I could write a book on what makes a good candidate, I could write a bigger book on what makes a good recruiter but I could also write another on what makes a great client.
Over the last 15 years from when my career first started I have worked a minimum of 10 hours a day, of which speaking to and meeting candidates & clients take on average around 6 hours a day.
That's on average 30 hours per week speaking to and meeting candidates & clients, equating to 120 hours a month and well over a 1000 hours a year and 1 thing is for certain…
It isn’t just the candidate who needs to win over the potential employer; it’s up to the company to win the heart and head of the candidate. Businesses are starting to realise more and more the importance of their employer brand, but there is still a long way to go and speaking as a recruiter and a coach there is absolutely no way that the balance is equal.
This is something I have always been passionate about, and one of the reasons I am still in the recruitment industry. The candidate market is hugely competitive, everyone is striving for the best way of standing out online and offline, and I speak about the Digital industry in particular. In the last year I have lost count of amount of conversations that have taken place in regards to this. It is critical as a recruiter to not only react to the market and find the top talent our clients are searching for but also to present added value to the market in a proactive way. When I say proactive this does not include sending a mailshot to hundreds of companies, attaching random CVs from candidates who have no idea where they are being sent and represented which in turn results in no benefit to the client. And to answer to what you are thinking, YES this still happens and sadly is a growing trend!
"INNOVATIVE AND REFRESHING"
In effect what I am really talking about is the ability to truly use an executive search approach for candidates. Working exclusively with passive candidates as well as the active ones, completing thorough research into new avenues and seeking opportunities inside & outside of existing relationships.
In the conversations I have had it has been described by others as “such an innovative and refreshing way of working”. This has really struck me as a surprise. But should it be? Throughout my career I have always strived to work in this way, so I’m puzzled… shouldn’t it be the norm? Direct feedback tells me that it is not only needed it really should be a ‘given’ and striving to meet the expectations of our candidates in as much as we do with our clients. Isn’t this what it’s all about anyway?
The insight this has given me has spurred me on to be inquisitive and ask a particular question to a few well known executives and recognised employers. Do you know of a recruiter that works exclusively with their candidates? The answer has been predominately - No. I’m not saying it’s easy and not every candidate would agree to working in this way but think of the benefits… At 33 we strive to form long lasting relationships with candidates and are committed to making it happen.
WHY DO YOU NEED RECRUITERS ANYWAY?! ISN’T THAT WHAT LINKEDIN IS FOR?
As I write this it, reminds me of a conversation I have had time and time again, of the need to engage a recruitment agency in the first place when an employer can hire people directly. Well I think this is slightly short sighted and they miss the point. Of course if you have a network of individuals you will tap into them, and ask your mate’s mate’s mate if they are looking for a new move, and with the rise of LinkedIn and other social networks employers have more power to access people. However one client admitted to me only last week that when looking for a Head of Digital last year, it wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be – i.e. just calling someone they knew. There were many variables which resulted in those people not being right for the business, their motivations, timing, culture fit, location, compensation, commitment… the list goes on. Just as soon as you think you have the shortlist of final candidates, a variable comes in and can change the game! They had invested so much time that he wished he had just engaged a recruiter. Not only the time spent searching for the right person, but more importantly the time it took their focus away from their day to day.
A recruitment team work closely with candidates and really get to know them, what makes them tick and then present that product to companies which mirror and present a good brand to the candidate
A team have the passion to find candidates for live roles that other people don’t
A team make use of great technology which allows us to communicate with a community of candidates and use this to inform them, update them and understand them
A team understand the market they work in but also understand employer motivations and can use that to match and attract potential employees
A team that could do the above and beyond to save you time, effort and money
SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD… RIGHT?
What makes a recruitment agency different isn’t their ability to pick up the phone and call the people you are calling,
What makes an agency different isn’t their LinkedIn connections connecting you to people you already know.
What makes an agency different is their ability to complement your existing recruitment strategies and add value. VALUE.
I think we all agree on that….