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5 things jobseekers are tired of hearing. No. 2: It’s not my job to find you a job…

This is part two of my five part series on what jobseekers are tired of hearing others say about their job search.  I appreciate the responses so far and it’s obvious that other jobseekers can identify with what I went through while searching for employment.

No. 2: It’s not my job to find you a job…

According to an article from 18 January 2010 on hrmagazine.co.uk, “UK businesses spend £2.6 billion on external recruitment each year, but 76% of business owners and HR staff surveyed felt that they were not getting value for money”.  It goes on to say, “there wasn’t any consistency in recruitment rates and rebates, with businesses paying as much as 25%-30% in placement fees”.  Their opinion is in order for employers to successfully hire more workers, “the recruitment industry needs to start being more realistic and transparent, while ensuring the quality and targeting of CVs they send through improves”.

There’s a reason why they are called traditional recruitment – because they’ve always been around and up until the last few years have always done things the same way. They built relationships on both sides of the interview desk and provided companies a list of top quality candidates. Unfortunately, with thousands of recruitment agencies fighting over a shrinking number of job placements, the emphasis is now on speed and quantity over quality. In years past a recruiter would interview a candidate at length and burn up the phone lines to find them a job. Today recruiters attempt to find candidates who fit the job requisitions in their charge. This subtle but important shift in approach has not gone unnoticed and the growing voice of discontent among companies and candidates has led to a sharp increase in online recruitment models and our recruitment alternative For Direct Hire.  Employers still understand the merit of external recruitment, especially in today’s world where internal resources are razor thin and in some cases non-existent, but it’s imperative that value for money be returned to the process for everyone.

I am aware that the “not my job to find you a job” mentality stems from the fact that in traditional recruitment models all revenue is generated from companies (most commonly referred to as clients in traditional models) paying placement fees.  I get that.  However, even if this were completely true (which it’s not) why would you say this in a public forum like a blog or LinkedIn?  I understand the desire to be provocative and stand out from the sea of other recruiters, but see my previous post about the personal nature of unemployment and job searching to understand why this is just simply a bad idea.  Why would you risk alienating potential candidates who could earn you big commissions?

It’s actually extremely basic.  You need to treat both the company and the candidate like they are the most important piece of the puzzle.  Like they are both clients and they are both the key to your financial future and, in essence, keeping your job.  I’ll even give you a hint on how to achieve this: communication, managed expectations and respect.

Let me simplify the equation: Job requisition + hired candidate = placement fee

It’s pretty straightforward really.  There are two parts to the equation and when you are able to successfully combine the job requisition with the hired candidate you win. Having fielded hundreds of phone calls and emails from recruiters and being granted only a hand full of interviews, I’m aware it’s not exactly that simple.  Yes, there are an unprecedented amount of unemployed workers out there.  Yes, there are record setting number of applicants per advertised job.  Yes, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Everyone knows these facts. However, recruitment is a people business at its core and people deserve a small measure of respect. If you tell a candidate you will get back to them by a certain time, then do it.  Even if it’s simply to say you haven’t heard anything. Again, it’s all about communication and follow through.

Let me now simplify the opposite equation just in case there is still some confusion: Job requisition – hired candidate = no placement fee

The opposite is just as simple.  No hired candidate means no placement fee which means no commission.  Still think it’s not your job?  It’s widely understood that a recruiter is only as good as the candidates they are able to provide.  If this is true, how long do you think candidates will return your phone calls and emails if they feel a complete lack of respect? It’s important to keep in mind that just because a candidate isn’t right for the file in your hand it doesn’t mean that they won’t be perfect for the next file that lands on your desk.  What if they get so fed up that they don’t return your phone calls? Trust me, even the most desperate candidates can only be given the run around so many times before they say enough.

Maybe the external recruiter’s job is not completely about finding a job for jobseekers, but it is absolutely about adding value to the recruitment process (and justifying large placement fees). So before you go around saying it’s not your job to find candidates jobs, think about the fact that candidates are a recruiter’s biggest asset and necessary for you to have a job.

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