Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In House

Articles From the Team

More than ever recruitment consultants should be viewed as allies of HR/ Resourcing and not the enemy

With more and more businesses utilising direct sourcing models in the first instance I am seeing the following issues arise:

Scenario 1: Candidate is approached directly by a company but has not responded to the approach (often via Linked IN).

Scenario 2: Candidate has responded to a direct advert and received an automated reject from the company.

BCL Legal is then instructed and based on our knowledge of the candidate/ understanding of the role we‘re-introduce’ the lawyer only to be told:

Scenario 1: We (the client) have already ‘approached’ this individual.

Scenario 2: That CV is already on our portal so this is a direct application.

Regarding Scenario 1: Thankfully the majority of the clients that I have dealt with have understood that just because an individual has been approached if they are not ‘in play’ and I actually get consent to send in their CV then this is deemed an agency application.

Regarding Scenario 2: I have just had the following situation;

  1. January 2017: Client advertises directly and receives the CV of an applicant and sends them a generic reject email.
  2. June 2018: Through line management conversation I am made aware that the role has not been filled.
  3. I make contact with a candidate who is a bit left field but based on my understanding of the role from the line manager and knowing the candidate well I think there could well be a fit. Candidate tells me they applied directly but have been rejected.
  4. Knowing my re-introduction will cause ‘recruitment system melt down’ I discuss the scenario with the line manger in the legal team. They understand that ‘if but for me’ this candidate would remain in the reject pile and agree to the CV being re-introduced as an agency introduction. The candidate has reached 2nd interview.
  5. When the recruitment team hear about this, their view is it should revert back to a direct introduction (as the candidate is already on their portal).
  6. The client recruitment team and I have a heated conversation about this – with me listing a variety of reasons why this is unfair but also ultimately increases the chances of the ‘right’ candidate being missed if there is no incentive for me to reintroduce a previously rejected candidate.
  7. I follow up with the following to the resourcing contact:
“You made a point yesterday that by the (legal) team not following the recruitment process they are potentially going to have to pay a recruitment fee that they would not have had to. I will reiterate that I fundamentally don’t agree with this as I truly believe that the candidate based on their CV alone would not have been someone called back into the process. What I also believe is that by having discussions with you and the (legal) team I am able to think ‘outside the box’ for potential candidates that might be right and not considered, if but for my knowledge of them and ‘you’. This is especially important in hard to fill roles as this role has proved to be”.

My final point was: 

“I have built my career on developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the clients that I support. I understand that there is a process in place and I will do all I can to work in the way that you need. But there will always be ‘grey areas’ and when one does occur I can only request it is dealt with in a pragmatic and fair way – which I believe the (legal) team has done in this circumstance. I can only hope that going forward we can work in a way that is beneficial for you, me and the team”.

In this instance line management ‘have my back’ but it was clear from the call with the resourcing team that they had a very different view on matters and that the process should take precedent over everything else.

Everybody that I speak to tells me that finding the right person to fill their vacancies is the hardest part of their job right now. Surely, therefore more than ever, professional and experienced recruitment consultants should be viewed as allies of HR/ Resourcing and not the enemy.

For more information contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.

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