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.

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.

From an employer’s perspective, there is much talk about strategic hiring, cultivating talent pools, and ensuring that potential hires engage with your employer brand, but when your top sales person decides to leave, the pressure is on. “We need to get on this right now. How can we replace them? Let’s send out the vacancy to every recruiter we know.” It is rare that actual hiring decisions are made in haste as finding the right person is important, but a more circumspect attitude would certainly help at the start of many a search project.

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.

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.

Recruiters need to justify that faith.

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 finding your next job or your next employee.