“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.
“So what are Recruiters?”
Recruiters are private companies that provide a service of finding people for jobs.
Recruitment Agencies will advertise jobs on the Internet, in Newspapers or on a High Street shop window. Respondees to the adverts will then be interviewed and vetted by the agency and suitable candidates will be introduced to the hiring company. Agencies will also build up a database of people that have approached them in the past, so that when they are asked to find someone they can look at previous applicants to see if their background is suitable. Agencies rely on people coming to them for work.
Head-hunters fulfill the same function as Recruitment Agencies, but their methods to find candidates to suggest to the hiring company is considerably different. Most Head-Hunters will typically build up a network of contacts over a period of time in very specific disciplines to allow them to source applicable candidates quickly and effectively. They pro-actively approach people in work propositioning them with jobs that are usually either promotions, working for bigger companies or on better salaries. Head-hunters don’t rely on candidates coming to them as they do the work to become aware of you through recommendation and referral from contacts in your industry.
Recruiters are paid a fee from a hiring company when they successfully recruit someone. This fee is a % of the successful candidates starting salary. Agencies typically charge 8-20% whereas Head-Hunters charge anything between 20-35%.
“Who holds the power in the job market?”
Although some companies still recruit themselves, Recruiters are invariably the real power brokers. For small to medium sized companies (SME’s) & corporates, the senior managers do not have time to spend searching for new people. They would much rather “outsource” their requirements to a specialist recruiter with the knowledge-base and contacts to quickly and efficiently identify a shortlist of highly relevant candidates.
For larger companies with Human Resources (HR) Departments; the majority of HR professionals focus primarily on hiring staff and internal issues. They are not skilled or inclined to dedicate time to actually finding relevant candidates, they outsource the finding to Recruiters. Once the candidates have been identified, the HR Professional will then manage the interview process through to the point of job offer and appointment. HR Professionals work hand-in-hand with Recruiters to ensure they smoothly and efficiently fill the vacancies that appear within their business causing the minimum amount of disruption (and lost time) to the senior management team.
Recruiters hold the power because in many situations Hiring Managers and HR Professionals will only use Recruiters to fill their vacancies. If Recruiters don’t know about you – then they cannot introduce you to a prospective employer. If you’re CV isn’t upto scratch then Recruiters are less inclined to suggest you, therefore you won’t get a job interview.
“How do Recruiters find you?”
Recruiters find you in many ways, but the common denominator is they will always ask you for an “Up-to Date CV”. Ways they find you are:
- They find your CV on CV Websites.
- They contact you as they have your details (usually your CV) on file from the past.
- Head-hunters will pro-actively contact you with a job proposition.
- Present/Former colleagues will recommend or suggest you for a job opportunity.
- You respond to a job advert on the internet or written press.
So – to get the best jobs befriend recruiters by doing the following:
- If you’re actively looking for a job – ensure you put your CV on the major CV Websites as well as any smaller ones that are more specifically focused in your specialist field.
- Find out who the Recruitment Agencies & Head-hunters are that service your specialist area. Even if you’re not looking for a new job, make friends and build a network of contacts with recruiters in your field as you’re much better off doing this whilst happy and employed than when you in a weaker position of unemployment or redundancy.
- Head-hunters and agencies will make you aware of career progression opportunities if you ask them – take a “long-term” view to your career progression strategy. Don’t “job-hop” but if a good opportunity comes along don’t be afraid to check it out. We’ve regularly seen good professionals get 20-35% salary increase and a promotion even though they were quite happy in their previous role.
“How do I get Head-Hunted?”
The sure-fire way to get head-hunted is to be very good at your job and respect your colleagues, as many successful headhunts come from recommendations and referrals. This however takes time, so the most effective method that you can directly influence is to generate a LinkedIn profile.
www.linkedin.com is a worldwide business networking site which is the business equivalent to Facebook. It is extensively used by Recruiters looking for the top talent for their clients. These makes you visible to Recruiters, and remember that the importance of “Keywords” is just as applicable to LinkedIn as their search mechanisms are very similar to CV Websites.
Check out our latest jobs at www.wynneconsulting.co.uk/jobs