I once saw a description of recruitment which said
“Recruitment is easy. It’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire, you’re on fire and everything is on fire…. Because you’re in hell!
Whilst this is an extreme and somewhat funny description it isn’t necessarily an accurate one. Recruitment does however have its “highs” and “lows”
Recruitment is certainly not an “easy” job though and it does take a certain character to be successful. Ultimately, recruitment is a sales role, just you are selling a living, breathing, free-thinking, mind changing product…. people. This can make the role of recruiter a rewarding one but sometimes a frustrated one
Having been a consultant within an agency I have certainly experienced the highs and lows of recruitment.
So, is this a common denominator within recruitment or is there a way to make the rollercoaster more of a steady carousel?
I spoke with several experienced internal recruiters from different industries to find out some of their methods, opinions and challenges within recruitment and ultimately why they got in to and remained in the industry.
Here’s a summary of what they thought.
- The Highs – what became quite evident from this was that a large majority of recruitment is actually enjoyable and ultimately very rewarding. One thing that recruitment certainly offers is diversity. Candidates, clients, and the industry is ever changing and that makes it an enjoyable experience for people who embrace change.
People are what makes recruitment and that can offer a great sense of satisfaction as a consultant. Knowing that you have made a difference to someone’s career is to some, the most rewarding part of the job, as is the financial rewards to a successful consultant.
The thrill of “the chase” and “placing a candidate” also makes it an unrivalled career choice for someone who likes people, sales and diversity.
- The Low’s – As mentioned previously…. Recruitment is not all sunshine and rainbows.
“My car has broken down”, “a relative is unwell” and “I’ve been throwing up all night” are statements a recruiter has, and will always get bored of hearing. Selling people can be great as aforementioned but it does have its downfalls…. People can change their mind, get a better offer or even worse, ignore you altogether!
That is where the “lows” come in and can make it a frustrating role at times. However, the better you are as a consultant these factors become and less and less frequent.
- Opinions of LinkedIn – the unanimous opinion of LinkedIn is that it is a fantastic recruitment tool and although it is most recruiters preferred tool of choice it is “not the silver bullet”. Linkedin has become probably the mostly widely used business tool within recruitment but is it becoming too saturated with the same people doing the same thing?
It is a great tool for headhunting, market mapping, advertising and becoming closer to your network but the use of “Inmail” has become less powerful and is rapidly being referred to as spam, new tactics need to be thought up if it is to continue to be a valuable addition to a recruiter’s armory.
One Internal recruiter I met said;
“I would not be able to do my job properly without LinkedIn” I think that sums up just how important it has become to our daily role.
- Methods – Traditional methods of recruitment are used among most recruiters but what really works?
After much deliberation, it was clear that these traditional methods do work. However, it is more around how you use them rather than if.
Adverts work, if you can write great adverts. Job boards work, if you’re searching on the right Job boards and headhunting works, if you understand passive candidate attraction.
Interestingly, depending on industry, background and experience everybody has their own way of doing things and what works for some recruiters will certainly not work for others. The industry in which you recruit also plays a big part, you need to understand your market and what specifically attracts candidates that you want!
- Internal recruitment Vs Agency – What does the future hold for recruitment agencies with the rise of the internal recruiter?
“There will always be a need for recruitment agencies but their approach and style needs to adapt” They also need to be smarter about the way they work and become specialists and industry experts.
There are too many bad agencies out there and unfortunately, they give agency recruitment a bad name. Internal recruiters do not like being “cold called” especially being “cold called” badly and that is far too common among today’s agencies.
Ultimately, strategies, methods and tools need to be tweaked if they are to work in building successful partnerships with internal recruiters.
- Challenges – Challenges within internal recruitment are not dissimilar to the changes that face agency recruitment.
The most common challenge is attracting talent and standing out against the competition. Passive candidates are hard to attract! Successful people aren’t looking to move so it’s important to always be “one step ahead” of your competition.
Other challenges include brand, location, reviews and the assumption that your managers know how to interview.
I could talk about these topics for hours and everyone would have their own opinions on these subjects. In fact, I could probably write a blog on each one of these sub-headings but the pattern is quite apparent and that is summed up in the below statement.
“Ultimately the highs vast outweigh the lows within recruitment and it really is an enjoyable role if you embrace change and enjoy working with people”
With special thanks to James Corfield of Informatica, Steve Curtis of LinkedIn, Fran Burton of Trend Micro, Craig Haward of Mcgraw Hill-Education and Danielle Birchenough of Bracknell Forest Homes for taking the time to speak with me and answer my questions.
If you would like a confidential discussion regarding finding a new role or getting assistance in filling a vacancy you may have, please contact the office on 01628 817124.
At Signet Resources we cover HR, Sales, Marketing, Finance and Commercial Operations vacancies across all industries in the Thames Valley area.