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What Are You Doing To Keep Your Staff?

We’re coming out the other side of a recession but the 1st question I like to ask every employer is what are you doing to keep your staff?

During the recession the Oracle job market turned from a candidate driven market to a job led market, this gave the employer power and inadvertently  a lot of employers took their eye of the ball in an effort to reduce costs and stay competitive they handed out redundancies, froze pay, withdrew bonuses, increased hours, took away benefits which has now left a feeling of discontent among employees who have not forgotten what has happened in the past 18 months and now have their eye on the job market.

37% of IT professionals have admitted that once the recession is over they will be seeking a move, so what are current employers doing to make sure that when the recession is over that they will be able to keep hold of their staff?

Key employee retention is critical to the long term health and success of every business. Organisations know that by retaining their best employees ensures customer satisfaction, increased sales, increased morale, knowledge retention and effective succession planning. However why do employers historically put attracting new staff ahead of retaining their best staff?

By retaining your employees you cut costs via less time invested in training new staff, save money in recruitment costs in attracting replacements and save money via unquantifiable costs such as the knowledge gap left behind and the low morale left when close colleagues leave an organisation.

Also if your company has a reputation that they do not look after their best staff, word will spread quickly in the market place which will make finding a replacement altogether more difficult.

I have personally recruited for companies who have had a bad reputation of not looking after their staff or being (un)professionally rigid when dealing with employee issues that arise. The result is people talk and the word spreads to the point where everyone has heard a story about that company’s culture and then potential employees are no longer interested in working for them. To tell you recruiting for companies like them are a nightmare and to be honest why would I want to offer a candidate an opportunity in a company I know treats their staff poorly?

Top 3 Reasons why Employees leave

  1. 53% seek a better salary and benefits package (Money)
  2. 35% are unsatisfied with the opportunities for Career Progression
  3. 32% are seeking a new experience (Challenge)

So are you going to do to keep them?

Companies have to think long-term when it comes to retaining their employers and this has to be embedded in their organisational culture.

Employer Brand – Building and maintaining your corporate brand  what does your company look like from the outside? This makes sure you are hiring the right staff the first place.

Offering Competitive Salary Packages – Do not wait for an employee to get disgruntled and leave them with no option but to go to the job market before giving them their worth via a counter-offer. By this stage its usually  too late, the relationship has already been strained.

Communicate Goals –  Keep your staff informed and avoid a situation of circles within circles. Internal communication is paramount to a happy workforce.

Corporate Identity –  Have a company ethos and celebrate its unique culture and identity. This is one of the areas which makes your company different, so why be like the rest?

Fun –  Is working for your organisation fun? We all know it’s about bottom line at the end of the day but how you get there is the difference, a happy worker is a more productive and more enthusiastic worker. What is the average working day culture like in your organisation?

Involve in Decisions – Are your employees involved in the decision making process at your company or they simply told what is happening? By involving employees in the decision making process that can affect their jobs or the overall direction of the company gives your staff a sense of empowerment and belonging.

Respect – Don’t treat your staff like kids unless you want them to behave like kids. Respect should be mutual and makes for a professional working environment.

Balance Work and Life – We’re in the teenies, the invention of the internet gives us all the opportunity to work from home and/or benefit from flexible hours if your business model allows it. Give staff the option to work remotely this also shows your employees that you trust them to work at home and along with responsibility is an attribute that makes employees more loyal.

Recognise Performance –  If you don’t reward excellent performance, then excellent performers will go to an organisation to where they are recognised.

Clear Progression – Offer opportunities for career and education development, packages such as study days, compensation, advice. Also offer the chance for cross training into other areas of the business. People like to know that they have room for career movement.

Bonus potential – Lucrative bonus structures calculated by combining individual targets, department targets and corporate profits and make it limitless within company parameters.

Manage time –  It’s necessary to work long hours sometimes to reach important deadlines however make sure long hours are not embedded in your organisation culture. Sometimes an employee can feel emotionally forced to work long hours because everyone else is.

So what are you doing to keep your best staff, because if you’re not doing it your competitors will be!!

How to work with your Recruiter!

It’s widely reported that the employment market on the whole is on the increase. The UK is now officially out of recession 6 months behind the French and German markets and also job opportunities are on the increase for the 6th month in a row across all of Europe.

In the Oracle market non critical projects and fresh implementations, upgrade and customisation projects will be on the rise and we also have the emerging markets rising rapidly to give an overall more competitive market place with greater opportunities across the globe.

