I promised a new blog post after my mate Dan tweeted that a candidate he’d sourced had applied for a role directly with his client.
The reason this annoys recruiters is that if this candidate gets the role it will be a case of ‘we found him first’, so despite the recruitment consultant’s efforts in publishing the role, not a penny will come their way. This is one of the things that really frustrates me about the way most recruiters work, and why I’ve never worked for a recruitment agency.
It’s partly the fault of the recruitment industry for working this way, but it also becomes inevitable when client companies essentially set themselves up to compete with the recruitment agency, by not keeping the wider picture in mind.
Ultimately, a joined-up recruitment campaign will lead to the most effective outcome for the client. This probably includes at least all of the following elements; a well-written job description and advert, placement on all of the relevant job boards, headhunting via Linked In (or other relevant online systems) and existing networks and awareness via the company website jobs page. To best achieve this, the organisation and the recruiter should work exclusively together, and the payment model/fee structure should be based on finding the best candidate, not just finding any candidate. Except in very specific circumstances, none of this should be done anonymously. Seeing words like “my client is looking for” is a sure sign that the recruiter is competing for candidates with someone else, and ultimately, this is detrimental to the campaign. Imagine a candidate sees an advert on a jobs board that sounds interesting. They then want to research the company to see if they look like a good fit. however all the information they have is that it is “a fast growing company based in Surbiton”. Iam convinced you get better candidates, have to do less sifting through irrelevant CVs and build your (the client’s) brand better by being open about the client.
Luckily I don’t work like most recruiters. Whilst I have no problem with being paid based on success, I can provide my clients with candidates that fit their organisation better by working fully collaboratively, or by managing the entire process. Using a fee structure that is based on a day-rate, my clients end up paying a substantially lower amount paying me for x-days of work and advertising costs, rather than paying a typical recruiter 20% of a salary.
I recently had a great example to prove my point. I had placed adverts in the client’s name on Linked In (amongst others), which automatically linked the job to the company (and anyone following the company). The ideal candidate worked for a competitor, but knew my client from way back. When I spoke to him he said he wasn’t job-hunting, and wouldn’t leave his current role for anyone else in the industry, but knew what an exciting product my client had and would love to explore further. There were 3 other good candidates that came from a variety of other sources (job boards, headhunting). In a typical recruitment agency scenario I would be pushing my candidates, but the first guy was so obviously the most suitable. Instead, I was able to present all the candidates equally, whoever found them, and therefore my client got the right guy. It should be in everyone’s best interest to get the best person for the job, but that isn’t what the normal system encourages.
Anyway, I can’t change the world. Not the world of recruitment anyway!