The HR Juggler

Day 11: A Recruitment Carol

Posted on: December 11, 2011


With top marks for creativity, today’s post comes from Ed Scrivener…and watch out, because there are some ghosts about!
Ed runs Scrivener Recruitment and is also the host of Human Resources UK, one of the best HR LinkedIn groups that I have found. You can find Ed on Twitter at @ScrivRec.


As a recruitment consultant the common perception is that I am inherently evil.  I was put on this Earth purely to ignore phone calls and not provide feedback.  My grumpy vitriol, however, came to an abrupt end last night when I was shown the error of my ways…

So there I was sitting in my bed socks by the roaring fire planning my next sales spamming campaign when I was confronted by a vision of Cowboy Pete, my old manager. “Mend your ways Ed” Pete warned “or else you will end up in Purgatory like me!

Choosing to ignore this vision as merely a combination of the flickering flames and the rather ripe Brie I’d consumed, I returned to my plotting.

Again, my schemes were interrupted by a rather jovial apparition offering to show me the past. “Let me show you how you used to be Ed” bellowed the rotund spirit “Your recruitment was KPI driven and you had to churn sales call after sales call infuriating people who didn’t want to speak to you.

I haven’t made a cold call in 3 years” I explained. “A sales call from a one man band is not going to achieve anything, so I only work from referrals.”

Really, oh, well, um, I’m meant to show you the error of your ways this year” stammered the ghost.

Well it’s been another tough year in the recruitment market, but my business is still trading.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve not filled every position, but I’ve tried my best” I retorted.

Um, let me get back to you” he quipped and then promptly vanished to be immediately replaced by another spectral visitor.  “Let me show you your present.  What value do you add Ed?  All you do is place an advert and wait for the response and charge huge fees for it!

Listen, whoever you are, have you got the right person?  This year has seen my attraction methods change enormously.  I now rarely advertise and to date approximately 60% of the hires can be directly attributed to social media.  And before you ask, it’s not just advertising on another medium but engaging and headhunting with it!” I was getting rather frustrated by this point.

Oh, well I was told as a recruitment consultant that you did nothing” said the ghost “Never mind, just ignore me” and he promptly vanished too.

It will come as no surprise who came next “I am going to show you what recruitment agencies will be like next year” roared the fearsome soul.  He showed me row after row of closed agencies. “All recruitment is via direct hires, social media and job boards” he warned. 

Well, 10 years ago we were told agencies would close down due to job boards. 5 years ago it was due to social media and now it is due to increased direct hires and yet we’re still here.  The difference is these mediums have made us change and for the better.  We have to add value.  We have to find the talent that an employer cannot find.  We have to nurture the passive job seeker as the active job seeker is easy to find at a fraction of the price of using an agency.  The ideal recruitment strategy should always include an agency, not for every role, just those where the employer cannot find the best talent.” 

I see your point” said the disappearing spectre.

I reflected on my visitors.  They had the common perception that as a recruiter I am not a nice person and I add no value to a recruitment process.  I hope they left understanding that whilst there are some who this could be said about, I and many others are striving to improve the industry.  We’ve had another tough year, but we’re going in the right direction.

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