By Matthew Butler, Team Manager
Is recruitment's reputation unfair, and if so, how does the industry go about shedding it?
Recruiters get a bad rap.
From clients who have been burned by the “spray and pray” method – that is, sending as many CVs over as possible and hoping one sticks – to candidates who are still waiting on that promised call from a consultant they spoke to weeks ago, there is a fair amount of negativity directed towards the recruitment industry.
Along with managed professional services and consultancy, we also operate within the recruitment sector and we know that there are talented people doing exemplary work, but still the industry can’t seem to shake its poor reputation.
Of course, there are good and bad businesses within every sector, and there are definitely those recruiters who have earned their poor reputations. But for those of us who don’t want or deserve to be tarred with the same brush, what can be done to rebuild trust in the industry?
There are agencies who think the answer is in the name and choose to avoid the word recruitment altogether. It’s understandable, perhaps, that businesses would want to disassociate themselves with any negative connotations, but we’d argue that the best way to do this is to redefine the word and to be the change you want to see in the industry (if you’ll allow us to paraphrase).
Many organisations who have used recruitment firms will have had poor experiences with recruiters sending through a huge volume of candidates that are unqualified or unsuitable for the position, in the hope that one will make it through. The typical ‘bums on seats’ strategy of old is no good at all for clients and, ultimately, no business is going to retain clients with this scattergun approach.
Thankfully, most recruiters have got the memo that supplying only high quality, appropriate candidates is the best way to build long-term, successful relationships with clients – but not all are treating candidates with the same level of care.
The client is the one footing the bill, so naturally the recruiter is going to put their needs first. The goal is to find the best candidate for the client and it’s easy to brush aside those applicants that aren’t suitable. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common occurrence for a recruiter to promise follow-up contact with a potential candidate, only to resort to complete radio silence once they have been ruled out from the list.
Failure to communicate is the number one reason candidates say they have had a negative experience with recruiters. Not only is this poor service to the candidate, it’s also incredibly short-sighted. A recruiter is only as good as their ability to source quality candidates and to do this they must maintain a positive reputation. Not to mention that – particularly in a niche-skilled role – there’s every chance that certain candidates will come around again, and will avoid applying with the recruiter who mistreated them previously.
Recruitment is just one of the things we do at RedRock – but it’s something we do well. Our team work to ensure the best service for both clients and candidates, helping us to redefine what it means to work in recruitment and, given that recruiters make up over a quarter of the Sunday Times list of Best Small Companies to Work For, we clearly aren’t alone. We’re proud to be a business reshaping the future of recruitment and we’re glad to see other organisations rising to the challenge.