Recruiters… why aren’t you listening?
I had an ear infection last week… quite a funny story really… I went swimming and managed to get water in both ears, and they became instantly blocked… then infected. Basically I walked around (albeit with the balance of an hour old lamb), for a whole 5 days unable to hear anything… except a dull ringing of a distant Dentist’s drill.
I’m not looking for sympathy… and I am definitely not looking for your kooky wives’ tales remedies… I had plenty of them… spear roll a tissue and absorb the water with a gentle sweep of the ear canal… fashion a paper clip in such a way that you tickle the ear drum and release the blockage, set a gerbil loose and allow it to gnaw a clear passage (doesn’t work – I tried)… Anyway, if you’re still reading – and I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t – there is a message behind my personal tale of woe…
You see every recruiter in the whole wide world has heard about what we do wrong… We all hear that we don’t communicate properly with our candidates… We all hear that clients are looking for better value in our service… we hear that if you don’t specialise in your market (inch wide and mile deep and all that) you will be consigned to the great recruitment scrap heap… Hell… we even hear that recruiters are scum, sucking thieves… only in the game to make a buck to the detriment of candidates, clients and society… (not my words – I heard that from a mate).
Point is we hear these things all of the time… but… do… we… actually… listen and act?
In my experience we don’t.
Seriously, your success as a recruiter will not be down to the number of dodgy deals you put through based on a massive number of intrusive, weekly telemarketing calls. If you think that’s the case… not only are you in the wrong game… but you are also making it harder to professionalise the industry for others…
Think about it. Do you actually listen to your clients… your candidates… your friends?
What I would like you to do… yes you… even those of you who think you are the perfect recruiter (they will be the ones who comment at the end of the blog – telling me how they do everything right… how easy it is… how strong their client and candidate relationships are… how ethical and values based they are… blah… blah… blah).
- Do you get back to every candidate… every time? And I don’t mean after 2 weeks…
- Are you providing a service to your clients – that adds real value to their business, and what are you doing to be better than your competitors?
- Are you ethical in every interaction you undertake in your recruitment life?
Only you know if you are telling the truth… right?
So, I guess what I am saying is… in our industry we are pretty lucky. Our candidates, clients and… basically everyone we meet provides daily feedback as to what we are doing well, what we could do better, and – most importantly – what they want to see. I know you can hear them… the noise is deafening… but are you actually listening and acting?
But getting back to my ear problem… so I was at the Doctors… he’s a funny little guy with a bit of a lisp… and I said…
‘Doc… I think I am going deaf.’
‘Really?’ he replied. ‘WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?’
I looked at him a little oddly and said. ‘It’s a TV show about a yellow family with a son called Bart… but what does that have to do with my problem?’