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Five reasons why financial services recruiters are lovely people

Probably a recruiter

Probably a recruiter

Financial services recruiters are a maligned breed. As the middlemen in a market where candidates are plentiful and jobs are less so, they often bear the brunt of candidates’ frustrations. But before you go about accusing recruiters of self-serving invidiousness, read the points below. And then think hard about whether they’re really quite so horrible after all.

1. Financial services recruiters will give you careers advice, completely free

Working as a financial services recruiter isn’t just about squeezing candidates into jobs. It’s also about sitting down with candidates, buying them coffee, talking things over, finding out what makes them tick (etc. etc. etc.).

None of this is paid.

“We offer a free service,” says the head of one financial services recruitment firm in London. “Candidates don’t pay us a penny and we do a lot of work for them.”

Yes – but recruiters earn a fee when they find a hot candidate and place them in a job. Surely that’s enough? “We meet and consult with far more candidates than we ever place,” the recruiter points out.

“Sometimes, it can feel like you’re a bit of a counsellor,” says Julia Tustian at recruiters Shepherd Little. “We don’t just field resumes, we offer a consultative service. We’ll ask candidates why they’re looking for a new job – why they really want to move. We try to give them advice rather than just sending out their CV to jobs they think are suitable for them.”

2. Financial services recruiters will turn down money for your own good

In most cases, financial services recruiters only earn a fee (or, at least, only earn a full fee) if they actually place a candidate in a role. However, they will advise a candidate against going for a role if they think it’s in the candidate’s best interest. “Fees are how we earn our money, but there are times when I’ve advised candidates not to move into a new role if I think they’re well situated where they are already, or they’re only moving for more money,” says Tustian.

Simon Head, co-head of Correlate Search, says there have been occasions when he’s put candidates into contact with potential clients directly – thereby cutting himself out of a fee entirely: “If I know that a particular bank is hiring and doesn’t have the money to pay a recruiter’s fee, I’ll link the two up.”

3. Financial services recruiters will manage difficult clients for you

Just because someone’s asking for an eight-legged Russian speaker with a PhD in signal processing, that doesn’t mean the recruiter is to blame. Often, clients will have unreasonable expectations, says Tustian.

It’s up to recruiters to work with clients in order to improve their grasp of reality. This can be tough. Pity them.

4. Financial services recruiters will summarize your CV in a way that makes you look really good

Just because you’ve spent long weeks honing a three page resume listing all your achievements since preschool, that doesn’t mean that document will get you a job. Good financial services recruiters will take your efforts and sculpt them into something more appealing.

“We will always write our own profile of a candidate,” says Christian Robbins, director at recruitment firm Cherry Bull. “Our profile helps break out their individual characteristics and gives colour to their application.”

5. Financial services recruiters will breathe life into you pulverized ego after you’ve been laid off

Not all finance recruiters will ignore your emails and refuse to contemplate your job applications just because you’re out of the market. Some see bolstering the egos of fragile finance workers as another part of their mission.

“In 2008 and 2009 we spent a lot of time telling people it wasn’t the end of the world,” says the director of one recruitment firm. “We’re always building people back up again.”

“I often coach people through their redundancy situations,” says Head. “Being laid off is a big confidence blow. You need to help people to pick themselves up – sometimes they just need reassurance and an extra hug.”

 

 

Comments (5)

Comments
  1. And thou

    -shall not provide feed back and disappear

    – advertise for bogus roles (believe me it happens even over here)

    – won’t answer your calls and email

    – re-hash your CV to add value

    – mis-understand the role

    No-wonder the good ones stand out. A bit like estate agents I would say. After all what is the barrier to entry: a phone and a computer.

    Real_life

  2. I start off with a default position of respect for the person I’m dealing with, yet so many times I’ve been disappointed by my interactions with recruiters.

    I don’t doubt that they have to deal with some very odd candidates, but the tactics the majority resort to means that almost no one has a good word to say about them.

    Asking me about my current role and then cold-calling my boss minutes later means I’ll not deal with you again.

    So bored of recruiters Reply
     
  3. How many of those 5 reasons are not in the long term best interests of the recruiter? None of them will turn down business now unless they think there is going to be a greater return later.

    “Fees are how we earn our money” – anyone in any business that relies on sales or commission has at some time turned down a sale if there would be a long term negative impact, particularly if it will lead to an unhappy large client. Get real and don’t be so sanctimonious, you are nothing special just because you can point to occasions when you have turned away business.

    If this recruiter really believed that her breed are lovely people, she wouldn’t have felt the need to write this justification piece.

    “We offer a free service” – don’t make me laugh!

  4. Let me rip this nonsense apart

    1. Financial services recruiters will give you careers advice, completely free – There advice is generic garbage, my mother knows as much about banking as your average FS recruiter

    2. Financial services recruiters will turn down money for your own good – Sure they will just like there’s a leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of every rainbow

    3. Financial services recruiters will manage difficult clients for you – I work in an IB and trust me the clients hate the recruiters just as much as the candidates do.

    4. Financial services recruiters will summarize your CV in a way that makes you look really good- they screw up your CV as they don’t understand the technical content

    5. Financial services recruiters will breathe life into you pulverized ego after you’ve been laid off – If you’re looking for work they will talk you down and hurt your confidence, trust me

  5. Speaking from the highest level of equity securities analysis and sector portfolio management, I can assure you that it is only 1 recruiter in 100 who even knows how to read analyst and portfolio manager performance data. Some will tell you that it is irrelevant.

    The self serving propaganda the these recruiters put out is that personality fit is more important, and that they are good at finding people who “fit”. This is for jobs where performance can be objectively measured over a period o three year or so, and where the analyst or sector PMs of separate industries don’t really have to talk to each other much and where I have gone three days of more without even needing to talk my head PM because no interaction was needed at the time.

    These recruiters (including the retained ones most of all) are a part of the reason that the great majority of funds do not outperform their benchmarks.

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