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RECRUITER OWN GOALS – How to be the best recruiter you can be

Written by someone who has to pick the ball up from the back of the other team’s net.

I love recruitment and recruiters. It’s as simple as that. I am full of admiration for what you do, as I couldn’t do your job in a month of Sundays. So what I’m about to say isn’t a criticism at all, it’s intended to be helpful. And it’s all from my experience of helping recruiters when things have gone a teensy bit wrong. I know you’ll all read this and think “I would never do that”, but I promise you these are all real stories- on a completely no names basis, of course.

1 If you are doing contingent recruitment, take the name of the candidate off the CV. Believe me, I’ve seen it. Because when the prospective client contacts your candidate direct, you’re going to struggle to collect a fee (more on this later later) if you have made it easy for the client to identify the candidate.

2 Remember to send your terms of business to the client. It’s so fundamental, but often so overlooked. If you couple 1 and 2 together, how do you think you’re entitled to a fee?

3 There is no such thing as “candidate ownership“. They are not pets. You can’t own a candidate. Sure, you can have a written right of representation, but they’re not yours for ever. Stop thinking you can control your clients and candidates, and focus on delivering an awesome service so that neither of them wants to go anywhere else.

4 Look after your staff and your team. They are people. You can’t reward them with pool tables and beer fridges alone. It doesn’t matter how hard you make them work until the final hour of the day on a Friday, if you don’t look after them all the time, treat them well and invest in them, they are going to leave. But not before being severely disruptive and potentially damaging your business.

5 Restrictive covenants. Love them or loathe them? Some recruitment directors aren’t bothered about them, which is fine. Others get very excited about them. This again is fine. But for god’s sake if you’re going to try and enforce them make sure they are well written enough so that you have defined what you are trying to restrict your ex employee from doing after they have left.

6 Check who your client is. If it’s a big company, and you know them by a generic one name title, don’t be upset if when you try and chase an unpaid invoice they tell you that you have not invoiced the correct company, or that the candidate was actually placed with one of their subsidiaries. They will do anything to get out of paying a fee, so don’t give them any excuse.

7 When you invoice the client, make sure the invoice is for the correct amount based on the correct fee for the correct placement value. It slows the whole recovery process down if a claim has to be amended because somebody couldn’t add up.

8 Make sure everything you write to clients and candidates, from emails through to proposals, have correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Not everybody is great at this, and that might not be your skill set, so if it’s not your thing you could always get it read over by someone else just to check – before your client picks up an embarrassing error.

9 Understand your own terms of business. I know you’re all going to say that lawyers draft them as if they were written in Egyptian hieroglyphs, and that nobody understands them, but when you’re challenged on them by a client, it would make you look really smart if you actually knew what they said.

10 Don’t muck around with, & make changes to, your terms of business. Adding in the odd bit of wording here & there doesn’t always work. Get them done properly & leave them alone. That’s what you’ve got me for – so you can get on with doing what you do best – recruitment.