A couple of weeks ago a video from Customise Consulting caused a bit of a stir on this blog with its amusingly provocative jabs towards the traditional, corporate, recruitment agency model. This week I came across another video about being a recruitment consultant, but this one is actually from one of those large, shareholder run, corporate recruiting models that Customise are seeking to disrupt.
Robert Half, one of our industry’s originals being founded in 1948, and now listed on the NYSE, released this video A day in the life of a Robert Half Recruitment Consultant:
Recruitment companies, ironically, don’t typically boast a very high success rate at recruiting for themselves. So, I applaud the sentiment behind this video. I’ve no doubt it will serve to attract more people towards working in our industry, which is great.
But I’m not so sure that, when reality bites, it will do much to help retain them.
Because that’s the major problem with this video. It is to working in recruitment what cuddly Labrador puppies frolicking with toilet roll are to wiping your arse. It is the utopian view of working as a recruitment consultant. A day of hard-nosed business and deal-closing, framed by runs along pristine beaches and zany co-workers, all fueled with frothy lattes and a well-earned end-of-day wine. To many outside the industry, I suspect, it won’t do a whole lot to improve their opinion of us recruitment consultants.
Perhaps something more realistic could have helped in that regard. It would be great to see how this video might change with the word “Typical” applied to the front of the title. Perhaps a morning where your plans to go running are interrupted by a temp calling in sick and you having the spend the next 30 minutes frantically calling for back up so your client can have a receptionist in place by 8.30am. Then spending a morning calling clients who inform you that you’re the fifth recruiter to call already that day and to please leave them alone. Perhaps interviewing a candidate and pitching a role to them, to be informed that your competitor has already put them forward for that role that you understood the client had engaged with you exclusively to fill. And then, to round the day off, a candidate who you secured a $10k salary increase for when offering them your client’s job, telling you they have actually achieved a $15k salary increase because they’ve been counter-offered and staying at their current employer (who they told you they hated just 2 weeks ago).
Don’t get me wrong, I love the cut and thrust, the ups and downs, the emotional rollercoaster of recruitment. For some, like me, it can be kind of addictive (and probably to our heroes in the video too). But for most, they just don’t have the stomach for it, and never will. A video like this will definitely help Robert Half attract more people interested in joining as a recruiter. But not many will stay once they are confronted with the scary, but exhilarating, reality.
Mind you, I was once told that, here in NZ at least, Robert Half only expect 1 in every 3 new hires to work out in their firm. So perhaps they’re just playing a numbers game with this video and will end up with a few great hires amidst the jaded and broken recruiters cast aside along the way.
For me, I prefer the line of advertising and branding recently adopted by our NRL team The Warriors. Opting out of the chest-beating, pompom frisking, fire exploding concepts usually employed by NRL clubs, this picture kind of sums up the reality of being a true fan:
I guess that line sums up how I feel about recruitment: “Being a
Warriors fan recruiter can be unbearable. Not being one would be unthinkable.” Very well said Paul Smith who, as it happens is also a recruiter…one who has no doubt had many head-in-hands moments throughout his recruiting career that have helped with his latest modelling job!