So what has the last 12 months been like?

I personally know candidates who have not had one opportunity over the past 12 months and that is through no fault of their own but the conditions of the market they were looking for an opportunity in. I have also spoken to plenty of professionals who have told me they have sent CVs to 100’s of job advertisements that they had all the skills and previous implementation experience to do and have not even had the courtesy of a reply to their application let alone a telephone call. In addition when they have phoned the recruiter who advertised the job they could not get hold of them and never get their telephone calls returned.

So what can be done about this?

Firstly, I always state to job seekers and contractors that they first have to understand what a recruiter’s job is like. Let’s forget about the bad recruiters this relates to good recruiters. A recruiter has to spend the majority of his time identifying new opportunities to present to his candidates, he also has to meet his clients to be able best represent his clients to those candidates, a good recruiter is also likely to have a large number of contractors on their books and they have to manage all the issues that each contractor faces, then when they have an opportunity from their client, that recruiter will have to find a candidate for this opportunity before his competitors do, as most of the time recruiters work on a contingency basis. This creates a job which is very fast paced in order to work faster than your competitors and is highly pressurised as there is no second prize. A recruiter will also be doing this with multiple opportunities simultaneously and at the same time seeking new business for all the applicants that sent their CVs in for their previous position. A recruiter will then have to interview his candidates as a primary screen, reference check every candidate, then they will have to manage the negotiation process and on top of that get back to every single candidate that is not relevant to a role as well as meet corporate activity targets. The bottom line is though that a recruiters worth is valued on the business they bring in to their company not their customer service and consultant skills. This is why a lot of the time getting back to unsuitable candidates who are not relevant to a job comes very low down on their list of priorities.

Once you come to terms with the above you have to think to yourself how can I make the recruiters life easier and how can I be more relevant to their opportunities.

You have to think how can I make it easier for the recruiter in every stage in the process of finding a job?  I think every person who is actively looking for a job opportunity in the Oracle market or elsewhere should be thinking about the below questions.

How can I make it easier to work with me?

How can I make it easier for the recruiter to find me a job?

How can I make myself stand out from the other candidates with similar skills?

What do I want from my recruiter?

What does my recruiter want from me?

So what do you do?

1)      Make a fantastic CV – Skills clearly displayed, core module strengths easy to identify, secondary modules identified, Industry sectors easy to identify, types of projects explained, bullet points rather than long sentences, achievements, qualifications. We will go deeper into this in a separate topic.

2)      Find a recruiter that knows your market – a specialist recruiter is likely to offer more in terms of advice and knowledge then a generalist recruiter. They’ll also have similar opportunities on a regular basis.

3)      Know what you want – It is very easy to have an attitude that you will take anything just find me a job. But this can waste valuable time further down the line when your recruiter presents you with an opportunity which you do not want when previously you said you would do anything. As a minimum you should know what location(s) you are willing to work in, what salary (rate) you are looking for, what types of position(s) you are looking for. If you don’t know what you want, how can anyone help you?

4)      Be Honest – Don’t lie about your work history, salary, job search, previous interviews or personal background. Honesty is essential in building this relationship. If you have any perceived issues, please divulge them up front so the recruiter can assist in addressing diffusing them.

5)      Keep an Open Line of Communication – Recruiters typically see hundreds of CVs a day and speak to a multitude of candidates a day about multiple opportunities. Being patient, positive, and persistent will help you tremendously in your job search. Also when finishing a call make sure there is some sort of action plan or time for a return call otherwise you do not know where you stand. Also let your recruiter know what the best time is to get in touch with you and vice versa.

If you do all of the above then the minimum amount of time will be wasted and your recruiter will appreciate it. Furthermore it will give you the opportunity to build a relationship with your recruiter which is key and once you do this anytime a relevant opportunity arises your recruiter is likely to think of you first and work harder to get an opportunity for you.

Understanding each other is fundamental.

Understand what a recruiter can do for you – Offer advice interview technique, tips on tailoring your CV, knowledge on current market conditions, who you competition for positions are etc.

Understand what a recruiter cannot do for you – Find a position out of thin air

Remember the bottom line is if a recruiter can find you a job he will because that’s when he gets paid, so you’re both on the same team.

