February 10, 2022

Thinking long-term with people-shaped recruitment

By Lisa Gills

It's an image thing

It’s true and there’s no getting away from it. Recruiters are increasingly known as a necessary evil.

A google search on the perception of recruitment threw up links to articles on "why do people hate recruitment agencies” , “6 reasons candidates hate recruiters” as well as “how to spot a bad recruitment agency”

Sometimes, businesses may feel they have no choice in using bad ones, or don’t realise that good ones exist. I often hear negative experiences of businesses working with agencies where it’s purely transactional, receiving average CVs or worse no CVs at all and with very poor communication. Recruiters are often perceived for being money grabbing, taking large fees for not a lot of work or effort and it’s no surprise that the industry as a whole has a bad reputation.

It’s bad for candidates too, even worse in this digital age, signed up to an app or platform and forced to apply through automation. No human contact, no customer service, not even ghosted, their application vanishing into the ether. One candidate I recently worked with explained that having to apply for roles through an app was soul destroying. He had minimal contact with a real person with absolutely zero support in the process and felt purely like a number or a commodity.

Investing in a new team member, regardless of the size of the business, is a huge consideration for culture and future business growth. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but sadly they are few and far between and the good ones will inevitably be judged on other poor experiences. Yet the process isn’t taken seriously enough, seen as throw-away, as easy as scan and pack, click and go.

We’ve just experienced a time where surely building relationships is even more important than it’s ever been, hasn’t the pandemic taught us that, to value relationships and nurture them?

People-shaped recruitment is about thinking long-term, it’s not just filling a role but finding someone that would not only fit in, but add to the culture, contributing to the growth and success of a business and develop in their career and stay beyond a year or two.

Recruitment is all about relationships.

Nothing survives, thrives or grows without solid relationships - not people or business anyway. I am on a mission to change that, to rebrand recruitment. To put emotional intelligence back into the heart of recruitment. After all it’s a people-centric business. I launched Wild Squirrel Recruitment October last year. What was I thinking starting a niche recruitment business at the height of a pandemic? I was driven, not to reinvent the wheel, but just to do things that should be seen as standard really well.

I knew how to be refreshingly different and that was to be passionately people-shaped. I knew that a shiny app wouldn’t replace customer service or a faceless online platform. I cared a lot about doing things properly and that my agency would be centred around integrity, respect & commitment and of course relationships.

The space I recruit for is fundamentally all about understanding what makes people tick and solving problems. Of course, recruitment isn’t that different on this level.

People-shaped recruitment is about thinking long-term, it’s not just filling a role but finding someone that would not only fit in, but add to the culture, contributing to the growth and success of a business and develop in their career and stay beyond a year or two.

It’s about owning the responsibility and commitment to do a good job, when as a recruiter you are very instrumental in someone’s career and that can be life changing.

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