It’s not all our fault

I feel your shame, but you’re not all to blame

OK, regular readers of this column will know I am fairly caustic when it comes to our industry – recruiters are no better than estate agents, you know the rhetoric. Well, I am not convinced it is all our fault.

Ever heard the expression “People are our No.1 asset”? Yep, me too. I have heard it muttered by the same people who then go and hire
without a job description, or ring 10 agencies and ask them to all drop their trousers on the fee and send them CVs by the end of the day. So when does hiring – without knowing what you are looking for – or trawling the bottom of the candidate pool look like trying to find your No.1 assets? The truth is it doesn’t.

According to research the cost of mishiring an individual is 4-14x their base salary and most UK organisations are getting 75% of their hires wrong! This is why £24bn per annum is spent managing poor performers in UK plc. Except, these aren’t poor performers (disgusting label), these are individuals who have had the misfortune of being hired by the wrong company for them.

So whose fault is that? The individual? The recruitment companies being used? Or the companies using them? Pick me…Pick
me… I know!

The same people who moan about how crap our industry is, perpetuate the problem by being equally crap in how they engage us. If these companies put as much care and effort in to the hiring of people as they do, say, in a new server installation, I believe the service they received would be infinitely better

Truth is, a lot of companies are getting the service from recruitment companies they deserve. There you go I said it; it might not be the
recruitment companies’ fault. If the recruitment firm is called and asked to send CVs by the end of the day, what can they do? A thorough and accurate selection? Or a ‘spray and pray’ approach?

 If my first conversation with a client is “everyone else is doing it at 12%, so you have to”, what chance is there that my heart is in the accurate selection of the right individuals? If I am treated as one of many suppliers, not engaged with properly, not trusted, not given the full information and terrified that if I send in the wrong candidate (not that I’d know what wrong is at this stage) I’ll get canned from the PSL, what chance that I’d do the best job?Answer is simply none.

It is a bit of a cheek that the same people who moan about how crap our industry is, perpetuate the problem by being equally crap in how they engage us. Seriously, if these companies put as much care and effort in to the hiring of people as they do, say, in a new server installation, I believe the service they received would be infinitely better. Sound stupid?

Think about it for a minute. When installing £50,000 of servers, they would write an RFP [request for proposals] detailing the specification (the job spec); they would detail the process for sourcing; work with the vendors on refining the spec; then put together a proper tender (selection) process, meticulously going through the pros and cons of each server. They would then select the server and put together an installation team (induction) and then have a post-installation service agreement (90-day coaching).

OK, now re-run the client process for the last £50,000 hire you made…

Figured it out yet?

What they actually mean is, our servers are our company’s Number One asset – simple.

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