Why is it that so many recruiters continue to offer such a poor level of service to senior candidates who may well be future clients?

 

I've spoken to a lot of senior candidates from a range of backgrounds and industry sectors recently who are fed up with receiving poorly written rejection emails and who have little or no contact from consultants who have their details. Those that are interviewed frequently find the experience a nightmare with poorly trained recruiters less able to conduct an interview than themselves!

 

The picture is just as bad within the recruitment industry itself, which is why I'm attempting to correct this through expanding the recruitment to recruitment side of my business.

 

I'm keen to know what others feel about this?  

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Senior level candidates should probably not be interviewed by inexperienced recruiters.  It is difficult for a young recruiter to interview effectively a candidate who has been in a VP role.  The reason senior level candidates are not having much contact with recruiters who have their details is that there are not that many senior level open positions being listed with recruiters just yet.

Unfortunately this has been the case for a very long time, regardless of the current economic situation. Having been in the industry for over 20 years I've seen plenty of changes, and the increasing use of technology has created huge databases of candidates thus dumbing down the all important skill of a good recruiter to build solid long term business relationships. Whilst a strong focus on KPIs is essential to business success, communicating effectively with both the client/candidate populations is very important. Recruiters need to be seen to add value and one way of driving this would be to be seen as equally professional to candidates as clients as a USP.

Even amongst respected global brand names, candidates sink or swim according to the consultant who initially assesses them, let alone who may or may not go on to interview them. Most recruitment firms would be wise to invest more in training on candidate management and managing their expectations.    

Sandra McCartt said:

Senior level candidates should probably not be interviewed by inexperienced recruiters.  It is difficult for a young recruiter to interview effectively a candidate who has been in a VP role.  The reason senior level candidates are not having much contact with recruiters who have their details is that there are not that many senior level open positions being listed with recruiters just yet.

Senior level covers a lot of ground but I think one of the problems is we are in an industry with far too low a barrier to entry. Today you can be a clerk in WalMart and tomorrow a recruiter, simply because you say you are. With a few exceptions training is all but non existent beyond finding candidates, getting job orders and 'closing' things down.

 

Way too many recruiters forget that today's candidate (senior, junior or otherwise) will be tomorrow hiring manager and its simply good business for owners to provide comphehensive training, not just lip service, to their recruiters.

You are right to broaden the discussion to the general candidate population, who regard our industry with cynicism as a result of poor service.

The starting point is to get good quality hires into your business through a rigourous selection process. When I was Director of Talent Management for the most profitable division of a major global recruiter, we pinned a lot of our success on getting our attraction strategy right, developing individuals with little or no previous recruitment experience alongside smaller intakes of experienced consultants.

At the outset new starters went on a three week residential course after two weeks in the office. Covering all aspects of recruitment and highly inter-active, the final week was run as a practical using live candidates and clients making calls from the training room. This was followed by a further training day after six weeks back in the office covering both new ground and a workshop where early difficulties in the job were discussed. After six months all delegates would give a presentation on their business to the Managing Director and myself with full metrics, and discuss progress with key clients.

At 9-12 months, further in-depth workshops were held covering both permanent and temporary recruitment. Different managers and senior consultants would help on all courses and provide coaching on site. Needless to say the management team were provided with regular management training and leadership development programmes. Over the 11 years I was there we went from 12 to 37 offices nationwide, and were highly profitable.

Unless significant time and effort is put into recruiting and training recruitment consultants properly (which is what my business does), standards of service will remain patchy.

 

    

Bill Vick said:

Senior level covers a lot of ground but I think one of the problems is we are in an industry with far too low a barrier to entry. Today you can be a clerk in WalMart and tomorrow a recruiter, simply because you say you are. With a few exceptions training is all but non existent beyond finding candidates, getting job orders and 'closing' things down.

 

Way too many recruiters forget that today's candidate (senior, junior or otherwise) will be tomorrow hiring manager and its simply good business for owners to provide comphehensive training, not just lip service, to their recruiters.

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