Do recruitment consultants provide you with an appealing shortlist and save you time or is the value minimal?
I was once bet a bottle of champagne to prove that Londoners were friendly by going up to three random people, separately and engaging them in a 3 minute lighthearted conversation.
Do you get good customer service in shops? Do you get great service in hotels? ARE Londoner’s friendly?
The answer to the question about recruitment consultants is the same as the three above. The answer of course is … it depends.
There are some truly awesome recruitment consultants out there and some appalling ones. The more useful questions for me are;
What ‘value’ do you want from a recruitment consultant?
What relationship do you allow?
An effective recruitment consultant should be able to provide you with much more than a shortlist of candidates CV’s, appealing or otherwise. However, they should first determine what service you are looking for by asking probing questions and then LISTENING. They should then weigh up whether that is the only or best course of action for you, suggest additional routes to goal where appropriate and then delight you.
In order to demonstrate ‘value’, a recruitment consultant should explain how they are going to produce your appealing shortlist. This could be a simple (and I suggest cheap) database search, an online ad posting (still pretty cheap), through to a full search / headhunt.
As a client, do you give the recruitment consultant the opportunity to delight you? Many don’t. A quick one-line job spec, no meaningful communication and no feedback only allows for a meager service. However, as a client, if this is all that you require from a recruiter, then you should get exactly that. But don’t expect much added much value.
The time saving part of the equation comes from spending a suitable amount of time laying the correct foundations at the beginning of the relationship or assignment in order to accurately hit the mark during the recruitment process.
But, you can’t give time to each and every recruitment consultant who calls you in order to give him or her a chance. Many don’t deserve that time. For starters, if a recruiter can’t demonstrate some knowledge about your company and is incapable of briefly summarising how they might add value to your business then they should not be darkening your door. For instance, they should be able to provide some intelligent, relevant market trends, salary guidelines, competitor information and other useful services.
Feedback is all-important, from all sides of the process. Recruiters should be quick on the uptake, but not mind readers. If they fail to be quick then be rid of them in a minute. However, if they are near the mark, some detailed feedback should steer them towards the sweet spot you crave in order for you to save time, money and get the added value you quite rightly demand and seek.
In business as in life, we should all get what we deserve, good or otherwise. In my case, I didn’t get the champagne. The third person must not have been a Londoner!