And, given some of the horror stories I read I can understand why!
I read a post on LinkedIn today where somebody, clearly job seeking, had listed all of the feedback he had received from recruiters based on his CV. It was just feedback, but as is so often the case when reading the written word on social media, there was no place for context. He had received comments saying it was too long, too short, too detailed, not detailed enough, too personal, too impersonal, too this, too that, too much the other.
I felt for the gentleman, I really did. But the fun part was in the comments.
“recruiters are rubbish”, “recruiters are all too young”, “recruiters just want to make a quick buck”…
You get the picture. The keyboard warriors were out in full force!
Now, I get it. Recruiters do make a fee from placing people in new careers, and yes, there are some that do so through a ‘stack ‘em high’ approach. I also believe that many recruiters are quite damaging to the industry itself with similar styles.
I read a second post on LinkedIn, in the same session. It talked about how the recruitment industry was about to face its most difficult period ever. The rise of AI, video interviewing, a weaker pound post Brexit, general doom and gloom.
It dawned on me that these two posts were perversely suggesting the way forward was actually quite simple. It was about comprehension. The first guy had viewed recruiters as a means to an end from a difficult starting point. He didn’t have a job and needed one. He had engaged many recruiters to get him a job and as such didn’t have a personal relationship with them, or the jobs they offered. He and the recruiters didn’t understand each other.
The second post was suggesting that for the industry to survive it needed to move with the times and rely, solely, upon technology. It was suggesting that survival relied on further depersonalising the process.
How very sad.
I am convinced that the recruitment game is very similar to the dating industry. For thousands of years people have been meeting each other, and forming relationships that frame their lives. However, nowadays, there’s apps, websites and companies that help people to make those relationships, but the individuals still have to get out there and make it work. If we can help in that by making introductions that matter, then great. If we can make it easier for the Dave, the Third Line Engineer, who has been in his role for 20 years and doesn’t know how to get out there after such a long relationship with his role that is coming to an end, then great. But, we can only do that by getting to know Dave, and understanding what roles fit his skills, his style, his experience, and offer a culture that he will enjoy.
I know we need the technology, but we need relationships with clients looking for talent, and talent looking for roles far more. And I hope that we can keep our place in bringing people together.
I wonder if you got this far, before swiping right…?