Is Balfor Recruitment UK Legit or Scam? Don’t Get Fooled !!

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  • Post published:February 12, 2024
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Is Balfor Recruitment UK Legit or Scam Don't Get Fooled !!

Finding a new job can be stressful. You want to find a company you can trust to connect you with legitimate opportunities. So is Balfor Recruitment UK legit? Or are they a scam you should avoid?

After thorough research, I believe Balfor Recruitment UK is a legitimate company. They have a strong online presence, positive reviews, and show no major red flags.

However, some candidates report mediocre experiences. As with any agency, you must advocate for yourself during the job search.

In this review guide, I’ll share an unbiased review of Balfor Recruitment. You’ll learn about their services, company background, recruiter practices, and real candidate experiences.

I’ve also included actionable tips to optimize your experience, whether you engage Balfor or another agency. Let’s dive in.

Balfor Recruitment Company Overview

Let’s start with background on Balfor Recruitment’s services, history, and workplace culture. This context will inform our scam analysis later on.

Services Offered

Balfor Recruitment provides staffing services in three industries:

  • Education: Permanent and contract teaching roles, support staff, and leadership positions. They work with primary and secondary state schools.
  • Healthcare: Temporary and permanent clinical jobs. This includes nursing, doctors, allied health professionals, and non-medical openings like admin roles.
  • Technology: Contract and permanent tech talent. This spans development, cybersecurity, data, project management, and digital transformation.

In addition to staffing services, Balfor offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solutions. With RPO, Balfor’s recruiters handle the hiring process end-to-end for clients.

Company Background

Balfor formed in Birmingham, UK in 2004. Founders Scott Day and Paul Brindley started the company to shake up recruitment with a “Candidates First” approach.

The agency expanded nationwide over the years, adding London and Manchester offices.

Balfor is a limited company. Company number 05250003.

Company Culture and Values

Balfor’s company website and staff profiles emphasize their cultural values:

  • Candidate-centric: They aim to understand candidate goals and represent them fairly to potential employers. Their “Candidate Charter” promises open communication and industry insights.
  • Client focus: Balfor pledges to become an extension of their clients’ recruitment team. They build partnerships, not just transactions.
  • Expertise: Balfor’s founders have decades of combined experience. They invest in developing consultants’ industry and recruiting knowledge.
  • Compliance: Balfor stresses legal/ethical practice. They’re registered with the UK’s Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
  • Recognition: Balfor is proud of awards like:
    • Investors in People, Gold Standard
    • REC Audited Education
    • Top 100 Companies – Birmingham Post
    • Best Small to Medium Business – Birmingham Post
    • Certificate of Excellence – REC Audited Education
  • Social responsibility: Balfor supports charities like Acorns Children’s Hospice.

These cultural pillars support Balfor’s mission to provide an outstanding experience to candidates and clients. But do they live up to these values in practice? Let’s evaluate.

Legitimacy Factors

Scam agencies often have sketchy web presences and limited public information. Legitimate firms offer transparency.

Here are legitimacy factors for Balfor Recruitment:

Website

Balfor has a professional company website at balfor.co.uk.

The site includes:

  • Details on their services, clients, and company background
  • Candidate and client portals
  • Leadership profiles
  • Current job openings
  • Blog with industry advice
  • Contact information

This level of online presence indicates an established business, not a fly-by-night scam operation.

Social Media Presence

Balfor maintains active social media accounts:

  • LinkedIn: 11,700+ followers, regular posts
  • Facebook: 2,900+ likes, weekly updates
  • Twitter: 2,400+ followers, multiple weekly tweets
  • Instagram: 400+ followers, photo updates
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The posts feature company news/events, job openings, recruitment tips, and employee spotlights. This further supports Balfor’s legitimacy.

Online Reviews

Independent review platforms offer candid insight into companies. Balfor has largely positive feedback:

  • Google: 4.1 out of 5 stars based on 148 reviews
  • Facebook: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 29 reviews
  • Trustpilot: 4.1 out of 5 stars across 8 reviews

Here’s a sample positive review:

“I have worked with Balfor for many years. They have always matched me to schools well and I have found many permanent positions through Balfor as a result.”

The few negative reviews cite slow responses and lack of support:

“Hugely unimpressive, unprofessional and unresponsive…My consultant never listened when first signing me up.”

Balfor’s overall positive reviews indicate a legitimate operation. But the scattered criticisms suggest room for improvement in candidate experience.

