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Recruiting Recruiters: The Importance of Taking Our Own Advice

With New Zealand’s skills shortage being a thorn in the side of Hiring Managers, OCG’s Clare O’Sullivan discusses the issues faced in Recruitment, and the importance of the industry taking its own advice when recruiting Recruiters.

When talking to clients about tackling the skills shortage, I spend a lot of time emphasising the importance of having a strong employer brand and giving the candidate a good experience. This advice doesn’t just apply to them though. The Recruitment sector finds itself under the exact same pressures from this skills gap, but how can taking our own advice help with recruiting Recruiters and ensure we set them up for success?

Understanding the Issue

At face value, the Recruitment industry shares the same challenges the rest of the working world do; the global skills gap, hiring for cultural fit and employer branding to name a few. Recruitment has historically been dismissed as a profession, or a viable career choice for entry level people, as there are limited qualifications specialising in this, and it is viewed negatively in the market as a career. This can make effectively persuading industry experts to move into an unfamiliar field very difficult.  If you ask most Recruiters how they became one, chances are they’ll probably say they fell in to it – it’s not something they typically sought out as a career. 

Hiring quickly to fill a gap, ignoring what your team has to say or failing to train / induct new hires properly can often result in a bad hire, which can be costly for any industry. A bad hire for a recruitment agency however, can damage both the agency and its clients, potentially bringing the entire industry’s reputation into disrepute. The key to avoiding making a bad hire is found within the same advice we give our clients - hire for cultural fit, give the candidate a great experience and ensure you are diligent with the recruitment process and you’ll end up hiring once.

Finding an Ethical Recruiter

Whilst industry or Recruitment experience is crucial, understanding the depth of that experience is equally as important. I have worked alongside a number of recruiters in my time, and maybe I’ve been lucky, but whilst looking for experienced Recruiters recently to hire for OCG – I’ve realised how unethical some organisations out there actually are.  Each recruitment agency has their processes; so double checking an experienced Recruiter’s way of working can go a long way - do they interview every candidate? How was their performance measured? What is their way of differentiating themselves?  Having a complete understanding of their experience helps me build a solid understanding of their suitability.

Finding a candidate with Recruitment or industry experience is only half the battle though. In fact, whilst experience is important, so is prioritising candidates who have genuine care.  Care about connecting the right people to the perfect job, care about how they conduct themselves through a process and care about their personal brand. A persons’ ethics and attitude is of equal importance to their experience.

In my mind an ‘ethical Recruiter’ is someone who:

- Instils confidence in both their clients and candidates by being a force of positivity, even if they’ve just lost a star candidate to a competing offer.

- Portrays an honest and transparent disposition with a genuine care for their clients, candidates and stakeholders.

- Is able to do what is right over what is necessarily easy by going above and beyond what is expected of them.

- Understands the benefits of constructive criticism by sharing ideas on how to better recruit talent and improve internal processes.

But how would you find an ‘ethical Recruiter’?

We tell our clients that hiring for cultural fit means to identify their own brand, values and culture. The interview process is perfect for painting a realistic view of our culture and ensure what the role involves is properly understood. This allows us to remove the need for compromising and set up our new hires to thrive.  When someone is hiring – they are hiring for you / your career, and for them – it is the right thing to do to ensure you are setting them up to be successful, in your environment.  At OCG we will always take the time to find an ‘ethical Recruiter’ that matches our values, allowing us to be smart with who we hire for us and for the Recruiter. 

Caring for the Candidate

Just like hiring for cultural fit, we spend as much time telling clients to pay attention to their candidate experience. Candidate experience plays an important role in how we approach potential hires when recruiting Recruiters.

Industry experts have become so by having a well thought-out career plan and will more than likely be comfortable where they are and know what looks right. Attempting to persuade them to leave that comfort zone and move into an unfamiliar sector / company can pose challenges.

Persuading any candidate to take a new role comes down to setting clear expectations on what they can expect to be different, what can be better. If you’ve found a great candidate, chances are, so has someone else so the way you will differentiate is by giving them a great experience, regardless of the outcome.

We understand more than anyone, that people who enter a new company, will be subjected to the pressures of quickly adapting to new challenges - sometimes overwhelming them in the process. This is why our advice to clients focuses on ensuring their new hire becomes an essential part of a professional, pragmatic team that is focused on the growth of the candidate and the business. We have to follow the same thought pattern for our internal hires, and allow our new employees to experience that supportive environment which in turn, fosters these values.

Summary

Recruiting a new professional to any organisation or any industry has its challenges, and recruiting Recruiters is no different. Tackling these challenges relies heavily on seeking out candidates that thrive in your company’s culture, and ensuring they’re properly equipped to succeed in your environment.

Whether you’re an industry expert looking for your next move, or a seasoned Recruiter looking for a fresh environment, there’s always a helping hand waiting to point you in the right direction. If you’d like a quick chat about what you could achieve at OCG, don’t hesitate to contact me today.

Clare O'Sullivan

Clare O'Sullivan | Manager Technology

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