Let’s make recruiters great again!
My name is Thijs and I’m a recruiter. I am also quite good at my job and people would describe me as a pretty decent guy. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes people react very strangely to my initial messages. Straight off the bat people have an opinion ready and often don’t want to talk to me. Where does this resentment towards recruiters come from?
A brutal Google search
It’s quite funny seeing the number of articles written about how terrible we are. A quick Google search shows the following:
My theory is that it comes down to three (important) things:
- A lot of recruiters don’t give feedback during the recruitment process. This can mean that candidates aren’t updated on how things are going. It can also mean that they simply never get a call back after the recruiter receives negative feedback from the client. I understand that contacting candidates at this point is one of the worst parts of the job. However, I firmly believe it is a necessary evil that we have to address, no matter how hard it can be.
- Another thing that goes wrong in many cases is that candidates are called by recruiters who don’t actually have a job for them at that time. They are trying to build a database and often never contact these people again. It’s no wonder that people get frustrated when they are treated this way.
- My third point ties in with the two issues above, although I think it’s probably the most problematic. Most recruitment agencies are structured in a way that expects employees to simply make as many calls as possible every day. This often happens with very little, or absolute no strategy in place. This results in it being purely a numbers game, with the hope that a percentage of these calls work out positively.
Looking at the types of people who are currently on the job market, this is exactly where things go wrong. People don’t want to be treated like a number. Every person is different and has his or her own set of qualities that they can bring to a role. How can you work with someone if you have no idea what they enjoy doing? How can you help someone if you don’t know exactly what they look for in a job? Too often it’s about how someone’s CV looks, because that is ultimately what sells. But… isn’t this an outdated strategy?
Let’s look at the question from a different perspective. If you have a position to fill within your business, who do you ask for help? Surely, it would be someone who understands your business and takes the time to find out what the role requires? If this is the case, there is no need to call hundreds of people. With a few targeted phone calls, it’s often possible to find the perfect fit.
“By doing so, I can save my clients time by only introducing candidates who would fit the company and their culture”
The ability to do this effectively takes time, but it is something I am working towards. By this, I mean I am working towards understanding each company I work with in such a way that I am able to match a personality, not just a skill-set. By doing so, I can save my clients time by only introducing candidates who would fit the company and their culture. I will therefore also take my candidates seriously by assisting them throughout the process.
A better future
I agree that this doesn’t solve all the issues. In the future, I will still have calls with people who I can’t help in finding a suitable role and (regretfully) will never speak with again. Perhaps though, if we all worked towards the goal of understanding our clients and candidates on a deeper level, the recruitment field would have a better name? I’d love to hear what you think, please leave a comment on LinkedIn if you would like to share your thoughts!