Recruitment… jobs for people… or people for jobs?

I’m back! After a short blog hiatus I’ve got something to say… hope you like it!

It doesn’t matter what click bait you throw on LinkedIn… if it’s controversial enough… and divides opinion enough you will go viral.

A couple of weeks ago I posted the below observation.

Over 630,000 views… 2,500 likes and 600 comments later I’ve come to a realisation… an epiphany if you will. Problem is it has taken me 20 years to get there.

We’ve all seen it… and labelled it. Recruiter Bashing. You post an opinion and every candidate with a tale of woe… and every client with an axe to grind becomes a keyboard warrior…

‘I applied for 47 jobs last week and not one blood sucking recruiter leech has come back to me…’

‘If I get one more unsolicited resume from a useless spray and pray recruiter, I’m going to punch their lights out…’

And they are the tame ones…

Trouble is recruiters try to be all things to all people. We have an identity crisis… I mean who the actual f%&k do we work for?!?!

In the past I’ve been pretty clear on this one. Recruiters have 2 sets of clients… we work for Employers with a need to add or replace a headcount… and we work for Candidates who are in need of a job, or looking to progress their career… But…

I don’t think we can be both.

Every job or career should be able to be explained in a short… concise statement. Example.

Doctor…. I treat people who are ill.

Butcher…. I sell meat.

Dolphin Trainer… I train dolphins

But what about Recruiters?

Recruiter… I find jobs for people… no… wait… I find people for jobs… wait… wait… no… I do both.

The main problem with that is that these two… seemingly very linked and noble causes… more often than not… have competing and polarisingly (yes I made that word up… put it on the list) opposite needs.

After 20 years of careful and painstakingly detailed research (actually more gut feel if I was being completely honest)… for me it comes back to the client.

The client engages me to fulfil a task for them. The task being… ‘find me the right person for my role.’

Of course during the recruitment process we are looking for a win/win. We are working with both the client and candidate for a positive outcome on all fronts… But at the end of the day we are looking to find a specific person for a specific role.

It’s time we all understood what we do. Stop dilly dallying around (sounds like a Hugh Grant quote from… well any of his movies really), and focus.

Do you find people for jobs… or jobs for people? Well do you?

Craig Watson

4 thoughts on “Recruitment… jobs for people… or people for jobs?”

  1. I think we find people for jobs. A candidate may be highly qualified, but if there are no positions available, the recruiter doesn’t have many ways to help. Anyway, since the recruiter is being paid by the customer they are under no obligation to find someone a job.

  2. I think recruiters should do both- not just one of them. But recruiters to have a work must have first the job at hand and match it to the right candidate they hope to have in their pool already. Recruitors who don’t have a pool of candidates are no more than an advertising agency.

  3. Your life in HR or recruitment will very much depend on the culture of the company you work for. For example, if you choose to work within a bank’s HR department or at a law firm then chances are you’ll be expected to work longer hours as that’s what’s expected in these firms. The same is true if you choose to work in an office where office hours REALLY mean 9-5.

    While many people are drawn to HR because they love people and want to be in a role where people are their job, it’s not all plain sailing. You will also need to act as a bridge between managers and staff, help to resolve differences and even take part in letting people go and redundancies. It’s also your job to stay on top of the complexities of employment law, especially as you make your way up the ladder, and ensure your company isn’t open to being sued. As such, you will need to stay up to date with additional qualifications and attend courses as and when needed, although this is usually paid for by your employer.

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