Come on recruiters – get around each other.

get aroundA few weeks a story broke and hit the local recruitment sector like a tsunami. The story soon escalated into a full-blown tabloid-esque scandal, also receiving a fair amount of mainstream media airtime .  I refer of course, to Myer-gate… but, before you tune out of yet another Myer blog, this isn’t going to be all about what went wrong, who is to blame and how awful and ashamed everyone involved should be.

As a recruiter, the story interested me. But as anyone who has worked in recruitment for long enough knows, it’s not that uncommon a story…just a little bit more scandalous because of who was involved. It was not the scandal itself that I was interested in, more the recruitment industry’s reaction to it…

We seem to love a scandal in recruitment. We cannot wait for the next misfortune or disaster to fall at some recruiters door so we can circle and give their reputation a public flogging. When someone posts something a little salacious about something that has happened, the cry of “Name and Shame!” goes up all over town. We are seemingly desperate to judge and make life more miserable for those that have ‘done wrong‘.

The irony of the Myer story is that, as far as I can tell (although accurate research is never the strong focus of this blog) the recruiter who was the focus for a lot of the blame seemed to do little really that wrong. As I understand it they floated a candidate into a role and got lucky. As long as they didn’t purposefully mislead Myer then I wouldn’t knock them for that. Good on them for giving it a go. Had they been deliberately cheating Myer then they deserved to be named, shamed, and publicly flogged like any cowboy. But at worse it appears they were simply being opportunistic….hardly Clint Eastwood riding into the sunset.

I’m not suggesting we all recruiters get together for some big love in. Recruitment is a competitive industry and along with that comes some boundaries, challenges and realistic behaviours with competitors. But are we really that competitive that we take pleasure in seeing other recruiter’s misfortunes? I am yet to find the perfect recruiter who never ever made a mistake or stuffed something up… so maybe those in glasshouses should stop throwing stones.

Come on recruiters… it’s tough enough out there with half the world seemingly queuing up to knock shreds of us… we don’t need to do it to each other too!

Luke Collard

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