You are sitting in a Northern Line train. It's 8pm on a Tuesday evening. You are exhausted and depressed because a day of spreadsheets is behind you and another day of spreadsheets awaits you. You leave the train, pass through the barriers, exit the station and receive a call. It is an amateur recruitment consultant trying to pitch you a job. You experience a sudden urge to bury yourself in the buttocks of the Polish cleaner who left the station just ahead of you.
Recruiters in the City have proliferated beyond reason. Their overpopulation is, I feel, a source of frustration for all they prey upon. A cull is required. Fortunately, I have conceived a solution: offshoring.
( Please note: This groundbreaking system only applies to the analyst to VP level range. Anything above will not benefit from this service).
Pre-credit crunch, banks would happily pay around 25-30% of salaries as a fee for placing individuals up to VP level. Now, a mere 17% is stretching the budget.
This has had repercussions for the calibre and the mental health of employees in the financial services recruitment industry. Spiky-haired wastrels are compelled to spend 10 hours a day exposing themselves to tortuous rejection from spreadsheet jockeys who would rather do anything else than accept their call. By 8pm desperation is setting in.
Shifting recruitment overseas would not eliminate calls from recruiters. It would reduce the cost of recruitment and lead to more courteous and enervated callers.
Countries like Hungary provide subsidies of up to 50% for foreign business investment and the cost of living is lower. My cheaper offshore recruiters would work shifts of no more than 4 hours at a time. They wouldn't be stressed over missing targets because recruitment would not be the be all and end all of their life. They would have higher motivational levels due to shorter working hours. They would be pleasant to candidates. Indians and Hungarians are generally more polite than some of the arrogant UK recruitment consultants who have no regard for process
Most importantly, these offshore recruiters would be employed by banks, not by recruitment companies. Their prime responsibility would be researching and calling candidates, discussing jobs, and setting up pre-screening meetings in London for the most viable individuals. They would be paid a salary rather than commission. There would be no incentive for nefarious practices or the mis-selling of product control jobs as very exciting opportunities in the front office.
Pre-screening would be similarly cut down to size. Much of it would be off-shored but screening the best candidates would become the responsibility of banks' internal resourcing departments. These internal pre-screeners would also be paid a base only. Everyone would win. Candidates would be absolved of the need to meet latte-stuffed recruitment consultants at coffee shops in Canary Wharf. Pre-screeners with polytechnic degrees would get the opportunity to have a big bank's brand name on their CV.
Being a genius, I anticipate objections to this brave new recruitment world. To these, I say it may not be perfect, but it would be an improvement. Under my plan, the impetus to manipulate candidates would be reduced. There would be no commission. Candidates would receive calls from enthusiastic individuals describing objective career opportunities. Everyone would win. Except recruiters, who might go and do something else instead.
Fred Bayr blogs at www.recruitmentrehab.blogspot.com Follow him on Twitter @Fredbayr.