There have been a few things going around the recruiter blogosphere this week focusing on the service recruitment consultants deliver. Greg Savage wrote a great post: “God I Hate Recruiters” based on a discussion he’d had with a friend on the cricket field. Yesterday Recruiter Daily posted an interview with a recruiter Ian Bellingham. He said he was amazed at the poor service he’d received from recruiters when he had been recently looking for a job.
It’s sad that this is news.
It seems that many people consider consultants a necessary evil. Research last year from Destination Talent showed that 64% of executives have found a job at least once in their career using a recruitment service. However, 33% had negative opinions, and only 18.66% considered recruitment firms to be effective.
I can’t really see the service job seekers receive and the perception of the service they receive changing in the very near future – for a few reasons.
The commission based business model that agencies use is entrenched. It’s a known model. There’s big money to be made. It takes a brave business to break that model. Sales success is easy to measure and reward. You’re a consultant. You place a person. You meet your money targets. You get the commission. However, like Greg says, it’s not a model that leads to recruiters looking after the individual. Read my piece on the silent treatment you may receive as a job seeker as a result.
I know that the better agencies do make attempts to measure the level of service individual consultants deliver. However I would be interested to know how effective that measurement is. Some of the perception around recruitment consultants comes from the service they don’t deliver – for example, the calls that don’t get returned. You can’t measure and reward service in the same way you measure sales. There are far too many people in the mix, and it’s far too intangible.
The “perception” that recruiters deliver poor service will not change in the future. It will always be difficult for people to think they are getting good service. When people look for jobs they are vulnerable. Change is traumatic or difficult for most of us. That’s why we put up with jobs we loathe and stay in careers we detest.
Think about this. As a candidate you are always selling yourself. If a recruiter rejects you when you’re feeling vulnerable and you’ve put your best foot forward, you take it much harder than you may when there is less at stake. You can see it as a reflection of your entire career. If you are feeling that way and waiting for a call from a recruiter that comes late or with vague information, you take it out on the person who may have built up your expectations – the recruitment consultant.
So what’s the way of future?
I think there are game changers at play as people become more socially media savvy. Facebook easily connects old friends. Jobs get passed around quickly and easily. Linkedin also has some interesting features which now allow you to look at an advertised role, then see who is in your network who knows the advertiser. With the technology that allows people to curate candidate information available on the web, and many companies having cash referral schemes, we may see more and more recruitment functions move in house.
That’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. We live in interesting employment times.