Articles From the Team

Recruitment: It’s just Matching the Right Person with the Right Job, Right?

We welcome applications to work at BCL from those who are not in recruitment. We have many successful consultants here who have come from the Law or backgrounds other than recruitment. As such, if you are reading this as a non recruiter considering working for us, please don’t take this wrong way, but…

I always ask non recruiters what they think recruitment is, what it involves. The answer I get nine times out of ten goes along the lines of “Well, it’s about matching the right person to the right job.” This, of course, is absolutely correct, but it’s a bit like saying being a chef is about cooking tasty food. It is, but there’s a whole lot more to it.

So in no particular order, here are ten things I think recruitment is about (there may be more and I’d welcome your thoughts, dear readers).

• Planning – you need to be able to plan and prioritise a to do list which changes every hour; you need to manage interruptions to that plan; you need to do all of that commercially. In a broader sense, you need t be able to plan your approach to building your presence across the client and candidate audiences in your particular market. • Building Expertise – great recruiters make connections between talent and clients quickly – they know who’s who, they know who the best people are and what motivates them. They can do this because they have become masters of their respective markets, they have built expertise. • Speed of Response – so yes, you have to find the right person for the right job, but you need to do it PDQ. This is a competitive business and you need to move quickly. And by the way, that does NOT mean sending a candidate’s CV to a client without the candidate’s prior consent. • Starting and Developing Relationships – Once you start to work with a client, your challenge is to build a relationship that generates repeat business, preferably with a degree of exclusivity. That can only happen if you have built a solid relationship with a client built on your ability to deliver. On the candidate side, it’s about building your presence and relationships within your market – this is based on trust, reliability and, again, your ability to deliver. • Negotiating – you have to do all of the above without buying business at low fee rates. You have to have the confidence in yourself and your employer to communicate the value you bring to the table and defend your fees. • Balancing – I have always felt that a good recruiter needs to strike an equitable and workable balance between the needs of the candidate, client and consultancy. Sometimes that can be really easy as the needs of client and candidate dovetail seamlessly, but at other times it can take more guile and skill to bring a deal together. • Giving Good Counsel – I firmly believe the “consultant” half of our job title means something. Good recruiters go beyond order taking and actually consult with clients and candidates to help them meet their goals. That may mean counselling a candidate on their salary expectations or their desire to move In House. It involves consulting with clients to find commercial and effective solutions to their recruitment needs, but it may also involve consulting on their employer brand, the attractiveness (or otherwise) of their candidate proposition and the balance between what they want and what they are prepared to pay. • Communicating Effectively – Candidates walk, talk and have minds of their own. This can present some challenges! This role is not about hen pecking people into submission, but it can be about using language effectively to help people see the wood from the trees. Similarly, you will need to be able to use social media effectively and in a time efficient manner, as well as being able to write compelling copy for advertising jobs. • Maintaining Good Data (and using it) – So, you have to be able to do all those creative things which require a big, outward looking, sociable personality AND you need to be comfortable doing the grunt work of maintaining good data. You need to be able to have a temperament which can build and use good data. • Sales – bottom line, recruitment is a sales job. And here’s the test – if you are a non recruiter looking to get into recruitment, the expectation is that you will do your homework and read up on what recruitment involves. If you are looking at us at BCL, I would hope it would lead you here. So, if we do talk and I ask you what you think recruitment involves, you will score a big tick if you have read this far and say “Sales, fundamentally, it’s about sales.”

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