What service should we expect from a Recruitment Consultant?
The Recruitment Industry in the UK is worth an estimated 1 Billion pounds a Year and covers all industry sectors from, financial/ Healthcare/Manufacturing /Engineering/IT/ in the Private and Public Sectors / offering Perm/Temp/Contracts. IT has over 40,000 Agencies operating, ranging from the big cooperate agencies turning over millions in profit, to a one man/woman band operating from a bedroom.
The Recruitment industry is wide and diverse; thus, it stands to reason then although governed by regulations and legal compliance it should come as no surprise that not all agencies work to the same process and procedures. ‘Recruitment Consultants’ also vary greatly, not only from company to company, but consultants within the same company may also operate differently according to different levels of experience; personal characteristics and processes.
This article will seek to analyse what it is Clients expect from agencies and their consultants, and what level of service a Recruitment Consultant should be providing to the client.
Firstly, I have put Recruitment Consultants into 3 Categories:
1) The Passive Consultant
This person will be polite and personable. They will listen to their Clients brief and will send through CV’s. The client will dictate all parts of the Recruitment process.
2) Part Consultant
This person will do all the above, but will add another layer, for example, they may offer advice on Salaries or Market Conditions and may challenge some of the process, but unlikely to drive home their process and procedures.
3) The 360 Experienced Consultant
This Recruiter will fulfil all the previously mentioned tasks; however, will probably specialise in the chosen sector. They will be confident in what they do and will consultant and advise the client without hesitation. This Recruiter will set the pace and the terms and will ultimately see the process through from start to finish and deliver results.
It is important to recognise what type of recruiter will best assist you before hiring an agency, this should dictate the recruiter you end up using…which would it be? The Passive; The Part-Advisor; or the 360 experienced consultants? A passive consultant may be pleasant to work with and you have a great working relationship – but they may not be presenting the best Recruitment model, may not be as efficient/ and ultimately deliver the results, against a 360 Consultant (expert in there field) might be a little more challenging to work with, you may be uncomfortable following there lead, advice, timeline etc, however on reflection, they do deliver on time and in the agreed budget with great hires.
So, what does a client really want from their Recruitment Consultant?
1) Soft skills: Personality/ rapport/ get on
2) To Know the business/great communication/ability to deliver results/doesn’t waste your time/does what has been agreed
Most clients would expect to get a greater deal of success by working with the consultant that has more experience, wealth of market knowledge and will advise and deliver. Right?
Or do they?
Whilst an experienced recruiter that will advise their client is a big benefit, challenging a client can be tricky when you don’t see eye to eye. For example, say the client has rejected a CV, but the consultant feels that they would be a great fit. Should they challenge the decision of the client? Or simply agree and accept.
It can indeed be tricky, that first ‘Passive’ recruiter would absolutely agree and move on, however the more experienced recruiter has more to bring to the table, a wealth of experience and industry knowledge that they can use to assist their client in making decisions that will positively impact their business.
So, what is your current Relationship with your Agency?
1) Do you just give them instruction?
2) Or, do you take instruction from your Consultant?
The question that you should ultimately ask yourself is, are you getting the most out of your Recruitment Agency/Consultant?
If not, why not. What can you improve?
My Conclusion is that for a great relationship to work, both sides must be aligned/committed and focussed on a common goal. The Agency to fill the Vacancy, or Vacancies, invoice - retain the business and repeat. The Client, to get the position filled with the best available candidate in the time framed agreed.
If the client and agency work together as one, “us” and “we”, on the same team, not just as an agency and client, working through challenges and process together, with both sides contributing. This will lead to a long fruitful relationship and a strong recruitment partnership.
How does your current working relationship look with your agencies? How would you rate it out of 10? If less than an 8 it might be time to take another look?
AT CPI we strive to work in partnership with our clients, if you would like a free consolation please do not hesitate to get in touch
Written by Tony Wight