Wish you the best of luck looking for your next opportunity and if you’re an Oracle professional looking or thinking about looking for an opportunity don’t forget to send in your CV to: origin@originforward.com

Origin Forward Solutions join The Employment Agents Movement, TEAM!

Here at Origin Forwards Solutions we are pleased to announce that we have recently joined the The Employment Agents Movement aka TEAM. I am personally delighted to become a part of this network and think by joining this network Origin can improve the service we deliver to both our candidates and clients by tapping into a network of recruitment companies who are experts in fields outside the Oracle arena.

So what is TEAM?

Well TEAM is the largest independent networked group of recruitment and employment service providers in theUK.With TEAM, a business gains all the advantages synonymous with a local agency whilst also benefiting from a substantial support network. TEAM has over 300 branch locations across the UK with a combine 1 billion turnover with an estimated 26,500 placements across the UK last year.

The Benefits for our Clients and Candidates

So whats the benefit to you?

Well a large number of the candidates we speak to do not just specialise in Oracle technologies, they move between technologies and types of positions.

So for example candidate A may be an excellent Oracle Retail Business Analyst or Project Manager but they may also be equally adept working with SAP IS Retail or another technology. In the past we would only be able to help candidate A find a job in the Oracle market, however now via the TEAM network we will now be able to refer candidate A for opportunities in the SAP market as well via the SAP specialists who are also partners with TEAM.

Also being a partner of TEAM can benefit our clients. We have established with relationships with clients who are used to our service and like the way Origin work, however we have only been able to add value to their Oracle recruitment processes. We have received opportunities to recruit for in the past which we have had to politely turn down as we do not have the expertise and would make our service to general.

Now we will be able to assist our clients on opportunities outside the Oracle area via the TEAM network meaning our client can still maintain their relationship with ourselves but know they will still be receiving the same specialist service. At the same Origin will not be diluting our Oracle Specialism.

Win Win Situation isn’t it?

Lastly TEAM has recently expanded their network to include the NPA which is the worldwide recruitment network.

The NPA is an international, member-owned recruiting network facilitating cooperative, partnership recruitment between its members. In 2008, NPA members shared over US$9 million in split-fee revenue. Founded in 1956, NPA has 420 member offices with more than 1,500 individual consultants in 25 countries on 6 continents (Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas).

As Origin Forward Solutions make placements globally from Australia to the Middle-East and Nigeria to North America we will be able to benefit from local knowledge expertise via our NPA members allowing us to provide a more thorough service to our global clients.

I’m very excited to begin this relationship and hopefully it will enable us to provide a better service to all our candidates and clients.

Watch this space.

Richard

Origin Forward Solutions

The Difficulties with working with HR

It is a common feeling as a recruiter that Human Resources and Internal Recruiters are often pushing in the opposite direction as us. And as HR teams seem to have a lifespan similar to that of a recruitment consultants, we often end up building new relationships which each other every 6 months instead of building on established relationships which would improve the whole recruitment process.

When things do work it’s brilliant, but when things don’t work to say you feel like pulling your hair out is an understatement.

Well anyway I found an excellent article the other day written by Ted Meulenkamp in Barcelona, Spain. Ted works for Orange Telecoms Internal Recruitment Team. Judging from his comments it’s safe to say he understands the issues your average recruiter is faced with. Here’s his post below and it was found on the Recruiting Blogs website.

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Ted Meulenkamp, Orange Recruitment Services – A Rant About Corporate Recruiters……… by a Corporate Recruiter

Last week I read an old but amusing article about how horrible external recruitment agencies actually were and why on earth did we work with them again? You know; they have no knowledge, are slow or too aggressive, they throw resumes without really interviewing the candidates, send resumes of people that actually aren’t interested, send unsollicited resumes, they lie about the qualities of the candidates and on and on. As corporate recruiter myself last week I got another call from a desperate recruiter who just needed to get a visit or a job to work on. Despite the crisis they still need to make their 50 calls or 10 visits a week even though nobody is even hiring a receptionist. Their job isn’t easy and there we are, corporate recruiters putting salt on the wounds. But….let’s have a look at us corporate recruiters through the eyes of a external recruiter……………..

1) You call them to try and visit them and they never seem to have time, claim to have a preferred supplier list or simply very few open positions. Looking at their job site you actually do see that they have 35 open jobs with an average open days of 65?

2) They claim that all agencies always shout the same thing; that we’re the best, leading agency, very specialized but yet able to fill all your positions. They claim we never come up with creative solutions but ….have you ever seen an innovative corporate recruiter?

