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Bums on seats - or recruiters with attitude?

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In many ways, there are two principal types of people who work in recruitment.  This is important for employers, because recruitment consultants move around of their own (or their boss’s!) volition, are headhunted or come from non-recruitment backgrounds, so it’s important to know with whom and with what type you are dealing. It’s a given that, to a greater or lesser extent, they ought to be able to do their jobs, which, let’s be honest, are sales-focused and invariably target/bonus-driven. It’s also true that some are far better at customer service than others (which is why Peace is still the only agency to be a member of the Institute of Customer Service). However, what really does separate the wheat from the chaff is the individual’s attitude to, and interest in, the job.

Take, for example, a recruiter who is focused solely on being a great salesperson and hitter of targets. They can be very good at their job, but their interest in their core speciality is often ephemeral. Yes, they make their targets and know how to engage with people and sell them the idea of a job.  Similarly, they can convey an impression of confidence and knowledge, even if it’s only skin-deep.  Consequently, many employers entrust them with their jobs.  If you are an employer yourself, you’ll have met dozens, if not hundreds, of this type. If you want a bum on a seat then the salesperson-type recruiter will deliver just that.  

However, the best recruiters are those who have the right attitude and take a genuine interest in their market and their candidates.  As noted, recruitment consultants do move jobs, sometimes, changing from one discipline to another, yet it’s those who make a point of going above and beyond to learn about, in Peace’s case, construction and property, who are the real stars. It’s only by understanding an industry and its practitioners thoroughly that a recruitment agency can add real value by helping match candidates and employers to the mutual benefit of each. The alternative, of solely making a match for expediency’s sake (and/or for the sake of the monthly bonus) is a short-term solution, usually benefiting no-one.

Moreover, it’s also essential that a recruiter considers a candidate’s intrinsic personality and the other non-job-specific factors that influence and motivate them.  Are they someone who prefers light touch management? Do they thrive in big organisations or small ones?  Are they someone who wants to move job every few years or are they looking to put down roots?  That’s why Peace (and, to be fair, some of our competitors) invests heavily in training and attending industry events, making sure our consultants are not just good at selling but also understand the nuances of the market and the job as well as the psychology of the individual.  Most recruiters will deliver, but those who deliver best are the ones who understand their speciality, and the men and women who work in it.

Nicola Monro, Senior Manager, Peace Recruitment

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