We all know that the recruitment industry has two sides to its reputation. I know from experience that even when you know you’ve been doing a great job, working ethically and responsibly you sometimes mumble your occupation when asked at a dinner party or in the pub. So why is this?
Well it’s a little bit like going back to school days. It’s the small minority that seem to ruin it for the rest of us. Those that will spray, hope and pray as a way of taking their (usually unqualified) candidates to market tarnish the reputation of recruitment for everyone else.
Sadly, as with any negative feedback, this gets more of an airing than the positive feedback that in truth I believe belongs to the majority of what is actually happening in the industry.
Why do I believe this? Well firstly, I’ve recently been looking at a lot more recruitment agency websites in my current role than I have done previously and I see the same themes come up time and time again. To paraphrase, the key message being delivered is ‘we want to really get to know our clients and candidates and work with you to find the right opportunity/individual’. Now, either everyone is lying or the majority of recruitment firms want to do business in this way.
Secondly, our industry continues. Contrary to the beliefs of some, the recruitment industry could not continue to exist or thrive if the majority of businesses were delivering a truly terrible service. Of course we won’t always get it right, but the industry could not have survived to this day if it was what some refer to as a necessary evil. Economic factors alone would have pulled the rug from underneath that ‘necessary’ part because businesses would have walked away and sought an alternative solution if no ROI truly existed.
So why does this minority group of businesses continue to operate in this way?
Skills – From the leadership down, they may never have learned to run their businesses any other way. If you don’t know how to properly interview, to take a job on or conduct a client meeting, how do you know any different?
Time – In a market where clients want candidates quickly, where you believe your competitors are chomping at your heels, it can be easy to fall into back habits, cutting corners when it comes to candidate qualifying and commitment in order to get that CV over first.
Why there is a need to change
If the above sounds familiar with regard to your own business or the way you have been taught to run your desk, then take it from me – there is a better way.
The ‘consultant’ part of ‘recruitment consultant’ is there for a reason. Consulting means best practice, and best practice is not there in some ivory tower looking down upon you, wagging its finger; best practice is what is best for your business.
Here are a few examples and benefits.
- Take the time to understand why a candidate wants to leave their job – this will tell you a lot about what they are looking for but done right will tell you whether they are going to see things through to the end. Taking the time to do this is what will save you infinitely more time in the long run.
- Understand exactly what they have done – This means you can match them more accurately to your vacancy, and critically explain clearly and without hesitation why your client should meet them for interview. The time taken here will have a marked improvement on your ratios of CVs sent to interviews arranged.
- Understand what they want to do – don’t just infer from their reasons for leaving, though they will tell you a lot. Listen to them and encourage them to open up. Again this translates to better matching, which translates to better interview attendance and to a better ratio of offer acceptance.
When you start to look at every aspect of your role in this way, I wager there isn’t a single area that would not produce better results by taking the time to do things more thoroughly. It will be an initial cause of friction at the beginning to make these changes, because until the results come, you will feel less efficient. However, the time invested will seriously deliver on your bottom line.
Time is ultimately what this really comes down to in the main. It is probably the most precious commodity you have as a consultant or business owner. In our development of yu:talent we’ve placed this at the front of our thinking so that time is minimised with unnecessary tasks and admin. As a CRM system, we’ve integrated everything you could need to be time efficient with the option to remove and activate only the things you need. The skills side I guess is up to you, but I’m always happy to chat to anyone who could use some support and guidance.