- Beatrice Bartlay
People are the key to a successful and profitable business: they are what make the brand, are the ones delivering excellent customer service and making sure that customers (your clients) get exactly what they pay for.
Recruitment is therefore arguably the most important element to a successful business.
But sourcing the right people is a challenge for any business and no matter how long you’ve been in the recruitment business, you’ll always come across a curveball every now and then. Since launching my recruitment business over a decade ago, I’ve met many people and encountered many situations, facing challenges and obstacles. Here are the most important lessons I’ve learnt in that time:
- Have an agreement and terms of business signed
It doesn’t matter how strong your relationship is with a client, there are many factors that could interfere with the contract so before you start working on the role, you should always ensure that you have an agreement and terms of business (TOB) signed. It’s fine to keep it simple and you should ensure that it’s very clear.
- Agree a job specification
Any good recruiter will understand exactly what their client is looking for, but you should also always get a job description from them to avoid any misunderstanding. This is especially pertinent for technical roles where specific skills may be needed. This ensures that you are able to put forward the best candidates for the role through matching their skills to what your client wants. It also ensures that your candidates have a clear understanding of their duties, responsibilities and salary should they get the position.
- Act quickly
Recruitment is a fast-paced environment and if you don’t act quickly, your competitors will. Both your clients and your candidates will be working with other recruitment companies so you need to ensure that you keep on top of your active roles. It goes without saying that your relationships with your clients are important but if a competitor puts forward a strong candidate ahead of you and the client needs people urgently for example, they won’t stay loyal to you.
- Unfortunately, both candidates and clients will let you down
I’ve had situations in which I’ve been let down by both parties so you need to be aware that this will happen. For example, companies may advise you that they’ve already found a candidate, but they’ve simply offered the job to your candidate directly. Similarly, candidates may advise you that they are looking for a certain role, only to let you know further down the line that they’ve completely changed their mind. These kinds of situations will arise frequently so the important thing is to not dwell on them. You’ll have plenty more roles to fulfil, so ensure you stay focused on those, rather than feeling too disappointed over being let down.
- Do not judge a book by its cover
It may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how quickly we make judgements about people when first meeting them. First interview impressions can therefore be misrepresentative due to many different external factors, so you should meet an applicant at least twice before you make any decisions on them. You might be surprised to see that some people are able to present completely different skills or act more professionally when you meet them a second time.
- Enjoy the process
As with any job, it’s important that you enjoy what you do at the end of the day and feel rewarded. The recruitment process can be quite lengthy and certainly difficult, but when you place an applicant, the results are simply rewarding.
Beatrice Bartlay founded 2B Interface, a multi-award winning temporary and permanent staffing agency in 2005 and the company has since steadily grown, serving the UK recruitment sector with specialised services. She is also an entrepreneur, author and business and life performance coach.