Recruitment can become a much bigger industry, if you offer clients new services.
Have you ever heard an experienced recruiter tell you that recruitment is primarily a sales role? I have, lots of times, by people who call themselves recruitment experts, it’s a real concern. These ‘recruiters’ should try calling a client and leading with “Sales is my main skill, but I also recruit”, and see how that is received.
If you think recruitment is primarily a sales role then let me make this point, when a lawyer starts a law firm and calls prospective clients he/she is still a lawyer, not a sales person. Same goes for accountants and so on. Business development to win new clients is something many professionals do, but that’s just an activity to get people to use the primary skills they offer. Recruitment consultants are ‘consultants’ before anything else, it’s a small point but I can assure you, far too many people who consider themselves ‘professional recruiters’ don’t get this point at all.
Recruitment’s tectonic plates are shifting and you need to become familiar with a new developing landscape. If recruitment is going to get to the next level with more opportunity to win business then it must mature into a profession in which there are clear thresholds of knowledge alongside clearly understood and adopted work ethics. Formal training and accepted up skilling to recognised standards has to be second nature and part of the industry’s DNA. The first step is to be very clear about the recruiters job spec itself. When you start to look at this in some depth you begin to see how big this industry could be if agency recruiters offered all of the services employers actually need from them, even when they are not hiring. By offering businesses a far wider scope of services the recruiter’s relationship with clients will become much stronger.
Employers are not asking for additional services as it’s the recruiter’s job to advise the client of their portfolio of services which should extend far beyond the typical offering. One of the legacies of the Institute of Recruiters has to be ensuring recruiters have easy access to learning about these new revenue streams and how to deliver them. The impact will be greater lines of revenue for recruiters, while their clients get a much wider raft of services that help their companies to grow, a win-win for all.
Information about these new services will come in later announcements but we are planning to launch the training this year. We know that a recruitment academy linked to government standards is a practical way forward, so we are launching it in the next 2 quarters.
We believe a national register of recruiters would be a great asset to the industry and a great tool for employers so we have launched it. We know connecting in-house teams to agency teams via one body will foster better collaboration and understanding so the IOR does that. We know industry information around legislation should be freely distributed to recruiters so we now do it, and it counts towards professional CPD hours, so it means something to invest in refreshing your industry knowledge. We feel the cost of membership of professional bodies should be low and accessible, so we are offering that. We strongly feel that standards of education and training should be similar to other professional industries so we are raising standards for membership levels such as ‘fellow’, and introducing ‘certified membership’ for recruiters who refresh their knowledge and keep it up to date. Some recruitment trainers should be certified to a set of standards and a syllabus that is underpinned by Britain’s National Occupational Standards for recruitment.
Businesses want to work with great recruiters whose first skill is recruitment consultancy. What recruiters do has a huge impact on their companies, recruiters are business partners, and it’s as simple as that. Our goal is to support recruiters and the continuous professional development of their skills in order to grow this industry, and ensure relationships between recruiters and employers are much stronger. Employers need to be guided by high quality respected recruitment professionals and the feedback we are consistently getting from many recruiters is “it’s about time”.