Why Everyone Hates Recruiters

“Recruitment is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.” (Dr. McCoy, 2009), or was it Space? I forget. A horrible industry determined to Hoover (or Dyson) the joy out of growing a company. Spare a thought for the industry professionals, the well informed, well read, up to date recruitment professionals who have had their profession turned into a dirty word. “Recruitment” [cue shuddering]. They do exist, in surprisingly large numbers but are still out voiced by the mediocre mercenaries (not the cool Han Solo kind of mercenary). Poor service levels, a lack of industry knowledge, terrible candidate management but still demanding 20-25% of base salary. What's not to love? EVERYTHING!

New companies thrive when solving a problem, be it a new technological innovation, service or product. Here is an industry (recruitment) intent, on causing rather than solving problems. Better solutions exist than to solely rely on agencies time and time again incurring high fee after high fee. You just don’t get to hear about them. They are drowned out by recruiter’s constantly ringing you up and saying ‘gizza job’ – so I can over charge you and add little value (they don't say the last part out loud). Inevitably many companies see this as the only solution for growing their workforce. I will attempt to highlight some of the problems with a fully agency driven recruitment approach and then in my next post I’ll show a few potential solutions that will be more cost effective and efficient.                                                

1)    Cost: This is a simple one, it costs a lot. Paying a big fee for each hire is the least cost effective way to go about hiring. You’re looking at anywhere up to 25% of the base salary (i.e. around £10K for a £40,000/year candidate). £10K for a few phone calls! I should change jobs, oh no wait, I don't want to accidentally create a horcrux when I split my soul in two. 

2)    You lose control of your brand: You can’t control the message recruitment agencies are putting out in the market about your company. You need consistent messaging to develop a strong reputation in the market and start to drive candidates to you. This is much harder to control with multiple agencies being your main marketeers to the candidate marketplace.

3)    Time: They can access candidates quickly. There you have it, a compliment for recruiters. They usually work in a particular industry recruiting into one job function (HR, Sales, IT etc.) and by harassing candidates all day every day they build up decent knowledge of who is and isn't open to opportunities. However, usually the CV to interview conversions rates suck, which means much more time screening CVs. They fail to qualify candidates well enough so interviews prove to be a waste of time when mr or mrs candidate has overcooked their experience. All the means a lot of time wasted by you and your managers. And this doth not a happy hiring manager make.

4)    Quality: Have you ever thought that for an 'expert' whose entire job is to find good candidates that you get presented with an inordinate amount of terrible CVs? Where did all the good ones go? Well either there are no good ones, or they have gone to the client who is paying 1% more. When you do get a good candidate you can bet that candidate's CV is also sitting in the inbox of several other clients who then have to fight it out. 

5) Stealing your staff: They call you, you invite them for a meeting, you get on well, agree terms, hands are shook and a mutual understanding is formed. And then they steal your ****ing Sales Manager. 

There are more issues but let's not dwell. In my next post I will few different solutions that can help you access high quality candidates at a lower cost.