Recruitment: The Good, The Bad & The Judgey.
'Oh you work in recruitment, how wonderful!', said hardly anyone, ever.
For years, recruiters have had a bad reputation. I myself had been sucked into the whirl wind of presuming they were trouble, until I landed a job with Staffroom Education nearly two years ago. You see, we're all so ready to make presumptions when a few horror stories have been thrown around. Before you say it, I'm not making the bold statement that no one has had a bad experience within this industry, because quite frankly I'd be lying, but what I'm trying to convey is that we're not all bad.
It wasn't long ago that I heard someone compare our roles to estate agents. Apparently we're completely sales driven, don't care about our customers and have a tendency to call ten times a day, at the wrong times, on the wrong week in the wrong month, so it seems that we may have got off on the wrong foot. It's a difficult one for me. I'd love to sit here and tell you how passionate, caring and hard-working we are, but I doubt you'd believe the claims, however I'm hoping that after reading this, you may see us in a different light; if only a little.
The problem with recruitment today is that a good percentage of its employees work on a contingency basis, only receiving their cut when they've placed a candidate. This means long hours and dedication, aswell as plenty of emails, 'touching base' and yes, a phone call now and again. To many, this is seen as inconvenient and unnecessary, no one wants a 'salesy' phone call at work when they've got a mile long to do list, but does anyone consider that the person on the end of the phone is just trying to make a living? Sometimes we don't choose the industry we work in, we take what we're offered and we work hard to be succesful. To be a recruiter, you must have stamina and a bullet proof vest and many take the exit before a year is up, but some stay and some do well. Not to be bias, but I'm actually proud to say that I work with such a lovely bunch. Every day we receive positive feedback and thank you's from teachers that we've placed, plus plenty of calls from people who want to come in and register, so correct me if I'm wrong but that suggests that we must be doing something right, right?
It is a saturated industry. Clients receive dozens of calls, and it's a dog eat dog world. BUT (you knew that was coming) there are hundreds of businesses, schools and candidates that have strong, long-standing relationships with recruitment consultants and will continue to do so for years to come. The proof is in the pudding; every industry has its broken biscuits but recruitment survives because it's necessary, it provides jobs and it fills them and plenty of us do it well. I can't stress to you how much I hold my hands up to those that put 100% into whatever job they have, there are so many positions that are scrutinised but we forget that someone has to do them, and fair play to those that do. Working in this industry has taught me the usual life lessons, but more importantly to be a little more understanding. The salesman on the end of the phone doesn't want to annoy me, he just wants to meet his targets and to go home stress free with money in his pocket, just as I do. Everyone has bad days, everyone has good days and everyone loves jobs that others hate. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people ask whether I've joined the recruitment industry whilst I find something else. Maybe I like this job? Maybe I'm good at it.
There are always going to be people who spoil it for rest of us, but believe me when I say that there are plenty who do know what they're talking about, have an understanding about the industry they are working in, and the jobs that they are working on. What I'm trying to say here guys is that I know many that hate Marmite, but eat Twiglets (which are pretty much made of the same substance), so I'm all for boycotting things that I don't like, but one shouldn't tarnish every single thing with the same brush.