Monday, November 15, 2010

Dealing With the Recruitment "Industry"

Job Seeking for Strathclyde MSc Marketing Graduates

::::: How to Deal with Recruitment Consultants:::::

At the moment if we take the majority of you with no relevance work experience, then recrutiment consultants will be the last people on earth to hold an umbrella over you in the current rain weather. They have very, very few graduaet jobs that are a good career start fro you. This is made worse because now they have on their books, lots of people made redundant from marketing and related jobs with only a year- or two's experience.

However, "Who is hiring" is a good Americanism to think a look at it. Recruitment consultants are sources for information on who is expanding, or who maybe has a "chicken run" .Through their overt advertising and in revelaing the companies with marketing jobs on the phone, they point the spotlight on a company which is maybe expanding or replacing staff. These advertised jobs may not be relevant to your experience or directly in marketing, but you should use recruitment houses to get the names of the companies and send direct applications or get in the door from other job interviews when actually using the consultant.

Now these "shopping window" interviews may not be for jobs in marketing; it may be admin, customer service or the evil of sales : phone or field. Give them a call, find out who and where their client is. Apply direct to the firm with an open application, or if you feel up to it, go through the consultant to get in the door, make a good impression and leave a much more detailed marketing CV with the client. Also consider making business cards, these can be useful when the consultant sits in, and I have had jobs offered to me after the first position with thrhough consulant is filled.

As advised in a previous FredRant, be careful when using "shopping window" interviews in sales or other functions. A sales manager will be furious to have yet another " work a year or two in sales and then into marketing" if they have just had a string of reps do that. Humour them, get to a head office interview and meet the personnel, maybe agreeing (only with personnel!) in forehand to have a look round the marketing department while you are there to consider the range of opportunities relevant to you. Get your detailed marketing CV and business card to personnel and anyone you meet.

Sales has been discussed before as a route in to marketing: it is a very double edged sword. However a field sales job in the recession is better than nothing and can be a good brand name on the CV. ( Often when I go to interviews, I note that the interviewers put far too much importance onto the larger brand names I have worked at or on: I often had more responsibility or relevant experiences on the smaller ones, but the big ones stick in the mind!!)

Sales jobs in marketing services companies, selling the firm, not working on behalf of clients, are also really worth applying to now: in any given city or industry you will get your feet in the door at countless good contacts and be able to see who has spend immediately: spend= head count as much as ad's and websites.

Other shitty jobs at interesting firms are to be avoided: telesales, call centre etc you really want to do this? Well you may well want to get your face inside the company and get some interview expereince so go along with it, leaving a copy of your own, pepped up marketing CV with personal acheivements and positions of responsibility etc on there. Some other crappy jobs in good firms, or on behlaf of good brands ( consumer or B2B), may be worth getting in to as a first stepping stone. the brand name is worth a lot when you want to move up.

Also, as discussed before, because you are cheap, available tmw and have marketing know-how, you are in fact up for jobs which recruitment consutlants will not send you forward to : one to two years experience. SO work around them on all occaisions: they are a barometer and a way for managers to save time and manage wage expectations on the way in at the lower levels of the copannyu

Through all this though, do not PISS on your chips: keep some recrutiment consultants sweet: or just leave the good ones alone until you have that precsious work experience under way. Recruitment consultants tend to have good memories for people, but they remember a very short-hand version of you: so you need good personal branding and being a "Pushy student who had no real work experience and tried to present himself as a marketer in a sales job interview" will stick with you in their minds or in some euphenistic notes on their database.

Don't feel guilty about using smaller consultants/agents to get leads and "shopping window" interviews. Many of them will go bust soon, or never be able to offer you quality interviews later on in your career. On the other side it may be worth leaving registration at the marketing specialists until later: either when they have a graduate job or when you have more experience.

In both cases Consultants like "fresh shelf wares" - there is a true recency effect, despite their databases: a recent, active job seeker is easier for them to motivate to agree to go to interview than an experienced marketeer sitting in a good job.

Small agencies will use you sometimes in a string of interviews they know you are an outsider for. Large agencies do the same, but you will be relevant to a larger extent than the small, struggling-for-numbers agencies. In both cases they both tire of you or develop guilt complexes and leave you alone.Don't be naive, this is easy to spot: they are doing the hard sell on you and the last point will be the actual crappyness of the job or unlikeliness of you to get the position. It is possible to cut deals with them on this front: Ask them to promise to put your CV speculatively to three companies or get an interview with a better job which is advertised before agreeing to go to some also ran, salesy interviews as a presentable filler.

Much better to hit the MPMs of the world later, long after you have abused other small consultancies with good clients to get in the door and on the ladder of a markeitng career.

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