Why the Recruiter-Client Relationship can be flawed

Team work

It’s coming up to six months since I joined Write Research, and what better way to celebrate than to put out my first blog. (First of many I hear my MD say…).

Just over six months ago I took leap into the unknown. I was happy in my role, I was in a good position, part of a strong and cohesive leadership team, helping drive forward a strong business as Operations Director.. ….but after 18 years in traditional recruitment, I wanted a change.

I wanted to explore. I knew there had to be a better way of helping companies find and attract what is now termed ‘top talent who, incidentally (mum), are not those you find performing songs, tricks or stunts on a show hosted by Dermot O’Leary, or Matthew Kelly.

So why did I think there had to be a better way to find ‘top talent’?

In all my roles since graduating (much too long ago), regardless of whether I was in a delivery position or senior management position looking at business strategy, the end goal somewhere down the line was placing a candidate with a client to generate a fee.

In such a simple process, two things tend to happen;

  1. You find a candidate, the client likes him/ her, they make an offer, the candidate accepts, your business sends an invoice and someone somewhere, gets some commission.
  2. You fail to find to candidate (or the candidates you present are not suitable) and all too often you tell your client that what they are looking for is not realistic, they disagree and look for alternative sources and you move to your next client.

I want to challenge this type of arrangement.

Yes we can be consultative and yes there can be good relationships between a client and a recruiter. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for standard, transactional recruitment, but when a single transaction is wholly dependent on a successful placement, the margin for error is immense.

I’ve seen large Managed Service Contracts breakdown simply because of the recruiting partner’s inability to find what the client has asked for and I’ve seen many a bloodbath as a result of the client finding an alternative source to look for candidates – who then luck out finding someone who the original recruiter claimed to have spoken to the first. ….Purrlease!

I admit, this is traditional recruitment at its worst, but it does happen and all too often.

So what attracted me to Write Research?

Well actually, we’re not passionate about recruitment. “What?” you say! “You’re on linked in. Linkedin is only for recruitment these days isn’t it?”

Maybe so, but what we’re passionate about is research. Research to help you make better informed people based decisions. Research that for example, would tell you even before you spoke to a recruiter whether or not what you are looking for is realistic.

Some people reading this may assume that this is what their in-house recruitment team is doing for them. It’s not. All too often in-house recruitment teams are at breaking point and all too often it is with the myriad of hen’s-teeth they have been asked to find. They are under an enormous amount of pressure to fill vacant positions, so to spend time not speaking to people, whether that be candidates or agencies and to get their heads in to some primary or secondary research is unrealistic- And this is where the cycle of client-recruiter-sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t relationship starts.

So, before you decide you need to recruit someone with a very scarce skill set. Before you contemplate a structure change in your business. Before you decide to build a talent pool for medium or long term or recurring recruitment needs. Do some research.

As I heard a colleague once say, you wouldn’t initiate an overhaul of your IT system with a new IT provider until you had undertaken some proper due-diligence first. So why make any decision about your most valued commodity before undertaking some relevant research?

Write Research can let you know with tangible evidence whether or not a scarce skill set is in fact scarce. We can present to you the people who currently undertake similar roles (and not simply those who are in the market looking for work).

Write Research can bench mark your competitors’ structures to ensure that the structure you are contemplating is best practice for your sector. We can let you know key people in key positions and an overview of their roles and responsibilities.

We can let you know whether a talent pool is worthwhile and realistic for the recurring positions for which you recruit and if so, we can build, maintain and activate that talent pool for you.

And throughout all of this, if the people we are talking about or presenting to you end up working for you- we won’t charge you a recruitment or placement fee. We’re not undertaking this work to ‘place’ people. In fact, take on as many people as you like, we still won’t charge you a placement fee.

That’s why I joined Write Research Company, #thereisabetterway

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