“The job market in 1990 was a very different place to what it is today. Every town and city had numerous newspapers with reputable career sections where pages of job adverts appeared. If one caught your eye, common practice was to write a nice covering letter accompanied with a CV posted off to the advertiser. Most of the time you got no response, occasionally a polite company would send you a letter thanking you for your reply. There was the odd Recruitment Agency servicing the local area, but they tended to specialise in temporary workers and office staff………………………………………………………”
The advent of the internet has revolutionized the job market in the last 15-20 years, however another major evolution that has changed the job market has been the growth of the influence of the Recruiter (Recruitment Agency & Headhunter). Although Recruitment service suppliers have been around for many years, it is in the last 20 years that their influence and dominance in the job market has reached significant levels.
Having spent over 23 years working in Search Recruitment; the single biggest issue I’ve found is explaining to clients what is it that we actually do? How do we “add value” to their business?
And why does Search work so much better than other “reactive” forms of recruiting? Why does Search Recruitment gets results win in the war for the top talent in your market?
The answer comes in 3 forms:
Search finds the cream of the crop; we call it the “Hidden Elite” that Recruitment Agencies, advertising and CV Websites can’t find
Proactive search gives us much better control of the timescales of a search. We are in control; we’re not relying on the right candidates coming to us. We go to them.
The top companies need the top talent, not just a “bum on a seat” to do a job. Bad hires cost huge amounts of time and negative energy.
So let’s explore the 3 most common questions we are asked by prospective clients:
Surely companies can source the same candidates as a search recruiter?
Although the world is now predominantly “online”; the mechanisms for the job market haven’t really changed with the advent of technology.
In 1990; people who were looking for jobs used to “register” with agencies, read job adverts in the newspaper & ask companies direct whether they had any vacancies. These things still happen, agencies register “active candidates”, job adverts are now online & companies have websites with job vacancies on their “Jobs” page.
But that’s missing the point; companies can only recruit candidates that are actually looking for a job; which is roughly 5% of the working population at any one time. So what about the other 95%? How do we as an employer access them?
Well that’s where a search recruiter comes into play.
We work in very niche, specific industries & we make it our business to know all of the companies in the space we operate; and then find out who the people are that work for those companies.
We spend years forging relationships with the top talent in our chosen market sectors; both to recruit them but also to use their huge network of contacts to unearth the right individual for the right job. This level of network is our secret weapon that allows us to fill even the most difficult of roles.
This unique network is our expert knowledge; and it’s core to the service we provide. Quite simply, we can unearth candidates than nobody else can access.
So when we have an active search we are able to then tap into this “network” to identify the individuals with the right skillset we require. That’s why it’s called “Search”. We truly search for the skillset our client requires.
With Advertising, Agency or posting jobs on an employers website; there is no searching whatsoever – success relies on the right talent being in the right place at the right time. Which is a pretty unlikely set of circumstances.
HR & Internal recruiters can source the same calibre of candidates.
Search recruiters spend their time doing two things; finding talent that companies cannot find themselves & recruiting that talent into client companies’. That is our reason for existence.
We are experts in “recruitment”; getting the right candidate to take the job.
There are a seemingly endless number of reasons the right candidate rejects a job offer. Salary, package, working hours, job poorly defined, etc.
Finding the right candidate is critical; but the reason we are expert “Search Recruiters” is we know how to work through the interview and offer process to give you the client the best chance of recruiting the talent you need. Our livelihoods depend on it. Recruitment to us is the ability to actually get the talent to accept the job. Most of the time it’s a mix of managing expectations coupled with strong communication. Specifically, through the inevitably complex negotiation of a salary package.
In our experience; companies themselves (whether it’s hiring managers or HR) tend to be weak in this area and although they have “selected” the talent through the interview process; an amateurish handling of the offer process leads to an eventual rejection of the job offer.
We’ve huge experience in every conceivable eventuality when it comes to managing job offers; and we use our unique 3rd party position to our advantage – so that we are able to work as a conduit between the 2 parties to facilitate a deal that works for everyone.
Search Recruiters are expensive.
A common objection we hear is that our one-off fees are expensive.
This typically comes from companies that are employing both HR & Internal recruiters on activities to recruit people. As mentioned earlier; HR & Internal Recruiters are primarily talking to and interviewing active candidates; who are either rank average or not suitably qualified for the role. It’s understandable to employ internal recruiters who are hiring large volumes of generically skilled people; but within highly specialised, knowledge based industries paying their people high salaries; it makes no sense to ignore expert recruiters in favour of salaried generalists that simply have to tools to recruit the active job seekers.
It’s the norm in every industry that the top performers never actually “look” for a job. Opportunity seeks them. Whether it’s upward movement within a group of companies; an “old boss/colleague” approached me; or a “Headhunter” approached me. The common theme here is opportunity finds them. Their individual career achievements make peers & management take note; and their reputation gets noticed.
That’s what we look for – people who are “noticed” and then subsequently recommended by others. Referrals are our No1 source of top quality people. It’s what we are all about.
