Something I have learned over the past five years of getting to know the corrugated industry is that no one seems to understand what a recruiter actually does. Or what we are supposed to do, anyway.
Along those lines, I wanted to give Roy a break from writing the newsletter and address a few misconceptions about third-party recruiters.
Misconception #1: You only need to talk to a recruiter when you are looking for a job.
A member of my team calls an industry contact, the person answers that they are not looking to make a change right now, and immediately hangs up.
Contacts are obviously well within their rights to do so, and we would not survive in this business very long if it hurt our feelings when this happens.
However, I have to warn that it is incredibly short-sighted to hang up, or only talk to us when you need something.
For one thing, the fact that you are not looking today does not mean you will not be looking tomorrow. We work in a very dynamic industry, and change is a constant.
Talking to me about your background, projects, or what’s happening in your life today can make that process easier tomorrow. It gives someone like me an incredible head start on being a resource for you when you do need help since we’ve already covered the basics and diagnosed what types of roles are best for your career path.
Second, because of the nature of what I do, and the fact that people talk to me confidentially, I may have information that you do not regarding the future of your company, your plant, or the industry.
I would never risk breaking another person’s confidentiality, (and everything said to me is considered confidential), but I might be able to give you beneficial career advice.
Even if it is just for a few moments, it is worth taking that recruiter’s call and hearing what they have to say.
Misconception #2: I will “take” your people from their current jobs if you give me access.
“How do I know you won’t take all of my people?” Is a question I hear from clients. All. The. Time.
The thing that is important to understand here is that I do not “take” anyone. I am not capable of that.
I do not even provide jobs. Corporate recruiters provide jobs -they sell people on coming to work for their specific company, and that is their entire job, to make sure their facilities are staffed correctly.
Very simply, as a third-party recruiting consultant, I am a facilitator. My job is to build relationships with industry personnel and facilitate connections between our clients (companies with openings that have asked for our help locating talent) and our candidates (people that are open to new opportunities).
Being a third-party consultant means that I can build deeper relationships within the industry, and people trust me by sharing and opening up more without risking their careers. On the other side, being a third-party consultant ultimately means that while I influence the process and connect people, I do not control job offers or who gets an interview. I wish I did, I would be rich!
In addition to this distinction, there is another reason I am not able to “take” your team.
To be frank, if a person is happy, and a company is meeting their needs, they could not be dragged out of their role with your company by a herd of unicorns. So, the lesson here is to treat your people right, and there is not much a recruiter could say to get them to leave.
Again, I wish I could just take people, my daughter and I would be diving into piles of money like the Genie from Aladdin.
Conclusion: Another Misconception
I want to end Part 1 of this newsletter by talking about one of the biggest misconceptions about recruiters: we’re all just in it for the money.
So, this one IS partly true.
If being a recruiter did not provide me the opportunity to make a good living and give me the ability provide for my daughter, I would still be working as a school administrator.
However, for my own practice, individual transactions would lead to poor return on my investments and I wouldn’t be able to make it very long as a recruiter. If I close one placement, that money is already gone. It went to the electricity bill, the car payment, the mortgage, whatever. One transaction is not why I am here.
After years of relationship building, I have suggested to contacts (who would make great candidates) that the grass is not greener, and that they should stay in their current roles. I have also prepared candidates for interviews that were set up through other recruiters.
Why would I do these things? Because a good recruiter is not just here for the convenient or “easy money” deals. I’m much more interested in fostering a sustained business community that comes from doing right by people, helping candidates make the right decision, and the long-term relationships that are created.
It is not in my best interest to try to talk someone into a job if they are not a good fit, or to submit people to a client if I am not highly confident in those people. Doing either of these things has the potential to ruin the good relationships I have built, or am working to build, in the industry. It would greatly restrict my ability to operate and therefore support myself and my daughter for years to come.
I view repeat business, word of mouth, and our great reputation as essential to my survival and success.
So, if these are all misconceptions about good third-party recruiters, what do I actually do on a day-to-day basis to help the industry? What a great question for the next edition of this newsletter 😊.