The art of a third-party recruiter – read…. personal shopper!

I was reminded of an analogy describing the similarities between a great artist and a quality recruiter. Imagine the ability of an individual to deliver paintings that are the wonder of the art world, with brush strokes that consistently deliver paintings that are so highly prized that they can command multi million pound (or dollar) fees for the artist.

The quality of an artist’s work are rarely as a result of purely natural instinct around the palette but develop from many years of practice and refinement of their technique until they have the confidence and experience to deliver, over and over again, images that make them great practitioners of their ‘art’.

And there you have it the difference between a recruiter and a good recruiter. There are thousands of recruiters every year that give it a go, just like the budding artist hopeful that they will create a masterpiece, but with a lack of expert tuition or a sense of passion for what they do and with one eye on the millions they expect to make, it just never seems to happen for them!

Of course, many recruiters are indeed competent at producing consistent results because they have had good mentors or training and a length of service to the recruitment sector that gives them the experience of what works….. and more importantly what does not. However, they are not seen to be remarkable by their peers or more importantly by their customers. Good ‘artists’ but not masters!

The challenge that many recruiters fail to address, and there are a few(!), is that they look at the recruitment process as a one-dimensional exercise. Get client, open up vacancy, advertise job, check database, send client CVs to choose from, set up interviews, make placement…..start again. Well that would be fine if you are churning out the same product to customers every day but a bit like working in a poster printing factory or Chinese painting shop turning our copies of art. Diligent and something the public want, for sure, however they will scour the shops or the internet to buy it at the cheapest price. No perceived value, lots of places to buy it and not bothered if they ever shop there again…… familiar?

So, to the point of writing this article today! As an employer using the services of third-party recruiters you are faced with a number of stark choices. Cheap poster to cover the cracks, replica artwork because you can’t really afford to invest in the real thing, a nice piece of art from an unknown artist that people say nice things about, or a true masterpiece that everyone would like to own and always tell others about!

CNA Executive Search personal shopping experienceYou see recruitment mirrors the economics of the retail sector. You know what you are going to get at Matalan or by going more up market to Marks & Spencer and likewise you know what to expect at an haute couture house. You find the level of service rises and the attention to detail improves as the price to acquire goes higher. It’s an all round more enjoyable experience too when dealing with people who can take away the strain. I’ve never tried a personal shopper, my wife being my fashion adviser, but I can imagine a supportive, honest and tactful in store professional, someone who knows their way around and can point you towards things you would never find could be well worth the investment. I’m convinced, recruitment should be a personal shopping experience!

A third-party recruitment service is to your business what you will allow it to be. It’s either a commodity or a value item and it can be either or both depending on business needs.

Remember one thing, you pay for what you get in life. Great recruiters consistently deliver great talent that can make a significant difference to a company’s fortunes. It’s the upfront cost that puts off many hiring decision makers. Give me a call and I’ll help you understand the true cost businesses are facing every day by making poor to average hiring decisions. I think you’ll be disappointed and surprised.

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