Lets have a parade.

I was reading a reply to a question I posed on the Australian Corporate Recruiters site (blatant plug)around why people do Recruitment. A response I received by David Talamelli got me thinking. He responded with "I am still amazed when I see people calling themselves Senior Recruiters with 3-4 yrs exp."

I believe this is due to the fact that people drop out of the industry relatively quickly, it is rare to see 20 + year veterans still recruiting. I know they are out there, I'm quickly becoming one scarily enough, however there is still a very high level of churn out there, in both the agency world and corporate in-house Recruiting.

There is a huge churn in this industry, people on recruitingblogs.com are quoting that 90% of the industry have disappeared in the last year. That is a startling idea. Imagine that in any other industry? 90% of doctors leave their industry! 90% of Production workers don't show up one day to work! Imagine the world then. Chaos!

Why is there that churn? Why don't people stay in this industry for long? Are they all just smarter than me? Know something I don't know?

I think one of the main reasons is that expectations are just not met. People are seduced by the apparent "easy" money in the Agency side of the world, get suckered in "Boiler Room" style. Make a few bucks initially and all of the sudden the world is your oyster and this life business is great. You're on an OTE of more than your parents could ever have dreamed of, and this is the best business in the world. All of the sudden, you have to start making the revenue to hit those numbers to achieve your OTE. Your in the focus of Management as you have to deserve your OTE, people start asking you for activity stats, how many cold calls have you made? how many cv's have you submitted? How many interviews have you booked? How many client meetings have you scheduled?

If the markets hits a downturn, like it has, this pressure becomes extremely intense. I'm sure those of you in the Third party world reading this know what I mean. I feel you. One of my early bosses told me something when I was a young and cocky Recruiter. I went to him asking for an increase, I was hitting my numbers, and wanted to change the structure for over achievement. He told me this. "Son, I can give you whatever OTE you want, no problems. You want a million dollar OTE, done! Just bill me 10 million and it's yours! The more you earn, or can potentially earn the more pressure you'll get"

I think a lot of people entering the industry don't get that, they forget that this is a sales role, and you are only ever as good as your last month. So when the pressure gets to much.. they go. Most leave the industry and find a real job, others flee to internal Recruitment.

There is an old saying I heard from some agency mates of mine that In-house Recruiters are just agency recruiters who couldn't cut it in the cut and thrust of that market. Stating the main reason being they hated the sales part of their role. The constant need for numbers to justify their existence. Some want to use it (the move) as a spring board into the exciting world of HR.

When I interview these people, I have bad news for them. In my opinion, In-house Recruitment is still sales, sometimes it is hidden within an HR function, but in my world it is one of two main externally facing departments of an organisation. Business Development and Recruitment, both view the organisation from the inside out. How do we get stuff into the organisation, money, people? HR needs to view from inside. What is affecting the company today? what risks are there? how can we keep and develop our people? (I know superficial, but enough for now).

Successful In-house Recruiters need to be more externally focussed, than your average HR person, and I truly believe it is not a good match to have Recruitment and HR in the same department. Unless of course you need just process people to get through all the cvs etc.

Attraction is sales! or is it marketing? Headhunting, locating and attracting "passive" candidates is sales.

People don't think that the pressure of an internal Recruiter could be anywhere near as much as it is as a Third Party Recruiter. Do I have more bad news for you!

Recruitment is one of the easiest quantifiable areas in the business. I have a simple mind, I keep it easy to understand. If we need 10 people and we hire 10 people in a timely manner! Great, a job well done! If we don't.. why NOT? Why are you holding up the business?

I started thinking about the opportunity cost of not having someone in a job, the opportunity cost of having the wrong person in the job, and the cost of a bad hire. Hmmm it's an expensive business this. Over $1000 per day. Therefore 30 people is $30,000 a day. $150,000 a week. Those numbers gets you a big profile with all business leaders, C Level executives and even board members I tell you. I know I didn't have a $7.2 million budget when I was in an Agency. (and no I never did go for that million dollar OTE) Try telling all these people that you won't have anyone for them tomorrow, or the next day or the perfect person you offered took another role.

You can shrug your shoulders and keep moving, but eventually these real business imperatives will hit you square between the eyes. This pressure builds up and sees many a person move on, into HR, or even back to sales where at least there is more than just a salary on offer for their hard work. Not many people want to do it. Trust me they'll all tell you how to do it, but not many want to sit at your desk, get on the internet or (god help us) the PHONE and work through all those cvs or sit through all those interviews.

This is just how it is. Is it explained to people fully when they join the industry. It sure wasn't to me.

Let's face it, I'm about to let the cat out of the bag here, (kind of like those spoil sports who shocked the world with the facts that WWE wrestling is not exactly a real sport, it's "Sports entertainment") now listen carefully.... "Recruiting is not rocket science. The process can be repetitive, boring and mind sapping. The process is not easy. But it's not that hard." (I think the majority of the industry still rely soley on placing ads on job boards and awaiting the response.) The challenge in Recruiting is to survive through these functions and still find a way to achieve great things, to innovate and to drive. To do things better and faster than your competitors at all times, even in this new world of collaboration.

For those of us that do this and do it well. We help people find the next stage in their career, we help companies hit their corporate goals, we give organisations some of their competitive advantage, in a rather thankless, under appreciated, under valued and sometimes under respected role.

I vote for a parade of Recruiters. Those who will tell newbies to the Recruitment world what it is all about, to open their eyes to this "real" world of Recruitment and what they should expect. I would love to see a gathering of Recruiters who are proud of what they do, who they do it for and are open as to what they get out of it. A group happy to march up main street proclaiming what they do to all who peek out their windows. Marching with our Twitterbird flags, on cloud computing floats.

"I'm here, I Recruit... Get used to it!"

Views: 55

Comment by pam claughton on June 16, 2009 at 9:36am
I really enjoyed this post, and found myself nodding in agreement as I read through. I've been on both sides of the fence and must say that spending a year on the corporate side as an in-house recruiter was one of the most valuable experiences I've had. It's definitely not 'easier' than third-party recruiting, in fact, in many ways it can be more stressful, as you typically work a much higher req load, with a key difference being that on corporate side you have to fill them all, you don't have the luxury of dropping a search if the hiring manager is being unreasonable, and there's no other recruiting agency that might fill it, it's all on you. :) On the corporate side, you also have to be much more savvy about internal politics, and this is where playing well with others and thinking strategically can have an impact. Depending on where you work and how valued recruiting is within the organization, you may also have a seat at the table with the business unit and get involved with strategy planning and advising on other recruiting related issues. I've also heard, mostly from agency recruiters, that in-house recruiters generally are failed agency recruiters. That is not at all what I've seen. When I worked in-house, I worked with several amazing recruiters, who likely would have excelled as agency recruiters if they chose to go that route, but they had no interest. I asked several of them why not and interestingly they had similar responses, with the general theme being that they loved seeing things through, hearing positive feedback from the internal hiring managers and employees they hired, and understanding the internal dynamics and how they impact hiring...and bottomline just really feeling that they they did mattered.
Comment by pam claughton on June 16, 2009 at 9:38am
Weird, sometimes I can edit an answer, sometimes not....anyway that line should have read, 'feeling that WHAT they did mattered. :)
Comment by Dan Nuroo on June 17, 2009 at 10:12am
Thanks guys appreciate the comments as always :)


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