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August 2015

IT Recruiters just want to be loved


Ok so here’s the thing, I work in an industry whose reputation is bordering on pantomime villainy, whenever I meet IT professionals in a social environment and tell them what I do I will most usually get a horror story of a bad recruiter experience that they or someone they know or a friend of a friend has had.

But is it fair to tarnish is all with the same brush? Are we all boorish, shouty, lying, pestering money grabbing fools? (not my words).

The answer is of course not, but it does sadden me that an industry that I love and have worked in for over 12 years and in an always friendly, honest and open manner is spoken about in the same derisive terms as estate agents (sorry to any estate agents out there but you know what I mean!)

Look there are a LOT of us, all preening and posturing for your attention, your love and well in all honesty either your business if you are a client or your CV if you are a candidate. I know you must get sick of the bombardment/harassing/stalking that sometimes goes on, I know I would but maybe a little explanation of why we do this may hopefully warm your heart towards us.

You know nothing!

One of the major complaints Candidates and Clients have is that Technical Recruiters just don’t understand what they do or what they want. Firstly and lets be clear about this any good IT recruiter should have an interest in what they do. I have specialised in roles that cover the Software Development Life Cycle for most of my career, and whilst I am not a Techie (my brain just doesn’t work in that magical way) I am genuinely interested in how roles fit into businesses, what new technologies are coming out, how IT drives business and also what will be the next big thing. However, we also need to know from you what it is you need or want and this can only come from us asking questions. Answering what may seem to you a plethora of dull or obvious questions I know is not the greatest way to spend your time but please have some patience with us when we are either interviewing you or going through a job specification with you, the more information we have the better job we can do.

You are the 10th recruiter call of the day!

Lets just get this out there yes we are sales people and yes we do work on commission, we have to, our industry is one of the most competitive environments to work in recruitment. I know it must be frustrating to constantly have calls regarding your “recruitment process” or god forbid if you have a role that is being advertised or in one recent case a company who had an article about their growth in a National Newspaper (their head of recruitment is still in recovery mode) and trust me if there was other ways of us developing business relationships rather than calling people who generally have an aversion to us we would. But how else would we introduce our service? (I’ll come to emailing in a bit) Most companies I speak to and in fact work with have preferred suppliers, but how did you find those suppliers? Are they still the best out there? Most companies I work with have a sales or marketing team who will be involved in new business development which is all we are doing. Yes I can appreciate some approaches may be on the (ahem) tenacious side and I imagine it is repetitive saying the same thing to recruiters but maybe it is worth a listen now and a again, they may surprise you with something new and shiny that really interests you.

Stop with the Phone/LinkedIn/Twitter/Email stalking!
Sorry but we have to, I know, I know it is really frustrating but we do have to find you somehow. I have the same thing with Amazon and Living Social on my email everyday, 90% of the time a simple delete will do but there are times when I see something really shiny and lovely and that I just have to have. I would say the majority of people who I place these days come from either LinkedIn, Twitter or by referral, not adverts and with a lot of the roles we work on not being in the public domain as they are not advertised by organisations as they don’t have the resources to find them how would you hear about them? Ask yourself the question do you actually have to trawl through job boards anymore or do you find that you pretty much get head hunted for every role?

IT Recruiters are an unnecessary evil!
I have read on Social sites people discuss how the world would be a better place without us, now without taking this personally (my friends and family think I am quite a decent person all in all) I have to disagree. The job market has changed, but are we responsible for this? Maybe we have in some way but also the invention of the internet and the increase in Social Media activity has changed not only the way companies look for staff but also how candidates look for jobs. In most cases the reason organisations use us is that they do not have the time or resources to find specialist staff, with declining numbers in candidates using traditional methods to find work (ie responding to paper or online advertising) they need to source employees and we have the resources, the knowledge and as this is all we do the time to find the right match for them.

We ain’t perfect!
I know there are some people in our industry that give us a bad name as there are good and bad people in every walk of life, I am sure everyone can think of someone who they have worked with who has not been a very good ambassador for their industry. So come on, give us a break please we are not all bad, some of us are actually dead nice when you get to know us.

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