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This blog post may be a borderline hate crime.

To those who don’t know us or what we do, let me give you some context. We recruit recruiters for the recruitment industry. Our client base spans most of the top-tier recruitment firms in New Zealand, including both global and locally owned “boutique” brands. Historically, our clients have had an appetite for us to provide experienced, high-billing consultants with no restraint of trade into their businesses. As the economy has grown post-GFC, the market for this type of talent has become remarkably thin on the ground. Think needle in a haystack, apart from it’s not a needle, it’s an eyelash. And the haystack is Hamilton. With our clients experiencing almost universal growth in 2017, and our increasing inability to meet their demand for experienced recruiters, we decided to do something different. Access was launched to provide an introduction for those new to the industry, but possessing the required drive and determination, to a range of recruitment firms via a “speed dating” format.

As easy as it is for a Recruitment GM to bemoan the lack of good recruiters out there, it’s my view that unless you’re developing your own talent, you’re part of the problem. Thankfully, a number of our clients agree, and many wannabe recruiters have gotten their big break via Access.

However, have you any idea what goes on behind the scenes to source and qualify 6-8 quality candidates for an event like this? On the face of it, it’s so easy. We’re not looking for experience. We’re not ageist or sexist. You don’t need a degree. In fact, all you do need is some street-smarts, sales-drive, and a desire to make, let’s be frank, lots of fucking money.  Simple. However, like all roles which our clients think should be simple to fill, our industry is built on things being deceptively difficult. We’re still compiling the data, but here’s a brief overview per event

CVs sourced: circa 400

Phone screened: circa 100

Interviewed: circa 30

“No shows” at first interview: circa 25%

Yep, a quarter of qualified and phone screened candidates from a huge talent pool, don’t even show up. The unsung heroes of this saga are Anastasia Lee and Scott Burnett who run the event. If it were my gig, I would have retreated to a cabin in the woods by now, only dipping into town to mail anthrax to tertiary education providers.

I understand that the world is changing, and contrary to today’s gruff blog, it’s largely for the better. I’m a firm supporter of new ways of working, as evidenced by our “other” business Joyn. I get that millennials will have portfolio careers, where flexibility is a given. I also appreciate how new ways of thinking are challenging by increasingly out of date approach.  There are, however, two observations which I struggle with. Firstly, manners. Too few millennials demonstrate good manners. I don’t mean please and thank you. I mean showing up on time or at all. The number of “no shows” we have with younger candidates is absolutely shocking. One of two things is happening; either when we were young all of us were unreliable, but our rose-tinted mirrors reflect a different past. Or there’s been a fundamental shift in thinking. Secondly, the ability to focus energy, drive an commitment in one direction for longer than six months seems to be reducing. Many of our younger candidates seem to feel that success should come overnight. Recruitment is a fantastic industry where many of us make more money then we could ever have made elsewhere. We also help people get jobs which they have previously only dreamed of. It’s certainly a real privilege in many regards. However, to get off the bottom rung, it takes commitment exceeding the series length of Married at First Sight Australia.

There is a positive to all of this of course, and I wouldn’t want my disposition today to cloud your Friday. Out of those 400 applicants, once the dreamers, flakes, feet-on-chair, self-entitled no-show-ers are weeded out, we are genuinely left with some real superstars who I’d be proud to call peers and colleagues.

Have a good Friday one’n’all.

^SW (36 going-on-66)