Over the last 4 or 5 years the amount of animosity towards recruiters seems to have reached new heights. Undoubtedly, there has always been a level of negativity towards our industry, however, in recent times, this has gone off the charts. Linkedin, Twitter, Blogs, everything seems to have a poor impression of recruiters, their methods and motivations.
Therefore, it occurred to me that, like it or not, the solution towards resolving all this animosity sits in the industry’s hands and all those who create its net worth. An industry is simply the sum of its parts after all?
As a consequence, and being part of this industry that I feel responsible for, I believe the following 5 points could certainly help change this poor external impression of what we do and highlight the value we bring as an industry.
- Be transparent.
I read daily about underhand recruitment tactics to engage more candidates or clients. It could be a recruiter asking you where else you are interviewing. It could be them asking about your current salary. There is no question, some of the recruiters out there are asking for negative reasons: to build leads and to control how much you will get in a future offer. However, a good recruiter will want to know who else you are interviewing with to understand your aspirations better and to know your current salary, to appreciate if you are well paid in the current marketplace. The motive should be to aid the process of the candidate.
- Have a value driven service.
From what I can see, many recruiters don’t understand the value they bring to their client and candidates and this is where many of the issues above stem. The industry has and continues to grow and recruitment owners, like myself, should be ashamed that we have not taught our staff about the value they bring to the industry. Firstly, we can give clients a perception of the market and how long it should take to hire the person they are keen to identify. Moreover, we can tell them if this person actually exists and, if anything, what they need to compromise, in order to make an effective hire. Be a ‘figure of authority’.
With candidates, we can provide them with a thorough understanding of the market, quickly and efficiently, letting them know which clients, even if they aren’t on our books, could certainly help them achieve their career goals. Yes, we may not end up making from it in the short terms, but, as with point one, you will build a positive perception of your approach in the market and in the ‘long term’ will undoubtedly benefit.
- Help your client build a story.
I’ve heard many stories of how recruiters present jobs, knowing nothing about the client, the role or the plans moving forward. Many recruiters will point to the client and highlight how they don’t want to be so engaged with a recruiter and how the recruiter should just get the CV and send it on. Nonetheless, the ‘story’ we create around our clients is pivotal to being successful and if a client is not willing to engage to that point, why on earth are you dealing with them? They are the first type of client to complain about your efforts when you don’t deliver. Therefore, demand information from the client. Talk to their current employees. Build a positive ‘story’ about where they have been, the issues they have overcome, and their plans for the future. You will quickly engage more candidates and provide opportunity for potential candidates to achieve their career aspirations. Without this information, you will simply be sending the same candidates other recruiters, doing the same things, will be sending. Define yourself and your client base on the market.
- Tell your client when they are wrong.
You can hear the sharp intake of breath when this is read collectively. There is definite perception that, regardless of what they are trying to achieve, the client is always right. I was brought up with this too, and I think I understand what it’s trying to say, however, it’s gone too far and doesn’t help anyone, particularly the client. Once upon a time, we were all ‘consultants’. Many of us still are but we fail to realize this means telling a client, in a professional manner, that their systems and procedures, are failing their efforts to be successful. If we are to do our job properly and ‘bring value’ we MUST tell our clients when their approach is creating issue. If we don’t we are letting the client, the candidate, the industry and most importantly ourselves down. Be that ‘consultant’, speak your mind and be heard.
- Be more communicative with those that have been unsuccessful.
We work in a ‘people’ driven’ industry and therefore, the more ‘human’ we are the better. When an unrelated CV comes in to our inbox or a candidate is rejected by our client, it’s important we remember this, and let the individual understand the scenario. Yes, you will get people who will take up time and question the decision, however, the reward is unparalleled. You will have people, totally unrelated to you sector, or candidates you have never placed in your sector, telling everyone around them to come to you because you were open and ‘human’.
Recruitment is a hard job. You are trying to marry up the expectations of various viewpoints, which is probably closer to politics than any other discipline. If you are lazy and don’t stand by your values, this negative perception will certainly prevail. Yet, if you stand up for what you believe to be right, yes, you may lose a poor client or two. You may put noses out of joint, but you will more of a professional with a positive ‘human’ outlook.
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