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The Trouble With Recruiters

Posted over 4 years ago by Rob Markwell
The Trouble With Recruiters

As recruiters, we’ve grown accustomed to that certain hesitation/eye roll when asked what we do for a living at a networking event or awards do. We get it too; the immediate stereotype of a pushy, overly salesy recruiter who will lie to their own mother just to get a fee, often comes to mind.

I’d love to tell you that this is a complete misconception, but unfortunately, it isn’t. Sadly the industry is awash with wannabe Wolf of Wall Street CV slingers; a perception the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ manages to perpetuate annually.

The recruitment industry has a low barrier to entry so, unfortunately, often attracts stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap sales types. But getting into recruitment to make a quick buck is when the wheels fall off; it’s a long-outdated perception and, more than ever, recruiters have to live up to their job titles and be genuine consultants to clients and candidates.

This is the mantra we’ve always operated by, so when searching for experienced recruiters, we want consultants who can not only find the best talent in the market but foster two-way relationships with both candidates and clients, providing guidance, insight and value along the way. We want consultants who create genuine partnerships.

This type of recruiter is rare so we’ve taken a blended approach to growing our teams, hiring experienced recruiters who share our values and growing our own from junior level. However, the industry’s stereotype poses problems when recruiting at the junior level too. I see a lot of people who want to get into recruitment “because you can make good money”. That statement is a red flag for me. Yes, the commission can be good, but that’s the byproduct of extremely hard work. So those who throw that statement about either quickly get turned off recruitment or cut corners for an easy payday. Good for them, but not good for the brand values we have worked hard to build over the years.

Everyone claims to be different, so how do we actually show potential employees that we are the right place for them and discourage the wrong people from applying? For me, the challenge is simple: better communication of our culture and values.

As a Director of the company, I don’t own and cannot dictate the culture, that is wholly owned by the team. As Directors our job is to simply protect and nurture the culture.

Along with refining our interview process, we have put a lot into our social content including a series of videos showcasing the people who make us who we are. That honest insight into the people we employ is what should hopefully give potential employees, candidates and clients the comfort that we are (or are not) the right fit for them.

Whilst all our team here are individuals, the traits we can’t teach, but they all share, are a good moral compass, manners, ethics, passion, integrity and a commitment to doing a good job – not just for Pitch, but for themselves and the clients/candidates they represent.

I’m very pragmatic that many of these overly salesy recruiters and agencies who promote an underhand approach do very well and I can’t argue with that. So this article isn’t a jab at them, it’s just not how we have set out to do business.