What Makes a Good Recruitment Consultant?

It’s no secret that the recruitment industry has its fair share of sceptical reputations and shady goings on. While plenty of the nay-saying is justified, there’s far more said and spread about recruitment that those within the industry know to be far from the mark.

Whether it’s making a quick buck on an ill-suited candidate, harassing hiring managers for work with little research or consideration, not following through on promises made through silver-tongued pitches, tapping up staff from their own clients or Lord knows what else, all have happened before and all will happen again.

All that being said though, there are recruitment consultants doing good work out there, working the right way for the right people, with the right people.

The challenge for clients in need of a recruitment partner is no longer choosing the most cost-effective option or even finding the nearest recruiter to your office so they know the area. Instead, the biggest challenge facing clients is to fully understand the job that recruitment consultants can do for them.

When a recruitment consultant charges what the rest of the recruitment industry will class as ‘premium fees’, their method should not be to take a simple role brief, scour a database and send an email with four or five CVs. A high street agency with no specialism other than their cost-effective approach would be more than happy to do that, but if you, the client, are a high-end IT solutions company who are looking for a specific individual, a customer service agent who once sold some laptops for a regional box shifter back in 2003 is not going to be what you’re looking for.

What you, the client, are actually doing is paying for the recruitment consultant to use their knowledge and expertise to manage ‘the process’ for you, so that you don’t have to. The process that a good recruitment consultant actually engages in to find the candidates that you move mountains to employ is not that complicated, and it’s something a client could do themselves given the application and the man hours. What you don’t have is time and this is why recruitment consultants exist. While you’re 9-5 is rightly spent running your companies, a good recruiter’s 9-5 is not a 9-5 at all. Instead, their 8-8 is spent on Linkedin, on social media, on the phone and on text, speaking to the very candidates in question. It is time consuming, laborious and often yields little reward for days at a time, but it’s one of the most effective ways of bringing in large amounts of candidates in the absence of a huge marketing and advertising budget or a brand name synonymous with success.

In a truly symbiotic relationship, clients will understand that to proactively headhunt candidates from their employers takes time, and the attrition rate is high. They will also understand the value of getting services usually associated with retainers and up-front fees on a contingent basis. It’s the very essence of why it’s a win-win for clients – you pay nothing until the job is done, and the job is done to the very highest standard.

Work together for long enough, and the relationship will get to that Garden of Eden where the client sees an email from their recruitment partner and instantly knows it is worth opening. Inside will be a candidate they WILL want to see and moreover, the screening and qualification (which takes just ten to fifteen minutes but is so often cast aside by the unscrupulous in favour of making the ‘quick buck’) means that the candidate is already bought in to you, the client.

The only time that you should have to spend with your recruiter is the time it takes to select the right one and build the relationship. Recruitment consultants are paid handsomely for what they do, they all know that, so let the best do it properly and take that headache away from you.

All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily represent those of TJ Peel or the recruitment industry as a whole.