I thoroughly enjoyed a posting this week by my friend Bruce Powell from IQ Partners in Toronto titled What To Say (And NOT To Say) When A Headhunter Calls. He gave excellent and practical tips that can be very helpful to people that are either actively looking for their next opportunity, or open to hearing about another opportunity that could be career changing.
The post was nice to read because I’ve heard many of the “Don’t Say’s” as well as the “Do Say’s” in recent weeks. After reading the blog, I posted a comment on Bruce’s Posting on LinkedIn and went about my day.
Some of the other comments that followed disturbed me and got me thinking…
Many people do not understand recruitment.
By this I mean the business of Recruitment.
Recruitment is a business unlike most others. The closest similar business is Real Estate, an agency business where the seller pays a fee. In Recruitment, the buyer (Employer) pays a fee. This means that the Recruiter has a fiduciary business relationship with the Employer.
For more information about the business of recruitment, you can read this Wikipedia posting, or this very useful guide from the Association of Executive Search Consultants.
The unfortunate thing is that many people who have dealt with Recruiters as candidates feel that they do not get serviced properly by them. Complaints of phone calls unreturned, lack of information updates on the opportunity they were called about, and not getting full and timely information that will be beneficial to them are complaints that can be heard over and over again.
And in many cases, these complaints have merit.
Excellent Recruiters like Bruce (and myself), try really hard to build solid relationships with candidates and provide them with the best service possible. However, even Excellent Recruiters have room to improve in this regard (I’m talking about myself here, not Bruce). Excellent Recruiters understand that they need to continually work to improve their relationships with their candidates.
Recruitment is a SALES business, and the EMPLOYER is the CUSTOMER.
So if the employer is the customer, what is the individual candidate?
You may not like the analogy, but all you are is INVENTORY.
Not only are you inventory, you are like inventory that is on consignment.
Recruitment is the only business in the world where the ‘product’ decides
- Which customer they want to go to, if any
- What they want to get paid
- How long they will stay at the customer
- If they will start work at the customer
So, as a candidate, how do you move beyond being seen as only INVENTORY?
Following Bruce’s “Do Say’s” is a good start.
Can you share examples of how you add value to your relationships with Recruiters?
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