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 bashing recruiters. All saying that we’re nothing but uneducated morons who send 1 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 my entire career and I’m usually one of the first in line when it comes to hopping on the “recruiters are idiots” bandwagon. After all, scientists have proven that 80% of “recruiters”, “headhunters”, “talent specialists”, or whatever they want to call themselves, are a little bit crap (don’t ask for my source). They’ll send you CVs for a C++ dev who did a Unity course 6 years ago. That Senior .NET dev you’re looking for? Dan has SQL so he’d be a great fit,right? 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:
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 and takes the time to listen to 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. 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 /Georgina’s decide to find someone who appreciates their strengths. It saves them a lot of pain and heartache in the long run.
This inevitably leads to two options: recruit for yourself and spend a ridiculous amount of time finding the same (or worse) candidates, or end up going with another dodgy recruiter because “they’re all the same”. 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 in the last year, was convinced I was just another idiot. That 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 would 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 role. Instead of excuses, I dropped in with some cakes and had a real, honest conversation with them explaining how we could get it sorted 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 number of crappy recruiters out there, 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 this, the next time a recruiter contacts you and 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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