Don't say the "R" word
Headhunters. Executive researchers. Consultants… Whatever you call them, it’s no secret that recruiters come with a somewhat mixed reputation. From an eye-roll at a party to an outright insult, most recruiters have seen their share of animosity, earned or not!
Unlike many of his peers who try to defend the industry, InfoSec People’s MD, Chris Dunning-Walton, is a realist and recognises that the Wolf of Wall Street perception many people have of recruiters is actually well earned; after all, there are a lot of “consultants” out there who really are just money hungry salespeople. It is this very culture that Chris seeks to change every day with his approach to placing outstanding candidates in amazing companies and he believes that with the changes technology is bringing to the industry mean that if so-called “consultants” don’t start to actually consult they simply won’t be able to keep up.
It is this belief and passion which sees Chris speaking at so many industry events which champion truly consultative recruitment, finding himself at a Recruiting Gym event this summer.
It may be brief, but Chris’ speech really drives home his belief in the following:
Recruitment as service, not sales. Where recruiters continue to act like salespeople, clients will continue to treat them that way. If we want to be respected and viewed as consultants, we must become experts in our fields and constantly add value and authenticity. Only then will clients stop seeing the advice to raise a salary band as us seeking a bigger fee and realise that we offer sound, market based, industry advice.
Train people to source candidates. Anybody can be a recruiter nowadays. Access to talent has never been easier thanks to LinkedIn: just buy a licence and off you go! But the problem is that searching a job title and area may find you a handful of qualified local candidates, but by simply word matching you are a very long way from understanding the actual requirements of a client’s role. That takes skill, experience and the ability to consult professionally and thoroughly.
Stand out by being human. Taking the time to understand a client’s requirements beyond a qualification or X years of experience goes a long way in building a relationship. Consultative recruitment is far deeper than tick box exercises; getting to know your clients’ personalities and company cultures gives you a far better chance of finding somebody that they will click with and - ultimately - hire.
Network and build communities. Don’t just view experts in your industry as potential clients. Build genuine relationships with people, attend industry events, and learn everything there is to know about your specific field because people will appreciate that and trust that you know enough to find them the right candidate every time if they do choose to work with you. Without trust and specialised knowledge, recruiters really are just salespeople...