As regular readers of my blogs will know, I’m a former recruitment consultant. I crossed to the light side (or the dark side, depending on your viewpoint) many years ago. I wasn’t terribly good at it to be hones; I couldn’t sell a glass of water to a man dying of thirst. I was pretty good at the relationship side though, which lead to me moving onto a client’s site and then eventually moving to HR. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I came back to recruitment a few years ago, albeit in-house this time. I’m pretty opinionated when it comes to all things recruitment and recruitment consultant related as you may know. I’m not always a fan of the methods used by some recruitment agencies, but I do believe that if you run an in-house team it’s a great strategy to recruit for your team from your better suppliers.
Let’s face it, you don’t work with recruitment agencies, you work with recruitment consultants. It’s all about your personal relationship. If you work in-house right now, I bet you can list your top five external consultants off the top of your head. So why aren’t they working for you?
Here are the plus sides. Firstly, they already know your brand, and you know them. They have hired for you before, presumably successfully or they won’t be on your list. All those sales targets and long hours make for seriously committed and resilient employees. Most successful recruitment consultants have great client relationship and management skills which are easily transferrable and beneficial to an in-house environment.
Most in-house people I know are working towards reducing their agency spend, and no one knows better the rules around negotiating on rates better than a former recruitment consultant. If this is your strategy, all that energy and drive to make a placement with a client can be channelled into making direct hires.
Want a wider career?
In-house isn’t for everyone, but there are some real plus sides. There’s an opportunity for developing a career into wider areas of HR. You get to work with a business and help take it forward rather than work on a role and move onto the next. There are no sales targets and the hours are certainly better.
I’m probably not that popular with a quite a few recruitment agencies, having of late stolen quite a few of their employees. You’ll be relieved to know I’m still sleeping well at night despite this.
Making the move
It’s not always an easy move to go in-house, as some of my colleagues are well aware. It takes some adjustment. You can’t hide from your client, you can’t politely turn down a role you don’t think you can fill and you have to take all these annoying sales calls from recruitment companies. I find it usually takes around a week for the sympathy toward former colleagues to disappear completely.
Moving in-house takes a mind shift change, but one that I completely recommend.
There is always a downside, but in this case its not that bad. There are so many former recruitment consultants in my team know that we tend to talk about making a placement rather than offering a role, which our pure HR colleagues find a little odd. We get overly excited and make a lot of noise when we get a big direct hire in much the same way we used to when we secured an offer for our candidate.
There has been some mention of getting a bell for the office, but I’m going to draw the line at that.