It has been a week since #truLondon and we covered a lot of content.  Something that stood out for me or made me think, and there was plenty of things that stood out in the memory bank. I’m going to kick off with one I’d love to hear your thoughts:

#truLondon thought 1: Lazy Recruiters

Igotmore annoyed in one track than I can remember at any of the #tru events I have attended. What caused me to get so irate was the comment “recruiters are lazy!”. Now I have worked with plenty of recruiters over the last 27 years.In the past it was all agency recruiters, and I was one for a long time. More recently my work has been mostly with direct recruiting teams.I want to start by stating that in all this time, I have met very few that could be described as lazy. Quite the contrary,I,ve met few people in any other profession who work anything like the hours, or as hard as recruiters. So why this comment, and judging by the lack of reaction, agreement?
From my position, there is little difference now between the working practices of agency recruiters and their corporate counterparts. Whilst third-party agency recruiters might have fee paying clients to satisfy, that’s not really different to having equally demanding and fussy hiring managers, except that a corporate recruiter can’t drop a hiring manager if they prove to be a difficult customer.

Over the last 18 months, the roles have got closer and closer in terms of how they operate. When we talk sourcing, technologies, candidate difficulties or control, as well as influencing hiring managers, the conversation is identical regardless of discipline. Corporate recruiters benefit from greater support in candidate attraction from employer branding communications and initiatives, agency recruiters often benefit from a wider exposure to the market at large, through working with a range of companies.

Time pressure is an issue for both disciplines, as well as a “hire now” pressure ahead of “hire future.” The pressure is on to fill seats and find the hard to hire talent. The “war for talent” is largely a war for other people’s talent. The talent that is needed to fill open positions is the talent that companies are fighting to keep, everybody is battling for the same candidates. I think recruiters have been slow to communicate this. There is a real perception that recruiting is easy and as a result, recruiters are lazy.

In my opinion, recruiters can be accused of being inefficient. When we look at most recruiting technology, it’s mostly underused, with little investment in keeping skills up to date, changing operational practice as the technology has developed. Whilst most recruiting technology issues regular updates and increased functionality to stay competitive, most recruiters use it as was bought.

One clear example of this is the recruitment database or ATS. Many recruiters, (by no means all), use the database for information storage and tracking rather than information retrieval. The progress from Recruiting 2.0 to 3.0, was really little more than the move from post and pray to source and spray. Recruiting is still focussed on volume of approaches in the hope that some of it fits,and volume often brings results.  Priority needs to be on developing smarter working practice, and development takes time. Time is the factor most recruiters aren’t allowed, with the current pressure to hire. Rather than recruiter bashing, i’d like to see a rethink on allowing recruiters to redesign operating practice, and link closer with vendors to make sure they are getting the best out of the technology they have.

Recruiters work far to hard to be described as lazy, and only those who have never had to deal with the real complexity of influencing both candidates and hiring managers beyond attraction would ever think otherwise. Recruiters need to communicate these issues better, and work on brand “recruiter” as hard as employer brand. If you work with recruiters, get to know their job better.

People play the critical part in  the success of any organisation. The recruiters who source and introduce them are central to the success of the business. I always felt privileged to be charged with the responsibility of influencing people s careers and getting the best talent in to organisations. Talk of “lazy” recruiters does not reflect this.

Sometimes, and in some cases inefficient, true , but lazy, definitely not!

Bill

 This post first appeared on my blog: NortonFolgate: The Recruiting Unblog

Views: 812

Comment by Adrienne Graham on September 7, 2011 at 4:49pm

Hi Bill.

 

I'm guilty as charged. I'm woman enough to step up and use the term "lazy" when referencing recruiters. That term was used based on conversations I've had with lazy recruiters. I agree there are inefficient recruiters, and that may be a better word. But trust me when I say there are lazy recruiters who don't want to go outside of their stated job description. I've encountered recruiters who feel it's not their job to get out of the office, mingle and network with people and build pipelines. It's not their job to tell the hiring manager what to do or try to build an alliance with them. All they need to do is screen the resumes, filter them down, do a phone interview and send them on the the hiring manager. At that point they wash their hands. Yes, I do call this lazy because recruiting is not as simple as that. It's a process, a science and an art. 

