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I signed up on Reed's website when I was living in Edinburgh in March. I filled in all the details on the website and posted up my CV. I had heard nothing from them, and no jobs matching the description I had filled in had been sent to me by email. So I decided to go into their offices.
When I went in there were 2 guys in front of me looking for work, and I over heard them suggest they signed up to the website because they were currently short staffed and couldn't deal with them at that point. When it came to my turn I asked if I could speak to an adviser, but was also told to sign up to the site. When I told them that I had been for over a month, they told me to wait another 2 weeks before coming back in. They didn't take any details, so I was unsure how they would know I had been there 2 weeks before anyway.
At the same time, I was looking to possibly moving to Sheffield, and decided to look into recruiters in the area. I was recommended Reed, and got in contact with one of the recruiters. He was very helpful and apologized for the poor service I had received in the Edinburgh branch. He told me he was sending me up some application forms for a job in Sheffield which he was 90% sure I would get. So I filled out the forms and photocopies of my ID and NI card and sent it back.
After 2 weeks I hadn't heard anything, so I sent an email to the recruiter. After a week I had still heard nothing, but was due to start this job 2 weeks later, so I called up the office. Another recruiter answered and told me that the guy I had been dealing with had left, but could she help me. So I told her that I had sent all the stuff down and was waiting to hear whether or not I had got the job, because I was moving down for the job in 2 weeks. She looked on the system and couldn't find my application being tracked, so had a look in the office for my paperwork, but couldn't find it anywhere. She also told me that the jobs that had been available had all gone, but she would try to find me something else for that date. Then she tells me she is leaving the next week, and gave me a contact for one of the other recruiters in the office, and told me to call her the following week to see if anything had come up.
The next week I call up and yet another recruiter answers the phone. I ask for the woman I have been recommended to contact, and get told she's on holiday all that week, but could she help. So here I go explaining what's happened, with the forms going missing, but being told that there was supposed to be a job secured for me when I arrive in Sheffield. She then tells me that they can't do that and instead I need to go into their offices on the first Monday I arrive to take some tests. By this point I am really pissed off that I've been messed around, and tell her this. She apologises but says they can't put me forward without me taking these tests (which I originally didn't have to take).
So I move to Sheffield and go in for the interview. The recruiter I'm seeing tells me about the tests I'm taking, but seems very off with me. I'm feeling really uncomfortable as she tells me to find her once I've done the test. I take the test, and fortunately once I'm done, another recruiter sees I'm done and tells my recruiter. I did ok on my tests and told to wait til the end of the next week before trying to contact her about jobs.
The next week I call like she told me to and she's busy, so I get told she'll call me back. Hours later, still no call, so I take the initiative and call again. Again she's busy and get told she'll ring me back later. Again hours later, still no call so I call it a day and think I'll call her tomorrow. I call the next day, and this time get asked for a message. I tell them this is my third call in 2 days and keep getting told she'll call back and doesn't, and I really need to talk to her. Eventually she calls me back and is unbelievably rude. "I've been busy!" and basically asks what do I want. So I ask her if any jobs have come up and I get told that she'll call me when something comes up.
I was so shocked at the way she spoke to me. I had been told by her to phone back at the end of that week, and I had called twice on the Thursday and once on the Friday. I'm desperate for a job, and was already annoyed that they had lost my original paper work.
The following week I receive a call from the other temp recruiter. She tells me there's a job that's come up which sounds ideal for me. By this point I'm desperate and would have taken anything. I'm to go the next day for the interview (I'm not impressed with it being such short notice, but I need this job!) and to contact her after the interview. I go to the interview, which is an informal chat, and get asked to start on the Tuesday. I don't really have too much of an idea what it is I'm doing, but it sounds alright as a temporary job.
I start the job, and it isn't ideal, but it's a job. But this is only the start of my problems. I have to again call several times to get time and holiday sheets faxed through to me. I call on the Thursday for the time sheet, and call and call and nothing happens. Then the Friday I eventually get through to the right person who again is very very rude, and tell her I need the time sheet, and I had called 2/3 times the day before for it. Friday is the day they want the time sheets in by or you don't get paid for 2 weeks! She eventually sends it through to me and I send it back.
The next week I call for my holiday sheet. They've been told prior to this that I'm going away for a couple of days, but I need to have it all confirmed. Once more I call in the morning, then lunch time and get told that they're just going to send it through. Eventually when we're closing up, it's still not come through, and I have to call again to ask where the heck my holiday sheet is cause I need to have it filled in by my manager. Again the reception is very rude and get told once more how busy she is, and finally sends it through. I'm sure it doesn't take almost 8 hours to fax one sheet through!
