I have read with interest recent Design Week articles concerning the travails of recruitment agencies and the slow pace of recruitment turnover within the design industry. From my experience, I believe recruitment agencies may be part of the problem in matching the right candidate to the corresponding design group.
I contacted several leading recruitment agencies last March. All of them enthusiastically praised the quality of my work, my relevant experience and communication skills – in fact, just what several of their clients were looking for.
I sat back and awaited their responses. Not a single agency has made contact with me up to the time of writing. Quite frankly, I would have had a better response wearing a sandwich board and dodgy raincoat in the streets of London than waiting for an agency to get things moving.
As for consultancies, my experience of their procedures was no better. Earlier this year, I was interviewed for an advertised post that turned out not to be currently vacant – the group had not organised itself internally to make room for it and informed me that it would not be vacant for several months. It has not been re-advertised.
On another occasion within the past few months I was promised a second interview, only to find that the post had been filled when I called to arrange the date.
It would be easy to develop a victim mentality were it not for the fact other correspondence appears to echo my own experiences.
In recruitment procedures, the largely privately owned design industry has much to learn from the public sector professions. There, due to equal opportunities policies, job and person specifications for the kind of individual best suited to the advertised position are rigorously adhered to.
We have ignored these tried and tested procedures, choosing to employ the ‘networking’ system alongside an apparent cronyism. These do not correlate with the self-publicised image of the industry as cutting edge and visionary.
The time really is overdue for turning our industry into a profession across all its practices, internal as well as external.
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