Today I attended a recruitment seminar in Sydney presented by Greg Savage, a leader in Australian and global recruitment. This was a perfect opportunity for me to gain insight into the mind of Australian recruiters and to better understand how and why the recruitment industry is changing. It seems that recruiters are still trying to brush off their bad reputation as people who care more about transactional recruiting and less about relationships to find the best person for the job. So, is it still just a numbers game?
When I’ve presented resume writing and interview workshops over the years, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people I meet who feet let down by recruiters. As you can imagine, some of these people had applied for ten, twenty or more jobs but were still unemployed and with no idea of why. How can this be? Surely a recruiter, who should have empathy and respect for a candidate, would take the time to return a phone call and provide feedback so that the candidate would have a clear idea of where they stood and what improvements they could make towards their application in the future.
Isn’t it just common decency and the recruiter’s job to help and support a candidate in their job search? I think technology has created a huge disconnect between the job candidate and the recruiter. Sure, email is faster and sometimes a more convenient or comfortable way to communicate but it strips away the very essence of recruitment. It takes away human interaction and ability to connect.
Today’s job candidate is very wary of the recruiter and those recruiters who understand the importance of regaining that human interaction are working hard to rebuild the damaged reputation of their industry. The job seeking landscape has changed significantly and people who are actively (or passively) looking for work no longer rely on just one source – they’re utilising a range of channels like LinkedIn, job boards, networking and approaching companies directly, making it hard for the recruiter to compete for the job seekers attention. Greg Savage states that ” . . . in the future, top talent will no longer need to apply for jobs. The jobs will come to them.”
The tables have turned and job candidates are now starting to call the shots, so recruiters, if you want to seduce candidates, go back to basics, build relationships and pick up the phone. It’s pretty simple and surely the only way to truly find the best person for the job. By the way, I should mention that all the recruiters I met today were very focused on trying to improve the reputation of the industry and building better relationships with potential candidates. Don’t believe that all recruiters are tarred with the same brush. The good ones will want to listen to you, understand you and be clear and honest when they talk to you.