Anyway, I come to a decision with the manager that this job isn't right for me, and get asked to leave that day (which is plenty of warning...) but that Reed have something else they think might suit me better. This time the second recruiter calls me up and seems pissed off that I didn't stay there for more than 2 weeks before deciding it wasn't right. But like I said, I was desperate after being badly let down by Reed with the other job.
So I go for a new interview, and this job is far more suited. Again it is the second recruiter that finds me this job, and I will be starting after my holiday. But before I go to the interview, it's another case of being told the interview is the next day, but this time I don't get told where it is, and I have to go in an hour before my interview, into Reed's office to pick up directions and an interview techniques sheet. A bit late for that when I have 45 minutes before the interview.
I get my pay that Friday, and think it's a little much, but don't think too much of it. I then discover that the extra money was for my holiday. Yes holiday pay is a great idea if you get it when you're meant to, for the week when you're on holiday, but I had got it combined with the pay from the week before, and found myself short. Probably my own fault, but I didn't know how much to expect from the work I had done the week before.
I then start my new work, and once more I have problems with time sheets. I get them in the post now, which makes things easier, but not the first week, and find myself having problems getting it faxed to me once more. Again rude reception from the first recruiter. But once I'm getting the sheets in the post, I think my problems are over with these sheets. Alas I'm proved wrong when I get a call telling me they haven't received my time sheet on the Monday, 2 weeks after I'd started. I had faxed it to the number given to me and it had gone through fine the past 2 weeks, and had received a confirmation, but then I have to fax it again. Lucky I had the original still with me! I then rudely get told that in future I have to call to make sure they have the time sheet instead of assuming. I thought that's what a confirmation fax was for?
Anyway, the next week I call to make sure it's gone through, and I'm once more subject to the recruiter being rude to me. I have to call 3 times, to then find I had been given the wrong number. I then get told by other members of staff who were either working through Reed, or had in the past, about the problems they had had with timesheets and being paid. I have another couple of weeks of this before I decide that I'm going to have to take time out of my lunch break to take my time sheet into the office at the other end of town. Highly inconvenient, but at least I know they have it.
I heard a few more people discussing Reed and the problems they had, from timesheets they called up saying they hadn't received which suddenly turn up when they're told that the employee had confirmed they had the fax on the telephone, to holiday sheets mysteriously going missing. Oh and plenty being said about the one very rude recruiter.
Again when my temp work for the company I was working for came to an end, I was only told half way through that day that they were having to let me go. When I went into Reed the next week, the woman who had got me the job there didn't even know that they had had to let me go. Surely with it being a job she had found me, she should have known these kinds of details. I was also told by the manager at my previous work that Reed had something else lined up for me, but I've not heard anything from Reed since. I had already decided I wouldn't go back through Reed anyway after how I had been treated over the few months I had been using them.
I thought that was the end of it, til I found time sheets were still being sent to me, and texts reminding me to send my time sheet in. This continued 2/3 week after my employment had ended. I'm still getting money from them from being over taxed and from holiday pay I hadn't claimed.
But I thought I had heard the last of Reed til I had to ask about references. They told me that the references are from them, not from the people that we were working through. How can Reed know how good or bad you were in a job when they weren't the ones working with you? But not only that, but when I asked about getting the reference to hand on to a potential employer, I get told that the employer has to contact Reed so they can fax it to them. Most employers I know of will let you have the reference if you ask for it. It just means that the whole process has been lengthened more than it should have been.
So to round this review up, if someone came to me asking for advice on recruitment agencies, I would tell them to steer well clear of Reed. They are unreliable, they're rude, and when they say they're going to do something, make sure you're ready to call them another 4 times to actually get it done. It's not about getting you the right job, it's making sure they get commission, and they don't care about the temps they have working for them otherwise they would do what they say they were doing instead of having to be chased up more than once.
Ah, another great cock-up by the Reed bunch. You're not the first to have been done over by them, and I'm sure you won't be the last.
Extremely good review.
snowbunni 10.01.2006 10:04
A friend of mine went through a similar palaver with Reed in London. They seem to be the most inept bunch of idiots working in recruitment... wonder how they managed to congregate them all the one company, lol. Very good review, very detailed & concise.x
a-true-ben 29.12.2005 11:17
From the sounds of it they have pretty high staff turnover, maybe you could get a job working for them!