Businesses are moving away from the free-for-all of generalist recruiters and honing in on dedicated recruitment partners. For some companies this is totally new territory, so what should they be looking for when it comes to recruitment partners? Why go down this route and not rely on generalist recruiters, like they normally do?
There has been more of a move away from generalism within recruitment because, with an influx of highly-skilled and much sought-after roles in disciplines like data science, the generalists just can’t cut it anymore. It is not that generalists don’t have their place in the recruitment eco-system but it is about getting what you need in terms of specific candidates and avoiding the time drain of endlessly approaching prospects who are vaguely similar to the type you want and spending time interviewing only to find that they are not the ones you are looking for. This is about recruiting utilising expertise and experience, not flailing around trying to find just anyone to put forward to fulfil a contract.
Recruiting partners are usually found via word of mouth or from a strong online presence. They can demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the specific field you are working within and know how to source the best candidates. As it should, word of mouth should be the litmus test for recruiters. As we have said before, it is a bit of a ‘wild west’ out there, with new agencies and sole traders popping up daily, a lot of whom do not have a great deal of experience and do not stick around either. A solid reputation is a great calling card for the specialist recruitment partner.
The purpose of recruiting partnerships is to build a relationship based on mutual respect. While generalists are simply trying to win fulfilment contracts, the specialist understands that the best work can be done with exclusivity. This can take the form of target stages, where the successful completion triggers payment. What you get, ultimately, is a consultant who understands your company and your problem yet has the flexibility to meet those needs without draining the company’s resources, which can happen when the hiring is fully in-house. This also stops the recruiter fatigue that can happen when multiple generalist recruiters are given the same task and contact the same candidates over and over.
Where and how a recruiter finds their candidates illustrates where they are within the recruitment eco-system. Generalist recruiters will sometimes post fake job ads in order to find candidates for the future. This is not best practice but it is not illegal either. What it does do, is serve to alienate possible candidates, who, when they discover the ploy, lose trust in that recruiter. A recruitment partner will be building relationships with candidates, and possibly targeting and approaching those passively looking for a new role. And because they have in-depth knowledge of the sector, they are definitely targeting the correct prospects and they can speak knowledgably about that industry and role.
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