Are you getting the service the fees demand?

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Building Recruitment managing director Kevin Everett says taking unethical shortcuts to hire staff will backfire in the long term.


I often talk about the skills shortages and the demands on employers to find skilled workers. I have also spoken about the danger of not performing a proper and thorough recruitment process, and about the need, at times, to engage the services of a professional recruiter.

However, in the market at present I am seeing recruiters who, in my opinion, are unethical and could cause you long-term issues.

I will address my findings shortly. However, I must stress that companies are beginning to adopt poor processes in the eagerness to find workers.

This should never be accepted. You would never employ a cowboy builder, so why a cowboy recruiter!

Some of the things I’m seeing include:
Recruiters firing resumes to employers where the candidate is unaware their resume is being sent out to the market. You never know, it could be your resume if you have used a recruitment agent in the past.
Many of these candidates are not on the market, and their resumes are usually out of date.
When employers realise this they seem not to care, as all they are focusing on is hiring people, whether they’re the right fit or not.
When candidates find out about the above they get annoyed, but rarely do anything about it.

We have a Privacy Act in New Zealand for a reason. When employers are receiving resumes in this fashion, or when your resume is being sent out without your knowledge, it contravenes this Act.

This approach also unsettles the marketplace. People who are not interested in looking for a new position are enticed with higher salary opportunities. If they then go and meet a potential new employer, in many cases they’ll use this to gain a salary increase from their current employer.

If employers agree to meet one of these candidates, a few things will happen:
You interview the person and they are not suitable because the recruiter has not done their homework.
The role is not what the candidate is looking for.
Candidates may meet just to sound out the market.
The candidate takes the role because there is more money on offer — but they could leave for more money too.

Encouraging this type of behaviour only creates a bigger problem long term.

When I explain our recruitment process to new clients, I am amazed that some tell me we could be left behind, and that we should just send out resumes. Yes we could, but then where is the value?

If you are sent a resume from a recruiter, I suggest you ask the following questions:
Have you interviewed them?
Do you have their permission to send this resume ?
Have you got interview notes to send?
Why are they on the market?
How will the recruiter respond, if/when a candidate gets counter-offered?

If the recruiter conducted a thorough interview process and built a trusting relationship with the candidate, then they would have unpacked the candidate’s motivations — beyond salary — as to why they are on the market.

Some pivotal reasons for change are location, flexible hours, work/life balance, a focus on wellness, and a healthy work culture — as well as career growth and up-to-date industry training.

The stronger these pillars are aligned within your organisation, the greater your success of not only retaining your staff (against other recruiters), but also attracting new talent.

How the recruiter responds to this question will help you:
Identify the candidate’s aspirations to see if they are aligned with your business growth strategy, and
Figure out if you have the services of a professional consultant or a “buckshot” recruiter.

I would also be asking any candidate who is interviewed from a recruiter to tell me the process they went through with the recruiter to get them here?

The answer will let you know exactly what you are paying for.

Holding these recruiters to task will ensure you are receiving what you are paying for — and a far better process.

Before receiving any unsolicited resumes from a recruiter, ensure you are clear that if there has been no proper process you will not be paying.

The recruitment sector, employers and job seekers need to work together to stop this, so I urge you not to accept substandard processes.

Your clients won’t, so why should you?

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