It’s that time of year again. The roles aren’t flowing like wine, everyone’s skint, and nobody’s rushing to hire new people. What does that mean? Recruiter calls. Recruiter calls everywhere. Which, in turn, leads to more and more posts on LinkedIn, Slack, etc. all bashing recruiters and saying we’re nothing but uneducated morons who send a CV and expect £200,000 in fees as a thank you.
I’ll be honest – it does my absolute nut in. Now, I’ve been a recruiter since I was old enough to actually have a proper job, and I’m usually one of the first in line when it comes to hopping on the “recruiters are idiots” bandwagon. After all, it’s been scientifically proven that 80% of “recruiters”, “headhunters”, “talent specialists”, or whatever the hell they want to call themselves nowadays to avoid the word “recruitment consultant”, are a little bit crap (don’t ask for my source). They’ll send you CV’s for a C++ dev who did a Unity course 6 years ago. That Senior .NET dev you’re looking for? Dan’s got some SQL so he’d be a great fit wouldn’t he? It’s all a bit tiring. But there’s a serious problem with the mindset that many companies and candidates have when it comes to recruiters:
WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME!
Think about it this way: you’ve just broken up with your incredibly uncaring partner and you decide to post on Facebook that all <gender> are scum. You manage to find yourself a date with Geoff/Georgina who, despite your post, really sees you for who you are and takes the time to listen to you and your problems. You spend the entire first date bashing your ex. Geoff/Georgina says they understand – you say they don’t because they’re just the same. You spend the second date talking about how pointless dating is and you might as well just enjoy being single. Geoff/Georgina says they’d like to understand why you feel that way – you say it’s pointless because they don’t listen, like everyone else. There is no third date.
The thing is, there’s a lot of Geoff/Georgina’s out there in the recruitment world. There really are. Sadly, companies and candidates spend so much time bashing recruiters that the Geoff’s and the Georgina’s just decide to find someone who actually appreciates their ability to listen and understand – saves them a lot of pain and heartache in the long run. This inevitably leads to two options for you: recruit for yourself and spend a ridiculous amount of time finding the same (or worse) people to work for you, or you end up going with another dodgy recruiter because “they’re all the same so why not just accept it”. You know you deserve better, but you don’t think better exists.
I worked with a client a while ago who, after working with over 10 recruiters for the last year, was convinced that I was just another idiot and I didn’t understand them or their technology. I sat down with them, and explained that my fee was my fee, I love their business, and if they’re happy to just give me a shot, I’ll make them realise we’re not all the same. 2 weeks in, I’d filled one of their roles. 4 weeks in, I was struggling with the second so I dropped in with some cakes and had a real, honest conversation with them explaining how we could get it sorted despite the issues they’d had – if they made some changes. They listened and appreciated the effort I’d gone to for them. Guess what? Both of their roles are now filled. Not just because I listened, but because they let me listen.
Ultimately, with the amount of crappy recruiters floating around out there (and there will always be more), this blog post will likely go unnoticed or be scoffed at because “I’m just another recruiter”. But, if you do see the point behind my ranting and raving, the next time a recruiter contacts you and actually wants to know more about your business, give them 5 minutes of your time. That’s all you’ll need to figure out if they’re just like everyone else. If they listen, take the time to understand your business, and get just as excited as you do about growing the team, you’ll probably find that it saves you a lot of pain and heartache in the long run…
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