The making of good recruiters
Being a recruiter is tough, especially when you only work on the standard revenue model of recruitment companies, without other streams of income such as shortlisting. Which is exactly why its important not to lose sight of the goalposts. Therefore, this article is tagged for companies, job seekers and recruiters to read, as I think it’s important for everyone to know a few of the points that make good recruiters.
Recruiters often think of their business in terms of how many placements they can make in a given month. They then think that the amount of job openings they are recruiting on is very important and consequently focus on their clients (companies) and not their candidates (job seekers). This is extremely dangerous as invariably candidates feel that the recruiter is not committed to them and their goals, but rather those of the hiring company. The same thing happens constantly with estate agents, who are paid by the seller of the property and thus forego the needs of the buyer.
Candidates are the key
Thinking differently about the recruitment process, good recruiters know that their business relies solely on having great candidates to place in jobs that they will enjoy and stay employed in for some time. If they try to “force a square peg into a round hole”, they’ll end up seeing many candidates leave the new job before much time has passed (and often recruiters have to refund some of their fees in such cases).
If you have a good number of great candidates who are in demand (check demand on job aggregator adzuna.co.za), you will never have an issue finding more work. But the key is that you will also keep placing them and being referred to their contacts who are probably also highly sought after. Good recruiters therefore focus on the job seeker and what they want, just as much if not more than what the client wants.
Good recruiters are good people
When you have a good friend, you know this because one of the things they do is ask about you. They ask how you are, they listen when you answer and they ask what’s happening in your life, listening to your ups and downs, your wants and your needs. This is exactly what you need to do with candidates – they are humans after all!
Dealing with a malleable “human” product is the most challenging thing about recruitment. By making sure you ask (almost the first thing you ask, in fact) what they want in a new job and why this is important to them, you can make better matches and separate yourself from the large proportion of recruiters who are not worth the fees they are paid. You’ll also find those some great candidates coming back to you when they want to move again in a few years.
So, recruiters, sit back and think about this for a while. While no doubt you do need to focus on your clients that pay you, having excellent candidates and keeping them by your side is far more important. After all, if you only had great candidates and no jobs to fill, you’d quickly find homes for them anyway, wouldn’t you?