Today’s guest blogger is Tim Lane founder and director of Park Lane Recruitment based near Manchester UK. Park Lane Recruitment is a specialist recruiting firm in the technology space with niche areas of cybersecurity, fintech, space and defense IT, as well as generic IT sales, tech and managerial. Tim is also an NPAworldwide Board Director with responsibility for the EMEA region and a 30+ year veteran of the recruiting industry.
“Recruiters are awful,” “Recruiters get in the way of hiring,” “Recruiters never respond when I apply for role”… these and many other (often ruder!) statements have been written by candidates the world over seemingly since professional recruitment started many years ago. Yet if recruiters were so useless, why would they still exist? How come the recruiting industry is worth billions across the globe annually? Why do thousands of companies – large and small – state simply that they could not hire the people they need without their favoured recruiters?
Clearly – as in every profession – there are good recruiters and there are ones that you (as a job seeker) are probably best not trusting your next career move to. But what is the definition of a ‘good’ recruiter?
Is it how much money they earn in a year from their recruiting success? Is it how large of a recruitment company they work for? Is it how long they have been working in recruitment?
Well, it’s all these things and more.
Clearly a successful recruiter earns well – that is the main reason most people become recruiters in the first place. If the recruiter is earning a lot of money, it tends to prove that they are successful at placing people into suitable positions.
If they are working for a large recruitment company, then clearly they have to be good to have gotten hired in the first place. They have to work a certain way and hit sales targets every month and they have access to the latest tools, the most job boards and are surrounded by other great recruiters that they can learn from.
If they have been working in recruitment for many years, then clearly they have got to be successful, knowledgeable, effective and well-connected.
However – does this mean that a recruiter who earns an average salary; or who works for a small recruitment firm (or on their own); or who has only fairly recently moved into recruitment is no good? Of course not!
So – how do you choose?
Are they a recruiting expert in your field – do they know the movers and shakers; the three-letter acronyms? Do they really know what you do? What is their reputation – do they have many candidate recommendations on their LinkedIn profile? Are they new to recruitment but highly experienced in your sector from their previous career? How do they deal with you when you apply for a role you have seen – are they responsive, helpful, knowledgeable?
But – is it really all about the recruiter? What about you? How can you help?
You say that recruiters are awful because they never respond to your applications. Even though you are applying for positions that are specific in their requirements – of which you have little or none – and yet you think the recruiter should still take the time to formally reject you.
What about your CV/resume? Is it up to date? Does it actually show how your experience matches that being sought by the recruiter – or are you simply expecting them to just ‘know’ that you’re a great fit? Does it even have your contact information on there – phone, email, LinkedIn profile etc? Or are you expecting that really busy recruiter, who is working long hours, a lot of which are ‘after work’; who is being bombarded by applications; to really have to work hard to find out how to contact you? When the recruiter asks you “are you interviewing anywhere else currently” and you say “no” – even though you have just been to one and have another two lined up – how exactly do you think that helps the recruiter, to help you?
A good candidate is just as important as a good recruiter! This has to be a team effort to ensure a successful outcome for both parties.
When you find a recruiter that works for you – praise them – not just to the recruiter themselves (though that is HUGELY appreciated!), but more importantly to others. To your friends, your colleagues, your new management, online and so on. Don’t be a candidate who simply regurgitates the same old complaints about how recruiters are awful.
Be part of the solution – help others to find that great recruiter instead!