Recruitment… It’s a God Damn Love In…

Recruitment eh? What a funny old business we have chosen to spend our 40, 50 or maybe 80 hours a week in. Many candidates see us as a barrier to meaningful employment. Some clients view us as a necessary evil. Even a few of my friends can’t help but draw on the ‘used car salesman’ analogy at occasional wedding, christening or bar mitzvah.

hug2It’s a tough gig we have. Pressure to perform in a very, very competitive marketplace and disgruntled candidates that believe they are qualified for every vacant role in town.

Sometimes the pressure gets too much and we say things to colleagues, bosses, clients, candidates and even competitors in the heat of the moment that we don’t mean. An errant email that is mistakenly sent to the wrong person. A social media blunder that builds like a Pacific Ocean Tsunami. Or, avoiding making that awkward call to a candidate… and that never ends well…does it?

So, I’m launching a little campaign to help wish away the negativity, the bitterness and the blatant nastiness that can hover like a North Korean nuclear threat over our wonderful industry. I was going to call it ‘Hug a Recruiter Day’… but… meh… it’s been done… well not ‘Hug a Recruiter Day’ but it doesn’t take a very thorough Google ™ search to see there has already been everything from Hug a Redhead Day to Hug a Croatian Day… How many of you are headed straight to Google™ to check? Go on… be honest…

So, I’ve decided to call it… Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re recruiting…day… Don’t ask me how I came up with it – stroke of purely original brilliant thought… right?

Anyway, I’ve decided that Monday 8th April 2013 is going to be the inaugural Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re recruiting…day…

hug1How do we celebrate this auspicious occasion I hear you ask. Well quite simple really. I am going to ask you to do 3 things on Monday April 8th 2013.

  1. An office based good deed – This could be anything… clean the office kitchen… bring in a cake to share… give someone a sincere compliment… offer to do something outside your job spec… c’mon – you’re smart – good deeds are easy, and usually don’t cost you anything.
  2. A candidate based good deed – I want each of you to re-visit a candidate that you couldn’t place over the last 3 months and give them a call. Ask them how their job search is going. If they have found work, congratulate them. If they haven’t, draw on your experience to give them some relevant and helpful advice.
  3. Mend a bridge – If you have been in recruitment for more than 2 years chances are you have been guilty of upsetting someone (or numerous people) in your travels. Workmate, boss, employee, candidate, client or competitor. We have almost to a man (or woman) all done it… Time to pick up the phone and apologise. It’s tough I know, but it will improve you as a recruiter… and a person.

So, what do you say? Monday, April 8th 2013… that’s next Monday you know! The first annual Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re recruiting…day…

Do your bit to improve the image and the professionalism of our Industry. And if you can’t… take a sickie on the 8th and look for a new career…

Craig Watson

8 thoughts on “Recruitment… It’s a God Damn Love In…”

  1. Hey Craig…good idea! But two things…you stole the title from an old Lesley Gore song (us old timers reemember), so you may be illegal here? And Monday is April 8th not 9th! But good concept!! – John Halajko / Gonzalez Group Staffing

  2. Hi Craig, How about calling it ‘Post a job that actually exists day’? I’ve lost count of the number of times I have met a recruitment agent for an interview only to be told the client has put it on hold or gone in a different direction with their candidate selection or ‘I got a call this morning and they filled the role internally’. While I believe this does happen on occasion it’s the frequency that fuels my scepticism, leading me to believe it’s just a way of adding people to the books so they can submit your details to companies who don’t even have a vacant position. There is only one recruitment agency that proactively calls me, and for that matter returns my phone calls after only one call to them, and as a result I have praised them at every opportunity and sent contact details of friends and colleagues to them.

    There are an enormous number of very talented people out there but all recruitment agents want to do is place the easiest candidate so they get their commission. I understand this as they too have many bills to pay but there would be greater respect for the industry if they said to a client, look, I know what you’re after but you’re limiting your search with your narrow parameters, all you’re going to do is poach a competitor’s staff member who will offer no new insights and only do exactly what they’ve done elsewhere you’ll just be paying them a higher wage.

    Why companies don’t look for inspiring people outside their industry who can bring new perspectives, new insights and new thinking is beyond me, but I guess the easy road is the one more travelled, but hey, who cares if it doesn’t work out there’s plenty more candidates where they came from, and another commission cheque to find them.

    If the industry wants to change its image and earn the respect of candidates and clients alike, then it’s going to take a lot more than a one day love fest. One way would be better screening of successfully placed candidates to ensure they can actually do what they say they can. There are numerous articles dedicated to people confessing they landed a role because they lied about the amount of experience they have or their capabilities, the onus of this must land at the feet of the recruitment agent focused, as mentioned before, only on placing a candidate as quickly as possible. I am in no doubt that I have not been hired for roles because of being too honest in my interview, perhaps I need to re-think my approach.

    1. I’d love it if you had the internal fortitude to not hide behind anonymity…
      If I knew your name, then maybe I could have a look at your Linked In profile and give you some real advice about why you are not able to secure a job despite meeting many recruiters…
      I can tell you for a fact that most jobs that are advertised do exist. It is very, very rare that a rogue recruiter (and yes there are a few) posts an ad to increase their candidate pool. What has most likely happened is that A) The reasons given to you by the recruiter are actually true in relation to what their client has instructed, or B) They are guilty of not being totally honest with you. If this is the case, it means you simply didn’t interview well at all and they don’t feel comfortable representing you to their client. Yes, they should be honest and tell you the reasons, but if this has happened many times as you say – I would suggest you this may be the real problem. Maybe you need to look at your interview techniques, personality or salary expectations?
      It always surprises me that some candidates believe recruiters have the ability to sway our clients’ ‘must haves’ – we don’t. Clients are engaging us to find them candidates that are exactly to their specs. If you enlisted a real estate agent to find you a home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a garage – and made it perfectly clear they were your ‘must haves’ would you expect them to display a property outside of those specs?… I wouldn’t.
      Without the luxury of seeing your Linked In profile I am going to take the liberty of giving you some advice anyway… Apply for roles that match your skills and experience. If you continue to apply for roles outside of your experience and skills, please, please please do not blame the recruiter when you are unsuccessful…

      1. Fantastic response to a rather whingy and largely incorrect comment Craig.

        There will always be rogue recruiters and somethign you can never scrub out completely, however there are many very capable and considerate recruiters out there. There is nothing I hate more than being tarred with the same brush.

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