3) So in the end they do let you come over because they have a job open. You spend 2 hours of your time talking about the job, process and fees and go home thinking you got in the bag. Then when you try to follow up you simply can’t reach them and they are not returning your emails/calls. Three weeks later you hear they are working with another agency and apparently didn’t bother to inform you. Relationship building anyone?

4) Great, they finally give you the assignment but of course only on a contingency basis. They seem to forget that we as well have our cost to cover, recruiters to pay for etc. They feel insulted if you then try and work quickly and send them resumes on the fly. What do you want, that I invest loads of time and money while you give the same job to 3 other agencies? You get what you pay for right? If you want pure dedication and high quality services you pay for it.

5) Before you can start you do of course first need to be set up as a vendor which requires you to fill out 4 different forms, take calls from their Indian call center trying to make sense of what this person is talking about. The contract itself is of course a corporate contract and is so complicated and utterly one-sided that you need to get external help to try and understand it and to make sure your not being tricked into something. But you need the work so you sign with the exception of the payment terms that you set at 14 days.

6) You try and get a complete picture of the positions (beyond the badly written shopping list they call a job description) but the recruiter is not very interested in helping you and doesn’t seem to be very knowledgeable about the position. Your request to talk to the hiring manager is denied because “they don’t want to bother the hiring manager too much”. So we are left (again) with an incomplete picture and later they complain that the candidate isn’t that perfect or tell you that you’ve oversold the job?

7) You are able to present 3 candidates (that you feel are really good) and never hear from you again? The recruiter apparently went to Disneyland for 2 weeks because it is impossible to reach him/her. Due to the terrific backup plan other recruiters have no clue what so ever about that position and tell you to wait until the recruiter is back. After getting close to being sued for harassment you get a short email that they have an internal candidate, a hiring freeze or simply have closed the position.

8) It takes approx 3 weeks before they are able to arrange an interview with your presented candidates and then they complain that your candidate has taken another offer? Oh and yeah, can you send 3 more candidates because they feel they can’t take a decision without having seen at least 5 candidates?

9) After a gazillion emails and calls you then finally get some feedback on your candidates. They really needed 3 weeks to get all the managers together and get feedback. It turns out that the manager doesn’t actually know whether he has the budget for the hire and it first needs to be approved by the VP. The VP however is again busy with a reorganization and it might very well be that the job no longer exists.

10) After a process of 4 months, 3 phone screens, 8 interviews spread out over 3 days, an assessment center they need you to check references because they are still not quite sure about this candidate. As if references are going to give the best insight?

11) OMG, by now you are taking medication against your anxiety attacks but they are ready to make an offer. The thing is that they only have a budget of 80K instead of the 100K they talked about before. But you know, there is a crisis going on so the candidate will just have to accept it. RSU’s and a sign on bonus are out of the order of course so you really need to pull all the plugs and again sell the job and company to convince the candidate.

12) And yes, you did it! The candidate accepts their horrible offer and you are ready to send your eagerly awaited invoice. The candidate later tells you about the absolutely horrendous onboarding where it took 5 days to get an email address, 8 days to get a laptop and most likely 2 months to get that company car he order (while driving around in some battered Ford from the guy they fired last week). Training seems to be non-existent and his manager doesn’t seem to have time to get you settled in.

13) While your contract clearly states that you have a payment term of 14 days their Indian service center now tells you that they always have 45 days in any contract and that the recruiter doesn’t have the authority to change that. And they didn’t get a PO number so it’s going to take a bit longer as it’s against company policy to open a PO after the service has already been delivered. So it’s just gonna take a bit longer than those 45 days because they closed the books already for this month.

14) While you are busy trying to find new clients they all of a sudden remember you because they decided to let go of the candidate and although the contract says you don’t refund the money they would highly appreciate it as they will not replace. When you try to find out why they let go of the candidate they somehow are not able to articulate the reason. The candidate you placed tells you that he still doesn’t really know either but does know that he is the 5th in a row in the last year that has been let go off.

So, corporate recruiters; let’s not always bash so hard on external recruiters! We are not always making things very easy and don’t always create conditions for success. Perhaps next time I’ll try to come up with some ground rules to work together. In the end we both have the same objective?

oh and yes, this piece is for a bit of fun…………….

