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Recruitment consulting. Improving the paradigm

By Advertising Feature - 19 November 2012 18

rea

Most people who have applied for a job in the past 5 – 10 years have probably met with a recruiter. Everyone who has been to one (or two, or three), has a story to tell. Sadly, some of these stories sound a bit like a broken record. Let’s face it… there is a lot of room for improvement in this relatively new profession.

Rather than starting a long diatribe about what is wrong with the recruitment industry, or asking everyone to write in about their horror stories, we would love to hear from people keen to share their views on:

    — How we (the industry) can do it better?

    — Positive experiences you have had with a recruiter. How has a recruitment consultant demonstrated strong values, and used their expertise to make a difference to your organisation or career?

Why do we want to know this? At HorizonOne Recruitment we’re passionate about driving the recruitment industry forward and about the business we have grown. By focussing on our core values and doing our best to make a difference to the lives and organisations we work for, we have achieved rapid success in the market including:

BRW

Last month we were placed at Number 50 in the BRW ‘Fast 100’ list of the fastest growing companies in Australia

rea

Two days later we were named the ‘Best Start-Up Recruitment Agency in Australia (2012)’ at the National Recruitment Excellence Awards.

We believe that it is the following principles that have afforded us this success:

    — We are specialists, we are not trying to be everything to everyone;

    — We do as we say we’re going to do;

    — We listen, and we pride ourselves on being genuine people, who don’t take themselves too seriously;

    — We focus on being direct, open and honest with our communication, setting clear expectations wherever possible;

    — We are not salespeople, we are consultants seeking to inform and guide decision making with the aim of adding value to people careers and organisations.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Recruitment consulting. Improving the paradigm
watto23 9:12 am 21 Nov 12

My thoughts echo many of the previous posters.

Don’t pay commission. Its obvious when someone is on a commission because they are only motivated to get people into a job, any job. I’m sure it works for the company to only pay for what comes in, but in my experience bonuses work just as well and can be taylored to the recruitment companies current financial status.

Be upfront on the fees you charge to both the employer and employee. I’ve blacklisted a few recruitment companies, because I found out how much they were charging on top of my wage. In one case I dropped my asking rate by $10 an hour only to find out the recruiter was making about $50 an hour! Also I only heard from them, when it was time to find more work.

If you are going to rewrite resumes, get someone who can actually do a good job. I’ve seen so many poorly written resumes come out of recruitment agencies.

Above all, don’t treat people like a commodity. Treat people with respect and intelligence. I lot of the dodgy stuff recruiters do, is pretty easy to find out, because its in the best interest of the employer and employee to know if anything dodgy went on or they are being ripped off.

Also a different approach might be to match recruiters with potential employees based on experience and skills, even personal interests. Always a nice start to talk about something other than work.

Cars and expensive items, tell me someone has expensive tastes and is paying for it somehow. Regardless of what skill recruiters think they have, potential clients will always have better skills, more valuable skills and will want to feel better off than the recruiter who is working for them. We all understand people and companies need to make money, but don’t rub it in our faces. I’ve got no issues trying to get that job via another recruiter, regardless of the ethics.

Oh one last thing, I once wanted to move on after 10 months on a contract. The job was clearly putting a stress on me, I was extremely depressed and the recruiter kept telling me how much money they’d lose and could I stick it out for 2 more months. Clearly they didn’t give a stuff about my health.

milkman 7:38 am 21 Nov 12

LSWCHP said :

I’ve been dealing with recruiters in a highly technical field for about 15 years now.

My advice:

Know what you’re on about. Preferably have staff who’ve worked in the field that you’re recruiting in.

Ask employers what they’re looking for. Don’t shotgun random resumes at an employer, and then ring up all aggrieved and accuse the employer (me) of being too hard to please when none of the candidates are successful.

Understand the industry you’re recruiting into. Someone with years of valuable experience in web development or mainframe transaction programming will be useless in an advanced electronic embedded systems environment. Understand this, and look for appropriate people for each position.

