Bloody recruiters hey? About as highly regarded as traffic wardens, door to door salesmen & politicians - and for good reason, there are so many bad ones out there. This is not me speaking from a higher moral ground as I am not perfect myself (more on that later). It is from observations I have made and conversations I have had at networking events.
Why the bad rep?
I think it stems from the fact I don't think many recruiters ever set out to be recruiters, they usually fall into it, myself included. I have just been fortunate in the fact I actually enjoy my job and have developed a passion for it. I certainly don't speak about all recruiters but a lot of them see it as a means to an end, and the job, to do it well, requires so much more.
There are many corners that can be cut in recruitment, lazy candidate qualification, shoddy attempt at understanding the candidates desires and a disinterest in knowing your clients culture and needs are just a few easy ways you can cut corners. I, myself have been guilty of this in the past but I soon realised that it was not the way to do the job, especially in the long run but unfortunately too many recruiters are repeatedly drawn in by the temptation of the cut corner and they tarnish the whole reputation of an industry.
I appreciate that there are other evils within the recruiters armoury such as cold calling and head hunting and both can be a right pain in the arse for businesses. We know this as we are also victims of this necessary evil ourselves, often taking calls asking when our gas and electricity are up for renewal or from people wondering if we want a water cooler - the answer is still no, thank you, bye. Also, about once a week I will receive a LinkedIn message or an email from another recruitment company asking whether I am open to new opportunities. It's the nature of the beast. Sometimes it's done in a professional manner sometimes it isn't.
The big sell - aaaarrrgh
Networking events, for me, are to have a good time and meet new people whether they are directly relevant in a professional capacity or not. Of course you want to enhance your own business prospects and if it happens, then great, if not then it's an opportunity to have a good time and turn some twitter profile pictures into face to face conversations. I have been to networking events where other recruiters have been told off for hard selling. Nooooo, stop it, just stop it! I am here having a beer and discussing the last two episodes of Game of Thrones with someone I had previously only had a twitter conversation with. If my work doesn't come up organically then it doesn't come up at all.
Recruitment is a multi billion dollar industry and that is for a very good reason. We serve a very important purpose. Good recruiters will spend time that decision makers can Ill afford to find people they may well never have come across and that, to a certain extent can be invaluable. To some companies we are irrelevant and surplus to requirements and that is fine but to some our knowledge of a specific market, our painstakingly developed candidate pools and relevant contacts are essential in the maintenance and development of their company.
It is the unprofessional, lazy corner cutters that spoil it for the rest of us recruiters. We all know bad reviews travel faster and further than good reviews. I am not perfect but I am one of the ones that is trying to do things the right way whilst breaking down the social stigma of being a recruiter. We ain't all bad y'know.
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Julissa, 23 Mar 2017