Across the country, recruiters are eyeing up their targets – building plans to crush last year’s numbers and make 2020 the best year ever.
But along with performance and financial goals, I want to throw down a new challenge to recruiters for this year: don’t go with the status quo!
Recruitment is a notoriously crowded space – some 40,000 UK agencies jostle for market share, each staffed with recruitment teams numbering anywhere from a handful up to several thousand.
Despite the crowds, within that landscape there’s space for truly excellent recruiters to distance themselves from the competition.
How can they do this?
By standing out for all the right reasons – and from deliberately choosing to reject the standards and practices that much of the industry lives by.
Let excellence be your differentiator
Excellence comes in many forms.
It can mean taking the time to truly understand the sector you recruit within, not just pay lip service to it or stumble along with a foggy understanding aided by some strong keyword searches and scripts.
It can mean customer service – taking the time to get back to every candidate, whether successful or unsuccessful, and make sure you leave a positive impression with everyone you interact with along the way.
It might mean adhering to ethical sales practices – not dangling phantom CVs in front of companies, which are mysteriously ‘no longer available’ when hiring managers wish to interview them.
Whatever the form, sticking to a professional code of conduct and letting excellence be your performance marker will help you, your candidates and your clients reach goals this year.
Don’t be the cowboy
Everyone knows someone in recruitment who blags their way from day to day.
They go radio silent on clients when they can’t fill jobs, or tell candidates whatever they want to hear to get them into interview processes – even if the job at the end of it doesn’t match their needs.
They stretch the truth when pitching to prospects, name-drop customers they’ve never worked with, and live in a perpetual cycle of semi-honesty and relationship fire-fighting.
Although this scrappy, misleading approach to recruitment creates opportunity for other recruiters to shine in contrast, it also drags the name and reputation of the sector down.
Looking for a simple goal for the year ahead?
Don’t be the cowboy.
Treat clients and candidates with respect and integrity, and it will pay long-term rewards.
Be proud of your industry
There’s a phenomenal amount to be proud of in the recruitment space.
Just taking the time to read a handful of LinkedIn recommendations on a recruiter profile makes this clear – good recruiters positively impact thousands of people every day, far outweighing the few cowboys who pull in the opposite direction.
Placing candidates in jobs isn’t just a question of ticking up internal KPIs – it has real-world impact, helping professionals improve their financial situations, gain promotions, move closer to family, learn new skills and take steps forwards towards their life goals.
And that’s just the candidate side – filling vacancies means progress for the hiring manager and their career, and for the organisation overall.
Right the way up to founders who achieve their visions of building thriving companies – recruiters fuel the economy in a remarkable and uniquely human way.
Getting professionally accredited shows commitment to raising the standards of the recruitment industry. Organisations such as the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) offer training and membership programs that support ethical and professional goals throughout the sector, pushing to gradually dispel the perception of recruitment as a ‘wild west’, unregulated and (at times) unscrupulous industry.
Showing support for this objective not only helps to continually raise the performance and professionalism bar within recruitment, it also connects recruiters and business owners to a wide network of like-minded people, collaborating to help push the industry forward and solve common challenges.
Be someone that waves the flag of the industry
In order to promote and develop the best qualities of the recruitment sector – and to leave being the worst – we have a collective responsibility to wave the flag of the industry proudly, upholding the best values and doing our best to showcase them in our own work.
By embracing the fun, excitement, camaraderie and positive impact the sector can have, we can all play our part in ensuring that the best of recruitment shines and thrives throughout 2020 and beyond.
Voyager Infinity and Voyager Mid-Office are software solutions that make Recruiters’ lives easier. Voyager Infinity is a CRM used by thousands of recruiters globally to source, nurture and maintain the relationships with their clients and candidates, and Mid-Office manages the entire Pay and Bill process (IR35 ready).