Maybe it’s because I work in it, or because I’m a bit biased or sensitive to it, but for some reason, it often seems like the recruitment industry gets a negative press.
Sure, there are some bad recruiters out there - like the ones who blindly fire CV’s out in the hope that someone fits the bill - but the truth is that there are an awful lot more good ones around and to tar an entire sector with one brush makes absolutely no sense. It’s just not the way business works.
Like any service-based company, a recruitment agency is reliant upon the skills of its people. It’s those people who perform well or poorly, so if you’re currently working with a recruitment partner, or thinking about it, these six qualities are the very least you should expect:
1. Honesty and Transparency: a healthy working relationship must be fair, ethical and transparent. In recruitment, this particularly applies to the current state of the market and whether your expectations can be met. It also relates to recruitment fees, placement terms and conditions and who it is that will be representing you and working on your behalf.
2. Sector Expertise: a specialist recruiter will be able to demonstrate that they are experienced in your industry and a leading authority in the market. They’ll be highly networked, knowledgeable about the latest trends and job movements and, because they know the best people, will be able to give you an immediate advantage.
3. Unbiased: a good recruiter recognises the importance of diversity in successful teams and will work with you to make sure you find the right person in terms of experience, culture fit and balance; without settling for anything less than the best people.
4. Respect: this means for confidentiality and privacy, but also for you, your business and your timescales. They will be a consummate professional and, rather than focusing on sales, will work with you to find the best solution possible.
5. Great Communication: hiring in a market when talent is in high demand requires regular contact throughout the recruitment process. As well as keeping you up to date, your recruitment consultant should also listen carefully so that they understand your needs and can react quickly when required.
6. Helpful and Supportive: flexible in their approach and happy to offer strategic advice and salary guidance at any time, your contact should be willing to support you throughout the whole recruitment journey - and beyond. By investing time in building a strong relationship with you and your team, they will understand your business in depth and be on the constant look out for people and opportunities that are perfect for you.
I often ask myself what people expect when it comes to a recruitment partner and, as well as being excellent at what they do, at the top of the list should be professionalism, high-quality service, honesty, integrity, a positive, helpful manner and good value for money.
In my experience, when you’re working with a recruiter they will be motivated by one of two things: hitting their targets, or people. A good recruiter is someone who places the right people in the right job, not just for the company, but for the job seeker too.
There are a lot of us about, but if you agree that “people are a company’s greatest asset”, then choosing the right recruitment partner is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Be selective. Don’t ever settle for less.
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