The Spectre of Desperation Haunts the Recruitment Industry Banner Image

The Spectre of Desperation Haunts the Recruitment Industry

The moment you get desperate; you start making poor decisions. This could not be more true in the current climate with Covid-19 a global phenomenon.

When time, money and people are in the mix, the pressures can sometimes prove unbearable. Hiring managers need to hire someone urgently, so they end up cutting certain corners. Recruiters need their next fix of commission, so some might chase the lowest-hanging fruit. Candidates are sometimes so fixated on finding their next job that they take whatever comes along first.

The feeling of such desperation is not rare in recruitment. I need a solution. I need it now. I simply must have it now, whatever it takes. The dynamic of desperation has changed firmly to be mainly in the recruiters or candidates court. Recruitment dropped off entirely when Covid hit, so recruiters were desperate to fill their time and candidates lost their jobs in a lot of industries.

Employers now feel that they can dispense with recruiters as there is a large talent pool available from the people who have lost their job who are at threat of losing it. Employers will take on the recruitment themselves. This will not last long as many market downturns have proven, employers realise recruitment is not an easy job!

There may be some who would suggest that recruiters can also find themselves at the mercy of desperate times, especially when the economy is in a downturn. In my experience, those who act any differently in response to difficulties won’t be around for long. Cash flow might be compromised in the short-term, but there won’t be any cash flow at all if you don’t do your job properly in the long-term. Recruiters really can’t afford to be desperate. Now is the time to hold your nerve, add value to your clients, stay in the right path and karma will visit you. Desperation will kill your business and may contribute to delay in the industry recovery. 

In my view, it is the candidate that needs the most help to banish the spectre of desperation, and I see this as a key role for any recruiter. We have to forget about our need to earn money and focus on allaying the fears and piecing together the potential of everyone who comes through our doors. If we do that, the money will come. Their lives may depend on us being present for them - listening out for those hidden clues which might point towards their next steps. They might be putting their trust in almost total strangers, and we might not have the best reputation as an industry, but they are desperate enough to put their fate in our hands. And in these uncertain times, candidates want the help of a professional who can guide them and reassure them and ultimately help them to find a job.

Recruiters need to step up.

Both candidates and hiring companies do experience these moments of “help me, please, I really need your help.” Although recruiters are not without our own concerns, we are in the middle, and we have an absolute duty to banish these fears as much as is in our power. We can comfort clients by being rigorous in our process. We can serve candidates by treating them as individuals rather than putting them in boxes. We should spend our time and effort on our clients and candidates.

Don’t let desperation get in the way of destroying your business, finding your next job or your next employee.