Understand about security clearances for Defence work. Vladimir who arrived from Russia two weeks ago won’t be eligible for a Defence security clearance, and won’t be able to work on most (if any) Defence projects.

Cold-calling employers may be a necessary part of the gig, but recognise that it’s probably an unpleasant experience for the person on the other end who may have other things to do. Treating someone like your long lost best friend when it’s the first time you’ve spoken on the phone rings false and creates a bad impression.

Finding out what employers want in recruits is necessary, but tread carefully. Asking unnecessarily probing questions about projects or corporate IP will lose you business at best, and result in you being investigated by The Spooks at worst.

Business people understand the need to make a profit, unlike many in the public service. Being prosperous is one thing, but showing up at a meeting with either an employer or a candidate in your new Porsche Boxster and wearing a $10K silk suit will destroy your credibility.

I could go on and on, but that’s enough unpaid consultancy work for now. 🙂

+1 on all this. Think about what you don’t like about wealthy real estate agents, and use that as a guide.

peterh 12:49 am 21 Nov 12

I agree with duffbowl. Don’t try to connect to me on linkedin by telling me you have a job in another city that I “would be perfect for”. I am in canberra for a reason. you might do better to ask me if I am looking for a job up front. In fact, many people on linkedin advertise that they are looking for work or to change their job by saying “looking for new challenges / opportunities” – go after them.

be open and honest – if you are a people seller, just say so. If you rely on contracts to make extra income, you are selling something. nothing wrong with that.

The occasional call to see if I have found a job wouldn’t go astray, if I am on your books.

If you can find me on linkedin, chances are I can find you, when I am looking for work.

jayskette 11:08 pm 20 Nov 12

😀 (as seen on real ads)
1) Don’t advertise for 6-10 years experience on SQL Server 2008.
2) Don’t mispell IT technology acronyms. This shows you don’t care about spelling/grammar.
3) Don’t repeatedly misspell the IT technology acronyms. That proves that you know s***.

LSWCHP 7:54 pm 20 Nov 12

I’ve been dealing with recruiters in a highly technical field for about 15 years now.

My advice:

Know what you’re on about. Preferably have staff who’ve worked in the field that you’re recruiting in.

Ask employers what they’re looking for. Don’t shotgun random resumes at an employer, and then ring up all aggrieved and accuse the employer (me) of being too hard to please when none of the candidates are successful.

Understand the industry you’re recruiting into. Someone with years of valuable experience in web development or mainframe transaction programming will be useless in an advanced electronic embedded systems environment. Understand this, and look for appropriate people for each position.

Understand about security clearances for Defence work. Vladimir who arrived from Russia two weeks ago won’t be eligible for a Defence security clearance, and won’t be able to work on most (if any) Defence projects.

Cold-calling employers may be a necessary part of the gig, but recognise that it’s probably an unpleasant experience for the person on the other end who may have other things to do. Treating someone like your long lost best friend when it’s the first time you’ve spoken on the phone rings false and creates a bad impression.

Finding out what employers want in recruits is necessary, but tread carefully. Asking unnecessarily probing questions about projects or corporate IP will lose you business at best, and result in you being investigated by The Spooks at worst.

Business people understand the need to make a profit, unlike many in the public service. Being prosperous is one thing, but showing up at a meeting with either an employer or a candidate in your new Porsche Boxster and wearing a $10K silk suit will destroy your credibility.

I could go on and on, but that’s enough unpaid consultancy work for now. 🙂

Duffbowl 9:12 am 20 Nov 12

From a contractor’s point of view.

Don’t try to connect to me on LinkedIn or other social media if there is not an existing relationship. Have a social media presence that gives enough information about your company to get client’s interested in connecting to you.

Don’t sell me as an asset to an organisation if there is not an existing relationship between us.
This has happened to me a couple of times, and I know enough people around Canberra that I get questions like “Why didn’t you tell me you were looking for other work?” Never a great opening to a conversation with an existing boss.

