By The Drum, Administrator

March 4, 2002 | 4 min read

Increasingly when meeting up with friends and family the subject of conversation will quickly turn to the horrors they have suffered as a result of incompetent well-known companies providing less-than-average customer service. Maybe I just have boring friends who like to complain to me about their stressful lives. However, even if this is the case I am still amazed by how difficult a simple task such as placing an order for some furniture, repairing a TV or getting some dry-cleaning done can be!

A friend of mine recently purchased a TV - now she may not be a whizz kid when it comes to technical appliances, but she assumed as the majority of us do, that having made a purchase from a supposedly large and reputable company meant that if she did have a problem, all she had to do was call the customer service department who would immediately transport a friendly technician to her front door to repair the problem. Well, five weeks later, including seven gruelling hours spent on hold listening to a karaoke version of "sex bomb", four painstaking letters and two days off work, she quickly realised that indeed size isn't everything and it's what you do with what you have that counts! All businesses are the same and recruitment is no exception.

Now I don't wish to sound sanctimonious, but I cringe at the stories I hear from candidates who have suffered very poor customer service from supposedly reputable recruitment companies! I spoke to one candidate last week whose CV had been fired out for a position she wasn't even told about and another whose CV was sent to the same company she had previously worked for in London. I may not have an IQ of 180, however, surely common sense will tell you that a CV is confidential and what right do I or anyone else have to just fire it out left right and centre without talking to the candidate first! Recruitment isn't a perfect science, however by actually taking the time to talk honestly to clients and candidates, we can all improve the reputation of the industry. ID may be smaller than some other agencies and I'm not saying we get it right every time but we have always maintained that in order for clients and candidates to come back to us time and time again, we must provide a top quality service to our customers. It may sound obvious but the one simple way to put this into practice, is to put ourselves in our candidates' place. Listening and giving advice to candidates regardless of what level they are at is crucial, after all, we all have to start off somewhere. I know that we cannot place every candidate we meet, however we can try and be honest with them. Due to the current climate, it could take three to four months for a good candidate to find a suitable position and surely it is better to tell this to the candidate and suggest useful websites and journals for them to read, than to provide them with unrealistic expectations. At the same time, if a great candidate comes along who you can help, surely it is better to take them through a job profile in depth and let them decide if they would like their CV to be put forward for the position, rather than send their CV out to every company in Scotland, assuming that someone will want to see them.

The recruitment marketplace is improving, however, like most businesses, we must continue to recognise that the quality and not the quantity of the service we provide is what makes the difference. Size isn't everything, just look at Kylie - small can be not only beautiful but successful as well!


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