Saturday, 6 November 2010

Be very afraid....

Today I waited outside a school and stole the dinner money from the cutest, smallest children.  I then committed a number of armed robberies before finishing off the day with a random killing spree.

That is bad enough, but even worse, I am a recruiter!  I know you could accept all of the above and still be seen with me in public but well, when you know what I do for work I quite understand that you will shun me if we ever meet at a party.

I was prompted to write the above as on Forensic Focus yesterday, someone called ‘4rensics’ posted the following about recruiters:

“Dont get me started! Completely useless... but thats a different rant for another day Smile
If I never rang back any of the people I've done jobs for, both forensic and before I joined this I would have been saked a thousand times over... yet when they don't call back, it’s the norm... sounds like a cushy number, get CVs... End! Go home. OK I've started....
Walk away from the keyboard!!!”

Clearly ‘4rensics’ rather tediously falls into the arrogant trap of thinking that others have easy jobs.  However, sadly the basic views of ‘4rensics’ are shared by many jobseekers and due to the number of terrible recruiters around I have to accept these are widely held for valid reasons.   

This is a major problem.   The perception of recruiters isn’t changing – in the fifteen years I have been in recruitment I would say it has got worse.  I think the basic problem is that as recruiters our fees come from Clients which means there is a tendency to neglect jobseekers unless we can clearly see how they are going to make us money.  As I work in niche markets I can spend a lot of time helping people with their CV’s and discussing the market as although this doesn’t earn me money in the short-term over a longer period of time it is invaluable, but generalists aren’t able to do this.  Surely, however, the model has to change so that we can use our industry expertise (especially those of us in niche areas – I think the generalists are doomed) to help people effectively manage their careers over a long period of time?  

As an amusing aside (well, maybe not amusing at all), I did hear one excruciatingly bad story in the computer forensics area about a real cowboy recruiter who made a ‘headhunting’ call to ‘sell’ an Analyst role to the Computer Forensics Legend Professor Tony Sammes.  To get through to him he told people he was a friend and, well, just came across as a complete idiot.  It is a bit like me calling David Cameron and offering him a role managing parking regulations for a local council.

It is increasingly clear that recruiters don’t just provide a patchy service to jobseekers but also to Clients.  In his excellent blog an HR Manager ( compares the slow death of the recruitment industry to the decline of the music industry for a number of reasons but mainly due to arrogance and a reluctance to accept inevitable change.  

On the whole, recruiters still expect to work to a percentage fee structure regardless of the actual work involved and there is usually no follow-up after a person has been recruited.  In the rapidly changing environment in which we work and with the huge growth of social media this just cannot continue.   In particular, I agree with one commenter on the above blog who says that the big organisations and many medium-sized ones are embracing resourcing as part of a wider talent strategy and as a minimum now have the tools and the ability to eliminate all but the very niche recruiters from the process.  As a niche recruiter it really must now be all about how we can genuinely add real value.

Moving on......

Today, I am entertaining at Twickenham as England see off the All Blacks whilst of course keeping an eye on events at Coventry as the Mighty Leeds United bring their unique brand of silky football skills to another stadium of admirers......Have a good one!

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