Don’t get annoyed if I tell you that I’m not suitable for a role that you’ve suggested.
Get to understand the qualifications required in a field, or at least those most commonly seen/asked for.

Don’t try and use technical jargon to sell a job if you don’t know what it means.
I don’t mean have the same level of understanding as your clients, but at least get a good comprehension of the roles in question.

Don’t expect me to roll over on demands just because your representative wears a low cut top or an open blouse, miniskirt, etc.
While you might be nice to look at, that’s not the reason I will sign up with your company.

Don’t take 20%+ of the value of a contract for doing seemingly bugger all, then tell me that contractors are ripping you off.

Don’t cry poor during a meeting, and then drive off in your new $80k+ car.

Thumper 8:24 am 20 Nov 12

poetix said :

I had a car once that could turn on a paradigm. It’s a bike now.

Parrot time?

Did someone neglect to tell the parrots?

milkman 7:00 am 20 Nov 12

I also had a paradigm, but only in black and white.

poetix 7:54 pm 19 Nov 12

I had a car once that could turn on a paradigm. It’s a bike now.

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:02 pm 19 Nov 12

Stop saying ‘paradigm’.

ScienceRules 6:33 pm 19 Nov 12

Just a suggestion, but have you considered avoiding words like “paradigm” unless you’re happy having folks point at you and laugh?

Madam Cholet 3:41 pm 19 Nov 12

+1 to the first two comments. Everyone has been through the woeful experience of recruitment agencies and it’s not a nice one. Having said that, my experiences were a long time ago, and with many more employers going straight to the market via SEEK etc, one would hope that agencies have lifter their game somewhat. I would probably not go to one now as they seem to mostly only get the temp roles.

a few things that used to irk me were the recruiters’ ability to refuse to put you forward about the job you identified as being qualified for and that you made the appointment with them for, to seem to forget about you after a few tries, or to be selling jobs on their websites they knew were already unavailable.

I hate the way that recruiters try to muscle in on ads you have placed on Seek and then proceed to send you candidates who are not what you are looking for in the vain hope that just because they sent someone hopelessly unqualified, that you will suddenly have a change of heart and employ their candidate. Unedited CV’s is another bug-bear. Just what are we paying for?

Hmmm. Perhaps a industry which won’t be around for much longer?

EvanJames 3:20 pm 19 Nov 12

Hire intelligent people who listen. Do NOT pay them on commission. Look at the whole service, not just numbers of resumes blasted at the wall this week. Good operators succeed because the employers AND the jobseekers respond to them positively.

Loud kiddies who are just there to sellsellsell are pretty transparent and no one really likes dealing with them. Fake blowsy females wearing the latest fashions, talon-like fingernails and too much perfume do not inspire confidence. And as for guys in shiny suits and curly shoes, ugh.

Any recruiter that can nail both volume AND intelligent service cleans up big-time here. There is the occasional one. I worked in recruitment in the 80s and 90s, when it was a less cluttered market, and I am just gobsmacked at the incompetence and ignorance that prevails today.

Overheard 1:59 pm 19 Nov 12

Proactively getting in touch with people who register with them would be my suggestion. I know, it’s a bit far-fetched and radical, but one can dream/hope.

neanderthalsis 1:43 pm 19 Nov 12

The best way to improve the standard of service offered would be to recruit staff that actually have some real world experience. My experience with recruitment agencies has been on both sides of the equation and on most occasions, dealings have been with some bright young thing straight from a university with HR/Commerce degree and no experience of the world of work. Some maturity would go a long way.

Second would be to ban shiny suits and those stupid pointy toed shoes with the curled up ends. Any male wearing such attire looks like a fitness instructor at a wedding and therefore will not be regarded as a member of the human race. This is, however, a broader issue and is not confined to the recruitment industry.

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