So it makes financial sense to use an expert search recruiter in your market to hire the best talent in your specialist industry.
I was out with some friends over the weekend and an interesting conversation developed.
One friend was exalting the virtues of his lovely German saloon with leather interior, cruise control, faultless driving experience,etc. Another friend was championing how cheap his “Far East” manufactured car cost was “to buy and run”, the low cost for spare parts, servicing, etc.
Although the conversation was about cars – the two friends were coming from opposite ends of the scale in terms of car needs and wants. Kind of similar to comparing apples & pears.
This set me thinking about our clients; “Transactional” and “Value-add”.
Each recruitment process is unique, but there are some normal things that occur in the majority of cases. From a headhunter’s perspective, being aware of what’s happening can help you deal with the process and ensure you have the best chance of success. The top 10 things you should be aware of are:
As a leader and manager of any successful business, a key component is the successful acquisition of the right people at the right time, with the minimum amount of time and effort expended.
We encounter countless fundamental errors that companies big & small make on a daily basis that are massively hampering their ability to attract and recruit the “hidden elite”. This is the best talent in any market sector. Make sure you don’t fall foul of our top 5 hiring howlers:
Job interviews are a necessary part of any recruitment process, however with the right planning and approach even the most nervous of interviewees can avoid difficult interview questions and give a good performance (see our earlier article http://www.wynneconsulting.co.uk/interview_preparation/ on how to prepare effectively for any interview).
Conversely – we regularly encounter situations where seemingly excellent job candidates have failed at an interview as a result of answers to one or two difficult interview questions.
Dealing with difficult interview questions that have a “negative” answer:
A scenario we experience regularly goes something like this. A client wants to recruit a key individual, so they assume the best strategy is to put the job out to 20 different recruiters. “Surely, if we put the job out to lots of recruiters, we’ll get a good coverage of all of the job seekers at that moment in time and we’ll then be able to recruit the best people available.”
The problem with this strategy is like you, a recruiter has to put hard work and effort into any inquiry to turn it into a result.
Any efficient, well run business knows that the key to success is to pick and choose the business they target, rather than working on every client enquiry.
Top recruiter Bobby Rathod gives his pearls of wisdom this week on how to master Video Interviews:
Video Interviews via ZOOM/MS Teams/Skype are an increasingly common method of interview. Although they are more convenient to arrange, additional preparation should be done to improve your chances of success. I’ve compiled a list of 10 key tips from feedback of over 250 video interviews conducted over 10 years within the Engineering market:
First and Foremost. Ensure ALL your tech is working prior to the interview. Preferably check this the day before ensuring you have ample time to find suitable fixes for any issues. This includes the Platform (ZOOM, Teams etc), mic, speakers and camera!
Minimize potential tech disruptions. Make sure you’ve powered all the devices you need an you have a charging cable to hand. If you have bandwidth heavy programs or appliances, make sure they’re shut down.
Set up your space. Ensure you have somewhere private to talk, if there is a chance of background noise you could opt for headphones rather than a mic.
Set up your camera so you’re not too close, too far, too low or too high. Ensure your video is eye level. Your image should be displayed as below.
Background. Ensure your background is tidy and organised. If you’re doing the call from a bedroom, clear any none business-related decorations off the walls.
Lighting. Ensure your lighting is good and your face is well lit. Natural lighting is best. Backlighting can cause you to look like a silhouette. Again, it’s best to check this prior to the interview so you can amend things appropriately.
Appearance. This is a common issue area as video calls made from home can be disarming. Dress as you would to an interview. Ironed shirt and business casual. It’s tempting to wear joggers on your bottom half – but from our experience, full business wear (including shoes) will get you in the right frame of mind.
Signal when you want to talk. During in-person meetings, you can pick up on visual cues to help find the right time to speak. It’s a lot easier to accidentally interrupt on a video call. Wait for a few moments of silence before speaking up in case there’s a sound delay.
Stay focused. Mute any notifications prior to the call. Be attentive and engaged during the call. As tempting as it is, try not to do any other work or read articles or send emails. If there’s a pause in the conversation because, for instance, you need to pull up an email or reference a document, make sure to communicate that.
If you do need to share your screen during a video call, take a few seconds to prepare before you hit that share button. Clear your desktop of any extra tabs or programs you may have open and make sure any private or sensitive information is hidden.
Despite the uncertainties from the continuing global pandemic; there are a lot of companies recruiting throughout the whole of the UK. That’s a fact. After the worst 12-15 months since the Second World War we are seeing strong demand from the majority of the markets that we service. So do you accept the first job offered?
Over the last few years, employers have held the power and have tended to be very selective in their hires; and insistent on interviewing multiple candidates for a particular role. Decision-making has typically been quite long and arduous – as hiring managers see a wide selection of candidates as a good reason to “take their time” and make decisions slowly.
Fast-forward to 2021 and we are seeing what we call “candidate short” markets in the majority of our sectors. This means that in many instances there are more jobs than candidates, and this causes employers to have a different approach.