OK, so I’m not here to define what success looks like in Recruitment, but one things for sure, Recruitment is changing and ‘success’ looks different to what it once did.
As the industry professionalises and standards rise, Recruiters are increasingly reviewing their approach to how they go about the Recruiting process, and this got me thinking;
In 2016, what’s the best approach? Collaborative Recruiting or the Lone Wolf? Many Recruiters are Lone Wolfs, even if they’re in a team, you can spot them a mile away. There is probably one in your office now, can you see them? (and if not perhaps you are the wolf?)
For those new to Recruitment the Lone Wolf is a special kind of Recruiter. They’re sharp, professional, have all the answers and look the part in meetings, but when the meeting is over - so too are the smiles.
The challenges of running your own desk is not to be underestimated. Most Wolves I meet are clearly more administrator, wannabe techy and chief excuse maker than Recruiter – it’s no wonder they howl when they get a deal, they bloody deserved it!
The Lone Wolf is proud, hardworking and oozes confidence but they’re posting the most jobs, getting the most CV’s, making the most calls too. They’re also doing spot business everywhere, ‘repeat business’ is rare for them, but what they’ve not realised is that they’re working harder and longer than anyone else around them.
What makes me feel for them most is that their pitch is a million miles from reality. You can see it in their eyes. The reason they have that look is not the tiredness and exhaustion from working double the hours of a collaborative Recruiter, it’s more that they’re struggling to admit that if they worked more openly, sharing data, leads and knowledge with those around them, they’d be better off. More importantly, in my opinion, they would have more fun. The secret to their survival is their dog-eared determination, hard work and probably more than their fair share of luck.
Maybe they weren’t taught how to share when they were young, but who cares, they’re hitting their target and so they’re not going to get fired anytime soon - and besides, Managers and Owners love their pet Wolfie.
Please understand I’m not knocking them or their approach, I used to think I was one back when I worked in - rather than for – the Recruitment industry. I find it hard to knock their drive and ambition, but if I was a Wolf Doctor I’d be asking them to check their hourly rate, stress levels and trade in the 911 and flashy woollen threads for something better suited and relevant for today’s Recruitment Jungle, maybe a fully equipped 4x4 with Aircon and a pair of shorts and shades?
But you know what, the Wolf isn’t the type that goes to the Doctors and they like their 911 and lumpy payslips just the way they are*. Wolfie is perfectly happy giving themselves a ‘ High-five’, just like I once was.
But having spent 17 years helping Recruiters get the most from their technology I know one thing for sure – Wolfie, with time, will become a fantastic Collaborative Recruiter.
The Collaborative Recruiter - Recruitment doesn’t have to be so hard.
We all love collaborative sales people, I piggyback our team here all day, it’s easy to look good when you’re surrounded by nice people that work hard, and who are also open and honest. In my opinion both the good and the bad should be shared amongst the team – how else do we learn?
Moaning, or ‘Venting’ as the youngsters like to call it, is actually my favourite sport.
I vent when things are going well and when they’re not. By moaning, in the right way, you’ll find your peers will actually go out of their way to help and offer advice – everyone’s a winner.
What better than a problem ’vented’ and hence converted into a new strategy that everyone reaffirms as the best way forward, and the whole team taking the step forward together?
If I’m honest, I sometimes have a moan just for fun.
For me Recruitment is the ultimate Sales job. We can’t all be good at everything, o play to your strengths whether that’s sourcing candidates, marketing or doing the cold calls. Just make sure you recognise what your colleagues bring to the party.
‘Social media noise’, seems to have helped Recruiters forget that they make their money from who and what they know. There is no asset as such, it’s your experience and the way you conduct yourself that pays the bill. So be nice, have fun in the office and ‘do the right thing’ when given the chance. Why not make the tea, water the office plant and collaborate, try sharing the CV’s you have, or get technology that does the collaboration for you.
If you do, the good times will be great, and the bad times easier to handle.
A word to the Wolfies; if you think you’re more Wolf than Collaborator, it doesn’t matter. Pride yourself on your achievements and future ambitions and continue to put in the extra hours, you earn your own luck in this world. The chances are that the Wolf in you will make it, but promise me this. When you make it big take a look around your growing empire and be sure to thank the collaborators that helped you along the way.
Collaborative Recruiting explained:
During my time at Voyager I’ve seen many Recruitment businesses and individuals dip in and out of the industry. As times change, legislation takes hold and competition increases I’ve seen many ‘hot sectors’ rise and fall, and many great Recruiters fall in and out of love with the industry.
As a supporter waving and cheering from the side-lines it would appear that the successful recruiter tends to fit the same mould – they’re ‘collaborative’ in what they do, even if they’re a lone wolf.
“Recruitment will continue to change – but will you and your software supplier adapt to the new environment?”, Paul Thompson
For me this industry has got to be one of the most exciting, fast-paced and dynamic industries this planet has to offer. With technology getting smarter and more available, Global business opportunities are becoming increasingly accessible. Recruiters must adapt and adopt new attitudes and skills to remain competitive. Collaborative selling begins with a different mind-set: a commitment to the long-term**.
Today's customers buy differently, so today's Recruiters must sell differently.
The transition to collaborative selling and the emphasis on long-term relationships is evident for those who can look far enough ahead of their next meal.
By Paul Thompson, Voyager Software
**If you’re looking for a long-term software partner, I’d love to talk
*If you’ve made your million and are now a lifestyle recruiter - well done. I’m sure the car, suit and mortgage was paid off years ago, and no doubt Recruitment for you is more like a well-paid hobby, with clients that are more like mates.