GUEST COMMENT: My distressing experience with a recruiter who wasted my time

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I am an experienced graduate currently looking for work in quantitative finance or algorithmic trading roles in London.

I would like to share a recent very unpleasant experience I had when I made a job application. The application was for a software development position at a 'leading' London hedge fund (aren't they all?).

I applied through a recruiter and was asked at very short notice to take an online logic and reasoning test. Despite being ill, I did so. A few days after this, I was then asked to travel to the recruiter's office - a considerable distance for me. Despite being ill, I did so again. Nor did I ask for reimbursement of my expenses.

I completed the test and was informed that the company would get back to me a week later. After two and a half weeks, I have heard nothing.

The recruiter informs me that the company hasn't got back to her. And the company won't even confirm that it has my test script.

The whole process has been a complete waste of my time and my money. I have never been as angry and disappointed with a recruitment firm. These people are supposed to be professionals, are they not?

Several words spring to mind when describing the client company and the recruiter. The milder of these are: "unprofessional", "dishonest", "incompetent". How can these companies describe themselves using superlatives such as "market leading" and "industry pioneer", when they seem to lack the basic professionalism required to deal with people promptly and diligently.

I am even more surprised the recruiter is one of the leading UK recruiters, a big name in recruitment.

I can only hope no one else has the experience I have had. We need to avoid these recruiters, who waste jobseekers' time by raising their hopes and dashing them, just when least expected, who behave unprofessionally.

Recruitment agencies will find one day that they will be regulated to higher standards of professionalism, like that govern doctors or accountants, and recruitment agents will one day have to speak and deal with jobseekers in an honest and professional manner. If I had a pound for every time a recruiter has told me that he or she would get back to me about an application, and they haven't, I would be a very rich man.

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