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Hands up anyone who hates recruiters...

Posted by: on Fri 25 November 2011

Hands up anyone who hates recruiters...

Having worked in recruitment for nearly 12 years, for the most part I’ve enjoyed what I do. However, sometimes when I’ve been in certain social gatherings and been asked what I do for a living, I’ve felt a sense of dread in telling people what I do. ‘Why is that?’ you may ask. Well, let’s face it, in the UK recruitment consultants don’t have the best of reputations. In the USA it appears to be a more revered profession but here we’re quite often seen as a ‘necessary evil’ by both clients and candidates.

So why are we perceived this way? Well, in my opinion, as a general rule we are not truly a professional services industry. Despite the term recruitment ‘consultant’ are the majority truly ‘consultative’ in their approach? I think not.

Many recruiters do not have a true understanding of the industry sector in which they recruit so therefore cannot possibly offer a ‘consultative’ approach. Most, despite their best intentions, have had it drummed into them that it’s a sales job first and foremost. Many are taught to see the whole process as a ‘numbers game’ and are massively target driven. My early memories of working in recruitment consist of being repeatedly told by sales managers ‘recruitment is a sausage machine; the more you put in at the top the more you get out at the bottom’!

Clearly, this type of ‘training’ doesn’t help recruiters understand the genuine need for employers to really get the ‘right’ people for them to develop their business – or the candidate’s need to make the ‘right’ move for their future career aspirations.

With the economy at an all-time low, we should all see ourselves as a key part of ‘UK PLC’ which means having the ‘right’ people in the ‘right’ seats within our businesses (small or large) in order to achieve the growth we need. This is where recruiters should be really adding value, working hard to understand their clients’ needs and sourcing the right people for that business; acting as true consultants and offering valuable career advice – not just trying to put a bum on a seat to earn a quick buck and keep a pushy sales manager happy!

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