When I started out in recruitment, agencies were essentially carbon copies of each other. Some small differences aside, they mostly offered the same service to clients. …and little difference in what they offered their employees. You could throw a beige blanket of ‘sameness’ over them all.
Things are different nowadays. The wonderful world of recruitment agency land is as varied and diverse as it has ever been. As the industry has grown up, and a new generation of recruitment leaders have stepped up with their own ideas, so has the variety of recruitment agencies changed.…from how they work with clients and source candidates, through to their internal structure, how they pay their staff and everything else. The recruitment landscape now resembles more of a multi-coloured quilt.
It begs the question – what is a good gig in recruitment these days? We attempted to tackle this at our regular weekly team meeting. But even in our small team of four (and a half) it was difficult to get consensus. There was a wide variety of answers and that’s not surprising. One recruiter’s meat is another’s murder and at the end of the day, it is mostly subjective. Money, work/life balance, an established brand, a good boss…..it comes down to the individual and what is important to them.
However, we all agreed that there are some things that are just non-negotiable. Things that, in this day and age, no recruiter should put up with:
1. Commission model that has a deficit. I own my business so I really do appreciate the agency point of view in this, and the importance of managing budgets and consistent performance. But still….no.
2. Having a KPI around cold calling. I am not talking about selling per se, or having objectives around business development. Of course that is part of the job. I am talking about the glorified telesales model of “make 50 cold calls a week….tick the boxes on your weekly report…repeat”. It’s cheap, nasty, largely pointless …..and you could be doing better things with your time. Like recruiting.
3. Continuing professional development. It will mean different things to different people, and different agencies will be able to offer different things depending on their size and budget. But the alternative (i.e. doing nothing) says volumes about the lack of interest in you.
4. Demand that you compromise your ethics and morals. We are all commercial folk and none of us holier-than-thou. But we all have our own moral compass too. Being forced to compromise that to get a deal across the line, or for some other reason, is not something any employer has a right to demand.
What about you? Would you put up with any of the above? What are your non-negotiables?