International Schools Review
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Doubling up on Recruitment agencies

Re: Doubling up on Recruitment agencies

Postby schoolofrock » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:55 am

@sid
Great response. I laughed when you referred to the CD Rom. You make some good points about your associate getting to know you better via being cc'd in. I can shift my thinking about that. Maybe it's just this specific associate compared to the one I had a few years ago that I think retired. It just seemed that there was this over promotion of Search as an agency and him as the key to it all. With requesting me to change my communication, I just felt like he was trying to assert a lot of control over the process, too. Obviously this is not the model at all for ISS and GRC. Since I teach an in-demand subject, I wish that I had just gone with ISS and GRC for my next round. But I've paid my cash so I'll just have to roll with it this time around. Thanks for helping me to see it in a different way.
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Re: Doubling up on Recruitment agencies

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:11 am

schoolofrock wrote:
> I teach an in-demand subject, I wish that I had just gone with
> ISS and GRC for my next round. But I've paid my cash so I'll just have to
> roll with it this time around. Thanks for helping me to see it in a
> different way.

As I wrote earlier in the thread, I'm no fan of Search and wouldn't use them. But many people find them essential because some schools are (or seem) overly reliant on Search and/or the leg work required to stay as competitive as a Search candidate (e.g., looking at the websites of Search schools and applying directly) is too much.

I'm sorry you've had that experience. I have no macro-level data, but reading your take on Search meshes with what some others have told me and with my own personal experience.

One could interpret this behavior from Search as a sign they're desperately trying to hold onto their market share and wary of anything (off-platform communciation, candidates listed with multiple agencies) that could lead to them either losing your commission or incentivizing schools/candidates to leave Search in the near future (i.e. "I used Search, but was perfectly capable of communicating with said school/candidate through other means, so next cycle I won't use Search."). Basically, they're trying to make themselves seem essential in the face of competition. But I'll concede that, while my interpretation intuitive feels right, I lack the data to state it with a high degree of certainty.

A few people in this thread have gone down a troubling path of invoking the "word is your bond" dynamic with regard to signing up with Search (or any other agency). That's absolutely preposterous, especially when it comes to you being pressured to CC someone on your private communications or even promote Search (!?). Really this comes down to the doctrine of unconscionability. Search is the one with the superior bargaining power. They have the database and the existing connections. You're agreeing to pay them not out of the goodness of your heart, but because you feel you need them to have (or improve your chances of) a successful job search. You give them a hefty fee (and the prospect of a huge placement fee from the school), and they give you database access and (probably) fair invitation(s).

They market themselves as a premium placement agency, but thread after thread on here proves that claim to be (at best) dependent on you getting a motivated/professional associate and (at worst) complete hot air. @Sid alludes to working more closely with your associate so that they can get to know you (and schools) better, but that's really beyond what you're obligated to do. An associate being helpful and responsive is in their interest (you're more likely to get hired and earn them a huge fee), but it's also a level of service that's explicitly promised to potential candidates. The first bullet point in their "Why Choose Search Associates" pitch is:

"Personalized service: Direct and easy access to your Senior Associate and their team, who will assist you throughout the entire process of finding a job overseas. Whatever your needs may be, we are here to support you."

I don't interpret any of that as obliging the candidate to seek such assistance. Maybe you decide you know the market well enough to just reach out to schools and only want the database/fair invitation. Maybe you decide not to accept a new position and stay put. Maybe you wind up with a non-Search school. In each of those cases, you shouldn't be hassled. As for accepting a position with a Search school through non-Search means, that's between the school and Search. Personally, I think it's asinine for Search to insist on a placement fee if you bump into a recruiter at an ISS/GRC fair, have an interview, and accept the job. Search played no role in that placement.

In reality, it comes back to conscionability again. Just because something might get thrown into a contract, doesn't make it fair or enforceable. You get no consideration for "promoting" Search, and therefore they can't legally enforce that you do so. Schools get no consideration for paying Search when they hire an ISS/GRC candidate.

My word is my bond, but when it comes to a faceless entity manipulating contract terms when I have no choice, I'll gladly overlook said contract terms. I'm not going to agree to take a dispute against Comcast into binding arbitration simply because those were the take-it-or-leave-it terms Comcast threw into their subscriber agreement. If basic fairness (or the law) says I can have those terms severed, then there's nothing wrong with adhering to the reasonable terms and tossing out the rest. "My word is my bond" is not a suicide pact. It's premised on the "word" you are forced to give being fair and equitable. And I have no sympathy for the grievances of a . in a contract that insists on unfair or inequitable terms.
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Re: Doubling up on Recruitment agencies

Postby schoolofrock » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:29 am

@GrumblesMcGee

"One could interpret this behavior from Search as a sign they're desperately trying to hold onto their market share and wary of anything (off-platform communciation, candidates listed with multiple agencies) that could lead to them either losing your commission or incentivizing schools/candidates to leave Search in the near future (i.e. "I used Search, but was perfectly capable of communicating with said school/candidate through other means, so next cycle I won't use Search."). Basically, they're trying to make themselves seem essential in the face of competition. But I'll concede that, while my interpretation intuitive feels right, I lack the data to state it with a high degree of certainty."

I think this is really at the heart of the issue. I sense some insecurity from Search this time around that I did not feel before. I think they are realizing that they are not the only show in town but they are trying to hold on as if they were. Your thoughts have made me feel a bit indignant towards the process again - cc'ing them on private communication for something I accessed on ISS? I agree that that just isn't right.
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Discussion

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:02 pm

It is something that premium agencies are discussing but not in a good way. The talk is more running along the lines of can we capture a significant market share and demand and enforce exclusivity.

Strongly disagree with @Sids bunk, your associate is not trying to get to know you better to help you.
They want you to CC them so they can make the most invoicing as possible. You arent the client, your the commodity, and they SA, wants to make coin off of you.

I concur with @GrumblesMcGee, the word is your bond is fearmongering, contracts are not a suicide pact, in no other field would this type of behavior be tolerated, and in the few instances where it is and its actually enforceable with non-compete agreements, those organizations have to provide significant compensation to force someone out of their field and from earning a living.
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