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GUEST COMMENT: Why you should send your CV to me, an external recruiter, instead of to banks’ own recruiters in-house

Dominic Connor

Recently, a candidate asked me if I feared competition from in-house recruiters. Although it was tempting to make all the standard jibes about in-house recruiters being agents who didn’t make it in a proper recruitment firm like mine, I decided it was better to demonstrate to the candidate precisely how their banks despise their in-house recruiters more than we do.

Exhibit one was the software the in-house recruiters are forced to use. “Watch me log in”, I said, showing him the system used by several of the very largest banks. “Note the lack of password control.” Yep, in 2011 there are bank systems handling personal data that connect to the Internet with no password. You might think that that makes it easy to steal data. No it doesn’t, because 30 seconds later the system crashed. Indeed, I can’t run it on my laptop because my JIT debugging tools keep popping up to ask me if I’d like to fix it (I’m a headhunter who codes C++, don’t ask why).

The fact is, that in many banks there is a poor relationship between HR and the IT staff. This seems to have resulted in systems that are better characterised as acts of revenge in a blood feud than as business tools.

Exhibit two was the fact that some in-house recruiters don’t even have business cards. No, I don’t know why; it’s always felt like kicking a kitten to ask.

Exhibit three is the fact that recruiters are rarely allowed out. My very first article for this website covered my exploits at a conference.

In-houses rarely go to conferences; they don’t have budget for anything beyond coffee in the nearest Starbucks. One told me of getting grief over his phone bill because when he spoke to candidates it was often on their mobiles at 40p/minute. As a result, he’d spent “hundreds of pounds” one month and was therefore trying to get them to call him rather than vice versa. That’s just sad.

Exhibit four is the sad reality that recruiters are often at the bottom of even the HR food chain. Can you imagine a recruiter ever running a general HR function? I can’t and I am one. Recruitment is a basically different business and culture. Because of this, in-house recruiters’ career prospects aren’t great. Nor, I’m told, is their pay. Their relationship with line management is rarely warm because no rational person prefers to deal with a monopoly supplier.

Note that not once here have I said in-house recruiters are bad people. They’re not. I treat them with more respect than they have come to expect from their own employers, since I am an external recruiter and us external recruiters know how important it is to be nice to people in the real world.

Dominic Connor is a director of P&D Quant Recruitment and will be glad to debug your recruitment system for a modest fee.

Comments (10)

  1. I will always apply through you in future Dominic. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction.

  2. Pipe down please. Alternatively, try giving your typing hand a rest. I’m sure you must have tired it out by now.

  3. Thank you,
    Dominic Connor
    Headhunter of Old London Town


    I am not joking when I say this.

  5. Why you should send your CV to me, someone who regularly trawls for business on this esteemed website, rather than a recruiter who relies on their reputation to get business:

    I had a dream that I was waiting to take a corner kick and the crowd behind me was singing “Fat Father Ted, you’re just a Fat Father Ted…” Then I curled in a beauty in best Jimmy Greaves fashion and mooned the idiots, allowing them to bask in the full glory of my C++ tattoo. Sure, I got sent off for unsporting behaviour, but we won 1-0 and I was man of the match. The moral? When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.

  6. Wow this really has got a stench of desperation to it. So you are telling me that I should apply though you because bank systems dont have passwords, they dont allow outgoing calls to mobiles, and you have a superadvanced computer system.

    Firstly what you should do is call IBM/INTEL/Microsoft/McAFEE and sell them your super-anti-virus, that will bring you in some money. Second you should post another article on here saying you were efinfraped and someone else wrote this torrid article. Your last line has to be one of the most condescending lines i’ve ever read.

    I work in Derivative Analytics on for of the bulge brackets and will no doubt be sending this article around colleagues and network with “Stay away from this guy” in the subject line

  7. Thank you Dr. ChaosTheory for your supportive and insigthful comments.
    I am of course impressed by your work in Derivative Analytics (and note your wise choice of capital letters) and welcome your offer to share your career advice with so many of your colleagues who are no doubt as in awe of you as I am, such an endorsement is far in excess of my hopes when I wrote my few humble words.

    As it happens the work I did at IBM labs on antivirus is now largely obsolete and was only a distraction from my main work at the time, so I fear that the virus vendors you cite will not be interested. However, Kaspersky labs were kind enough to fly me down to Monaco last month to discuss their plans for the emerging threats in virtualised environments which are not as secure as people with less technology skill than yourself realise.

    I must however part company with you on the issue that this article is uniquely condescending, googling my name together with words like CV will deliver you a confection of articles each more condescending than that last.

    I trust this finds you well and that this bonus season is kind to you and your family.

    Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

  8. Dominic,
    I agree with the previous comments about both the stilted condescention and the thinly veiled desperation your article shows, but above all it shows a laughable lack of intellectual rigour if your four “exhibits” are the only basis for your argument.

    So all in-house recruiters arent allowed business cards, cant attend conferences, have crap software and arent allowed to call candidates.. erm.. you might want to check your facts.

    Either that or go back to working as an IT guy if this fails to raise your market profile to the extent that you still cant pick up any mandates..

    BigDavesGusset Reply
  9. The much visited in-house versus recruitment firm debate. There’s good and bad from each, that’s the way it goes – deal with it. However I fail to get the gist of your argument that the reason in-house recruiters are no good is poor IT systems, no business cards and don’t have budgets for expensive restaurants and find it rather poor and badly reasoned. Sorry Dominic sure you’re an ace coder but next time give an interesting debate more justice..

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