Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The classic signs of a recruitment consultant leading you up the garden path.......

Recruitment in the UK has become an ugly beast.

Companies are increasingly caught up in inefficient, amateur and downright unethical practices that are driven by HR nonsense imported from the USA. And unfortunately, successive governments haven't had the gumption to do something about it, where it has got to the stage that legislation is long overdue.

HR, often called "Human Remains" by increasingly cynical and mistrusting staff, has now become the laughing stock of business practices, often the crutch used by limping CEO's and MD's who are too weak to either do the hiring and firing themselves, or do anything constructive about it.

Now I don't for one minute deny that there are some good personnel people out there! Unfortunately, they are overshadowed by the clinically useless and mechanically inept - those who make more noise, create more misery and frankly, exist for no other reason than they have a little more knowledge on the subject than their peers.

There are some classic signs in recruitment advertising, mainly at the keyboards of some professionally useless recruitment consultants (again, there are some good ones out there), that the candidate is 'being had'. Here are some of them:

"My Client is the UK leader in their field" - yep, the classic opener to any faux recruitment advertisement. Such a leader that they don't divulge who they are. In other words, they (the unfortunate recruiter) have forgotten the "No agencies please" at the bottom of their original advertisement and have left themselves open to a barrage of offers from recruitment consultants that wear them down.

“Recognised name and an employer of choice” – oh wow. Yes. An employer of choice. This is THE classic sales pitch to accompany "my client" and the "leading" nonsense that has drawn you in. They are certainly  the “employer of choice” until you cross swords with their useless HR department over your less than “employer of choice” and "leading" salary and conditions.

"Multi-million £ turnover" - yet they are offering either a non-committal "attractive salary", or one that is so low as to be offensive. Or they even ask candidates their own salary expectations.

"We will only contact you within the next 'x' days if you are selected for interview." - as we are working speculatively, we simply can't be arsed wasting the time and effort to acknowledge that you actually exist. Besides, we already have hundreds of poor saps on the books who have  previously applied for similar advertisements we placed over the past few months, so that's much easier and less expensive for us if we give them a shout first.

"Please be aware we receive a high volume of applications for every role advertised and  regularly receive applications from candidates who exceed the job credentials." We have created this situation where talented people are desperate for a job, but thanks to recruitment consultants like us, it's carnage out there on the job front. Besides, we use automatic CV scanning software, so if you haven't all the hit words in your CV, you're wasting your time - do you actually believe we waste our own time reading the CV you spent hours putting together?

"It may be advantageous for you to tailor your CV". Well, seeing as we haven't a foggy clue what you do, or for that matter what "My Client" does, just make our job easier. Please. We work hard for the 25% commission we charge "My Client". Yes, I know, they could save the commission and increase the salary on offer by 20% but then I might have to sell my BMW. Or my penis-extension personalised numberplate.

"Plus benefits". At least we think there might be some benefits. We'll get back to you on that. If we can be bothered.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Tesco shoot themselves in the fetlock.....again

At the bottom of the road we are blessed with a Tesco Metro.

It's a fine shop that contributed greatly towards the early retirement of both the newsagent and off-licence located a few metres from their door, not that this particular contribution from Tesco was necessarily welcomed with open arms by the new retirees. Especially as they have families to support.

For the majority of older residents in and around it, this convenience shop is just that. A convenience. Saves them taking a bus to the Sainsbury's located a half a mile down the road.

Now I'm not a retail analyst. In fact I know nothing about retail at all really. I can't explain why a tube of Colgate is £1 in a pound shop, yet £2.95 in Tesco. Or why an Arid deodorant is also a £1 in the pound ship yet £2.45 in Tesco. Or why the Tesco Metro doesn't keep dried lentils and barley in stock. Or Red Leicester cheese. Or Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps. And runs out of bread and milk way before closing. Or throws away tens of pounds of bakery items at the end of each day to be made into animal feed, while the homeless visiting St Georges Crypt for meals need to be fed.

I don't know about these things.

What I do know is that for the local Sainsbury shopper who might use the Tesco Metro as their first visit to Tesco, they are not doing themselves any favour with their prices at a premium level to their equivalent Tesco Supermarket, on two counts.

Firstly, a couple of elderly shoppers using this Tesco Metro for the first time (in fact their first visit to a Tesco) said to me that they are going back to Sainsbury's and would never, ever  consider doing their main shop in a Tesco supermarket.

And why you ask?

These shoppers thought that the high price of some of the goods in the Metro would be the same for the main Tesco supermarket - therefore much higher than they were used to paying in Sainsbury's down the road.

Bearing in mind the enforced retirement of newsagent and off-license as a result of said Tesco Metro opening at the bottom of the road, I thought it my duty NOT to explain that the prices in the Tesco Supermarket are generally lower than in the high-street destroying Metros.

Secondly, Morrison's having announced their late entry to the convenience store war, have declared they will maintain a price parity in whatever Morrison store version the shoppers chooses.

So will this force Tesco Metro to wake up and sell at price parity throughout the group?

Only time will tell.