 

Now, does lazy=inefficient, inefficient=lazy? That's subjective. There are a whole lot of great recruiters out there, but there are a lot of crummy ones as well. There are some that don't see their jobs as you do- a chance to influence careers and help companies build outstanding teams. 

 

So while I apologize that you take offense to the term lazy, I'm holding to my notion that there are some lazy recruiters. Just not all of them are.

 

Thanks for making me think about this though.

Comment by Jerry Albright on September 8, 2011 at 9:41am

Sorry Bill - but I'm going to disagree.

 

Quite a few recruiters absolutely DO DESERVE to be called lazy.  They are.  There is no other more appropriate word for them.

 

Now I know (as we all do) what we SHOULD be doing.  We SHOULD be going down a call list every day - starting with number one and not stopping.  We SHOULD be making presentations to candidates ALL DAY LONG

 

Many are not.  Many are lazy.  Many are failing in fact.

 

You know why?  It's much easier to check your Twitter stream.  No rejection there, is there?  It's much easier to post a picture of your sweet little girl riding her bike for the first time without training wheels on Facebook than call a candidate to tell her exactly why she bombed the interview.   It's far easier to scroll through your Linkedin groups to see if anyone with the EXACT skills your client needs has put up some message indicating they'd love a call from you.  Much easier.  Much, MUCH easier.

 

Am I lazy?  Oh yes I am at times.  In fact - I'd much rather tell someone what THEY should be doing rather than doing it myself.  It's easier..............

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 10:58am

@Adrienne,

I know plenty of recruiters who put in lots of hours doing just that.Because they don't challenge hiring managers and look outside of the spec, they have to work twice as hard for at most the same result. That is inefficient, or lacking in the courage to challenge. I don't see it as lazy, just misguided. 

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 12:27pm

Jerry,

Without getting in to the social bashing argument i'm sure you choose your lazy moments as a break from the work you've been doing. I think it is unlikely your lazy time outweighs your work time. I'm with you on the lack of talk time. Many recruiters are too busy on a screen.

Bill

Comment by Kirby Cole on September 8, 2011 at 2:35pm

@Adrienne, Think you could use that argument for just about any title...lazy teachers, lazy managers, lazy developers, lazy authors, and lazy strategists.  I think the use of generalities, like recruiters are lazy, is the sort of comment the OP is commenting about.  Some recruiters may be lazy, but recruiters are lazy casts a pretty dark shadow on the profession as a whole.  I really think you could rewrite your entire post and insert any title and that could be true for some in that profession.  

 

But trust me when I say there are lazy ANALYSTS who don't want to go outside of their stated job

description. I've encountered ANALYSTS who feel it's not their job to get out of the office, mingle

and network with people and build pipelines. It's not their job to tell the manager what to

do or try to build an alliance with them.  Lazy ANALYSTS.

 


Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 8, 2011 at 3:21pm
Yup, Schultz, big hat, no cattle.  :)
Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 5:05pm
what are you saying Bill? I dont think that was your comment if you track back. you offered that I could submit candidates if i liked, after checking your fan page. "If I liked." Sandra, I know you have a thing about commenting on hats. your not a very welcoming bunch around here.
Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 5:37pm
Inot only believe it, I do it. if you think it's spewing, each to their own. The numbers are there for anyone who cares to look.
Comment by Jerry Albright on September 8, 2011 at 6:10pm

Point of clarification:  I am not bashing Bill nor am I any part of condoning it.  I was simply adding to the discussion the I, myself, Jerry the CPC in Indiana, am quite lazy at times. 

 

#CarryOn

 

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 8, 2011 at 6:30pm
Point taken Jerry. Only at times though, and i'm sure you earn it

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