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The recruitment shoulder – Don’t turn your back on the future

Scott Richardson

The “recruitment shoulder” can be a pretty galling experience if you’ve never had the displeasure of being on the receiving end of one before. A tactic utilised predominantly at networking or industry events, invariably precluded by the loaded question, “and what is it you do?”

To execute, the partaker should be of a decision-making rank within a business, or at least someone of interest. Particularly effective when preceded by an enticingly open demeanour, even a handshake, the partaker might be in a group and when the unknowing victim joins in, he or she could even tease them in all the further with a smile or a nod before dropping the bomb: “and what is it you do?” 

Victim: “Oh, I’m in recruitme…”

The word hasn’t even made it fully into the ether before it is pulled up by a vacuum of indifference. It’s as if the sentence has been sucked out of existence taking the person who spoke the words with it. The final insult, almost accentuating the whole ordeal is a visible cue: The recruitment shoulder. A physical movement to turn ones back on this infiltrator.

The real pros can execute the recruitment shoulder without the pre-cursory conversation. An exceptionally loud suit, mismatched collar and cuffs, an overly cocky demeanour can all trigger the dreaded “shoulder” before a word has been spoken. Those with above-average hearing can often overhear confirmation if they stay within earshot long enough as the conversation moves to: “there do seem to be more recruiters at these things these days.” 

But why is this? If the current national mood shows anything it’s that you should never base your current emotions on past experiences! 

A nation so used to underperformance so recently entwined in the throngs of World Cup fever is a perfect representation of what can happen when you allow yourself to think the unthinkable. Imagine if the aforementioned back-turners got as excited when they met a professional and well-meaning recruiter as they no doubt were at the thought of England playing in a World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years?

The fact is, times have changed. No longer is recruitment the Wild West with cowboys roaming wild and fast looking for a quick buck to fund that night’s saloon activities. Such is the overcrowding of the market that it’s so important to understand your niche, your candidates and ultimately your clients as well. 

There’s a fast-growing sentiment within the industry that as a service, recruitment could (and maybe should) be viewed alongside more “reputable” vocations like medicine, law, and politics in its capacity to change lives. 

It’s hard to argue why not.

What other career can fulfil dreams on such a regular basis, change whole business strategies and efficiency, unite families, and open doors that were previously closed to people? 

The industry is moving at such a pace that “recruitment” seems like a dated term when everything on offer is considered. No longer is the job of a recruiter to merely introduce “candidate A” to “company B”. Far more is expected, and even more is delivered. Clients are advised on what is available; how the right hire can change their team; and how that hire can save them time and budget; the cost of a bad hire; what their competitors are looking for; what their competitors should be looking for…the list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty of examples now, of recruitment companies being brought in on-site to manage hiring projects and actually becoming part of the company they are supplying talent to. And that is just on the client side.

The recruiter has become the consultant. A good consultant is a genuine expert in his field and a fountain of knowledge it would be foolish to turn your back on. 

That being said, whilst there is a higher base level of recruitment offerings across the board, there are still those that go above and beyond that. Harrington Starr have long been seen as the finger on the pulse of the fintech space. This has been through their exceptional service and delivery on the hard to fill roles and supplemented by an all-encompassing marketing suite, offering their clientele informative infographics, quarterly editions of their flagship magazine The Financial Technologist, video interviews with thought leaders and influencers and regular updates from their consultants giving an accurate representation of the market.

The latest offering is The Ultimate Fintech Workplace Awards 2018, providing a chance for you to espouse the values of your business and why you believe you attract, engage and retain the best talent. Alongside the Diversity and Inclusion Champions 2018, all submissions will be judged by a panel of esteemed judges, themselves coming from some of the most innovative and exciting companies in Fintech, all in time for the winner to be announced at The Fintech Influencers event in October.

Submit your entry by 31st July for your chance to be crowned champion!