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I thought this was an excellent article as a recruiter many of us have been through some of the above scenarios and then we’re left to the dirty work and tell the candidate that the client hasn’t come back to us which in turn leaves a bad taste in the candidates mouth as he knows the job specification and has all the required skills and can not understand why he has not been asked for interview.

Who said finding finding professionals jobs or companies professionals was easy?

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After positing this to the blog we found another great article on HR and Recruiters written by an excellent blogger Recruitment Dad.

Aptly named “The Real Reason HR Hate Recruiters Finally. Recruitment Dad manages to ask the questions and get the answers and reasons behind the difficulties HR and Recruiters face and why they arise.

Great Read!

http://recruitmentdad.com/the-real-reason-hr-hate-recruiters-finally/

Recruitment in 2010 – The Statistics on 2009 – Origin Analysis

Happy New Year Everyone!! We enter a new decade…

2009 on the whole would probably be a year for most companies and people to forget. The implications of the credit crunch which began in 2008 were fully felt within 2009 across the world. End-Clients deferred projects which had no immediate return this resulted in consultancies reducing their head count due to having less concurrent projects and increasing consultant numbers on the bench not working. End-Clients reduced their permanent recruitment strategies and all companies looked at ways of cutting costs which resulted in a contracting global employment market.

However it wasn’t all doom and gloom the internal and external pressures that the credit crunch put upon organisations forced companies to reduce costs and streamline services and this resulted in companies developing more intelligent and effective ways of carrying out their business activities.

2009 saw trends such companies increasing their internal resourcing teams to reduce recruitment costs, reducing the number of contractors on their payroll to reduce operating capital and become much more diligent when it came to hiring new members of staff, there’s stories of people going through 6 interviews to get a development job.

The changes which happened in 2009 will have an everlasting effect on the employment market with the landscape changed forever and how things will play out over the next 12 – 36 months no one can fully predict.

They say following a credit crunch there is always one significant change in the employment market and how it operates.

It’s probably a fair analysis to say that the biggest change in 2009 is the rise of Social Media, people are now able to find, get in touch and keep in touch with one another with increased ease and this change will really challenge the need for recruitment companies in the future if they do not continue or in some cases begin to add value in other parts of the recruitment cycle.

So where does that leave the market for 2010?

Well, despite the snow storms which have brought England almost to a standstill in the first 2 weeks of January it is fair to say that the market looks remarkably brighter already. We have had an abnormal amount of enquiries about profiles in the first week of January alone so we are fully confident that this year will be better than last year.
The majority of industry professionals have apparently earmarked Summer2010 as the date when they expect the employment market to be back in full swing and be back to something near pre 2008 levels.

However, it’s all nice us saying the markets going to pick up, I’m sure every candidate who regularly keeps in touch with a recruiter is hearing the same thing, but I’ll let you in a secret most recruiters don’t know what’s going to be happening next week on their own desk, god knows how they could give you a valued prediction of when they think the whole market is going to pick up.

So what I have you is some concrete evidence. Centaur Media Plc is one of the UK’s leading specialist and business publishing information companies. Their major brands include Marketing Week, Money Marketing, The Lawyer, Creative Review, The Engineer, Homebuilding & Renovating and Perfect Information.

Mid-last year they approached us to take part in a survey with 500 other consultants and recruitment directors from leading recruitment businesses and 100 In House HR professionals from leading blue-chip organisations. The results were split with a seperate survery for internal HR and external recruiters.

If you would like a copy of the results of the survey then feel free to e-mail us here at Origin. However key questions and results to those questions are.

Consultants & Recruitment Directors Feedback from survey

When do you expect to see a significant improvement in your recruitment business?
53.6% expected the market to be back in full swing in Spring 2010, followed by 14.7% who felt the Summer 2010 was more realistic.

When we emerge from the recession how do you think the recruitment industry will have changed?
Most people expected the biggest difference post recession will be that there are fewer recruitment companies, 75.6% thought this. This is probably good news as there is the feeling the market is getting saturated with sub-standard recruitment operations. The second biggest expectation post recession from recruitment companies is that Employers’ own recruitment teams will be doing more in house recruitment (59.6%), Third was the increased pressure on fees with 55.6%.

Which of the following types of employment do you expect to see more or less of as a proportion of your clients’ future workforce?
The Answers to this question were split Permanent is expected to stay the same, however 50% of recruiters think there will be an increased demand for contractors in the next 12 months.

