My journey into recruitment started over 20 years ago. I was working for a privately owned defence company in a role filled with variety; administration, customer services, HR and recruitment. I truly enjoyed the recruitment side and approached our recruitment supplier that had worked with the organisation for many years about how you got into it. Within one month I was working for them, in their permanent commercial division. I eventually moved across to the temporary side which I loved. The interaction with clients, getting to know candidates that worked on our behalf month in, month out, was one of the most memorable satisfying jobs I had ever held.
20 years on and having made the decision to set up a recruitment business my feelings remain the same. There is nothing that gives you greater satisfaction than developing a business relationship with a client, getting to know how they work, their culture, their plans for the future and being privileged enough to then be given an opportunity to work for them with your first vacancy!
There is a similar journey with candidates. Getting to know them, how they have got to where they are now, how do they visualise their future and what do they need to get there. Is the vacancy we have something that suits their aspirations and then being able to present them across to the client so that they can see exactly what you have throughout your screening process. The selection for interview is an affirmation that you understand the individual and the role that you are working on and, if they then receive an offer of employment, well there is nothing quite like that feeling. It fills you with confidence and such great job satisfaction that is unequalled and should be celebrated every time!
The difference these days (and quite rightly so) is due to the technology being presented to us. We can post our vacancies onto the job boards and then receive a huge response. In years gone by each and every one of those candidates would have received a personal reply, something which we were always very proud of. The challenge today is how to provide that same level of service when working on a volume basis to ensure that each application is not taken for granted but it still remains as an automated response. Feedback suggests that although this can be frustrating to candidates, at least there is closure.
The competition in which recruitment agency a client should use continues to be a minefield. Apparently over 5,000 new recruitment agencies opened throughout the UK in 2016. There is a candidate shortage so do they just open their doors to say, half a dozen, and hopefully get the right people through the door. This creates competition of fastest finger first, and encourages blind specing, where a recruitment consultant will identify a candidate and send them across for consideration without having had a conversation. This proves extremely difficult for those consultants that follow process, providing a real candidate experience from start to finish. The only way this will stop is when clients ask for this practice to stop and will only entertain a full profile which confirms whether a conversation has been had initially.
The way I see it is that every business has challenges. These are ours in recruitment. We want to make a difference from our little patch in Portsmouth, however we can only effect a very small percentage of the market. So we have to remain true to ourselves, stay focused on doing our absolute utmost to ensure that any client or candidate that we work with feels that they have been listened to, and that our services reflect their needs and wants. We know there will be let downs along the way, there always are, whether we are unable to find their ideal person within a specific timeframe, or for a candidate to change their mind halfway through the process. Whatever it is, as long as you feel you have done your very best and, as one of my old MD’s previously used to say ‘as long as you can sleep at night with your decisions’ then we’re on the right track.
We look forward to the future ahead of us, and meeting new businesses and individuals looking for the next step in their careers and we hope you will enjoy that journey too.