Surely you need a Recruiter… right? Not a Sales Person?

Discussions on Linked In seem to get my blog-subject juices going. This week it’s all about what makes a recruiter?

For years I have batted against the theory suggested in this advert I saved from a few months ago…


This agency didn’t appear to want a recruitment professional, they wanted a sales person.

OK, sales is absolutely an attribute in a recruiter, the need to win business and promote the business effectively – but to advertise in your public arena “Experience in Recruitment not necessary as long has you have a Sales Background”…?? What??!! – at least tell them you will TRAIN them in recruitment processes??

What do our clients want? – do they want a telesales person to fulfil the responsibility of promoting and selecting their next potential employee… or do they want a professional recruiter? I know if I was a company in the Guildford area, if I saw this advert I would black-list the agency concerned. (I removed the agency out of fairness)

This is what recruitment has become. An industry full of telesales staff, with little tact and discretion to know what to do with a job when they have acquired one. KPIs such as `sales calls made`, `CVs sent`, and `Jobs taken` are pre-requisites for success; and client development, job-seeker development, placements successfully made – are merely regarded as by-products of those KPIs. Understanding job types, understanding people, recognising transferrable skills, obtaining broad business acumen and commercial awareness – these are tucked firmly in the repertoire of only the finest 5% of recruitment professionals.

This advert is a warning to agencies, and a warning to employers looking to hire an agency. How do we foster a proud industry with great consultative recruiters, when all we do is target call centre telesales staff and throw them into a professional discipline on the back of their ability to make 50 calls a day, because Head Office requires them to?

People cannot tell me I am wrong. The recruitment industry in the UK has less than 30% staff retention. We’ve been getting it wrong for years.

Let’s get a great strategy at recruiting for ourselves before we start trying to tell businesses that we can recruit for them…


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