Other interesting things to come out of this survey were that 33% of recruitment directors are planning to expand their geographical region of recruitment. This could probably be down to the fact that it is now easy to carry out recruitment activities for roles far away from your base location especially with the reductions of telecoms and the increased ROI of social media.

Everyone who took part in the survey recognised the need to add value in other ways post recession. Also an important fact is 70% of recruitment companies will be expanding their operations over the next 12 months meaning that recruitment directors are expecting an increase in recruitment and it’s not just a line recruiters are spinning to contractors to keep them happy.

In House HR Professionals feedback

Over the next 12 months, do you expect to spend more, less or the same on recruitment overall?
Top Answer: 47.9% to spend less

Do you think your organisation’s business performance will improve over the next 12 months?
Top Answer: 71.3% expected an increase in their businesses fortunes

Will your organisation’s recruitment/resourcing team expand, contract, or stay the same over the next 12 months?
Top Answer: 60% Said stay the same

Do you expect increased pressure to recruit absolutely the right person for the job?
Top Answer: 65.1% expect increased pressure to hire the right person

Do you expect to place increased emphasis on developing your employer brand in the near future (12 to 18 months)?
Top Answer: 80.5% said yes and of those 80.5%, 75.6% planned to do this through increased recruitment training for line managers.

What we took back from the feedback from the answers of the HR professionals is that they planned to recruit more in the next 12 months and were under more pressure now than ever to make sure they find the right person for the job however they planned to spend less on recruitment.

The underlying factor throughout all of this is that everyone perceives 2010 to be a better 12 months than 2009. Recruitment companies are hiring to deal with the expected demand and companies are doing more business and are planning to hire.

However with HR planning to cut recruitment spend recruiters fears that pressure on fees post recession will be a key issue are founded but fears that HR will continue to increase their internal recruitment teams are not.

So 2010 looks set for increased hiring, a lot of candidates have had itchy feet over the past 12 months the news now would be to get your CV ready as I predict there’s going to be quite a bit of movement.

Predictions for 2010:

Premier League to Arsenal, we’re Arsenal fans and our hearts rule our heads

World Cup to Brazil, Europeans have never won the world cup when it’s not been in Europe

Nottingham Forest to get in their Premier League

Andy Murray to win a Grand Slam

Lewis Hamilton to out-do his world champion team mate Jenson Button

Enjoy 2010. Good buy Naughties. Hello Oneties, Teenies?

Farmers, Fishers or Hunters? The 3 Types of Recruitment Company

The recruitment industry in the UK is a billion pound industry. In 2006 in the UK alone there were 10,426 separate recruitment organisations generating circa £26 billion pounds worth of revenue and that has continued to rise year on year with the exception maybe of the last 12 months.

However, this post isn’t about the size of the industry and its effect on the economies we operate in but more about how recruitment companies operate themselves.

You see, I was on the way home from the office this week and as always on the London underground there were inevitable unforeseen delays and I ended up being stuck for about 15 minutes on the Metropolitan Line (the Brown line on the underground map) in between Baker Street and Finchley Road.

I had already finished my Evening Standard (free newspaper) and since I haven’t changed the songs on my Ipod for the last 6 months this rendered my Ipod unplayable, unless I wanted to listen and recite every word of the latest Jay-Z song Empire state of mind. So I ended up staring into thin air thinking about recruitment metaphors, strategies and philosophies and so on.

This brings me to the latest theory that I have conjured up.

Recruitment companies operate in 100’s of different markets, you have recruitment companies for IT professionals, you have recruitment companies for Nurses, recruitment companies for social workers, Engineers, Train Drivers, Teachers etc. The list goes on. However, to be successful in different recruitment markets requires different ways of operating or a combination of methods.

The 3 ways that recruitment companies operate in are either as Farmers, Fishers or Hunters.

Farmers

Types of Recruitment Companies: Specialist, Niche

Traits: Small market, limited skill set market, hard to find skill-set and/or markets that move quickly

Method: In such a market a recruiter would try to get to know all the candidates  or, as many top candidates as possible, within their market and create a talent pool. This type of recruiter will keep in touch and develop relationships with their candidates and keep them updated whether they had opportunities at the time of speaking to their candidates or not.

Recruiters in these types of markets would usually have high knowledge of the market they work in and would be able to advise their clients on recruitment issues. Job Adverts and advertising in these markets may provide poor results in the very niche or specialist markets or if in a fast paced market by the time you get response from an advert the opportunity may have already gone.

