Recently I was reading an article by James Witcombe from SMAART Recruitment around his approach to client and candidate care on the agency side of recruitment (you can read it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/candidates-clients-cant-both-same-company-james-witcombe?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like). It really struck a chord with me. The article centred on the fact that SMAART don’t represent or place any candidates employed by any of their clients – whether they placed them or not. It’s an interesting take on candidate and client care, particularly for an industry that gets labelled as unethical and under handed a lot. Ah, how the few spoil it for the majority.
While I think that the ethics and heart are the right place (which is fantastic) with this approach – how much do you think having this strategy would impact your agency business? Being client side now, that approach gives me two major outcomes:
1. You aren’t going to poach any of my staff (good to me), or help any of them get a job elsewhere – even if there are no opportunities for them to grow in my organisation (neutral to me really).
2. You aren’t going to hunt potential people for roles I have with you from any other client of yours, thus reducing my candidate pool (not so great for me).
When I was in agency, I operated on a no tap policy to placed candidates. I think this is the way to go – if I as a client pay you to place someone, I don’t expect you to pull them out – ever!
If a candidate approaches you for an advertised role then that’s a different story. If a candidate approaches you for a career chat then that’s a slightly grey area and you need to tread carefully. I think it’s always important as an agency recruiter when dealing with people you have placed, or candidates who work for your clients, that you act with integrity. It also pays to get them to talk to their manager before you represent them. Transparency is refreshing for all parties.
Many an agency recruiter has been called a cowboy (or girl) and only after the moo-lah (so many cow jokes here!). However, in 2016 those who operate on a “stick and flick” model or act inappropriately seem to run out of clients to piss off very quickly – you’d be surprised how connected the internal recruitment network is.
Agency recruiters – what’s your policy? Love to have you share it.
Fear not, I am still blogging and I will continue to do so right here. Last week, I posted at guest blog to the Recruiter’s Hub website which you can check out here: http://rhub.co.nz/2014/10/25/fearless-recruitment-say-what/.
The theme of RHUB this year is Fearless Recruitment and I hope to see you there on the 17th and 18th of November. See you at RHUB in a few weeks?
These recent few weeks have seen me set up my blog and make one sweet post (as the fabulous @christopherHR called it – thanks!) and another about recruitment tactics used by agency recruiters and candidates. This last week in particular has been a real eye opener to how far the written word can go on the internet!
My second post had been up for a total of 28 hours and not one, not two, but three people had made comments either directly to me (away from this blog) or through my colleague to me about my post and how I should be careful what I say. They were all agency recruiters who (quite surprisingly) I’d never worked with before. Now to give you a bit of background, I was an agency recruiter not that long ago. I was that recruiter who cold called you, who rang you from my desk after being told we were doing a marketing morning, tried to take you for a coffee or similar. I wasn’t always successful with my business development, however I know all about coming onto a cold desk and having to build up business. For someone like me who simply loves recruitment, talking people into letting me do it for them seemed like something that should be so easy – I was eager, friendly and I’m pretty darn good at recruitment if I do say so myself. However, it was always a challenge and there were always 3 or 4 more recruiters (if not more) just like me looking for the same business. I know all about being top of mind and getting in front of clients as much as possible.
I’m not against agency recruiters, and I hope my last post didn’t make you think that. Don’t think I’ve jumped the fence into internal and I’ve now turned my back on agency forever to make snarky remarks and drag the profession down while I surround myself with endless vacancies and hiring managers cackling crazily to myself amongst cat pictures.
I do think that agency has a place in the recruitment world. However I don’t think there is a place for lazy agency recruitment and I certainly don’t agree with spray and pray as a marketing approach – particularly when the only contact I’ve had with an agency is that email. I’d much rather work with an agency (and plan to continue to do so) who wanted to understand our business, our culture and our strategic people plans so when we did have the chance to work together they could do it really well. If they can handle the cat pictures and bad jokes I’d even be partial to a coffee or glass of wine with them too! I think that goes the same for most businesses.
While I do agree that you need to be careful about what you post online – especially as this blog has my name and my photo on it – as a blogger I want to create discussion and I want my blogs to make you think. So I won’t be trying to keep the peace in the future and some of the things I post you might not agree with. Please, add a comment if you’d like to keep the discussion going.
I don’t want this post to sound ranty (although I’m sure it does). Please do know that I am actually having a really good day today – I just wanted to clarify a few things.
Above all else, please remember everyone, the best thing about opinions? Just like mouths, we all have one.