Oi! Recruiter!!

After being in the recruitment sector for 14 years I would like to think that I know something about the ‘wonderful world of recruitment’. I set up Birchwood Recruitment nearly 3 years ago and love the business that I have grown and nurtured. I feel very passionately about the service I provide…. Not all recruiters are the same and right now I am urging employers not only to see this, but to do something about it.

Its only Tuesday and twice this week I have been approached by candidates with a conversation that goes something along the lines of “I have an interview next week, I am really excited about it but need an inside take on the company or interviewer or how to pitch myself, I know you are not handling the vacancy but I have no one else speak to” In response to my obvious question the answer is all too often one of these:

  • My recruiter doesn’t know anything about them really
  • My recruiter is only interested in the end result (I can tell)
  • (I can tell) My recruiter is not interested in me
  • My recruiter won’t return my calls
  • My recruiter doesn’t understand what I am asking for or why I am asking
  • My recruiter does not have the answers and I am making him/her uncomfortable
  • Not heard anything from the recruiter since they sent me the interview confirmation

Employers please take this on board it is important.  When you instruct a recruiter you are not only asking for them to find you your next member of staff you are instructing them to represent your business, and you are paying for that complete service. My experience tells me that mant of you are not getting it. Recruiters play an important part; we paint a picture of a business for perspective candidates and candidates associate the recruiter with that particular business. So if a recruiter lets down a business or an individual then the candidate believes it to be the fault of the recruiter and the employing organisation creating a bad reputation for both parties.

Recruiters are great on the client side – they love the client as the client pays the bill (and often that is a deep as it goes). I have spoken in a previous blog (Revolving Door) about putting clients on pedestals and it is a dangerous game to play. Especially when at the same time as doing this the recruiter is doing much less than their best on the candidate side and giving a bad impression of your organisation.

Remember, I worked for a larger recruitment company for 10 years and I have seen it, lived and breathed it and if I am really honest with myself to an extent I was it (I fought against it but I was it). The pressure for the numbers is massive and constant, recruiters are targeted on the number of vacancies, send outs and interviews along with a million other things besides; it is therefore unsurprising that the candidates can get lost in the mix. They are people, it is their careers and their lives that we have in our hands and ALL recruiters need to remember that.

When you (as an employer) are interviewing ask your candidates about the service that they are receiving from your recruiter – you are paying for that too! How a candidate is treated by a recruiter is not only a reflection on your chosen recruiter it is a reflection on you as a business. You may not want that particular candidate now but you may do in the future, and it’s the little things that you are not seeing that could be damaging your business for the future. Wonder why when you bump into people at trade shows and they are funny with you – that’s why. Its not just the interview preparation side, candidates call me to ask my advice on how to handle the recruiter not giving feedback on interview performance, not advising them of the process and basically not communicating well with anything other than job offers (the bit that makes the money). Candidates know the score – they know that recruiter silence means no but it leaves a bitter taste!

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that a recruiter should do all the work for the candidate; on the contrary an employer needs to see the personality of the candidate at interview and not the personality of the recruiter.

Candidates should not need hand holding (I know that they often do), but they do need support, guidance and understanding. I know I am demanding that all recruiters look at things differently, and so they should!  The candidates of today are the clients of tomorrow and I can tell you that this is the truth at Birchwood; the junior sales representatives I was placing in the late 90’s are now Sales Directors and they are working with me; Oi! Recruiter… can you say the same??

I work in many different ways, I am a recruiter, I am a mentor of individuals and I am a facilitator within businesses. Most importantly I choose to work only on projects I believe in. Contact me to find out how we can work together to improve your career and your business.

Oi! Recruiter! Give me a call…x

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