Recruiting is all about relationships. It is all about building enduring relationships with companies and with applicants. But often there is an unhealthy focus on filling the vacancy.
A major part of the reason is the recruitment sales model, which is sadly broken. Most recruiters are focused to get vacancies, then to get candidates, and then to close the deal. During this transactional approach, there is insufficient focus on developing meaningful relationships. And because of the model, if there is a change in either recruiter of company manager, the whole process is duplicated.
When I speak with other HR managers or hiring managers, there is an unanimous view that many recruiters are not interested or able to develop a consultative approach. There is little in terms of adding value and adopting a more considered approach.
For example, it would be an exception to the rule to meet a recruiter that asked me as part of the briefing what the outcome was of the exit interview. There is a general discussion, but no deep analysis or understanding of the trigger for the vacancy. In most of the cases, the recruiter is ready to present their shortlist. There have been a few times when I would even receive a number of CV’s before the briefing, though the recruiter has never done any recruiting for the business. Very proactive but also perhaps just a little bit premature to demonstrate real consulting skills. The first step in consulting is to fully understand the problem.
Recruiters need to be able to reflect, develop and build contacts, have a real knowledge of their clients and most importantly, be a consultant by adding value to the recruitment process.
In The Matrix (1999) the following scene takes place:
Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself
As this blog post is about the Recruiting Matrix, I include the following matrix to highlight the considerable shift in relationship moving from just another supplier to being a recruitment partner.
The relationship can best be depicted as an arrow as we aim for a strong partnership. The deeper the relationship, the more likely is the mutual benefit for both parties. We need to change our thinking, by bending ourselves.
In a previous blog, Are you a gold recruiter? , I highlighted that there is a huge business cost in dealing with a large number of recruiters. In a previous company we were dealing with more than twenty recruiting companies! Every week I would meet with a different recruiter, either updating them on the business, or worse, having to explain the business to a new recruiter.
So here is a real challenge for each recruiter in 2010 – take a bit of time to see how much of your business is in the first or second columns, versus more value added relationships in the last two columns.
And for HR departments, if your recruitment budget is tight and you are dealing with a variety of recruiters, you may just be missing out on the great opportunity to have a real recruitment partner in your corner, helping you to attract and retain great talent.