Talent Acquisition

R2R: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

…said the hiring recruitment client to the R2R.

“LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, internal referral schemes, internal recruiters, my own network, job boards – I do this day in day out, how hard can it be?” – the latter being famous last words…

Have you ever wondered how any R2R business like mine (or one of the increasing number – a sudden swarm or school or pride!) can survive, thrive and prosper in such a fiercely competitive and ruthless market? A market where our customers themselves are recruiters and therefore are surely capable of hiring their own staff and finding their own role!

That old chestnut:

For many years, when R2R was in its infancy, many recruiters failed to understand why on earth a hiring client (a recruitment business) would need to use a recruiter themselves to hire their own staff – people literally could not get their heads around that.

Even more bizarre was how candidates who came through a R2R were sometimes regarded with almost disdain for choosing NOT to promote themselves directly. I think times have changed somewhat since I began in R2R in 2003, (thank GOD – of course a candidate needs a R2R – a discreet, confidential reverse search model is essential!) however, the legacy remains that a few recruitment companies do still think they can avoid using a R2R at all costs and recruit themselves.

Oh, the irony:

Conversely, I never consider a client attempting to hire themselves directly as unusual any more, in fact, I prefer to “pitch” myself to my clients as an extension of their own network. Perhaps that is why so many of our clients at Qui Recruitment do use us pretty much exclusively – they know they are getting a true partnership approach? Anyway, I digress….

Is the direct hiring strategy better for the potential employee? You know where I am going with this summation, but hear me out and I am not trying to be predictable either.

Objective? No! Subjective? Yes!

and oh, there is £2k as a thank you….

I realise that internal referral schemes are there to entice and encourage the staff to recommend their friends to their own employers by way of avoiding a much higher R2R cost. It is who you know after all, isn’t it?

However, I argue that is this always the best option for that friend who is being referred- or are they just being sold to so that their pal makes a nice buck (many companies now offer £1k-2k per friend referred- nice money and better than any R2R deal out there!).

By using the third party who is objective, ie the R2R, the candidate still knows that they are being represented (hopefully!) to those businesses (or business) which ideally suit their skills, expertise and motivators. I am sceptical that these internal schemes actually work for longevity of people’s careers. We often hear of people wanting to leave because the friend who referred them has left and now it’s “awful” to work there…

Internal recruiters:

The bane of so many peoples’ lives in all recruitment spheres; however, I can totally see the attractiveness of having one person dedicated to finding the best recruiters for a business- after all, R2R is a full time job. I have respect for any internal R2R recruiter who really does remain impartial to the people they are approaching (as oppose to those who “shoe-horn” bums on seats just to get their numbers). Luckily, we work with a few of those who are the former and who do seem to appreciate how challenging R2R is, even from an internal perspective (if I had a £1…..)

LinkedIn: a double edged sword:

There. I said it. Let’s face it. It is threatening and yet helping EVERY recruiter. I predicted it would be my greatest threat when I began using it back in 2008/9. I don’t rely on it, however I could not survive without it. I love it. I hate it. I wish it didn’t exist. I can’t imagine it not existing. Everyone uses it and yet you could spend all day on it and still not place anyone. So, people, let’s see LinkedIn for what it is. It is a FANTASTIC networking tool. It is not however going to replace R2R or any recruiter as it cannot replace personal interaction, recommendation or true consultation, in my humble opinion. My love affair with LinkedIn is enduring, like a marriage, I give, I take, I contribute, I am in it for the long hall but there are nights when I lie there and think about the bits I don’t like (hahaha) and what I would change.

In summary: use me?

The threats which face all R2Rs not just me are actually, ironically, threats to all recruiters generally. So please do bear this in mind, especially you potential candidates- can you really do a better job than a r2r who knows what they are doing?? Could YOUR candidates do a better job than you? If the answer is no, then a word of advice: do your research carefully over who to use- read testimonials (check they aren’t just work colleagues!), make sure they take time to meet you in person to get to know YOU and what you want: they must tell you WHO they are going to brief you on BEFORE they speak to a client and most importantly, if you aren’t happy or aren’t sure, don’t ever feel pushed or obliged.

What do you think? Does Recruitment NEED R2R still? Is it going to need to adapt to survive? What is your experience as a client or candidate? I would love to hear your thoughts as ever.

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.