Other recruiters think I may be a little bit stupid…
By Martin Ellis
You may think I’m stupid. You wouldn’t be the first.
I’m in recruitment, and counter-productive as it sounds, I don’t think recruitment is just about putting a bum on a seat.
Given the choice between having a client with either a high or low staff turnover, I’ll take the latter thanks. In my experience, the client with stable staff isn’t doing that by accident, and that’s the sort of customer I prefer.
And when I meet a client for the first time, I want to know the warts. It helps me do my job. And know what? Some candidates find the warts exciting. It gives them something to get their teeth into. And knowing where the REAL challenges reside gives me a good chance of building a better shortlist.
And I’m happy to talk through the warts and perhaps propose a solution that might mean I don’t get the recruitment assignment. Not this time. But I’ve gained some trust, and that means next time round when I want a retainer and exclusivity, I stand a decent chance of getting it.
Sometimes the solution isn’t to just throw more bodies at a problem. Sometimes it’s to get under the skin and fix the problem. It won’t go away on its own. Problems don’t disappear. You can whack sticking plaster over them for a while, but they tend to fester and go pop. It’s never pretty when that happens.
Some recruiters will think I’m barking.
Recruiters can chase some pretty odd things. I can’t think of another industry (apart from Estate Agents perhaps – and somehow I feel I may have made my case convincing already) who get involved in a competitive landscape where you know the likelihood of getting paid for their toils at less than 50%. Worse than that, statistically only 20%-25% of assignments ever get completed.
This is how a large chunk of this industry works. They also chase PSL’s. They offer 100% rebates. It looks pretty desperate.
There is another way.
Having run a business I know it’s easy to miss things when you’re busy, or promise to fix things tomorrow when you’ve got through today. Recruiters should be able to talk about bigger pictures than just bums on seats. They should offer wider business solutions because that’s where the value sits. For all parties.
That’s why I was so pleased my boss asked Rachel Stone to join us as a Leadership Coach. I attended one of her sessions yesterday. She wasn’t good. She was bloody marvellous! She gets “Leadership” and can communicate it with words of one syllable so even I understand what she’s on about. She had a couple of past clients in the audience, and they sang her praises.
So I now have an in-house solution to wider problems I walk into when I talk to people about their business. It aligns with my values and belief that good recruitment isn’t just about putting a bum on a seat. There’s much more to it than that – or there should be.
If you’d like to sharpen up, Rachel’s running a LEADERSHIP BOOSTER DAY on the 21st April in EASTBOURNE. Yes, it may be a bit of a trek for some of you, but Eastbourne’s not all Sanatogen and milk stout. Far from it. £149 plus VAT. (She needs to put her prices up). You can find a link to book here.
Yes. That’s a shameless plug, but I guess if you’re going to make a play for a different market position, you have to tell people about it.
Other recruiters may think I’m not right in the head, but that’s not my problem.
Martin Ellis does the headhunting for the RSE Group. He thinks he’s always right. Humour him will you? It’s much easier that way. You can reach him on 07823 887982 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org