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The two breeds of recruiter - Article by Paula Shaw

The two breeds of recruiter!!

Having been with the same employer for the last 12 years, I’m well aware I’m a bit of an odd ball (for more than one reason!)  and I also contradict everything I tell my candidates about not staying somewhere too long and getting pigeon holed with one employer making yourself unattractive in the market.

The truth is, I’ve been lucky enough to work for a market leader who are agile enough to keep me motivated and challenged and who have developed me and took risks on me and kept me engaged, so I actually never needed to look outside other than to feel a bit smug!

However, more than that, I do strongly believe that after seeing a lot of Recruiters come and go in the market, there are definitely two distinct breeds of recruiters.

The 6 monther!

The recruiter that rings you up and wows you with a great sales pitch!  They’re the new kid on the block, keen to impress and will promise you they are totally different from anything you’ve had before and they can fill even your most impossible roles!

You give them a shot – why not?! They’ve under cut your current supplier! You’d be mad not to right?!

What tends to happen – they soon realise they’ve bitten off more than they can chew when they can’t find you the candidate you want after their very first sweep of the market and the contact and service starts to dwindle! They’ve lost interest in working with you – they made the sale and got you to give them the vacancy – the excitement peaked there for the 6 monther!

Inevitably, they don’t fill your vacancy. In fact, they don’t fill very many at all! So when that probation meeting is looming, guess what!? They’re off!!

The mentality is; Get in – Get out – Move on!

The lifer!

This species, in my opinion, is not a salesperson by any traditional sense.

This person is; nosey (check!), keen to learn, (check!), good at listening (check – although don’t ask my other half!) and is by nature, a problem solver (check – although not if it involves reading a map!)

If you talk to this Recruiter, they will not class themselves as a salesperson AT ALL!

In fact, they’ll be mortified if you try and tell them they work in sales (just saying!)

This person will be a relationship builder.  They will more than likely contact you on LinkedIn first and then reach out to you to thank you for connecting with them and explain why they were interested in making contact with you.

They probably won’t even want anything from you at this stage other than to build a mutual relationship with you.  They’ll want to learn about your business so that if it ever became appropriate, then they are armed to be able to best represent your employer brand in the market place and bespoke the service they can offer so that its relevant for you!

These are the recruiters that stick around because they actually value delivering a good customer service and getting it right … for the candidate too! Their interest peaks when they call you a month after the candidate they’ve placed with you has started and you’re delighted with how they have settled in and the contributions they are already making! That’s our peak!!

The ones that will give you feedback when you’re not paying a good enough salary to attract the right candidate against market rates, or when you really need to get a wriggle on and stop delaying between 1st stages and 2nd stages because you might lose your favourite candidate (yes, we don’t just make that up – its true and it does happen!)

If we’re getting it right, then we’ll probably still be here in 6 months (and beyond) because at that point we’re just starting to get somewhere having made some great relationships! Why would we move on and start all over again somewhere else?

Now for the cheesy bit!

If a recruiter is getting it right, then its actually not just about making Mr/Mrs Client happy.  This recruiter is driven by actually being able to change people’s lives!

In my 12 years with Ashley Kate HR I’ve been lucky enough to take some of my candidates through three and four career moves, from HR Assistant to Head of HR and beyond– that’s what makes me proud!

Also, the fact that these candidates and clients have come back to me time and time again because I did a good job last time.  Some businesses in Yorkshire have a whole HR team sourced and delivered by me (ok I’ll stop now!)

If we’re honest, the recruitment industry hasn’t had a great reputation over the last 5-10 years. For many reasons, including the fact that the market has been saturated with multiple recruiters all undercutting each other.  The recession saw unemployment peak and therefore candidate care became invisible as candidates were viewed as endless commodities and some recruiters haven’t even tried to change their mind-set now it’s a very different market

So, to summarise, the ‘6 monther sales guru’ is one to be wary of if you are allowing them to take your brand to market.  Maybe just check them out on LinkedIn before you bequeath them with your vacancy – but of course this a gross and somewhat crass generalisation (disclaimer!) as there may be very explicable and genuine reason why they keep moving on at every probation review!

The lifer is someone who you can trust to get it right, who will be an ambassador for your brand and will be treating the candidates right.

This person will be proud of what they do and will actively ‘consult’ with you and not just take direction from you because you know what, they actually do know what they’re talking about!  You might pay a few % more for them, but let’s be honest, you get what you pay for!!

In a recruitment market that constantly refers to a ‘War for Talent’ I’d want to be speaking to a recruiter who knew where to find all the best candidates, and how to partner with them.

Not the recruiter who was just sweeping the job boards or sticking out an advert and hoping for the best.  The one who is well respected in their market and that the candidates will go to first.

The decision is yours!

Paula Shaw – HR Business Manager – North. Paula is a dynamic, results focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team. Over ten years recruitment experience resourcing at Junior and Middle Management and Senior levels. Paula currently looks after all Senior HR appointments across the Yorkshire region and work closely with Natasha James who looks after our North West division & Jacqui Wall – Head of HR Recruitment – North&Midlands.

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