Walk in our Shoes
I’ve been a recruiter for over twenty years. I enjoy being a recruiter. I’m proud to be a recruiter. And I’ve ultimately been successful as a recruiter.
Yet, over the past few years, I’ve started to see a rise in the negativity on LinkedIn about recruiters. Why?
The reality is that recruiters (both those who work for external agencies and those sited internally within companies) play a crucial role in sourcing talent for organisations. Let’s face it – organisations are only successful if they have the right people.
I think LinkedIn is a great professional networking site that allows professionals to connect with each other and share information that supports their continual learning and development. It’s concerning to see this forum used in a way that calls into question the value of people’s companies and jobs.
I feel that some of the commentary stems from a lack of understanding about the role of a recruiter. So this is my education piece on what recruiters actually do!
Firstly, the term ‘recruiter’ comes in all shapes and sizes.
There are ‘Internal Recruiters’ who hire for a specific company, generally working within an organisation’s Human Resources or Internal Talent Acquisition group.
You also have ‘Agency Recruiters’. These recruiters may work for large companies across a range of roles and industries, they may work on-site within specific organisations, or they may (like me) be part of a boutique agency that works across specific areas within a market or industry.
As a recruiter, you need to be able to:
- understand and keep up-to-date with the markets you work in (no easy task given many of these markets, including technology and digital, are vast and constantly evolving).
- identify and develop new and smarter ways to find the right talent – top talent is a rare commodity.
- build rapport with a broad range of people. This takes time and isn’t easy.
- constantly and consistently deliver to both the organisation and the applicants you work with.
- communicate effectively with anyone and everyone, including internal managers, job seekers, other recruiters and suppliers.
- be confident, bold and sometimes make mistakes (but learn from them and then keep going – resilience is key).
- understand and ask questions; don’t just assume.
- be resilient and never give up, even when you lose that ‘perfect applicant’ or a client.
Whatever the type of recruiter, our goal is the same. We want to find people that are the best match for the roles, managers and organisations we work with or within.
Yes, like every industry, there are people or organisations that operate better than others. But there are many recruiters who have the skills and ethics to add significant value to a recruitment process and, in turn, to an organisation.
Over the course of my career, I’ve come to know, and have been very lucky to work with, some amazing Agency Recruiters. Some of them still work with me! I have also been privileged to work with some top-notch Internal Recruiters and internal recruitment teams, including HR Managers, Talent Acquisition Mangers and Administrators. They are great operators who represent their organisations brilliantly, modelling organisational values and engaging effectively with everyone they encounter.
So please, walk in our shoes for a bit. Perhaps take some time to understand the unique and varied skill set you need to be a recruiter. Think about the number of different hats you have to wear, the number of people you deal with each day, the competing agendas you often have to balance and the real value that the right recruiter can add. Remember, both our clients and job seekers have very specific ideas about what they need and want – it is our job to find the right match. If we call you about a role, be kind. You never know; it might be your dream role and we are only doing our job.
And it’s a job I love.
Tracee Rowe September 2017