The recruitment industry has a problem.
In a classic case of “cobbler’s shoes,” the sector suffers from high attrition rates with many who enter failing to make the grade. Year after year, company after company hire talent from outside the industry and see an average of over 40% fail. Some would argue the true figure is much higher. Academies will be set up to hire ten grads hoping that two will be successful. The graveyard of ex-recruiters, burned by their experience, is full of stories of woe giving an external reputation that drains the flow of talent into the sector. It creates a stigma that drives away people who could be exceptional.
But it doesn’t have to happen that way.
Recruitment is a professional service that needs to be re-imagined. A great recruitment business is the critical partner to any company serious about growth. If you have great people you have a great business. If you fail to get great people, no matter how great your product, you will fail to be a great company. It is a vocation with true meaning and purpose. A profession to be truly proud of. It brings a truly entrepreneurial career with great rewards.
On the surface, it is a career that is underpinned by straightforward processes and procedures. Following these can make the job almost fool proof. There is art and science for sure, but in nearly 20 years, I am convinced that anyone with the right attitude can thrive. There are many, many stories of success in the industry. At recent counts there are over 35,000 recruitment companies in the UK and many more thousands of exceptional recruitment processes. Standards and expectations are high. There is certainly pressure attached to targets. Despite this, whilst there are a myriad of variables to deal with, it is a job that simply shouldn’t have the failure rates that it does.
So why does it happen? Undoubtedly some of it is down to the incessant own goals scored by the industry. I have seen consistent over-promising in interviews, poor support and training, lazy on-boarding and a sink or swim mentality. All of these are avoidable. By far the biggest issue, however, is in the selection process itself. Companies are setting people up to fail by hiring the wrong people and not knowing what it really takes to succeed and fail.
I heard the words “talent archaeology” recently. This is looking at what it takes to be successful in your industry or company. Having worked in 2,500 person global businesses over two decades, I have seen a trend in where people succeed and where they fail. It is hugely important, when you think about a career in recruitment, that you think about if you truly espouse those traits. If you don’t, choose something easier. If you love the challenge, you’ll love the job and have a career you will be hugely passionate about.
So, what is difference behind those that succeed and those that fail? Let’s start with the seven deadly sins that represent the most common traits of people who fail to make the grade:
Seven reasons not to become a recruiter above. I massively believe in candour in interviews. It simply isn’t for everyone. But there are those of us who absolutely love it. People who don’t claw their way to the weekend. People who couldn’t be more passionate about what they do and thoroughly enjoy what they do. When you do the job well, and you are winning consistently, it’s the best job in the world.
It doesn’t matter what you have done before. We’ve got sportsmen, brokers, salesmen, landlords, casino pit bosses, ex-forces. You just need seven things.
So what makes you succeed?
So there we have it. Seven highly achievable, controllable things that, in my opinion, contribute to the best becoming the best. Unglamorous things that make the glamorous things happen. Our view is that these contribute to the four types of top biller: The Grafter, The Thinker, The Competitor and The Connector. You can read about all of these here https://www.harringtonstarr.com/blog/2018/04/top-biller.
On top of this, we interview for three things. The person, the Professional and the Recruiter. Good people with the desire to be professional and the ability to connect with others. If this sounds like you, we want to talk to you. Knowing this is why our retention rate is so much better than the industry average. It all starts with having the right people.
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