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Recruiters: Choose Wisely

Posted about 4 years ago by Ollie Purdom

The recruitment industry is often bemoaned for its lack of business ethics and professionalism, with so-called consultants employing all sorts of hard sell tactics to force a placement, often to the detriment of the client/candidate.

Clients and candidates often complain about recruiter behaviour; clients about the sheer volume and unsuitability of CVs that land on their desks and candidates about the aggressive attitude they often experience and the feeling of being forced to accept a job, with scant regard for whether it’s right.

This got us thinking. Just how do you select the right recruiters to work with? This may sound odd coming from a recruiter, but we’d argue it’s probably the most important question we could ask ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with being critical of the industry you work in, as this champions a different mindset and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Our belief is that working with a recruiter should make the process of finding talent or securing a new job painless. It should reduce management time, not add to it. It should add real value, not cause additional headaches.

Here’s our guide to selecting and getting the best out of your recruiters:

Here’s a controversial statement to start things off. There’s no value whatsoever in generalist preferred supplier lists.

To qualify this, we resolutely believe recruiters shouldn’t be selected on their ability to source everyone from your cleaner to admin assistant, marketing manager and MD. We’ve heard the argument “it makes our lives easier to work with recruiters who cover all roles”. Our argument is how can one recruiter possibly understand every niche area of your business? We’re the people to turn to if you need talent in the marketing, comms and creative sector, but we’re absolutely not the people to find you a new finance director or corporate lawyer.

For good recruiters - actual consultants - recruitment isn’t a tick box exercise. It’s about truly understanding the market they recruit for. So if you haven’t worked with the agency before, don’t be afraid to ask questions: What is your niche? What makes you different? What do you do to attract talent? Can you provide testimonials?

Does the recruiter invest time in coming in to meet with you? If not, why not? The more your recruiter understands your business, the better they can spot the right talent.

It’s a two-way street though, so the passion/enthusiasm with which you present your business to the consultant and the information you can give them about the culture, the environment, progression opportunities and the like, will all impact on how the consultant is able to present your business to potential candidates.

Despite the current economic climate, there’s a definite shortage of talent in the marketing, comms & creative sector. This means that when good people do become available, they’ll have choice. So now more than ever, it’s important you fully trust your recruitment consultant to represent your company in the best possible light in order to not miss out on securing the best talent for your business.

Of course, once you’ve selected recruitment partners, it’s then crucial that the hiring process is managed correctly and both parties have a large role to play in this. We’ll publish a step by step guide in our next blog piece.