Tapping Placed Candidates – Agency Recruiters What’s Your Policy?




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.


New Year, New Beginings


It’s a new year and by now I hope you are over the hangover, you’ve finished off the ham in the fridge (does it ever end?!) and you’re more than likely back at work. Recruiters are out in force as many of us think about another year in our current jobs and if its what we really want to do.

For me, I love what I do. I seriously enjoy recruitment and the challenges and rewards recruitment gives me as a career. Recently I have been working in the banking industry as a recruitment business partner. I thoroughly enjoyed it and got exposure to a global corporate – very different from the start up environment I was used to! However, to start 2016 I made a big jump. A jump across the ditch to Australia. It’s been a bit of a culture shock in some ways – I actually need a translator (who knew what a milkbar was?!)  – but so far, so good.  I’ve moved back into a management position, leading a medium sized team within financial services.

I’ve got a couple of blogs on the go for 2016 including one on my candidate experience coming to Australia, one about bias in recruitment and the last one about my New Years resolution – to give up alcohol for a whole year. Yes, a recruiter without wine. Talk to me in 6 months and I might be feeling different, but for now, I’m feeling great.

So, cheers to 2016! With a glass of Appletizer for me of course…


Why taking a pay cut could be the best thing for your career….



“WHAT?” I hear your brain scream.  “It’s not meant to be like that – I’m meant to go UP in the pay scale and the world.  What is this crazy internal recruiter banging on about now……..”.  Well, what I am banging on about is potentially one of the best steps you might take in your career – to take a pay cut.

Having come from a property background some time ago, I am very familiar with the phrase “your home is NOT worth what you need to buy your next house”.  Meaning – just because you want to live in a different suburb/have an extra garage/get into a school zone it doesn’t increase the value of your current home.  The same goes with jobs – just because you want a certain type of experience or position it doesn’t mean your value increases! I’m not saying you’re not valuable – but what I am saying is just because you want a certain type of experience it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to get a pay increase!

A good career path has logical steps, diversification of role and normally a number of industries or business functions.  For the leaders of today (or tomorrow) in my business I’m looking for someone who has a wide variety of skills and experiences – someone who is well rounded in their career.  To get all of that experience under your belt you need to make smart career moves.  Sometimes those career moves can have short term pain, for substantial long term gain especially in the salary stakes.

Personally, I think you should look at taking a pay cut if:

  1. You want to switch careers / industries / get experience in something you have limited exposure to. This can be the short term pain model – the pay off is that in time you will have a much more diverse working background and expand your skill set.  You might have to start lower down the ladder to work yourself back up again.  Work hard, rewards will come.
  2. If you are going to start your own business.  It’s tough out there.  Expect to not make any money for a while (and if you do – that’s a great achievement).  Have a robust business plan in place, get mentors and work hard.  Also, try to have some savings put away before you branch out!
  3. When you’re following your dreams (or your heart).  Sometimes following your dream career path can be the most rewarding.  You might have always wanted to get into photography, early childcare education or dog walking.  Whatever it is, sometimes following your true passion can have far better benefits than continuing on in a job you hate.
  4. To go part time.  Across your career you may want to go part time, have shortened hours or gain further balance in your week due to other commitments.  In some roles you might be able to make this work without taking a pay cut!  However if you won’t be delivering the same outputs or another person is needed to job share with you, consider taking a pay cut to make it happen – it might just be the best thing for your health/family/life etc.

On a personal note, when I got into recruitment I took one heck of a pay cut.  I went from a great account management job with one of the world’s biggest FMCG companies (including a company car, great benefits, bonus and great base etc) to an agency recruitment job……. I’ll leave it at that and you can fill in the gaps!  I will say that I got to work with one of the best (and most inspiring) managers I’ve ever had, earned my recruitment stripes and by taking that pay cut it led me to the career path I’ve always wanted to do – recruitment.

Now, I’m not advocating that you go out tomorrow looking for an lower paying job!  It has to be aligned with your goals, your lifestyle (yes…. it does pay off to check if you can actually afford it first) and your family.

