Why Recruitment Agents Suck


Dear Gary
I have an excellent new opportunity:
Civil Engineering Supervisor required to assist with major project in the North East. The successful candidate must have heavy Civil Engineering experience (industrial), experience in a management or supervisory role, experience of heavy concrete repair and maintenance, and be used to working with contractors.
The role will involve supervising a team of 6 people working on a project in heavy industry, and will also include producing reports and specifications.
This is a 12 months contract initially but extensions are possible. The rate is in the region of £25ph. Send your CV for immediate consideration and interview.
If this is not relevant to you, let me know and I will amend your details accordingly.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Elizabeth Bray
Progressive UK Engineering
Phone 0113 386 2777
Email e.bray@progressive.co.uk

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22 Responses to Why Recruitment Agents Suck

  1. colinangusmackay says:

    Civil Engineering? Concrete repair? Did she pick up on your time in the mafia when you would embed enemies of the family into bridge foundations?

  2. garyshort says:

    Shhh! We don’t about that

  3. Simon Munro says:

    Keyword matching at its best.

    You are reasonable *civil*. You’re sort of in the *North East*. You have *supervised* things. You have worked with *contractors*. You are interested in software *engineering*.

    Far more hits than ‘concrete’.

    The vendor of this matching software probably also develops share selling software

  4. Gary Short says:

    LOL, yeah or credit risk models for the Northern Rock 🙂

  5. Derek Smyth says:

    Hello Gary, followed your blog link from scottishdevelopers.com and had to comment on this. Couldn’t agree more!

    Was told recently about a *looks around* hush hush just for special developers position thats just this moment been made available…

    “want an interview?”
    “em can I think about it?”
    “Well they’ve just interviewed 23 people so it’s make your mind up time.”

    Ok an exaggeration but not far off.

  6. Gary Short says:

    Hello Derek and thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation. yeah recruitment agents are worse than estate agents, my advice is if you find a good one, hold on to them.

  7. Dear Gary,

    One of my clients has just forwarded me a link to this page…. and I have to say I am both upset and personally offended. If I sent you an e-mail that was not relevant, you could have just deleted it. I by no means meant to waste your time. I have been with Progressive for 5 years and successfully found hundreds people suitable jobs. I am sorry that you are not one of them. Occasionally e-mails slip through the net, regarding jobs that may not be suitable. I apologise for this.

    I have recently relocated to Singapore as we have opened a new office up out here. Progressive asked me to come owing to my successful track record. For one of my new clients to find this blog is very upsetting, and could potentially seriously damage my professional reputation. Please remove this blog immediately. If you chose not to, I will have no option but to seek legal advice. This is very serious for me, and I am confident that you are not allowed to write such things.

    Bes regards,


  8. Gary Short says:

    Oh come on Liz, a contract in the wrong part of the country “may not be suitable”, this one was in the wrong industry! Okay, to be fair, I’m sure this doesn’t represent your best work and I’m also sure (cos you’ve just told me) that you are, generally, good at your job; but at the end of the day, this email has your name at the bottom of it so you’re just going to have to take the hit this time I’m afraid. Maybe there’s a lesson there, who knows?

    Now let’s turn to your second paragraph. You may well be “confident” that I’m “not allowed to write such things” as I’m sure you were confident that I’d like a job in civil engineering. Sadly you are wrong on both counts. Let me demonstrate how weak your case is. I write a blog post containing only a copy of an email that *you* sent to me; you post a comment to said blog posting admitting that the job was not suitable; you charge libel; I plead veritas. Your move!

    Just one last word of advice… coming onto my blog and threatening me in public is about the least effective way of getting me to do what you want.

  9. Gary,

    There is just no need to be so rude. I admit I must have sent you an e-mail about a job that was unsuitable. I have apologised for this. I myself received e-mails from people offering my unsuitable jobs on a regular basis – I ignore them. I don’t believe my professional reputation deserves damaging because I sent you an e-mail about a job that wasn’t relevant.

    I am not threatening you, far from it. I am asking you to remove the blog as it is really not necessary to write things that could damage someone’s career, just because you received an e-mail that wasn’t relevant to you. Had the job been suitable, you would be very pleased to receive it. Sometimes, when a job need filling urgently, we may catch people up in the initial net that do not match the job description. In future, you could just ignore these e-mails! Obviously the search tool we were using at the time was not efficient…. thankfully it has been invested in greatly.

    I was only asking you to consider how things come across on the internet. I have apologised for sending you an irrelevant e-mail, and that’s all I can do.


  10. anonymouse says:

    Actually, publicly threatening someone with legal action like this shows a complete lack of decorum and a complete lack of professionalism.

    I think you just damaged your “professional reputation” far more than Gary ever could.

  11. Rory Becker says:

    “Just one last word of advice… coming onto my blog and threatening me in public is about the least effective way of getting me to do what you want.”

    Got to agree on this one.

    It’s not like Liz didn’t have your email address right 🙂

    Also… If your own email damages your professional reputation, then perhaps you shouldn’t send it.

  12. **Fake**Liz says:

    Sorry about this Gary

    It appears our system is not as perfect as we’d like it to be.

    We will certainly try to do better.

    If there’s any additional way in which we can help you please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to discuss your suggestions with you.


  13. Reg Cruitment says:

    Are you unemployed by any chance?

  14. Fran says:

    Liz, I’m not sure there’s a lot you can do. You sent him the email and he can, quite frankly, do whatever he wants with it. If he really wants to, he can print it off and use it to wipe his arse (paper might chaff a bit though).

    Stuff like this happens – we all make mistakes. Just so long as you don’t make them over and over again, you’re okay.

    But I’d suggest you lighten up a bit – when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. As the others have said, coming on here and sounding like a twat just makes it worse.

  15. John Watson says:

    Is it a lack of grammar and/or typing skills in comment #9 (April 16 @9:10 am) or a tacit admission that she offers unsuitable jobs?…”I myself received e-mails from people offering my unsuitable jobs on a regular basis” 😉

  16. Linton says:

    Don’t worry yourself too much, Liz. The Headline of this article, “Why Recruitment Agents Suck”, clearly communicates that Gary thinks *all* recruiting agents suck, not just you.

    One word of advice: Measure twice, cut once.

    Get better,

  17. What jobs come up with the following key words/criteria?
    web, master, blond, california, movies, big, producer,

    No harm in asking

  18. Gary says:

    I’ve never had Recruiter this far off left base. I get emails all the time asking me if I want to work in other Cities or States within my field. But this is First Class, a carrier change may be in your liking Gary. Lifting some heavy concrete might be enjoyable, who knows until you try. LOL

  19. Gary says:

    Wow, I misspelled Career…sigh

  20. Simon says:

    Whats amazing is that she responded a second time via comments to this item. Did she not learn the first time?

    Maybe if we give here bigger spade she can dig an even bigger hole.

  21. Ryan says:

    Their new tricks are to pretend you’re over valued and they actually try and lower your expectations?
    I applied for some jobs and got the automated emails “We have better candidates” Designed to make you feel useless apply for lower jobs they know they will place you faster in. Not just one agency but a good few well know ones are doing this trick.

    (in other words the jobs you should be progressing to recruitment agents are actively all doing this rubbish and lowering pay scales in the progress!!)

    Scum don’t belong in business.

  22. Pingback: Recruitment Agents take note | Blog of Colin Angus Mackay

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