iRobot - Robots

Avoid the Recruitment Robots…

The wonderful, ever changing, world of recruitment. An industry that divides opinion – as the flow of many a LinkedIn feed will stand testament to. A running battle of perceptions; one minute Recruiters are the scum of the earth, the next they’re the dog’s proverbials. For every negatron dissing the industry and those who work in it, there is someone valiantly standing up for the cause.

Boring isn’t it?

But it got me thinking about what it is that goes into the makeup of a good Recruiter, and of course what goes into the make-up of a bad one; and I can only surmise that it is the fundamentally personal aspects of how a recruiter goes about their business that qualify them as either good or bad.

The whole Recruitment process is, and to my mind should be and always remain, personal. From the minute that a role is released by a client, in fact even before that – when the role is a cheeky glint in a hiring manager’s eye, the concept of Recruitment being personal is absolutely crucial.

And so it should be.

From here, the personal nature of the comprehensive Recruitment process snowballs. Personal relationships often drive the engagement of a particular Agency or Candidate directly for the role; the Recruiter, internal or external, who has the privilege and responsibility to source suitable candidates for the role will extend their initial thoughts to anyone in their personal network who would be appropriate for it. They’ll meet, screen, and agree on an introduction… all personal… engage, in person, with the hiring manager for their interviews… and so on and so on.

It is well and truly personal.

So why, then, have we constantly sought to remove the personality from Recruitment process? And is there any real evidence to suggest that it has it resulted in increased efficacy in recruitment process? In many Recruitment markets the Recruiter has become a nameless automaton sitting behind a portal or job board, shovelling CV’s of candidates they have never met, and sometimes never spoken to, to a client they have no real molecular, personal, understanding on. Hit and hope recruitment at its absolute finest.

Call me a moron, I dare you, as I don’t know the stats, nor can I really be bothered to check on them, but I might stab a guess that this automated, processed, corner cutting type of recruitment has made only one real leap forward – and that is cost-saving at one end of the spectrum, at the expense of the other.

When you’re looking for a new role, what would you prefer to trust in; a human being who understands and appreciates your circumstance, has taken time to engage in an appreciation of your interests and career prerogatives, assessing all available options to provide a well-matches roster of suitable opportunities?

…or would you prefer to type your details into a system and see what it comes up with; which will invariably be too rigid, too structured, and too impersonal to fully appreciate your situation?

For those who haven’t quite worked it out, the first option here identifies a “good” recruiter (the type that are apparently so hard to find at the moment) and the second identifies ATS, Applications, Automated Checklists, and other parameter constrained Recruitment channels.

I have always championed the personal approach, and for my sins, am seen by most as a pretty decent Recruiter – while I appreciate that some within my industry have fallen short on this, I still firmly believe that the best way to find relevant and well-matched opportunities is by engaging with another human being on a very personal plain. Find that recruiter who is right for you, and can identify with what your search is really about, and that’s how you engage a good recruiter.

Removing personality from Recruitment process is a perhaps a riskier business than kissing a few Recruitment “frogs”. There may well be a prince around the corner.

When Recruitment is done personally, and possesses the interests and motivations of the candidate, and the requirements of the candidate at heart, this is when Recruitment is at its’ most effective. Technology has its part to play, of course, but as a supporting actor rather than a lead.


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