Industry Credentials

Balfor holds credentials from recruitment industry groups:

  • REC Member: Signifies compliance with ethical recruitment standards.
  • REC Audited Education: Denotes proper vetting and training for recruiting teachers.
  • Cyber Essentials: Certifies their IT systems meet UK government cybersecurity standards.
  • Crescent Purchasing Consortium: Allows Balfor to supply staffing services for government contracts.

These memberships authenticate Balfor as a verified agency, not a questionable scam.

Address and Contact Information

Balfor lists a real physical office:

Balfor Recruitment
3 Brindley Place
Birmingham, B1 2JB
United Kingdom

They also provide phone numbers and email addresses for each office location.

Visibility of company location and contact details is a legitimacy indicator. Scam operations tend to hide this info.

In summary, Balfor Recruitment demonstrates numerous trust factors:

  • Professional website
  • Active social media presence
  • Positive online reviews
  • Industry credentials
  • Published address and contact info

This paints the picture of an established, real world recruitment agency. But what’s their actual reputation like dealing with candidates and clients?

Recruiter Practices

Balfor’s website and credentials look legit – but do their practices match?

Here’s an evaluation of Balfor’s recruiter-candidate and recruiter-client relationships.

Candidate Experience

Candidates are the lifeblood of any talent agency. How does Balfor actually treat job seekers?

Positive Experiences

Many candidates describe excellent experiences with Balfor Recruitment.

Positive themes include:

  • Quick placement: Candidates felt Balfor moved swiftly to match them with the right opportunities. “They received my CV on the Thursday and offered me an interview the following day. Tanisha and Callum the ultimate professionals and very efficient in securing me work for the following week.”
  • Industry knowledge: Consultants took time to understand the candidate’s skills, goals and preferences. “The recruiters really listened to my requirements as a supply teacher and reassured me that they were on board and supportive with what I am looking for.”
  • Ongoing support: Candidates felt supported before, during, and after placement. “I have been working with balfor since November 22,Cecile and jasmine has been so helpful and so professional and help you in every way they can,balfor is a very good company to work for there service is brilliant.”
  • Ethical practices: Candidates found Balfor to be transparent and compliant. “They listened to my needs, gave me choices for opportunities and were efficient and welcoming during the on boarding process.”

These positive experiences reflect Balfor’s mission of putting candidates first. Many consultants seem to follow their cultural values in practice.

Negative Experiences

However, Balfor also receives criticism from some candidates.

Common complaints include:

  • Lack of responsiveness: Candidates had to chase constantly for updates. “Unprofessional, unresponsive…Company ignored consistent requests for my basic and lawful workers right of receiving my wage slip.”
  • Poor listening skills: Consultants seemed to push their own agenda rather than hearing candidate goals. “My consultant never listened when first signing me up. Company ignored consistent requests…”
  • Weak follow-through: Candidates felt “dropped” after placement with little ongoing career support. “Hugely unimpressive, unprofessional and unresponsive…no online portal was ever mentioned in whole two months?”

These experiences contradict Balfor’s mission of exceptional service. They indicate some consultants provide a much poorer experience than others.

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Client Experience

What about the other side of the equation – Balfor’s treatment of employer clients?

Online reviews suggest similarly mixed experiences:

  • Strong partnerships: Many clients describe close, long-term relationships with Balfor. “Our school have used Balfor Recruitment for several years. They know exactly what we need…”
  • Industry knowledge: Clients highlight consultants’ understanding of their sector’s talent landscape and hiring nuances. “I’d recommend Balfor to any school looking for teaching staff. Their expertise has been invaluable.”
  • Compliance: Clients praise Balfor’s rigorous vetting and screening processes. “Balfor’s compliance gave us total confidence in every candidate they supplied.”
  • Mediocre communication: Some clients felt consultants were disengaged or unresponsive during campaigns. “My consultant seemed completely checked out…I had to chase constantly for updates.”
  • Candidate mismatches: Occasional complaints of supplied candidates who weren’t a fit for the role. “The last 3 candidates Balfor sent for interviews were clearly not suited to our school. It became a waste of time on both ends.”

Like with candidates, client satisfaction seems to depend heavily on which individual consultant handles the relationship.

