Was reading up on my own Industry today and came across this gem. Reading Ronan’s article I found it really resonated with what I see in the market even from a headhunter’s perspective! In the article, he takes a very high-level view of some of the major complaints and negative themes coming out of the Recruitment Industry. He’s done a good job illustrating the sentiment in the market, but I’d say he hasn’t gone far enough. Let me explain.
To summarize the article, Ronan believes most recruiters don’t value the candidate experience, are terrible at following up / calling back to candidates once they’ve stalled in a process, all recruiters care about is commission, top talent is too engaged to be bothered with recruiters, and that most recruiters don’t take the time to even know what their candidates even do to begin with! I’ll be honest it all sounds quite awful, but I think his five points could be boiled down to one and that’s Candidate Experience. Candidate Experience is paramount today more than ever, let me explain how I’d address Ronan’s thoughts.
The current recruitment model is broken. Plain and simple. The way in which most recruiters are engaging the market now is doing more to perpetuate the negative themes alluded to in the article and gone by the wayside is the niche skillset of interpersonal knowledge and emotional intelligence that makes a good headhunter just that, a good headhunter. Here’s how myself and my colleagues at Third Republic are addressing them in the Cloud Technologies space and I can do it in only 3 bullets!
1. Candidate Experience is Paramount!
It’s no secret that a lot of what this article touched base on actually happens in the marketplace. Candidates ARE being treated like products rather than people and recruiters have gotten lazy with the invention of Linkedin and other platforms. Spammers may have become a more apt name than headhunter or recruiter these days.
Here at Third Republic, we put ALL the emphasis on Candidate Experience (CX). The reality is people are our product, but that doesn’t mean we should treat them as such! Doing the simple and little things well, taking the extra time to follow up and look into someone’s background or (god forbid ;p) actually taking a moment to read their resume, makes all the difference. With the world becoming more and more digital, people crave that personal touch and service more than they ever have and it will help you build your brand and build long-term relationships that can change your business.
2. Candidates are Looking For Work in Different Ways!
The invention of Linkedin and other platforms means candidates have a larger digital footprint than ever before. Today it’s easier to identify a candidate, but the bulk of the industry reaching out with Spam InMails that aren’t relevant to a candidate and what they’re looking for. This creates a negative reputation for the industry. The outcome of this is that all candidates, good or bad, expect the job to find them and the top talent in the market won’t engage you unless you try to engage them uniquely.
At TR, we approach the market as networkers and marketers, not spammers and salesmen and there is a distinct connotation! The goal is to build long-term relationships and engage people differently. We do this through meet-ups, executive campaigns, and marketing our brand. We believe we can bring the passive candidate pool and hidden job market together allowing us to create synergy in the marketplace both companies and recruiters alike struggle to access.
3. Building a Sustainable Market Means Building Long-Term Relationships
One of the big themes of Ronan’s article is that recruiters stop caring when there isn’t an immediate “value-add” to a process they’re currently working on. How many recruiters in your experience have gone “radio silent” when the process goes awry? How many recruiters promise you better service than the typical “HR black hole” only to provide the same service with less access to the actual company for feedback on how to improve? This happens all too often, but the reality is every candidate has value to add. The only way to not miss out on the right timing is to engage these candidates in the long-term.
At TR, our focus is on engaging candidates long-term. In the Cloud Technologies space, candidates move on average every 18 months and with unemployment at a staunch 3.8% nation-wide, the market is more candidate-driven then it has been in 20 years. Candidates have the leverage in the market, this emphasizes the importance of CX and long-term candidate engagement. We do this by engaging candidates in our CloudCareers platform, which is a long-term executive search program we offer top talent. In addition, the focus in our business is to create small, manageable, and elite talent pools allowing us to build rapport and long-term friendships. Who do you want to get you a job? Some agent who claims he “knows the market” or your friend who has your best interest in mind? We work at being the latter and have found that this approach allows our consultants to build sustainable relationships, markets, and personal brands.
In conclusion, the honest assessment is these trends ARE happening in our industry and they’re creating a bad name for ALL headhunters in the eco-system. Still, hope should not be lost! Actual SME’s in their markets actually exist! Find a headhunter whose trying to be your friend and representative and takes the time to build that relationship with you. In today’s market, you have the choice, make a good one!