Recruitment has a poor rep. Frankly, I'm not surprised.
I love this industry. I’ve been in it for almost 10 years and take a huge amount of pride in my work.
I also know a handful of fantastic recruiters.
But the reality is - the vast majority of recruiter’s suck.
Not necessarily from a client perspective, if the price is right - I'm sure the role will get filled.
But from a candidate perspective.
I know someone looking for a job at the moment. Someone with a strong background in finance, longevity in roles, the right qualifications, a genuine reason for looking to move, their salary ambitions are appropriate to experience, and they can provide great references. Broadly - a bloody good candidate.
But the rubbish that they've been put through by recruitment agencies. Generic emails saying, 'I've found your CV, and based on your experience you'd be perfect for this warehouse role.' Eh? The person in question has never stepped foot in a warehouse - let alone worked in one. Bad keyword search Alan.
Recruiters calling with jobs, then never calling back.
Asking for 'exclusivity' and then dropping off the face of the earth.
Five or six of them calling about the same job - which the candidate in question doesn't even have the right qualification for.
I could go on - but frankly, it's depressing.
What can we do to change this? When did things get so terrible? No wonder everyone avoids us at networking events.
I preface detailing what my business does by saying “we aren’t a recruitment agency.” In part, it’s because it’s true – but also, to disassociate with the negative preconceptions of the industry.
When did recruitment become such a dirty word? I often feel like I should be apologising when I say I run a recruitment business - but it's an awesome profession.
I help businesses to grow by finding amazing people that they don't have the time, resources or expertise to find for themselves.
I help people find jobs so they can pay the mortgage and put food on the table.
When did it become such a sleazy industry? An industry to be ashamed of. To apologise for being a part of.
The sad answer? Greed. The extortionate fees for (sometimes) very little work. The binding terms and conditions that prohibit you from even looking at a candidate for twelve months if you've dared glance directly at their CV. The rebate periods. The business of selling introductions to people for thousands of pounds.
But I think recruitment agencies have pulled the rug out from under their own feet. Businesses want something different and aren't prepared to put up with it anymore. It wasn't going to last forever, and I’m calling it. The golden age of the non-specialist or high street recruitment agency is over.
However - I believe there will always be a market for these three things:
As for the rest of recruitment? It's probably no surprise to hear that I think it's coming in-house. I think we will see more in-house recruitment manager positions become available, more upskilling of HR teams to manage recruitment internally - and the rise of outsourced provisions such as ourselves.
I'd love to know what you think.
The future of recruitment. A lot of people talk about the future of recruitment being AI or other forms of automated processes – but actually the future of recruitment is more around building a relationship with the right candidates. Recruitment should be approached with a person to person interaction in order to build a relationship that will last for life.
Their CV may tell you their past experiences and capabilities but what about potential? What about the ability to mould someone into the perfect candidate for your business? The ability to see whether such a relationship can be built requires human interaction. AI may choose the relevant key words, but what about those key skills you didn’t think were relevant but may bring a new direction and outlook to your business that enables your business to grow?
There’s a famous joke which we have all heard but also speaks a lot of truth in light of this notion of potential.
“What if we spend all that time and money training them and they leave?”
“What if we don’t and they stay?”
Potential – that is the key word. Whether it is potential to see things in a new light or whether it is the potential to mould and train someone into the perfect candidate for your business. As well as potential, the relationship involves trust.
The ability to trust that the individual will give as much back to the employer as the employer gives to the employee.
The current situation according to the CIPD is one of Half of workers say their skills are not well matched to their job, being either overskilled (37%) or underskilled (12%).
Richard Branson says it all: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”
This equality is what makes a good, successful working relationship. Either option results in your business growing in either human resources or taking a new direction gaining you more profit. The ability to understand someone’s potential and whether you can build a relationship, for that AI is not yet equipped. To bring this into your business requires a culture-first approach, where you market yourself, your business and your vision and see if the candidate shares the same one, regardless if they have matched on all the key words AI picked out for you. The important and road to success is having the right people around you. Something you don’t want to miss out on just because AI didn’t pick out the right key words.