The demands from our clients are changing.
During the downturn, recruiters received highly specific role briefs, and “woe betide” us if we sent candidates over who weren’t an exact fit. We did try to explain the limitations of working to a fixed brief, but as there was a broader choice of candidates, clients saw this as an opportunity to be selective. This illusion of choice meant that they missed out on hiring some great people.
Now that the market is more candidate-led, things are shifting the other way, and this can only be healthy for the industry.
Increasingly more companies are trusting recruiters to look beyond whatever basic brief there might be. They are engaging with their recruiters, giving them direct access to the hiring managers, and allowing them to make their own conclusions as to what the role entails. Whisper it quietly – they are starting to trust us more….
The reason for this trust is simple; they cannot accomplish their business objectives otherwise. Companies across all industries are having to quickly evolve to avoid being left behind and now, like never before, you need to hire for attitude and adaptability rather than polished proficiency. Not everyone will have done what the job requires, but the job of an informed recruiter is to make the mental leap from reality to potential. You have to see “beyond the brief” and match it up with what is “beyond the CV.”
I received an email the other day. A briefing document was attached, but at the end of the email my (marketing leading) client added:
“Anthony, we just want good people, who can get things done.”
It was like an early Christmas present.
Maybe, just maybe, this shift could signal a new era for recruiters. An era, where automated keywords are out, and personality is back in. An era, where relationships count just as much as results, and where how you get things done matters just as much as what you achieved.
Recruiters have the knowledge and the ability to deliver this for our clients – in the past we have simply been lacking the context. Many clients didn’t let us in, and we had no choice but to recruit for keywords and to stick to the brief. We are a creative and innovative lot – and given the chance, we can uncover the diamonds in the rough that every business needs to drive them forward.
In the “war for talent,” the winning companies will be those who engage with their recruiters and empower them to make some left-field decisions. Yes, recruitment isn’t an exact science, and there will be some poor calls, but they need to be analysed in the light of “ok, well what didn’t you know that meant you made the wrong choice?”
Companies and their recruiters are in this together. The closer they cooperate, and the more trust is shared, the better hires they will make. The market is hugely competitive for the “top” people at the moment, so the more creative licence a recruiter is given, the wider the potential field.
Here’s to “finding good people” in 2016!