After more than 20 years providing advice and support to accountancy professionals, I am all too aware of the negative reputation the recruitment industry often endures.
Of course, there are some very bad recruiters out there – including those who blindly fire out CV’s in the hope that something will resonate with someone somewhere – but the truth is that the majority of recruiters work extremely hard, act incredibly professionally, and are genuinely trying to help people make a positive change.
For the entire sector to be tarred with the same brush makes absolutely no sense. It’s just not the way business works, especially in a service-based environment which relies upon the skills and performance of people.
If you’re working with a recruitment consultant, or have been thinking about approaching one to help you find a new role, here is a list of the qualities you should expect to find as a bare minimum:
Honesty and Transparency
A healthy working relationship must be fair, ethical and transparent. In recruitment, this not only applies to the current state of the market and whether your expectations can be met, but also to who it is that will be directly representing you and working on your behalf.
A specialist recruiter will be capable of talking comfortably with you about your current role regardless of seniority, offering advice on your next move and job prospects. As a leading authority in the market, they’ll be highly networked, knowledgeable about the latest trends and job movements and, because they work regularly with the best companies, will be able to give you an immediate advantage through their connections.
Impartial and Unbiased
Recognising the importance of diversity in successful teams, a good recruiter will work with you to make sure you find a company that not only matches your aspirations but has a culture that aligns with your values.
This means for confidentiality, privacy, and also for you and your timescales. A consummate professional, rather than focusing on what works best for them, your recruiter will work with you to find the best opportunity possible.
Looking for a new job is time-consuming and can be stressful. It is a big decision which requires serious thought and consideration, especially in a market where talent is in high demand. Regular and clear contact throughout the recruitment process is critical. As well as keeping you up to date, you should also feel that your recruitment consultant is listening carefully to you so that they understand your needs and can react quickly and appropriately when required.
Helpful and Supportive
Flexible in their approach and happy to offer educated opinion or thoughts on salary advice, your consultant will support you all through the recruitment journey – and beyond. By investing time in building a strong relationship before they begin their search, they will not only understand your needs in-depth but also be able to find you the perfect opportunities.
I often ask myself what it is that people expect when they ask for help from a recruitment consultant and, as well as being excellent at what they do, at the top of the list is honesty, integrity, and a positive, helpful manner.
In my experience, when you are working with a recruiter, they will be motivated by one of two things: hitting targets or helping people. While no one works for free, a good advisor is someone who wants to find the best outcome for you.
Placing the right people in the right place is their motivation, and there are a lot of us around so please don’t be afraid to be selective, and don’t ever settle for less.
The grass isn’t always greener, so make sure you consider the pros and cons before deciding to change jobs.