Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Recruitment Agencies: Useful, just not for getting jobs

Our Thursday staging rehearsals generally consist of us standing around knowing that whatever we're about to do will be wrong, and then getting shouted at. (Guys, this is all good practice for being married.) Don't get me wrong, it's rather fun, and is the most organised and pleasurable part of my week. Which tells you what a disaster the rest of my life is.

Well, no such luck last Thursday. It just turned into a music call. We all stood around the piano with scores and bashed through the church scene and its aftermath. This is the bit where I do my radicalising-imam thing, and soapbox the villagers into an attack against Grimes and Ellen. Which gives me the chance to do a lot of shouting, cursing, waving of hands and railing against the system. Recent graduates, this is all good practice for the experience of job-hunting.

Yes, I still haven't had any luck fixing myself up with any gainful employment since 21 Dec, despite being registered with about ten recruitment agencies. Honestly, they're all absolutely useless. Imagine the piercing intelligence of Jade Goody, the integrity of Heather Mills, the self-awareness of Michael Jackson, the ability to fulfill promises of Del Trotter, and the sense of humour of Margaret Thatcher, and you've got the average recruitment agency drone.

What happens is this. You see a job online. It suits you perfectly. So you apply for it. Ah, but you're not applying to the company. You're applying to the recruitment agency, who obviously are there to take a cut. What happens then is that you get a call from someone from the recruitment agency called Claire who suggests that you go in to their central London office and have a chat about your skills and requirements. So you take along your passport (to prove you're actually British and not an international spy) and chat to Claire for 45 minutes, who tells you at unnecessary length what a fantastic agency they are, asks you naive questions which are answered on the CV she claims to have read, and writes down copious notes in biro on her hardback jotter. Then you never hear from her again and she never returns your calls. Repeat ad infinitum.

Or is it me? Perhaps it's time to take a long, hard look in a mirror. Urgh. Actually this is what Nan keeps telling me to do. I don't like looking at myself. Apparently I'm doing the amateur thing of bobbing my head too much, leaning forward and straining from the neck, when I should be standing up straight and letting the body do the work. And I'm talking about the interviews with Claire here. With the singing it's even worse.

Still, all my job-hunting experiences have been useful for my Boles characterisation. When I want to vent spleen against Grimes and Ellen Orford, I obviously don't picture Mario and Abby, two of the most pleasant and talented people I know. (Er, that's meant to be a compliment, not a comment on how many people I know.) Instead, I picture Dave and Claire from the recruitment agency. It makes all that shouting a pleasure.

Of course, if you ARE from a recruitment agency and you're reading this, the above description doesn't apply to you. Oh no. Of course not. You're smart enough to have found this page, for one thing, and to have read it this far, for another. In which case, what on earth are you doing working in recruitment? Ah, but to change jobs you need... a recruitment agency to help you! Doh! I see your problem. Tell you what, if you fancy being surrounded by talented people for a change, come along to our rehearsals on Thursdays.

1 comment:

Marshall said...

Consider this: Recruitment firms only have access to a small percentage of the available jobs out there. In fact, many are not advertised or are ‘hidden’. It is estimated that up to 80% of jobs are hidden as only 10% of positions ever make their way into the hands of recruitment companies.