We’re not all the same

Many people can be put off by recruiters and don’t want to use them or see us as a necessary evil. So I am on a mission. My mission is simple. I am going to change people’s perceptions about recruiters, as we’re not all alike (thank goodness).

My mission 

I have made it my mission to use best practice recruitment and hiring strategies to enhance business owner-led companies. Recruiting can be hard and stressful, take time and money. But it doesn’t have to be any of those things if done well in the first place. Get recruitment wrong, hire the wrong person, the wrong skills and I know what pain this can inflict on your business, fellow team members and clients alike.

Over the last near two decades that I’ve been in recruitment, recruiters the world over have come to have quite a bad name. Back in 1998, we were seen as a real asset to a company. We helped hiring managers, business owners and boards to enable their vision to take shape. And we did it with passion, and building trusting relationships. We consistently enhanced company performance through effective talent sourcing strategies and management like never before.

As more and more people have gone into recruitment, our industry have come somewhat tainted. There’s no barrier to entry. This means all the ethical recruiters who do things well have become diluted amongst a pool of those who are chasing their next bonus. Our reputation can reduce down to little more than money hungry second-rate professionals (if we’re lucky).

The bonuses paid to recruiters has meant that those at the centre of the process, the businesses and the candidates we help, can be forgotten. The attitude which prevails is that it doesn’t matter where they place a candidate as long as they’re placed. Result. Bonus is paid when a candidate is placed. Money should not be made at the detriment of all else. Bonuses or recruiter commission should not be the key motivation of those in the sector.

There are some of us who are good at what we do. We care about who we speak with and who we work with. Whether it’s business owners helping them to improve and grow their company with the right talent. Or whether it’s helping people themselves find that ideal next job.

What would happen if we removed money as the key driver?

Make customer service the pivotal motivation, and it’d result in an improved, more customer-focused sector.

I take it personally when I help either a hiring manager, business owner or job seeker. It is an honour and a responsibility to do my job.

From my efforts, if it means someone can spend more time at home with their kids, or their commute is slashed by 50%, or they get paid a bit more, or indeed they feel they belong, then that is my job done.

When I find out that a business owner I’ve worked with has increased revenues and profit by 18%, thanks in part to their new marketing manager, that’s pretty awesome.

I get a real kick out of that.

Money has massively changed the recruitment sector.

And it’s a weird one. ‘Normal’ recruiters are paid by the clients i.e. the companies they successfully hire for. However, their loyalty is not usually to the company with whom they have the vacancy.

If a recruiter finds an ‘ideal’ candidate, especially when there are rare or in demand skills involved, you can pretty much guarantee that the recruiter will ‘pimp’ that candidate’s CV around. This maximises their chances of securing a fee from whoever will pay it. Doesn’t really matter who. As long as they get a fee, does it matter if it’s the initial client who asked for their help?

I can understand how we got this point, though. The minute companies use more than one recruiter for a vacancy, this creates competition. Yet the competition is for the same pool of candidates.

The more companies and recruiters work together as partners, the less likely it is that a recruiter will shop ‘their’ candidate around as they feel safer in the knowledge the client is working with them. They’re trusted by the hiring manager to find the right person, with the right skills, attitude, aptitude and buy-in to the ‘why’ of the company.

Competition drives down quality service and increases the money-hungry nature of those who work in recruitment and call it their profession.

This is exactly why all recruiters at my recruitment company, WingroveTailored: Your People Partner, are only paid a financial bonus when they offer exceptionallevels of customer service. Who judges whether they’ve provided the levels of care we want and aim for? Our clients and candidates tell us.

And yes, I do work in the recruitment sector, and yes, it does pay the bills, but money is not what drives me or my team. Of course, I do like to be paid fairly for the part I play in helping businesses to grow.

Win-Win-Win

What drives me, and those I work with here at WingroveTailored, is the key knowledge that we make a real difference. The company with whom we partner can grow, meet targets and help more of their customers, thanks to the people we help to hire. The candidates we place are able to work in a role which fulfils them on many levels and tick more boxes for them personally, whilst also adding massive value to the company we introduced them to.

It is a classic win-win-win.

Recruitment can be done differently. The sector can change and is most certainly not full of money hungry people.

About Helen

Helen Sanders is a former BBC sports broadcaster turned entrepreneur who now spends her waking hours helping small businesses to grow.

After working in radio for 10 years, Helen ‘fell’ into recruitment, as most people do. Fast forward 18 years and she now gets her kicks from seeing the company owners she helps in exceeding their personal and business goals.

Fancy having a chat to see if her team at WingroveTailored can help you, then give her a call on 0117 290 0208