I’m recruiting. It’s tough. Good recruitment consultants are incredibly hard to find.
Many people find it amusing that recruitment agencies struggle to find good recruitment consultants, but the reality is that sourcing exceptional consultants is the key business issue for practically every agency out there.
So why is it so hard?
Well there are a couple of reasons.
Firstly, yes – we’re picky. Consult is a small team and we’re focussed on great customer experience. If the team isn’t working well together, our customers won’t be getting great service. So one of our core values here is “No Drama Queens, No Drifters, No Dickheads” – we find this cuts a number of potential employees out of the running!
Secondly, there just aren’t that many awesome recruiters out there. I love my career but the reality is, I’ve never met anyone who grew up wanting to be a recruiter. Recruitment is an excellent career choice, but not one with a huge profile among graduates.
Just what is it that makes a great recruitment consultant?
Recruitment is all about good relationships.
In order to develop good relationships, consultants must have:
1. Connection. Irrespective of whether someone is a candidate or a client (or neither) – there has to be a human connection. Recruitment will never be replaced by LinkedIn, by technology or by outsourced offices in third world countries. The human connection fostered by a recruitment consultant is vital to the recruitment process; whether it’s understanding a client’s business, connecting with a candidate or just understanding the market. Take the human connection out of recruitment and we may as well hand over the keys to robots.
2. Aptitude. Recruitment isn’t rocket science, but it is a human science. It’s a day-to-day immersion in humanity: from aspirations to pitfalls, from people who soar through their careers to people struggling to find their path. It’s about celebrating with people through their career highs, and sometimes sharing the burden of career lows. We see the best in people - and the worst. To manage this well requires an aptitude for understanding people and their motivations, and for anticipating, reading and resolving messy human situations. The ability to do this well is very, very hard to find.
3. Determination. I started recruitment expecting to enjoy loads of coffees and chats – oh how wrong I was! This is not a job for the faint-hearted or the lazy; which is why there is such a high turnover in the industry. It takes years to learn your craft, and the first couple are relatively thankless. Those that make it through the bootcamp years are generally determined, resilient and ambitious people with a drive to succeed and a continuous desire to learn and develop themselves.
4. Humility. None of the first three matter if you don’t have humility. You’ll still be a successful recruiter; but not a great one. You’ll place people in roles, but you won’t win their trust. Your work and your legacy is short term and you won’t ever experience the ultimate satisfaction; the ability to share the moment in someone’s life that their career is defined. We don’t save lives, but we do impact them. We absolutely make a difference. I believe if you lose sight of this, you’re in the wrong profession.
So that’s it. Easy huh? As I said, I’m trying to find exceptional people that tick these four boxes. Could it be you?