I'm the current newbie here at Lipton Fleming and the other evening, whilst sharing a few civilised drinks and a game of Trivial Pursuit in the local, I was grilled by my friends about my new job. After the usual platitudes the conversation evolved into the way people perceive recruitment consultants. I doubt it will come as much as a surprise to hear that we aren't regarded very highly.
Recruitment consultants, on the whole, have a pretty bad reputation. I think it is unlikely that my friends differ much from the general population in their opinion which ranks us somewhere between lawyers and estate agents. The general consensus was that, as a profession, we are irksome, but without exception each one of my friends had, at one time or another, had a very positive experience with a recruitment consultant.
So what makes the difference between a positive experience and a negative one? Yes, there is a lot to be said about the values and ethics of the consultancy, but the key to success seems to be, that what you get out of the relationship depends very much on what you put into it.
Make sure you know what it is that you are looking for, are you after more money, do you want to take the next step on the career ladder, or are you just looking for a change? Making sure you have a goal will make it easier to find the right consultant and ultimately the right role.
If you are serious about your next career move, then choose your consultancy carefully. I recently found myself in the market for a new role and for me, the key to success, was making sure I was working with the right consultancy. For me it was important that I found a consultancy that listened to what I wanted, and I can honestly say my recruitment consultant knocked it out of the park with Lipton Fleming. Within 10 minutes of walking into the interview, I knew I wanted to work here.
The positive attitude and enthusiasm of our MD, Emy was obvious from the instant I met her. Lipton Fleming's approach to the recruitment process is all about 'placing people first'. It's not about fitting job specs with CVs, or 'bums on seats', as is the case with so many consultancies, it's about providing career advice, market knowledge and specialist consultants who know their markets. If all recruitment consultancies worked in this way I think that our reputations would be drastically different.
My advice would be to speak to as many recruitment consultancies as you can, especially the ones that specialise in your field. Grill the consultants; ask them about their clients, their market knowledge and their previous successes. If they can't talk to you eloquently about what they do and who they do it for, move on. Ultimately, the key to being successful is communication. Be honest, be open and be determined, and when you find a good consultant, keep hold of them and tell your friends about them. We aren't all as bad as our reputation makes out.