Who knew really that they were going to choose recruitment as a career? I certainly didn’t; I was bored, very bored in a corporate telesales job and I stumbled across an advert for a trainee recruiter role and thought to myself, this sounds like fun, let’s give it a whirl….. I wasn’t the required graduate level (only did 2 years worth) but I thought hey, I will call up anyway and see what happens…. that was 21 years ago and I am still in the sector I fell into…
Over the years I have hired many staff myself and obviously have placed hundreds and thousands into new roles. One thing I have personally always tried to do is challenge the hiring client on the background and have become known within my own client portfolio as somewhat of a “curved ball” recruiter…. Let me explain.
In my first recruitment job, I placed experienced engineers into the automotive and manufacturing sectors; we were a very consultative led division and often worked retained and exclusive roles based on how “sniper focused” we were on taking a requirement – I was top biller in the business by the end of year 1 and there was 1 reason for this; I would take the most important aspect of the job brief and almost disregard the “ideals” by focusing in on other aspects so I could then throw a curved ball candidate there way.
A stand out example from those days was a process engineering 1st tier supplier needed a CADS5 design engineer with 5 years in the same market. Must have a degree from red brick university min 2:1
I had a candidate who had 3 years in a similar process engineering firm. Had done CADS5 training but was a proficient user of CATIA, so no, he didn’t have the ideal background. But he had a 1st class Hons degree and when understanding the client a little more, realized they both shared a passion for golf at the weekends.
The candidate got the job.
And that is where I started to realize that you can push back on a client’s requirements. And hiring employers must think much more outside the box. Understand what your essentials are; then decide which aspects are trainable and whether this person is someone you are going to like working with and is mouldable.
In my role now, I often call a client saying that I have someone and I have not necessarily got the experience you asked for; focus in on someone’s hobbies or common interests. Do they have the transferable skills to learn the role,
One of the best placements I made as an R2R is a high school math teacher! He has gone on to become one of the top recruitment directors in the NW and the reason for this is he had such exceptional communication skills having to persuade teenage boys to sit down and study maths that when he then applied that to a recruitment scenario, persuading clients to see his candidates was a doddle!
So I am encouraging employers and recruiters alike – be prepared to throw and catch a curveball. By no means disregard your hiring process. But with an individual sitting in front of you who may just be your next employee star, listen to their story and be receptive to their potential