I’ve worked in Recruitment (agency-side) for coming up to 8 years…! Over that time, the market and industry has changed significantly. I’ve also aged a lot, got married, bought a house and had two beautiful children. To stay ahead of the changing recruitment landscape, we (recruiters) have had to constantly adapt our methods and styles to enable us to deliver our clients’ needs and ultimately earn a living. It’s been fun, but it hasn’t been easy!
Throughout my tenure in Recruitment, I’ve been blessed to work with some very talented recruiters and some amazing clients (you know who you are), but I’ve also had the displeasure of working with some awful ones too… it can’t all be perfect I suppose!
The guide below is designed to offer some advice to Business Owners, HR Personnel and Internal Recruiters on how to get the most from their external recruitment partner(s) and to share a few (personal) frustrations from the dark-side of recruitment with the aim of helping us ALL be better at what we do. Working collaboratively to make “RECRUITMENT” more effective, efficient and enjoyable.
1. We are humans too… we aren’t robots (well…not yet anyway) and we have feelings! We may work in an industry tarnished by a small minority of cowboy recruiters with bad practices and unethical standards, but there are many recruiters out there passionately doing everything they can to service their clients and candidates to the best of their ability. We’re all on this planet together – to earn a living, to survive and provide for our families and loved ones. It shouldn’t matter whether you are a CEO of a big multi-national corporate, a HR Director, an experienced IT recruiter (me!) or a trainee… treat everyone with the same level of respect, regardless of their status or position (well that’s what I was taught growing up) and give everyone a chance.
2. Be honest with us… If we get something wrong, you can tell us. We aren’t perfect, nobody is, and we will make mistakes. If we do, please be honest with us. If we send unsuitable CVs, tell us. Tell us where we are going wrong. If we do something you don’t like, tell us. Don’t go quiet on us, blank our calls, emails, etc. If you decide you no longer want to work with us (for whatever reason), just let us know. It doesn’t have to be personal.
3. Work with us, not against us… We get you’d rather fill the job directly if possible, don’t we all! But when the time arises that you need to utilise the skills and network of a specialist recruiter, don’t play hardball. Let’s work in partnership, let’s work together. If you choose to use a recruiter, you are implicitly trusting them to act as brand ambassadors to your business; communicating and educating candidates on your vacancy and business. Help us, help you!
4. Let us talk to the Hiring Manager… Often, the hiring manager decides who he/she wants to hire (not HR or Recruitment). Let’s not play the game of Chinese whispers with briefing calls and important info. Let us talk to the decision maker, so we can get everything we need to do our jobs and deliver your organisation the staff it needs. Create unnecessary hurdles and you are making it harder for all of us. We appreciate if you are managing recruitment that you want to stay on top and involved (it often helps the whole process), but it’s so important for us to get all the info we need (from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak) – we can explore the boundaries of candidate suitability, get direct feedback and provide an honest market appraisal. Our success rate is significantly higher when we have this direct and transparent contact.
My favourite excuse is… “The hiring manager is too busy to talk to recruiters”. Really? How serious are you about recruiting someone then? It doesn’t take too much time to schedule a briefing call with a recruiter(s).
5. Speed of process… you’ve probably heard this one a million times, but I’m saying it again. Good candidates WILL be snapped up quickly – sometimes within a day! (That’s our record anyway). Why? Because companies serious about recruiting the best talent, will act quickly and they listen to us. They know the difficulties we face with high demand vs low supply. If we send you someone that looks good… act now. Don’t wait around. Get it in front of the hiring manager straight away. Think about the impression of the candidate when they receive a quick turnaround – it demonstrates you are serious and it makes them feel important and wanted. Obviously if there is a specific reason you can’t turn feedback around that quickly, that’s fine, but please let us know so we can let the candidate(s) know. Please don’t be offended if we nag/chase you when you sit on a CV for weeks and weeks (without any indication on feedback turnaround). It’s not us you’re letting down (well it is), it’s the candidate. And candidates talk. Your reputation in the market is important.
6. You get what you pay for… pay pennies, get peanuts… you can’t expect a premium service. How much do you value the vacancy you’re recruiting? See it from the eyes of a hungry, dedicated recruiter… they invest hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes years into building a network of suitable candidates – do you really think they want to hand over their hard work for a fee that undervalues their worth as a “specialist”? We don’t by any means play god with our candidates - it’s their choice who they apply to, what interviews they attend and what job they accept. But it’s no lie that recruiters would rather work with clients that are responsive, efficient, honest and value their time and expertise.
I’m sure I could think of more, but I’ll leave it there.
We don’t claim to be the best and we are by no means perfect, but we passionately and genuinely believe in doing recruitment the right way; offering honest, consultative, thorough and consistent recruitment solutions to all our clients and candidates.
Thanks for reading! Thoughts, comments and opinions always welcome…