Headhunter: What candidates often criticize

No feedback on applications, apparent previously arranged fillings, perpetual silence after job interviews, standardized letters of refusal.

Outsiders easily get the impression that the headhunter branch is not really transparent and traceable. That is why the spectrum ranges from „servant of the powerful“ to „kingmaker“. Allegations are often made, such as salaries are boosted so that own fees turn out accordingly, or that there is no consulting service but simply execution of what has been agreed beforehand. In short: Whatever happens behind the scenes stays there and is kept a secret.

Which has a positive side as both parties want discretion. On the other side the entry barriers are really low as the personnel consultancy branch does not have any restrictions when founding a company in this field. Furthermore the branch did not manage to impose a code of conduct and thus externalize standardized processes. Apart from some market-listed companies, consultants conceal their financial figures from the public.

We confronted personnel consultant Markus Brenner (Brenner&Company) with the most frequent points of critique:

• Advertisements for jobs that do not exist anymore: Online-Job exchanges take ads and put them on their site, often unasked. After staffing, the ads are not deleted. „In this case a serious deficit is displayed that needs to be shut,“ says Mr. Brenner – unfortunately no legal basis has been found yet. A specialist in personnel consultancy does not want applications on a completed project and is not interested in collecting CVs.

• No response on applications: Brenner: „That is an absolute No-go. Everybody has the right to receive a response.

• Standardized Mail-responses: In case formal criteria do not match the job profile, a standardized response is applicable, says Brenner. When receiving 200 applications, standardized mails (such as „over qualified“ or „formal qualifications missing“) are necessary in order to ensure a fast and efficient process.

• No detailed explanation in the letter of refusal: Sometimes a detailed feedback cannot be provided in order to meet customer demands in the background. In general, professional consultants do give a feedback, says Mr. Brenner.

Unfortunately within the personnel consultancies were not able to agree on certain ethical standards so far, bemoans Brenner.

(Karin Bauer/DER STANDARD Printedition, 27./28.8.2011)

Read this article in DerStandard.at online