However, if I can leave you with one thought from this blog post, it’s this:

If you’re too hung up on holding onto a salary figure, a job grading or a title – then you’re going to be missing out and more than likely impacting your future career options.

I’d love to know your pay cut stories in the comments if you have one!

So, you want to work in recruitment?





Recruitment. We all have an idea in our head of what it might be like to work on the other side of the desk – in the HR team. That idea can vary from one extreme to the other.  Just check out Google’s definition above……….!  I get approached by lots of people who want to get into the industry to see how they can join the recruitment world. Many people have an idea of what the role might be like, however it’s not always the reality.  I wish sometimes that my days did look like that though (see this great gem here from Robert Half: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF8V41v4noY)!


Being a recruiter has many different jobs, including (and don’t forget, not limited to):

  1. Sorcerer.  You will become the master of sourcing and meeting people.  The only way as a recruiter you will do well is if you are always finding new people to recruit and new people to talk to.  Using the age old reactive model of posting job adverts will not work long term when used alone.
  2. Networker. From the sorcery above you’ll also become a great networker – attending #nzrec events and finding more ways to meet people.  If I can tell you one piece of advice – never be a straggler at #ricepowwow.
  3. Social Media Junkie.  Your LinkedIn will blossom. You will tweet. Instagram worthy.  Hashtag inspirational. TTRTTPT.
  4. Cupid.  You’re matching great people with jobs they will love.  And hiring managers and clients / jobs with people that are a good fit (see hostage negotiator below).
  5. Private Detective.  Many a time a candidate will say the gap in their CV is travelling.  Or that they were at a place of work for XYZ time.  The other great one is the reference that is only available on mobile.  Your mission is to find out is it the truth.  In your time as a recruiter you will become a great tracker of people through SoMe, calling HR teams and finding people’s direct lines when they seem so unobtainable.
  6. Salesperson extraordinaire. You are selling candidates to hiring managers / clients, and jobs to people. Don’t think I am being negative with this one – please.  But, you are definitely doing your best to sell each side to each other.
  7. Mega Memory Challenger.  You will get to know the people who apply for every job, by name.  Sometimes by face when they drop by to the office to see you.  Once this happened and the candidate bought me lunch from seeing a Tweet I’d posted about wanting sushi that day…………………..
  8. Hostage Negotiator.  Sometimes with great candidates you need to stretch your hiring managers or clients thinking (or budget), or you might need to negotiate with your candidates to consider roles they normally might not – sometimes it might just be the job title (regardless of the fact the job is exactly what they have described they are looking for!).
  9. Skilled Juggler.  You will need to be able to manage multiple jobs and people at once.  Don’t drop one…………………..
  10. Teleportation. You need to be everywhere. Always.  You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce, but not her team of people.  Guard your calendar and use your time wisely!
  11. Giving Great Phone.  As a recruiter you need to give amazing phone, and have your phone voice on point.  Always act interested and be professional.  Even though when you take that headset off (and make sure the call is ended) you might want to yell or cry.
  12. Executive Assistant.  You need to be highly organised, organising your stakeholders AND your candidates.  And the paperwork.
  13. Fire fighter. From time to time you are going to need to put out fires. No fire alarm activation, you need to problem solve and move forward. Quick smart.


I honestly love recruitment.  While the list isn’t exhausting, you need to be aware that recruitment can be a challenging job.  Most people who want to get into recruitment tend to like challenges though!  If you do decide to work in recruitment, be prepared for:

  1. Meeting awesome people.
  2. Huge satisfaction of a job well done – such an empowering feeling.  Filling a job gives you such a “buzz”.
  3. Seeing people grow in a new job and/or new company.
  4. Building strong relationships with internal and external customers and candidates.
  5. Having a great team of other recruiters to work with.  Most recruiters are a heck of a lot of fun (side note: usually drink wine too).
  6. Laughing – A LOT!
  7. Variety of job (see above…!).
  8. Recruiters form an integral part of any business.  You become a big part of strategy and planning.  This role let’s you experience a lot from a business perspective – embrace it.


Anything you think you’d like to add #nzrec?

Word Cloud "Recruitment"