When a recruiter gets a job from a client in this type of market they will go back to their talent pool and talk to the candidates they have relationships with (farming) and keeping warm while they didn’t have no roles.

Fishing

Types of Recruitment Companies: Generalists, Low Entry Level Recruiters (Also Bad Recruiters)

Traits: Non-Specialists, Easy to find skills, large amount of candidates, low barrier to entry jobs, mid-pace markets

Method: In a market where a recruiter does not specialise in one particular area and/or is happy to take any requirement from a client, whether it is a financial accountant role or a software developer role they would be a fishing recruiter. Also in markets where the jobs barrier to entry is very low and there are a high number of applicants for every position.

This type of recruiter will have no talent pool or an out-dated talent pool. This means they’ll have to begin every search for a requirement from the beginning. They will have to go fishing for candidates and place job adverts.

These recruiters are unlikely to have strong market knowledge as they are generalist and you’ll know this type of recruiter as most of the time when they call you up with an opportunity it will be the first time they would have got in touch with you and if the opportunity doesn’t work out it will be the last time you hear from that recruiter.

However a recruiter like this may have a lot of opportunities and a lot of the large recruitment organisations who are first tier suppliers to blue chip companies operate in this way, although they like to think they do not.

In this type of model client relationships is king and candidates are not treated as highly or as well as they should be this is because there are often a lot of candidates in these types of markets and also sometimes because of a lack of specialism it’s unlikely the candidate will bump into the recruiter again so there are no repercussions for treating a candidate badly.

Hunters

Types of Recruitment Companies: Head-Hunters, Senior Appointments, Executive-Search

Traits: High-Salary Positions, Slow Pace markets, Directorship or Senior Positions, Business Critical Roles

Method: In this type of market, knowledge is also very important especially when speaking to your clients, however instead of building up a candidate pool and selling the skills or attributes of the candidates in your network you are more likely to sell your credentials.

When a client gives you a requirement in this type of market it is very likely that there will be very few potential candidates who could do such a role. This is the market of the retained search, you will have to identify the candidates, short-list candidates, meet and maybe wine or dine your candidate and you will have to do a lot of research even before you first solicit each perspective candidate. This is the hunt. Job Searchs in this type of market could take as long as 12 months. In markets where you have to hunt their are usually high rewards. Candidates often tend to be more difficult in these types of markets and Clients tend to be easier to liaise with.

That’s my new theory I will be teaching to all new recruits and I’ll be using when interview potential employees. The theory is still a work in progress as I am well aware Fishers may do some Hunting and Hunters may do some Farming and the Farmers may Fish and Hunt. However, I still believe each recruitment company has an embedded culture which the majority of staff work to.

What type of recruitment company do you work for or work with?

Cheers

Richard

What’s wrong with IT Recruitment and IT Recruiters? Part One

When you’ve worked in a market for a certain amount of time you begin to learn the trends of that market place and the things you love and hate about that market. This is blog post is a rant all about the things I hate about the market place I work in. The IT recruitment market.

As a fresh grad, graduating in Computing and Economics with a 2:1, whom hated coding but was good with people, had good communication skills and a strong sales background, IT recruitment seemed like a no brainer for me especially when I heard about the lucrative on target earnings (OTE).

However to say I had my eyes opened when I took this career path is an understatement, let’s be honest here, Recruiters are like Estate Agents I don’t really believe anybody actually likes us which is one of the first things I figured out.

Then there’s the  candidates especially contractors who think we don’t really do much except act as a gatekeeper to job opportunities and then take a chunk of their daily rate for simply introducing them to a client. Lastly we have the clients who sometimes see us as no more than a CV forwarding service who are trying to extort large amounts of cash from their yearly budget.

So the perception of what recruiters do is seen as more of an necessary evil rather than a valued service which actually helps put candidates and clients together. So of course it’s now our job to sell our service and educate our candidates and clients alike about what it is that we actually do in our job.

However even taken the above into account I had to learn even more again because out of all the recruitment sectors there are, the sector with the worst reputation is definitely the IT recruitment sector with maybe construction market a close second.

The IT recruitment sector is seen as the worst in terms of level of service, professionalism, knowledge of ones vertical specialism and with little to no business practices.

Can I shoot that consultant through the PC? He Knows Nothing!!!

