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Now it’s our turn to b*tch

Of course, we’re all total angels at Merit and would practicallynever dream of criticizing candidates’ behavior…..
No, it’s just supposed to be a headline that grabs your attention. What my colleagues and I thought might be useful to y’all would be a blog letting you know what the recruitment process is like from OUR side of the eyeballs. Any comments are supposed to be helpful to you – the fact that I might find it cathartic to write them is purely a bonus.
How often should you contact us? Not too often and definitely not too infrequently either is the quick answer. But what does that mean? Please don’t be calling us every day – we have hundreds of candidates, and so even a couple of dozen phone calls just takes us away from calling clients for jobs, and setting up interviews. If we haven’t called, we don’t have anything suitable for you. There are only so many ways you can say, “Elvis Presley still dead”. We shall indeed let you know if there’s anything we think is appropriate for you. Call us, or even better email us, every week or every two weeks to let us know you’re still around. We don’t forget you – you are, after all, emailing us regularly! If you do find something else, we’d love for you to tell us – we care that you found a job, even if this time we weren’t the ones to help, and it lets us know not to bug you for stuff we might get.  
Having said that, though, if we call you about a position, p-l-e-a-s-e keep in touch with us. We have clients nagging us unmercifully and it sounds lame to say, ‘She/he hasn’t called us back yet”. Doesn’t impress them with your follow up skills either. Please don’t be a candidate who shows an interest in a position and then goes MIA.
A depressing number of candidates A few of you think you are suitable for practically every job we have, and call up to tell us so. Alas, if only that were the case. You might think, “I know I don’t have Concur/a degree/10 years of experience/mutual fund experience, but I have other stuff that compensates”. It is in everyone’s best interests to help you find a job – we kinda get paid by the clients for doing it, and that’s powerful motivation. However we can’t make them take candidates who don’t more or less fall within the criteria of what they’re looking for. Sometimes we have flexibility, and I have my phrase, “Oh just shut up and see her” that I am able to use on occasion when I know the client will love my candidate despite a lack of something-or-other. As far as the candidate is concerned, though, it’s a staffing service/client judgement and you have to go with it.  
You would NOT BELIEVE the stuff we should get told but don’t until it’s too late, and then there’s egg on face all round. (I wrote about something similar in a previous blog). (i) Vacations you booked but don’t want to mention in case it spoils your chances. (ii) Being fired for being naughty is not the same as being laid off. Depending on the level of naughtiness we can persuade the client it doesn’t matter. But only if we tell them in advance of their finding out… Simple really.  (iii) Time restrictions can usually, albeit not always, be worked around. Classes every Thursday at 5.30, Amateur Dramatics twice a week…whatever. The client may be sympathetic if told in advance, and will most definitely be very cross if not told in advance.
We are here to help you spiff up the resume. Take our advice or not – your resume, but we’re happy to help. However please make the effort to proof before you see us. There are actually a few of you out there – not many, thank goodness, but it only takes one or two to annoy the life out of me – who EXPECT us to proofread the resumes for you. And the ones who don’t even have the courtesy to send us the corrected version? Sigh….  
If you make an appointment to come in to register with us, you have a choice. (i) Turn up at the appointed time. (ii) Let us know if you have to re-schedule (iii) Let us know if you have changed your mind and don’t need to register. Email if you’d rather not call with (iii).  Please take note of the lack of (iv) Don’t turn up but don’t bother letting us know. We work our calendars around candidates registering with us.
If you change your mind about an interview with a potential employer, you might think, “I’ve left it a bit late and I should have thought it through earlier.” And indeed maybe you should… But it’s ok, we’ve lived through it all before and the world didn’t stop. Please try to think of a few phrases that approximate the truth, “I’ve just decided it’s not for me”; “This isn’t the right time for me to be interviewing, I have too much going on with my life”. Please do NOT be coming out with, “I’ve just been in a car accident”; “My father has just been in a car accident and is in the hospital”, “My grandmother died” – these are examples we were told and which were found out to be complete fibs. FIBS. “I got splashed from head to foot by a taxi when I was crossing the road. I can’t be interviewed looking like this”.  At least that one made me laugh (It hadn’t been raining). I haven’t yet had the excuse, but I live in hope, “I’m a werewolf and I miscalculated the 28 days. I have to go somewhere private to transform.”  
Gosh, that made me so much better writing all that. My point, at the end of it all, is that we are here to help. We are not just an impediment for you to get through to the potential employer. Tell us the truth, and we can figure out the way that the client will, perhaps but not always, accept the truth. There’s  a reason the court system oath is The truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth.  

We can help smooth your way into the company as a brand-new excited employee. And that’s what it’s all about.