Friday 13 March 2020

And another recruitment agent called

What you can do with knowledge
I can imagine that not many recruitment consultants would have the time to go through my curriculum vitae (CV) in a professional quest to know their candidate, it makes me wonder if they devote any time to knowing their client too. Maybe, it would take time for the recruitment industry to adopt the due diligence activities of the financial institutions to ‘know your customer’ (KYC) as part of anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and regulations.
Now, I raise this because, if the recruitment consultant that called me this morning had bothered to KYC by reading my CV and before that, KYC by fully appreciating what their customer requirements along with details of the opportunity being offered, we might have had a different conversation along with my offering some grudging respect to a professional cohort that rarely works hard enough to earn it.
Know the location
It transpired that this recruitment called me about a job in Marburg in Germany, I asked there exactly Marburg was, she didn’t know (KYC) and eventually found it was near Frankfurt, between Bonn and Frankfurt, she said, but it has no relation to the former.
I know a bit of German geography and places, it is indeed near Frankfurt am Main to be differentiated from Frankfurt an der Oder on the Polish border, for there are many same name towns in Germany that need to be qualified by their regions, else you might end up hundreds of kilometres away from your intended destination.
One must make that point; if you are a recruitment consultant seeking to place a candidate abroad, do the research, find out about the place, the history, the cost of living, the interesting things. Sell the place as you sell the opportunity. Don’t appear stupid, it is annoying.
A chilling discovery
The offer was not exciting though, you don’t take me from an exciting English city and plonk me in the middle of a provincial German town for a pittance, though it does have centuries of interesting history and recent notoriety. It did not occur to me in these Coronavirus times until I checked that Marburg is an eponym for the Marburg virus which was first described in 1967 when German workers were exposed to tissues of infected grivet monkeys. The Marburg virus is in the class of the Ebola virus, they are both haemorrhagic fever viruses.
Obviously, I found myself going down this rabbit hole, in search of why grivet monkeys that are native to a region of East Africa were leaving infected tissue in provincial Germany. Then for the grace of absolution, the entry for the hapless grivet monkey does not cross-reference to the virus. They must have edited their Wikipedia entry to remove the stigma.
Going from my reaction, I began to understand why for posterity reasons, the new Coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, ended up with the name COVID-19 rather than the Wuhan virus, for a sudden irrational thought somewhere in the future, might unwittingly taint any desire to be anywhere near Wuhan for anything. Much as we somewhat identify many other diseases that are eponymously named. [List of eponymously named diseases – Wikipedia][Science Magazine – WHO rules for Naming Diseases]
Don’t waste my time
Then, back to the crux of this blog, I wrote two blogs yesterday, one about recruitment agents and the other about the Coronavirus, there are links to my blogs from within my CV if it looks interesting enough to the reader.
In the case of the recruitment agent who had not done her homework and was completely out of her depth matching my profile to the requirements, if she understood either, a little more attention to detail rather than shuffling papers and manning a phonebank to earn commission might have achieved more for her, probably not with me, but with someone who might have seen the Marburg role as an opportunity.
Finally, if you are recruiting for an architect, don’t suggest the remuneration of a technician, it is a waste of time for both parties. It is not arrogance, just a bit of self-respect, many candidates are not hungry dogs jumping at any bone tossed at them and recruitment agents need to begin to earn their commissions by really putting in the work.

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