When I tell people I am a recruiter, they always take a moment before they respond. Like they need a bit of time to come up with a polite reply. Everyone I’ve ever met can tell me a story about an annoying recruiter. Or, more likely, a story about a terrible recruiter. Who was the opposite of helpful, didn’t know anything about the job they were recruiting for and probably never got back to them, ever. Most of my friends think recruiters suck. They think recruiters waste their time and are anything but polite. Unfortunately most of them have not had the pleasure of dealing with a ‘true recruiter’.
A ‘True Recruiter’? Do they exist? There is no university degree in recruiting. It’s not a trusted profession. Not at all. It’s not a qualification which will in still people with the believe you know what you are doing. Like a doctor or a dentist. Or a financial controller or tax advisor. We don’t take a bar exam. And apparently every 21 year old junior sales person can call themselves a recruiter. When people think of recruiters, they think ‘sales calls’ and ‘no feedback’. We are like lawyers, but worse.
Who dreams of becoming a recruiter when they are a little boy or girl? Did you tell your mom: ’I want to bring people and companies together to grow and maximize each other’s potential’. Euhm, I don’t think so. After 12 years in an amazing international recruitment career, my mom still thinks I put up a ‘We Are Hiring’ sign and screen piles of paper CV’s for a living. She doesn’t really understand why I am proud of my job, after all, I don’t do anything myself. I merely find people who do stuff… right.
A true recruiter is a bit like a unicorn. Like those hard to find candidates recruiters are always searching for. A true and honest recruiter is rare, hard to find, it’s almost like they don’t exist. And then, when you meet one, you’ll recognize them instantly. Like a Super Unicorn. No way they’ll go unnoticed. Why? Because only the best recruiters are capable of the seemingly impossible. They can create careers. For strangers! They talk to you about interesting opportunities, with pay rises and professional growth opportunities and perky benefits. They grow companies with their most important asset: engaged employees. A true recruiter knows how to spot unicorns. Only talented people turn companies into success stories. Great recruiters know how to identify and track down talent. It’s like magic and science and love combined. Once you have met a Super Unicorn, a donkey will never impress you again. Once you’ve met one, you will become a believer!
True recruiters are born this way. They’ve probably ended up in recruitment because they couldn’t find anyone who would hire a ridiculously smart graduate with a history degree, or a tech-savvy sales person who didn’t like sales but loved people. They are the ones who match couples in your group of friends, call you when a house is on sale and think you’ll love it, the person who brings people together just because they enjoy doing so. They are born match makers. They most likely ‘fell’ into this job because it was their calling. It is their destiny. To connect people. To help them on their way.
Recruiting is actually a pretty complicated job. A recruiter needs to combine marketing, sales, procurement, human resources, law, finance, communication, writing, sourcing and science skills. And then add some magic to the mix.
How to spot a ‘True Recruiter’:
- They are responsive. And friendly.
- Their first question will NEVER be: ‘How much are you currently getting paid?’
- They will tell you about interesting opportunities you never knew existed.
- They will help you optimize your CV to be more successful when you apply for the job.
- They know the company they are recruiting for really well and can give you a lot more information than the internet can.
- They know their hiring managers. And your potential new colleagues. They can match you with the company culture.
- They have a genuine interest in your career. They’ll ask you ‘what do you dream of doing next’ instead of ‘do you have 5 years of work experience in the exact same role’?
- They will follow up with a quick call or email after each interview, and you love them for doing so.
- They will always, always let you know ‘why’ you were not the final candidate for a job. They’ll do this in a personal and polite way. In such a way, that next time you’ll apply again!
- They will connect with you in the 1st week of your new job to see how you are doing. Because they care.
- You want to refer all your friends to them, because you have enjoyed dealing with this Super Unicorn and you want your friends to have the same experience.
So, next time, when you are dealing with a recruiter, try to figure out if they are a unicorn. If not, you might want to move on. To the next recruiter. Because really, some of us, are waiting to hear from you!
And if you are a recruiter, and you are tired of people disrespecting your profession… give them a reason no to do so. You can become a Super Unicorn yourself!
Global Talent Acquisition Manager | Hiring superstars in the world of digital platform security