Areas for Improvement

While many Balfor consultants provide excellent service, inconsistent experiences point to some potential areas for improvement:

  • Consultant skills development: Bolster listening skills, career coaching, and client communications through expanded training.
  • Quality assurance: Implement mechanisms to monitor and improve consultant-candidate/client interactions. Capture feedback, conduct evaluations, address issues.
  • Ongoing candidate engagement: Check in with placed candidates regularly regarding job satisfaction, career growth, additional needs. Don’t just place and forget.
  • Consultant-candidate matching: Take care to pair each candidate with the best consultant for them based on background, experience, sector, etc.
  • Workplace culture: Ensure consultants are empowered, motivated, and committed to Balfor’s mission. Tackle any toxic management or high pressure sales culture.

With some focus in these areas, Balfor could potentially improve experiences for all candidates and clients. Their overall business model does not appear fundamentally scam-like.

Final Verdict: Legit or Scam?

Given full analysis of Balfor’s services, background, legitimacy factors, and consultant practices – I believe Balfor Recruitment is a legitimate company, not a scam.

Here’s a summary of the evidence:

Legitimacy Factors

  • Professional company website
  • Active social media presence
  • Positive online reviews overall
  • Holds industry credentials
  • Published address and contact info

Recruiter Practices

  • Many candidates and clients report excellent service
  • Consultants often provide strong industry expertise and career coaching
  • No systemic unethical practices or truly suspicious activity

Downsides

  • Inconsistent service quality depending on consultant
  • Communication and support sometimes lackluster
  • Opportunities to improve candidate and client satisfaction

Verdict

While imperfect, Balfor Recruitment behaves like a real recruitment agency. They don’t exhibit fundamentally scam-like characteristics. Engage thoughtfully and you may find them a valuable partner.

With any agency, you must self-advocate to get the best outcome. Use the tips below to optimize working with Balfor or any other recruiter.

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Tips for Working With Balfor or Any Recruiter

Here are my top tips for maximizing your experience as a candidate with Balfor Recruitment or any agency:

Do Your Due Diligence

  • Google the company name and read independent reviews before engaging. Watch for red flags.
  • Validate they have a professional website, social media presence, and industry credentials.
  • Ask how long they’ve been in business. Many scam agencies are brand new.

Get to Know Your Consultant

  • Request a consultant who specializes in your field. Their niche expertise will prove valuable.
  • Have an intro call so they fully understand your background and goals early on.
  • Gauge if your personality/work styles seem to mesh well. It’s a key relationship.
  • Know their specific years of experience as a recruiter and in your industry. Seek someone senior.

Set Expectations

  • Be clear on what you want/need in your next job and career overall. Give them a crystal-clear mandate.
  • Agree on frequency of communication. Daily? Weekly? Set concrete expectations.
  • Ask how they will source opportunities, prep you for interviews, determine fit, etc. Get the game plan.

Check References

  • Ask the agency for references from current candidates and clients. Reach out and get candid feedback.
  • Search LinkedIn for people placed by your consultant. Message them asking about their experience.
  • Join alumni groups on Facebook for the agency. Ask members about consultant reputation.

Stay Engaged

  • Check in regularly for job market updates, new openings, networking events, etc. Stay top of mind.
  • When opportunities arise, ask thoughtful questions. Evaluate if each is truly a fit.
  • Give candid feedback after interviews and placements. Help them improve their search.

Be Proactive

  • Independently research employers. Don’t rely solely on the agency’s perspective.
  • Use your existing network and search job boards too – don’t only depend on your consultant’s leads.
  • If communication lags, follow up persistently. Don’t wait around.

Know Your Rights

  • Brush up on labour laws and recruiting codes of conduct so you can self-advocate.
  • Understand regulations around right to work checks, diversity/inclusion, fee transparency etc.
  • Identify red flags like pressure tactics, exaggeration, or evasiveness early.

Following these tips will set you up for recruiting success, whether working with Balfor or any other agency.

Conclusion

Finding work through a recruiter introduces questions of trust. Is the agency legitimate? Or are they a scam?

In the case of Balfor Recruitment, they are an established UK staffing firm in business for nearly 20 years. Analysis shows they are most likely not a scam, though some candidates have poor experiences.

Optimizing your outcome requires proactive communication, evaluating consultants carefully, checking references, and staying engaged throughout the process.

With knowledgeable and empowered candidates, recruitment agencies like Balfor can enable strong career matches. But blind trust will not serve you.

Approach agencies like any relationship – eyes open and seeking mutual benefit. Maintain reasonable expectations. Advocate for yourself.

And you may just find the perfect job.

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