Why pay a finder’s fee for talent in the interconnected online world? LinkedIn allows anyone to build an extensive network for free with instant access and communication channels to high quality candidates in a discreet manner. What is more, of the 80,000 people working in the recruitment industry, 50% have less than one year’ of experience and only 50% have degrees. Many recruitment agencies can best be described as CV factories; this hardly seems to justify the exorbitant fees that they charge, and in the internet age they are likely to die out.
The above attitude is understandable but it is incorrect, because simply put, it mistakes a recruiter as a product provider selling CV’s rather than a professional service provider. One commentator likened the need for good recruiters in the digital age as similar to the need for good barbers.
If you are confused, the reason that Barbers will survive in the internet age of cheap hair clippers is that despite the tools being available on Amazon, possessing those tools does not make you qualified to cut hair. If you try you can end up wasting a large amount of time, suffering a lot of embarrassment and when the first time doesn’t work out and you have to try again you will not end up saving any time, nor any money either!
Good recruiters do not simply provide you with CVs. A good recruiter knows your sector and market very well. They know who your competitors are, who they are hiring, what they are paying their people and what compensation you will require to secure the right person.
The good recruiter knows what appeals to the candidates you want to attract. They often know your reputation as an employer, what attracts candidates to you and what puts them off, they can feed this back to you, and get an honest response that others will be too polite to say! They can manage those prejudices and expectations, and make sure that a misconception does not lead to your perfect candidate passing you by. They understand your culture and the person that you want on your team.
The good recruiter not only presents you with a list of people who could all do the job, they can offer insight into each individual’s personal motivation and personality before you ever communicate directly with them. They manage the candidate’s expectations over salary and negotiate on your behalf..
The good recruiter will have a wider and deeper network of potential employees than you can hope to achieve while doing the rest of your job, indeed their 3rd party status allows them to have frank conversations with employees from different companies, in a way that you or an internal recruiter or line manager could never have. They can approach this network with impunity, ensuring an equality of relationship when you first meet and avoiding any embarrassment.
The good recruiter understands the importance of long term relationships, based on expertise, integrity and a quality service.
Of course the same rule applies when choosing your recruiter! Go for a well reputed barber and do not try to do it yourself unless you are certain that you will get it right!