Placement agencies sometimes offer positions which are not attractive to you. How do you refuse a temporary contract without closing doors?
“A worker once refused a job because his shoes would get wet and he did not want to risk catching a cold by going outdoors!,” says Pierre Chaput, Director of Recruitment at Extra Multi-Ressources, a placement agency that specializes in transport and administration.
From far-fetched excuses, the director has heard it all over the years. He explains this situation by the shortage of manpower, which gives workers a lot of leeway to choose the contracts they prefer. “They know we will not have a choice about calling them back…”
It’s still a lost opportunity to establish professional credibility with an employer. Even for a refusal, there are several actions that can be taken to strengthen your relationship with the placement agency, or even just to make life easier for them.
First: respond to the job offer. This seems obvious, but many people don’t bother to call the dispatcher to turn down the job. In agencies that manage daily staff, this becomes a real management headache.
Second: when you call back, be transparent, or at least be serious. There is no point in inventing outlandish reasons to justify a refusal. “When workers are transparent, it is very much appreciated,” Pierre Chaput says. “Being treated with respect helps the relationship a lot.”
Third: as far as possible, respect the availability agreed on at the time of hiring. Agencies have to deal with everyone’s schedules, all different, as well as a variety of very different requests from their clients. Showing at least some predictability to the agency will make their life much easier.
Ethics above suspicion
Another way of softening a refusal is to offer flawless work performance in the assignments accepted. Indeed, much will be forgiven for a worker who has an impeccable work ethic.
“Of course, our best workers are the ones that are always remembered,” Pierre Chaput confirms. Placement agencies build their reputation on the quality of workers that they send to companies. So they have an interest in treating their best players well!