The worst thing of all is having worked and seen how companies operate inother recruitment sectors such as Financial Services and Accountancy and Professional Services I think it’s probably fair to say the IT recruitment agencies deserve the reputation they have. The general consensus is IT Recruiters are just a bunch of wild cow boys chasing a cheque with a range of blagging techniques talking about technologies that we don’t really understand with business implications we couldn’t really give a toss about.

So how has it got this bad? And is it really as bad as I’m making out.

Well first why do I think that IT recruiters are seen to offer less value than say Accountancy or Legal recruiters?

My opinion comes from the fact that one of my previous companies I worked for was a multi-sector recruitment organisation which offered the same level of service across all their sectors. All the consultants who joined this organisation went through the same training and had similar targets. However, when we were on a PSL for a certain well known banking client our Legal team charged a margin of 30% for roles over 50K while the IT team worked at a margin across the board of 7%. So as an IT recruiter I was expected to deliver the same service for a quarter of the reward.

So how did this happen?

Well to put it simply IT recruiters got lazy, we started offering a shoddy service, cut out all the consultancy from our roles and replaced consultants with lemons. The multi-sector recruitment company I talk about above developed their recruitment practices in the legal sector so they had a committed training programme engineered to not only train consultants on entry but focus on continual development on weak areas to make sure consultants learnt the job properly and also practiced and got involved in their markets they recruited in. This enabled their consultants to be  talk to clients and have educated business discussions and make valued recommendations and also advise candidates and give them an insight into the market so they can better position themselves for a job. Far cry from the average IT recruiters call of have you got any jobs or have you been on any interviews.

Compare the above training with the IT recruitment company who bled me into recruitment and you wouldn’t believe it was the same industry. There was no training!!! They gave me 1 generic pitch for candidates, another generic pitch for clients and on my first day they told me to get on the phones and find out where the candidates are interviewing and then find someone better then the candidate who gave me the lead and present them to the client. The training in this IT recruitment firm was non-existent; poor at best needless to say I didn’t stay with them for long.

To make matters worst, they didn’t even give me a market to work in, they just said go on to Jobserve see what people are advertising for then place an advert in the same sector as there’s obviously someone recruiting in that sector. Is it any wonder that with such a reduction in service our margins are getting hammered?

The short sightedness of this company and I’m afraid a lot of IT recruitment companies has led to this.

So what’s wrong with IT Recruiters?

1)      IT recruiters cut corners, why research your market when you can lead generate? Why meet a candidate even if he’s around the corner? Why phone a candidate and see if  they’re interested in a job, just send their CV first and if the clients interested then speak to the candidate. Why prepare a candidate for an interview, they’ve got a job spec it’s not like it’s their first interview. Why write an advert for this new clients job just cut and paste the one I wrote last week. Why Look through the database the advert will bring some flesh blood in. IT Recruiters are lazy.

2)      IT Recruiters don’t actually learn a market, one phone call they’re a database specialist, the next call they’re a network specialist and after that they’re a support specialist. So if they don’t specialise you can’t offer any value.

3)      IT Recruiters don’t last – As IT recruiters don’t specialise they have no knowledge to consult in. This has created a hard core sales environment in IT recruitment companies and as with all hard core sales environments the turnover of staff is high so clients get no continuity and therefore a reduced service.

4)      IT Recruiters don’t deliver – IT Recruiters do not know how to deliver once they have won a client their training is all about winning business not keeping business. This means they lose clients just as quickly as they win clients  and then they have to sell hardcore again to get another client which in turn they’ll fail to deliver to again.

5)      IT Recruiters can only sell on price – If you have no value in your service the only negotiating tool you have is price. Is it any wonder we have market leading companies in our sector delivering resources at 7%? I’ve also heard lower than 7% but I don’t even want to think about it.

6)      IT Recruiters don’t want references – They’re too busy to research their market they’d rather speak to a candidates manager and see if he’s looking for anything new. Most of them will chuck the reference they took for you in the bin. Thats why they’ll probably ask for your references everytime you speak to them.

I’ll think I’ll leave it here; I could go on all night about what is wrong with IT Recruitment companies. It’s impossible to be an IT recruitment specialist there are just too many markets in IT to just specialise in IT. This is by no means a reflection of the whole industry but there are a large amount of companies who I believe fall into this category. Hopefully this recession will whittle away these IT recruitment companies I talk of and only leave the ones who actually truly deliver a valued service.


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