Having recently lost a large contract, and having to pay the mortgage, I have started the unenviable task of looking for work. With 25 years business experience in international blue-chips, trailblazing in particular sectors, I thought it would be straight forward - not easy, mind you - but straight forward.

That was until I encountered the recruitment consultant!

I have recruited people in the past, and yes - the requirements should often read 'Dear Santa' at the top. It is a wishlist, and if I encountered someone who could do it all I would bite their arm off - at the neck!

It appears that in this highly mechanised age of online recruitment and communications, the 'art' of recruitment has disappeared. The job descriptions leave a lot to be desired, and the agents claim to be so inundated by applications that they cannot do the courteously of responding to all but the successful candidates.

If someone takes the time to respond (unless they are quite obviously timewasters - an unfortunate by product of making things easier online), it should be the norm to respond to them. An automated message saying 'thanks but no thanks' is all that it takes!

Mail merges, autoresponders, etc, mean that this can be automated! Yes it is impersonal, but at least it is professional and courteous!

The Interview

If you get a response to take you to an interview, the agents appear, in some cases to be reluctant to provide any background information. If they are screening candidates with an interview, I have found they refuse to divulge the company name until near the end - causing a waste of my time recently as I had already been interviewed by the company, who despite ticking all their boxes, refused to provide any feedback - this is not a rant, so don't get me started!

It is in the interests of the recruitment agents to get someone into a job, but with so many people chasing each job, it seems as though they don't actually care. Much in the way the estate agents did in the boom years - but, heed the warning - look at the fate of the estate agent in the last 2-3 years!

So - to the point of this post. This is directed at recruitment agents and their 'employers' the recruiting companies. If you want professionals who treat you and your staff/clients with respect, you should treat them with equal respect and professionality from the outset.

My father always told me that I should never burn any bridges as I would never know if our paths would cross again. If I don't get the job after numerous interviews, or don't get a response/feedback, etc. Be warned - if our paths cross, it may taint my opinion of you and your company!

What do you think of this - have you had experience of poor treatment by recruitment agents, or the opposite - should I start getting worried that it is just me?