Yes Sir… No Sir… Three Bags Full Sir…

What the Hell are we – as a collective group in recruitment – doing? (Come to think of it what would be the collective noun for a group of recruiters? Maybe a ‘clutch’ of recruiters… or a ‘rabble’ of recruiters… or a ‘deceit’ of recruiters… Maybe it’s a topic for another blog… and maybe, just maybe I should get back to this week’s post!)

Anyway, as I was saying ‘What the Hell are we doing?!’

My clients requirements – on the whole – run a very similar path. They want… and in no discernable order:

  • 3-5 years local agency recruiting experience – in their specialisation
  • Evidence of developing new business
  • Billings in the $30-40k per month range as a minimum
  • Transportable database of candidates and clients
  • No job-hopping
  • All for the princely salary of $60-70k… plus commission (maybe a bit more depending on urgency)

yessir1I know what you’re thinking… Even if you find a dusty old lamp, caress it a few times and a genie pops out… you only get 3 wishes right?

The simple facts are that candidates with all the above attributes are more rare than recent premierships at Tigerland… or silverware at Highbury… or Test victories for the Australian cricket team… I could go on… don’t believe me?…  or a recruiter without a compendium… or a phone call to your mobile provider and not having the pleasure of a 30 minute flute solo while on hold… Anyway, back to the blog…

I was at an Industry breakfast last week. The speaker John White – owner of Carmen White put it extremely eloquently.

Apologies, but I can’t quote verbatim… I was tucking into a full English at the time and not taking notes, but it was something along the lines of… ‘if you were a real estate agent and someone came to you with the following request for a new home in Toorak:

  • Five bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms
  • Four car garage
  • Back garden
  • Fully renovated
  • And my budget is $500k max…

yessir2Would you take them on as a client, or explain to them – as an expert – that such a property doesn’t exist?’

If it was me I would probably say something like…

‘Are you sure you mean Toorak mate? Sure you’re not talking about Tooradin? Or Toora?’

Point is… Don’t take a job order from a client, when the candidate they are looking for doesn’t exist. What you need to do is Consult. It’s your job to know the market better than your client does. It is your job to temper expectation with reality. It is your job to explain what the best talent looks like and what that talent is worth in the market.

If you can’t do that then unfortunately recruitment is not for you… and… you’re making it harder for those of us who can…

And just to sign off… The other day I couldn’t for the life of me remember Rihanna’s ex-boyfriend’s name… and then it hit me…

Craig Watson





One thought on “Yes Sir… No Sir… Three Bags Full Sir…

Leave a Reply