I have a vivid recollection of my first day in a recruitment company on 13th Jan 2005. As I took in the young, buzzing atmosphere, I remember having a strong sense that this was a very different environment to what I had so far experienced in my working life. Recruiters shouted out their clients' requirements across the sales floor and were met with equally noisy responses on possible candidates that could fit the bill. Everything I encountered in this professional space was new and strange, like arriving in a foreign place with a very odd foreign language to match.
My first impression of an IT CV was similar to the Matrix - to a novice, it’s green code, but of course the longer you spend looking at the code, the more it became second nature. I remember one colleague waving his arms around and swearing that he just had a dropper and one of his runners
will be leaving the project. I was as intrigued with this strange dialect and the passion it was often delivered with, as I was clueless about the IT and recruitment language that was used to classify a consultants’ skills.
After 13+ years working in the staffing business, whilst I have learnt a lot about business generally, I have learnt a lot along the way about
different approaches to business solutions specific to the staffing sector. It is easy to follow the recruitment ABC (Always Be Closing) technique and ignore what other letters there are in the alphabet. Staffing is so much more than just ABC, however, the rest of the alphabet is difficult to learn through traditional recruitment sales training. The answer lies with those who know the consultancy language and are able to teach you how to consult, they have done a lot more of the alphabet and my aspiration in recent years has been to try and blend the best of the sales and consultancy worlds together.
So how do you create more value in the Staffing business?
The simple answer is allowing room for partnerships. You shouldn't be in this business if you don't love people so we should all be striving to nurture great relationships, where each party involved feels valued. Candidates and clients will only see that you're different if you can demonstrate you understand their world and care about them. Recruiters are known for being good at finding people and delivering against spot business. However, the real return on investment is when you gain enough trust from your clients to work on volume business and package up teams so clients benefit from additional services – so you’re not just providing bodies.
It's obviously always important to stay one step ahead of your clients and candidates, offering on-site services rather than just sitting behind a desk. Real trust can only be founded on real relationships so face to face meetings invariably deliver more fruitful results. I have learnt that
to fully grasp who the client is and what they do, it's vital to invest in spending good quality time to get to know them. Reviewing with the client how you are doing as a service provider will help you gain vital feedback and provide opportunity to work alongside them to plan their internal and external staffing needs in advance.
Your last step is to convey deep knowledge of your client to your
candidates. Ensure you can explain the vision of the initiative/company
you're supporting, as opposed to just what the immediate need is.
Value the excellence in different approaches
To enable real partnerships to develop, always do what you say you will do. Working in recruitment offers one of the best sales engines, the information you can gain through talking to candidates day in day out is very valuable. However, the way this information is sometimes collected goes against the concept of partnership, so it’s important that some of these negative recruitment habits are addressed. Consultancies
often bring deeper richness to the table and don’t take shortcuts around building long-term relationships, they work with real subject matter experts. That said, they often find it hard to find trusted candidates beyond their own trusted network because they have not formed the right partnerships.
We all need each other. iTrust Partnering was founded on the belief that if integrity is held at the centre of a recruitment business, we can all use each other’s strengths to present stronger solutions.