The 25 Things Every Recruiter Should Know

Recently I flew across the world as a guest of REC to speak to recruiters in Manchester and London.

The Business Brains II series included excellent presentations from Kevin Green, the CEO of REC, and Mary B Lucas, an American staffing veteran with a brilliant story to tell, packed with messages key to the recruitment world of today.

The feedback from the event was very good indeed I have to say, so much so it prompted Kevin Green to suggest it was the best REC member event, ever! I spoke for almost three hours (I know!) and covered a lot.

Here I repeat 25 things I said that day, just to give you a flavour:

  • The looming talent shortage is actually nirvana for our industry – but only if we are smart enough to work out how to find, nurture, recruit, seduce and bring top talent to a positive hiring decision. That’s our future. And most of us only do a tiny fraction of that.
  • You cannot go into this future recruiting like you did in 1999. In fact 2009 style won’t be good enough either. Yet most of us do exactly that. For many recruiters, their offer, their sourcing, their sales pitch, their BD tactics, and their methodology has not changed in any real way at all – for 10, maybe 20 years.
  • It’s great news that the economy is improving. But not everyone will rise on the tide. Just relying on a recovery will be your biggest mistake.
  • We have to offer something new, because ladies and gentlemen, our customers are cynical about our ability to deliver.  They are sceptical about our value.
  • It used to be that recruiters and clients worked in partnership. It was collaboration. Now mostly clients view themselves as competitors to Agency recruiters, fighting tooth and nail for the best talent.
  • Talent are not an online commodity.
  • Technology will never replace recruitment.
  • Candidate identification will get easier and easier. Candidate recruiting and hiring will get harder and harder.
  • Yes, I believe technology, and the very best technology for that matter, is critical to recruiting success, but I also believe that the craft of recruitment will make the difference.
  • What has actually happened is that technology has disconnected the recruiter from the clients and the candidate.
  • It is a fact that as clients’ recruitment models have become more sophisticated, most recruitment consultants have become less so.
  • The future of recruitment is where highly sophisticated technology meets highly tailored and influential human interaction.
  • Many active job seekers are suffering from a severe case of JBFS  (job board fatigue syndrome), and are now using less job boards.
  • The reality is that today’s job search behavior is becoming increasingly comparable to consumer buying behavior. Job seekers behave like consumers in that just as consumers check product reviews, candidates are researching potential employers, and recruiters, by using a wide range of resources, especially social media.
  • Instant access to so many digital resources has turned today’s workers into perpetual job seekers.


  • We have got to forget thinking of candidates as active or passive. Everybody is available to change jobs. They just need to be seduced.
  • We have got to set up a business that understands CRM. And that to me means Candidate Relationship Management.
  • That’s the battle of the future. Knowing where the talent is, and building relationships, through a community.
  • It’s obvious to me that any recruitment business model that relies on candidates making proactive applications for jobs, is destined to fail.
  • Increasingly, top talent will no longer apply for jobs. That is my prediction. Their next job will come to them. Or be brought to them.
  • Technology changes some of the mode of interaction, but the craft of recruitment remains as crucial, if not more so.
  • The absolute core of your jobs is influencing, persuading, selling and negotiating. And that will not go away. In fact it gets more crucial in the future. Indeed in my view it’s those skills, that clients will perceive as the value add, and pay for.
  • Finding the talent is important, but only step 1. The real value comes in managing the talent through to acceptance and afterwards.
  • The big ‘secret’ of candidate care is this: Find them a job or not, candidates will remember how you made them feel,a long time after they remember what you gave them, or even said to them.

Views: 569

Comment by Tim Spagnola on April 23, 2014 at 8:44am

Thanks Greg. This post made my morning. Cheers.

Comment by Greg Savage on April 24, 2014 at 3:03am

Good to hear Tim, good to hear




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