some light on the whole thing for you.

An EA (remember Employment Agency) is the name for a business that will place people into permanent roles.

All EAs are governed by the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003.

I’ll split Permanent Recruitment into 3 areas and give you my understanding of all of them.

In every one of these cases the Hiring Company is responsible for paying any fees to the Agency.

File Search

This is one of the names given to the most common type of Permanent Recruitment.

This is where a company asks an EA to help them find someone (they have to ask! the EA can’t just see a company advertising, copy it, and then start firing off CVs that they hope will be a match – although I reckon some of them do) and the EA will then search their database and use other means to find the best person that matches the brief.

Sometimes the Recruiter will know suitable candidates, as a result of the relationship they’ve built up over the years, and will know just the right person.

Other times they will need to go through hundreds of names (yes hundreds) to draw up a credible shortlist which will ultimately be whittled down to the best 3.

Once this is done, the CVs should be presented with a justification as to why they’re a good match, and then the client will arrange to interview to make their own mind up.

This isn’t the end of the process, during the placement the EA should liaise between both parties until the placement is successfully concluded.

Once the person start the agency is then paid an Introduction Fee.

This can vary greatly depending on the role but typically will be a 4 – 5 figure sum (and I’m not including the number after the decimal point either).

If the placement isn’t successful there will often be a rebate period in which the company would see a percentage or sometimes even the entire fee returned.

Search & Selection

This is a similar process but with often a different fee structure (either more expensive because it tends to be used at the higher salary levels, or staged payments).

In this process the company will again take the brief, but will research and find people in an appropriate role and approach them on behalf of their client.

If they’re felt to be suitable the EA will submit a shortlist and then in agreement with the client will draw up a list of candidates to be interviewed ultimately ending in a placement.

Head Hunting

I’ve heard this term used, in my opinion wrongly, a number of times and I’ll give you my understanding.

Head Hunting is where a company KNOW who they want by name and ask the EA to approach them on their behalf.

Again they give the EA the brief. The EA will generally carry out face-to-face interviews and make recommendations, and the client will carry out their process and make an offer.

Ninety nine per cent of the Permanent recruitment solutions I’ve offered has always been the first type, hence why the explanations on the last 2 may be subject to minor corrections, and a bit brief.