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Recruitment companies are all the same…

This morning I read an article on Linked In entitled “It’s time to stop using recruitment agencies“. It caught my eye and I took the time to read it.

The author is currently working as a Sales Consultant over in Australia and whilst the article is fairly one-sided with very little discussion or analysis of why recruitment companies should be avoided, the article has engaged a large audience. It currently has close to 70,000 views and nearly 800 comments on Linked In.

It saddened me to read the article. I think it’s a real shame to dismiss an entire industry based on a few bad, personal experiences and it highlights for me, just what an opportunity there is to get it right in the market.

In my view, we all benefit from experts. I personally make very good use of an accountant, a coach and a marketing consultant and I rave about them all. Yes I have had to try out a few before I found the best fit for me and my businesses but the point is that I made the final call on which service provider to use and often, you get as much out as you put in. For me, they were all positive decisions: I wanted expert help to get where I was going a little faster; I didn’t want someone to do it for me and I wouldn’t expect that.

‘Recruiters’ do tend to have a bad reputation in the market, often for reasons around expensive fees and non-delivery but we shouldn’t tar all service providers with the reputation of their industry, good or bad. When we need a little expert guidance, we should look objectively but challenge fairly on that agencies ability to deliver as an individual supplier, not an industry. Case studies, referrals, experience, attitude should all come in to the mix.

Recruiters are consultants. It’s our job to get under the skin of who the client wants for their team, why and when. We then use the expertise, networks, systems and tools we have built up over many years to find a shortlist of candidates who could do the job and do it well. What comes next is the hard part as we work with the client to assess the calibre and either proceed or return to the drawing board. The point is that working with a recruiter is a partnership and it’s very two sided.

There are some amazing recruiting companies out there, people who genuinely care about making long term placements for the benefit of the client and the candidate; people who want to build longstanding business relationships. It’s all based on partnerships.

At Gradvert we set expectations like this from the start. We even encourage our clients to advertise internally for the role, and send any applicants through our process. Why? Because we sift through hundreds of CVs, we pre-screen and interview countless numbers of graduate before reaching our very carefully considered shortlist of 3-5 candidates per graduate vacancy and when we put someone into this process, it is rigorous, fair and swift. Even with our fancy systems and elaborate databases we still spend hundreds of hours on a project and this is just one of the ways in which we help our clients; by saving them invaluable time and money and keeping them refreshed and objective, ready to make the final decision.

To write off a recruitment company is a shame. The market is evolving and people always want to ensure they get value for their spend and I think one of the best ways to ensure this is to sit down with any service provider and clearly outline what ‘value’ looks like for both parties. When a client and a consultant are on the same page in terms of expectations and they work together to build a relationship, amazing things are possible.



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