- Recruitment is the only job in the world where the product has a mind of its own
Look at it this way. You sell widgets. You go out and get the order, you agree a price, you produce the widgets, deliver them and get paid. At no point does the widget jump up and say ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go to that company’. This may sound strange, but this is what happens to recruiters every day. We do a great job of taking a job order, sourcing suitable candidates, delivering a shortlist, managing the process, getting the offer negotiated and agreed and, out of the blue, the candidate changes their mind and rejects the offer. Often, we have spent weeks, possibly months, working on this assignment and, during one short phone call (or generally email these days), it’s all over.
- The client changes their mind
The majority of recruiters work contingently. That means that we only get paid on results, i.e. when a candidate accepts an offered position. As well as the above situation, many recruiters often face the frustration of clients changing their minds about recruiting for a position. Sometimes this will be part way through the recruitment process, for example when a suitable shortlist is presented. Often, it can be at the very final stages, when budgets are suddenly cut, an internal candidate is sourced (there wasn’t anyone suitable internally two weeks ago!) or a piece of work lost. Again, let’s go back to the widget manufacturer. I come to you and order 10,000 widgets. You buy in the stock, bring in extra temporary labour to fulfil the order, manufacture the widgets, box them up and get them ready to ship. Job done. You call to advise when the shipment will be delivered and I tell you ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want the widgets now’. Of course, this would never happen in your industry. It happens in the Recruitment industry every day.
- Recruitment lacks the respect of many other industries
Over the last 17 years’ I’ve been fortunate to work with some brilliant, talented, professional, intelligent, well-qualified individuals. I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Law, several coaching and business mentoring qualifications and continually strive to learn, grow and master my trade as a Recruiter. My colleagues at Exclusive are similarly well-qualified and talented recruitment professionals. Why then, do people sometimes throw scorn on our profession? I agree that there are some less professional Recruiters out there in the marketplace. However, should we not be judged on individual performance and ethics, rather than making sweeping statements likening us to used car sales people? This may come as a shock to some people reading this blog – we really do want to do a great job, give you a premium service, help you recruit the best talent in the marketplace, or get the best job in the marketplace. All we ask is that you – client or candidate – work with us, as professionals, to allow this to happen.
I feel really fortunate when I get up every morning, wondering what today will bring (no two days are ever the same in recruitment) to know that I’m in the 20% that really love their job.