Friday 18 September 2015

Strategic Five Marketing - Again

I have been reflecting on why I am so angered by Strategic Five's apparently dishonest approach to recruitment, and also doing a little more digging.  This post is a summary of where I am up to. For the background, see my previous post, here, if you have not already read it.

I am angry because it seems to me both wrong in principle and cruel in practice to behave in the way that they seem to do. Cruel is a strong word, and I do not imply that is their intention, but I do not think it overstates the impact of their tactics.

Here's the story of the graduate whom I know best who was fooled by them. He graduated a couple of years ago, started doing a PGCE and then realised that teaching really wasn't for him. So he quit that after a year, and started looking for other jobs. He has found some filler jobs, as it were, to keep the wolf from the door, but is still searching for a reasonable graduate job. 

He has sent in many application forms and CVs and typically heard nothing back: that is a dispiriting process. Then he got an interview for a Graduate Management Programme - and the interview went well. He liked them, and they liked him. So his hopes were raised, his confidence, which had been flagging, was boosted. Over the weekend he told a few friends and got the response: 'I hope it's not Strategic Five...' As I recounted before, he tried to ascertain if he were being led up the garden path, Strategic Five denied it, and then, with tragic inevitability, on the Monday, it was confirmed: he'd been conned. Needless to say, that did nothing for his confidence.

What makes me angry is not just the impact on him, but the fact that Strategic Five seem to have been doing this repeatedly. 

A look at Twitter reveals comments like:

It is interesting that Strategic Five have not responded to these tweets, though they must be aware of them as their Twitter handle was quoted, which draws it to their attention: and their feed is not very busy with notifications, as far as I can see.

Likewise, I took a quick look at The Student Room website and found these. The first is quite recent, but the second is from 2013 - so this has been going on for some time.

Note in both the Twitter comments and the fuller comments on The Student Room how frustrating the experience was for these duped graduates: and then remember that two of Strategic Five's four professed values are Honesty and Respect.

I have emailed Strategic Five, and tweeted at them, but had no reply: again for a marketing organisation, that seems strange. Likewise, I find it strange that they boast about their client base including 'the Nation's biggest brands' but do not name a single client on their wwwsite.

One last thing I dug up: Strategic Five are advertising a range of jobs with a range of salaries on recruitment websites. These are almost certainly bogus, given that their Linked-In site says they have 1-10 employees - recruiting 15 'marketing' jobs would more than double their size in one go.

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