The side of recruitment people rarely talk about

The side of recruitment people rarely talk about

Published on 29th May 2018

If you are reading this, you have probably noticed that I work in recruitment. If you don’t know me personally, I would imagine you are subconsciously ranking me somewhere between an Estate Agent and maybe, someone from your mobile phone network provider. It’s ok though, I get it.

Recruitment doesn’t have the best of names and in some circumstances, rightly so. I have seen it myself. I hope that by the time you have read this, you will have a slightly better understanding of why I still choose to work in recruitment despite its reputation and why I look forward to going to work every day.

Recruiters are all the same, right?

So, let’s get it out in the open; pushy, untrustworthy, unethical, KPI driven, avaricious, selective hearing, high turnover of staff (is this beginning to sound like Donald Trump’s annual review?)...... I’m sure I have missed some out, but this is generally how recruiters and agencies tend to be perceived and unfortunately, yes, these recruiters and agencies do exist. But am I not right in thinking every industry has the good and the bad?

Take the professional services industry, comprised of law firms, practices, consultancies… an industry that has some of the most academically intelligent people in the world. Parents strive and invest for their children to build a career within this industry, but does it not have its cowboys too (see RollonFriday website)? Does that make it a bad industry to be in? Absolutely not.

Do what makes you happy

I have had a time in my career, as most people have, that on Sunday nights I would get the dreaded “I’ve got to go to work in the morning” downer. It got to the stage where I would wake up on a Sunday morning and that would be my first thought. It would ruin my weekend and that’s when I decided to do something about it.

I wasn’t alone. I have seen stats saying that 1 in every 3 workers in the UK are not happy in their work (I have also seen stats saying 72% or all recruitment statistics are made up). My job allows me to help people in this position, and when I say help, I really mean help.

Not being happy at work has a huge knock-on effect on your personal wellbeing and health. I love meeting and getting to know extremely talented marketing and business development professionals, how they work, what drives them and what they are looking to get out of their next job.

Look for the consultant, not the recruiter

It never ceases to amaze me what extremes people can get to before they decide to do something about it and speak to a recruitment consultant and I can only put that down to the reputation of the industry or a misunderstanding as to what we do. Or perhaps due to a negative experience they’ve had with a recruitment agency in the past.

Very few candidates (or clients) make the most of recruitment agencies beyond applying for jobs, but a true recruitment specialist can really benefit your career. The key is to partner with a consultant – that’s what makes the difference.

If a recruitment consultant/agency is a specialist, they should know their market inside and out. I’m not just talking salary information, I’m talking, personal career mapping, current market trends, future trends, competitor analysis, industry gossip, key movers, general career advice, the list goes on. It doesn’t just have to be about finding a job this very second or looking to fill a live role.

This is why I still work in recruitment

The most enjoyable part of my job by a country mile is helping people move from a job they dislike into something new and exciting (often with a salary increase as well). I can physically see the difference in a candidate’s demeanour from my first meeting with them to when the job process starts moving. Not only when they get offered a new job, but before that, when they start interviewing and seeing for themselves that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I have met with a number of candidates over the years who have been in tears talking to me about their job (and not all of them because they had to spend 45 minutes with me), and that’s where a good consultant can have a huge impact. You can literally change someone’s life for the better.

This process of helping someone find a new job doesn’t always involve placing them in a role myself. Sometimes candidates need advice and guidance for internal processes they are going through. I can safely say, I have never given a candidate differing advice depending on whether I represent them in a process or not. That’s not in my nature, it's not in my team’s nature and it certainly isn’t in Ambition’s nature.

This is one of many reasons Ambition has so many candidates who come back to us time and time again.  We do recruitment the right way and the candidate and the client always come first – this is drilled into us from day one.

It is also why we have the word ‘consultant’ in our job titles and not ‘sales’. Being in recruitment isn’t about the perceptions mentioned at the start, its actually about enhancing careers and improving lives – that’s what often gets missed when you get a call from someone in recruitment.

So next time you get a call from a consultant, don’t think of it as a sales call, think of it as making contact with someone who might be able to help you progress your career – if not now, then maybe one day in the future.

A few take aways:

  • Do not judge the many by the action of few – there are good recruiters out there
  • There are few people that will know the market better than a good, specialist consultant
  • Find, contact and importantly, get to know ‘your’ specialist recruiter – whether you are currently looking for a new job or not
  • If you are not 100% satisfied in your role, do something about it
     

About the author

Mark Harris is an experienced recruitment consultant specialising in Business Development and Marketing within professional services. 

If you are currently interested in market information or exploring new opportunities, please do get in contact on 0207 430 7297 or email mark.harris@ambition.co.uk

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