The Power of Recruiters is driven by how many jobs they control in your profession or industry

All recruiters claim market power but almost none can have it – it’s statistically impossible! To avoid age discrimination, knowing why they don’t have power is vital…

Their power is driven by how many jobs they control in your profession or industry. So let’s clarify this…

Firstly, only about 50% of vacancies make the open market, and of these, less than 40% are handled by recruiters. Then there are at least 10 recruiters in each field and specialty (and usually way more).

For every 100 jobs, a recruiter has: 100 x 0.5 x 0.4 10 = 2

Or just 2% of the market in that profession or industry. And often just 1%. Not much power there!

However, recruiters, just like real estate agents, need you to believe they dominate the market. Then you’ll do what they tell you to do – funny how it always leads to money in their pockets. But it’s just an illusion, an illusion with nasty consequences for peoples’ careers, particularly the over 40s. Remember the John and Bob story in Topic 1? John unfortunately believed this illusion until I finally set him right a few months later.

Power recruiters; thumbs up and thumbs down

Remember this: if you believe that by doing something, you will get a certain result, what do you feel when you don’t get that result? What if you have been to see three recruiters believing that that will solve your problem and that they will get you a job? You haven’t got that job, any job. Worse – they haven’t even returned your third phone call. How do you feel?

Again, the most common human emotion is to think you or something you’ve done was wrong.

It’s certainly how I felt when aged 28 I returned from working in Singapore. After visiting a couple of recruiters who told me how great they were, I felt that I had covered the market. When they then ignored me, I assumed that my skills and background were not in demand. So I decided to go and do an AGSM MBA: a good decision in hindsight, but not made for the right reasons.

Once you know there are lots of recruiters, you are free to let them know that you won’t tolerate their rudeness: politely standing up to them still leaves you plenty of options. And most of them are so sales focused and have such a ‘scarcity mentality’ that they regard other recruiters as the enemy. So if you are given short shrift by an incompetent recruiter, there is no word of mouth spreading to other recruiters.

So, feel free to send a rude, lazy recruiter the following email – it won’t cause you much damage and should guarantee a response! Be sure to send a copy to their Managing Director.

Employment ageism is an ignored problem

The ‘I’ve had enough and won’t take anymore’ email…



Subject: Job number X437

Hi Bob,

I have made 3 calls and 2 emails to your office after my interview with your client. I would appreciate some feedback as to why I am being ignored.

To save us both some time, perhaps just cut and paste one of the following into the subject line and hit Reply…

I’m sorry, I’ve been ill, and will call you shortly
You’ve got the job – forgot to let you know, been a bit busy
You’re ‘On Hold’ in case my star applicant falls over
I no longer recruit for that employer – they sacked me
You are not on the short list and it’s unlikely you ever will be
I have lost your resume and would like a new copy
Sorry Joe, you’re just too old
Bob no longer works for Mega Recruit (Bob’s former PA to complete)
Looking forward to your response,

Yours Sincerely,

Joe Smith

P.S. I’m the 55 Year old with all the skills and experience you were seeking plus a load of others. My resume is attached again.


The mission of the Stable and Wise Community…

To unite unprejudiced employers with Mature, stable and motivated employees

“Age is just a number, a number & no more. The experience, maturity, wisdom an older person brings to an organisation is immense & can never be replicated.” Jacqueline Perera, LinkedIn.

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