Statutory Warning – ‘Never Deal with a ‘Recruitment Consultant’ who ask money from you in any form including one time registration fee, no matter how meager the amount may seem’.

Sometimes desperation to get a job leads us to the way which is wrong, morally as well as logically.

Ever thought of this – Why does a job consultant needs to charge any amount from a candidate when he can earn a much higher sum by placing that candidate?

The answer is simple – He doesn’t need to.

I won’t name though, but once, I came across a recruitment firm assuring ‘Guaranteed Selection’ for a helping amount of Rs. 2350/-. Now, what on earth is a Helping Amount and how can someone guarantee a selection? Still people get fooled by such gimmicks and never try to apply logic that when an institute, which charges in the tune of several hundred thousand for a 2 year MBA or a 4 year Engineering, cannot guarantee a placement, how can an institution of little or no significance do that for just Rs. 2350/-?

I believe, you are intelligent enough to understand the rest. So all I wish to say is BEWARE!!

So please just focus on the ones following the path of righteousness.

But before we move on we need to understand the basic way in which a recruitment consultant functions.

Try and think about it; What is a Consultant? – An expert with whom we consult regarding our problems.

So essentially, a consultant’s role is to give an expert advice like a doctor or a lawyer. So, isn’t a recruitment consultant, however called so, is way different from the general principal of being a consultant?

In my opinion, however people may choose to differ; a recruitment consultant is actually a sales man, simply working backwards in a sales cycle. Wondering how?

Sales Man: Ties up with the company (product owner) for product sale.
Recruitment Consultant: Ties up with companies (end customer) to fill up their vacancies.

Sales Man: Looks for the prospective buyers
Recruitment Consultant: Looks for the prospective sellers (candidates)

Sales Man: Utilize various means to identify buyers.
Recruitment Consultant: Utilize various mans to identify sellers

Sales Man: Contact buyers and put forward the proposition
Recruitment Consultant: Contact sellers and put forward the proposition

Sales Man: Shows the product catalog
Recruitment Consultant: Once the prospective sellers are identified, puts forward the proposals (resumes)

sales Man: Helps in product selection
Recruitment Consultant: Helps in product selection (organize interviews)

Sales Man: Aids in negotiations
Recruitment Consultant: Aids in negotiations

Sales Man: Complete the sales process
Recruitment Consultant: Complete the sales process i.e. offer letter, joining etc.

Sales Man: Charges a commission or fee
Recruitment Consultant: Charges a commission or fee

Now the entire process remains the same but the process cycle is reversed. A candidate is a seller as well the product and the consultant being the salesman, always runs after the products (candidates) he thinks, would be most profitable.

“A candidate is an asset or product for a consultant, selling which he generates his revenues and in order to create a preference for yourself, you need to prove that you are both an excellent salesman as well an excellent product. “

Once a consultant is confident that you offer what his clients seek and you are strong enough to crack the interview, he will automatically create a preference for you and then you won’t have to follow him. He will be after you with best proposals available.

We also need to understand that a consultant has to satisfy his clients and firm in following ways:

1 Sending only the best few filtered resumes to the client; else there is no reason to hire him.
2 And send them fast as same openings go to competitors as well. So there is a strict timeline.
3 Maximize revenues by filling up vacancies as fast as possible. At the end of the day, it’s a business that’s needs profits.
4 Provide consistent customer service to client to ensure regularity of business.

And amongst these key responsibilities, he has to search resumes, make job postings, call up the prospects, filter them out, send the resumes to client, organize interviews, and manage operational issues etc. and all these things to be done simultaneously for multiple clients as well as openings.

So now can you understand why a consultant never called you back confirming your application or providing you with a feedback? That’s because he neither has a reason nor the time to do that.

But one thing is sure, if he knows that you are one of the best products available, remembers you amidst all this chaos, has your cell number fed in his phone, he will certainly call you.

How do you achieve that?

Now, that’s not really a rocket science. Let’s go over the entire list quickly.

When they are searching through job portals resume databases: Of course, the former option holds first preference because it gives them the updated resumes of most matching profiles with all their contact details, with a serious interest in looking for a job.

When they have advertized a job in the Current Openings/ Job postings section of the popular job portals: Hundreds of resumes flow in the moment this is done. So just follow the simple points given below and win the preference:

1 Respond quickly and always call, if a number is given. That assures the consultant about your interest level and communication skills quality.
2 Don’t irritate them with repeated calls or SMS. Email is the best way to get connected without causing irritation.
3 Include as many as keywords in your resume as search is carried out based on the key words.
4 Consultants like consistent profiles as they are easier to sell. Make sure that your resume projects you as the best product available.
5 Keep connecting with your consultants on a regular basis. This will make them remember you the moment they have something suitable for you because they know that you are available quickly.
6 If you are looking for a career change, it’s highly unlikely that they will put you forward as you are a tough product to sell. Needs personal meeting by appointment and sound convincing.
7 Consultants’ priority is the employer and not you, so don’t expect him to act on your behalf because they simply won’t.
8 Always turn up on the interview appointment; because once you have missed that, you would never get a call again.
9 No matter how strong the persuasion is, never put forward your candidature for a role that you don’t wish to pursue. It’s in no body’s interest.
10 Always discuss the salary details including expectations honestly with your consultant as they only know how far they can push the client and is also aware of the realistic market conditions.
11 Never waste their time as they face a stiff competition on each opening.
12 If you have not created a personal rapport with consultants, any candidate matching the profile and with high probability to crack the interview is good for them.

Now, do you know why I have used ‘they’ in all the points? Because you must do it with multiple consultants as one consultant does not deal with all the companies in your interest areas. So start building up the relationships today.

Good Luck !!

Also Read: Interview Tips - Creating Preference Through Job Portals

Author's Bio: 

After completing my Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Human Resources from Leeds Business School, United Kingdom, I have been working with organizations like KPMG, Ernst & Young, Nestle and General electric since last more than 9 years in recruitment domain. Having managed more than 2000 cases of interviews and trained more than 1500 candidates has enriched me with a great expertise, which I have tried to compile in my blog, which is created through continuous observation and extensive research. Since, I am aware of this fact, that my blog may not be accessible by all, hence I am also writing my blog posts in form of articles at, since its readership includes a large number of people, always looking for authentic, well researched and well organized information and I hope to fulfill all your expectations and answer all your queries related to this topic.


Good Luck!

Vaibhav Gupta