Can you learn to love your recruiter?

Many businesses don’t really give much thought to the relationship they have with the professionals advising them on recruiting their most important asset. I consider this to be a big mistake.”  Paresh Majithia, Group FD – Timpson.

Can you learn to love your recruiter….?   When people are the most important part of your business can you afford not to.

To an outsider looking in, the world of recruitment might appear confusing. After all a Recruitment Consultant can be someone who places top executives on six-figure salaries, but the same job title applies equally to someone placing temporary staff on minimum wage.

To be truly effective, the former requires considerable consultative effort, the latter much less so, which potentially devalues both the job title and the profession.

But not in all cases. Management & Executive Recruitment Practice threesixty selection asked one of their clients, Paresh Majithia, the Group Finance Director of retail service business Timpson who was eager to share his opinions about the recruitment industry. “People are the most important part of any business – this is where I would start any discussion on recruitment,” he says.

“Businesses will spend a lot of time considering which accountant they want to advise them, which tax people, which lawyers, etc. However, many don’t really give much thought to the relationship they have with the professionals advising them on recruiting their most important asset. I consider this to be a big mistake.”

John Clark and Ian Moat, Managing Partners of threesixty selection and taking the recruiter’s perspective agree. “In order to act in a genuinely consultative manner there has to be a high level of trust and a good deal of knowledge about our clients,” says John.

Our FD is keen to hammer the point home. “I work just as hard with my recruitment advisers as I do with our bankers and accountants to make sure that they understand what is happening in our business and exactly how we run it. It is essential that they invest time to appreciate how we operate and what sort of people we are if they are going to place individuals with us who are going to ‘fit’. We need to work particularly closely together – that’s why having recruitment consultants who you trust, get on with and like working with is so vitally important.

“Nowadays there is an increasing appreciation of how critical people are to any organisation. It is absolutely fundamental that finding the right person should not just be based on qualifications and experience, but much more importantly on ‘fit’ – not just for the company, but for the individual as well.

“It’s a match-making exercise, and for me this is the core part of a recruitment consultant’s job. But unfortunately, I find a lot of large scale recruitment agencies don’t do that – they just fire off a load of CVs to you.

“What we do with threesixty selection– and it is highly unlikely to happen with any other recruitment agencies – is have a discussion with Ian or John about whether or not we need to replace a particular person or fill a particular vacancy. Because they are external, they can provide a totally objective, impartial viewpoint.

“Recruitment consultants get a bad name because they are normally heavily sales focused and commission based.  Therefore, when a consultant turns round and says that, in their opinion, we do not need to recruit, that tells me that I’m getting proper, honest advice and they are not merely chasing a sale. This is precisely our relationship with threesixty.

“It is equally important for the candidate to develop a strong relationship with the recruitment consultant so that the consultant understands what the person is like and doesn’t put them forward for unsuitable roles. Unfortunately, not all consultants take the trouble to do this.”

To help overcome the negative perceptions, threesixty selection ensures that an ethos of strong relationships is clearly visible and applicable to both clients and candidates. “The way we try to work means that beyond simply placing candidates, there are a range of benefits that add weight to our role as consultants,” says John.

“For example, we offer talent identification – we make sure that we are really attuned to the nature and status of our client’s business so we can immediately spot the exact skills, experience and personalities that they need – at all levels. We also offer professional advice on team or department restructuring, together with salary benchmarking using up-to-the-minute information from continuous research and our own surveys.”

“Flip that on its head and it means for our candidates we are much better placed to put an individual forward where there is a real need for their skills and where we know they will fit. After all, finding a job is one thing, finding a job that you enjoy and where you get on with your colleagues is something else again.”

So can you really learn to love your recruiter? Well maybe love is a bit strong, but as our FD says, a good relationship makes all the difference. “To find a recruitment consultant you trust and like is a major step forward for any business. The closer you work with them, the more confidence you have in their advice.  Happily, this is exactly where we are with threesixty… and long may it continue.”

threesixty selection – Management & Executive Recruitment Practice. Specialist Search & Selection in Finance, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Manufacturing & Sales.

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