6 Aug 2018

Anger Management....

OK.  Here's the thing.  I know that most recruiters are a bit rubbish. Often more than a bit. I don't think 'recruitment consultancy' comes up as a career option in those 'what job will suit you best' questionnaires and I don't know anyone in recruitment who grew up with the ambition of being a recruiter. So what we often find in recruitment are young graduates who have secured a job easily post graduation (most of the big recruitment firms will attract graduates with talk of big bonuses....and for these graduates who initially thought they might make it into the big FMCG firms or accountancy practices, recruitment is probably plan D). Initially they'll be grateful to have a job....then they'll realise what it's actually like.  If you're a Junior Recruiter, it's likely that there are lots of targets and KPIs....ranging from how many phone calls you make a day through to how much money you make at the end of the month.  It won't be a surprise to find that there is a high dropout rate, what initially seems like a great option - 'hurrah I have a salary', turns into something that individuals just can't see themselves doing for longer than 6-12 months.   

When I launched PMP, I swore that I wanted to keep it boutique. Recruiting recruiters is one of the most thankless tasks that there is - largely due to the aforementioned drop out rates.   Recruitment is not Rocket Science, but it is ALL about relationships.  With your candidates and your clients - the two are interchangeable and you build trust over time.  So for many recognisable recruitment firms, this is where they fall flat on their faces.  The high turnover of staff means that candidates and clients become frustrated at the lack of continuity, the lack of understanding over their business, the constant request for a meeting 'just to find out a bit more about you' when we did that 2 months ago.  And so on.

I digress. As per usual. There are, however, a small but select recruiters who are GREAT.  Typically, these are the people who have come to recruitment as a second career and more importantly where they have worked in the industry they recruit for before they moved into recruitment.  They are interested in and understand both the sector and the roles that they recruit for. They don't see it as inferior and they generally avoid the numbers driven KPI systems that perhaps the big recruitment brands rely on. That's certainly my profile. I love recruitment. I can't say that I'm contributing to world peace but I'm certainly helping people find a job that they love, helping businesses grow and there is nothing I love more than placing people as they develop their career. If I help an Account Executive secure their first job, then as an Account Manager - it's very very satisfying.  I loved working in marketing too, but I was so frustrated at dealing with rubbish recruiters that I wanted to do things differently.  I like to think that I do because I can get right to the crux of where a person's skills lie and match them up to a business where the culture and fit are exactly right.  To be honest, recruitment is not dissimilar to matchmaking.

Finally to the point of the blog. I don't often have dissatisfied customers.  However, this last week I had a VERY angry candidate.    This candidate was convinced they were the right person for a role I'd advertised.   Frankly, it wasn't even close. It was a complete mismatch.  Cue several furious, brief, emails (sent from a mobile) of the 'I THINK YOU'RE WRONG' variety. 

Genuinely. If I think that there is a good fit between a candidate and a role - I'll propose the candidate to the client.  Without being crude, that's how I make my money.  It is not in my interest to reject candidates if there is any chance that the client will be able to see a potential fit.  Equally, the main reason a client uses me is because, they want me to provide them with a shortlist of suitable candidates thereby saving them time (and money).  If I supply clients with CVs that are not relevant for the role.....they'll be fed up and stop using my services.   So we're back to trust here.   Candidates need to trust me that if I think there is no chance of the client considering their CV, I'm right. 

The reason I talked so much about rubbish recruiters is because I do understand the frustration of candidates. If you are dealing with a sub average recruiter, perhaps they don't know what they're talking about, perhaps they don't understand exactly what you do.   But I do, and most recruiters do want to make money so they will be happy to represent candidates who match the spec'. 

I've advised my angry candidate that we should meet soon.  They weren't right for that job, but they'll be right for plenty of others.  I'm always happy to listen.  I think there are a few other blogs in here......not sending angry emails is probably the next, have a proper conversation. Email is completely the wrong medium to lash out at people. It also gives me a few red flags as to how that person might behave in the workplace. 

Some tips for candidates if you feel you are constantly being 'rejected' by a recruiter. 

1.  Ask to meet the recruiter for a coffee.
2.  Ask yourself if you are applying for the right jobs
3. Talk to other recruiters, maybe that recruiter is one of the rubbish ones
4.  Reassess your CV.  Fine tune it for specific roles.  Does it display your strengths relative to the roles you are applying for?
5.  Manage your expectations - especially if the rejections are salary related.