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Turning Towards Change Or Going Round In Circle?

Nov 27, 2007
Here's some food for thought this coming holiday; the recruitment industry is inefficient, it is fundamentally flawed and cannot cope with the complexities of the current labour market. And if that weren't enough, our consummation with the being first in the war for talent has blinkers us from a potential available workforce of approximately one million plus Australians, who cannot currently find work.

It all starts with how you remunerate your consultants. Virtually all recruitment consultants are paid commission, even those people who appear to be on salaries; the reality is that the only thing they are judged on is revenue. So if each quarter the only thing that determines whether you keep your job or not is how many placements you've made, well that's commission.

We must undergo a fundamental change to the way we incentivise our people, as did the
insurance industry, we will enjoy better success for our clients, candidates and ultimately the reputation of the industry.

The most important thing the industry needs is for clients and candidates to have the perception that the more expensive candidate will get a bigger shove from the recruiter and why wouldn't they? If you have one candidate who wants $100K and another who wants $120K and the fee you charge rises according to salary level then why wouldn't you push the higher earner?

It's a fair point and one which many recruiters would probably have difficulty arguing against. With the pressure from management to reach targets each quarter it seems the only incentive for consultants is to bring in as much revenue as possible and all within deadline is it any wonder many organizations have such a poor opinion of the industry, when we're actually forcing our people to treat the recruitment process with such
a transactional approach. We call it spray and pray, sending bodies out to clients in the hope that they'll stick somewhere.

But the problem doesn't stop there, because it's absolutely imperative that recruiters insist on working with clients exclusively but who should drive this client or recruiter? We have to educate clients. It's quite straightforward really, why would you take a brief and do three or four serious days work on it if you didn't have the role exclusively you wouldn't you'd return to your desk look up your database and the activity would end there.

It's this industry race to the line that clients drive, which ultimately returns little more than a list of names. On top of that it's not very satisfying work, churning out short-lists against the click that's production line stuff, it's neither professional nor interesting.

At this point in this article I can almost picture a sea of readers nodding in agreement but how many of you can put your hands up and say you honestly don't accept this way of working with clients? Not many I bet.
About the Author
Ranju assistant to Toby has appeared on national television on Channel Ten, has been featured
On the ABC (TV and radio) and has been interviewed and featured in all the major Australian newspapers and business magazines. For a familiar and simple solution to online recruitment just visit: www.abacusrecruit.com.au
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