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The C* Word

on . Posted in Blog

Why it is appropriate and why we should start using the ‘C’ word more often:

If the headline has drawn you in I should explain, I am writing this blog as a specialist recruiter and I am not looking to cause any offence; the C word in question is …Consultant!

In a world where recruitment plays such an integral role to all businesses, getting it wrong can be incredibly painful and costly. Ask any football fan during the transfer window! However, despite the importance and clear value of quality recruitment, the recruitment industry’s reputation is fast deteriorating from the Car-Sales/ Estate Agency levelling to as popular as a PPI Sales approach.

BUT Why? Recruitment as a sector has grown in size, revenue and importance. There are thousands more Recruiters trending towards specialist sector recruitment as opposed to the geographic high street ‘one size fits all' approach. Surely things should be improving, right?

So, what is the root of the problem, for me in starts in the title... When I started out in Recruitment many years ago there was an emphasis on that C word.

Recruiters now seem to be just working vacancies, not acting as Recruitment Consultants and not acting as specialists.

Reaching for a dictionary… 

  • Consultancy - a professional practice that gives expert advice within a particular field
  • Specialist - a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field. 


So if you are a hiring manager or a professional looking to trust your career options with a recruiter. How are they identifying themselves as a specialist and a consultant that can give expert advice within a particular field.

For the Recruiters out there...

Are you offering expertise? So where should a specialist consultant really add value…? As a starting point are you genuinely prepared to CONSULT and CHALLENGE on the below.

A note to potential hiring managers...

When a recruitment consultant looks to book a meeting it is so they can fully understand your culture, business and ideals and properly brief any prospective candidates. It's not about hitting KPIs or escaping the office for the afternoon. Well not for the Consultants that are looking to add value anyway...

The ideal result is that you hire the strongest and most relevant candidate within the required timeline so that your business does not lose a competitive edge, agreed?

As an example: Are you focusing on the strongest candidate at the starting point of the role? Or what the candidate can potentially bring to the business, say within the first year?

For those that like their Statistics...

As a specialist sales recruiter a top performing sales executive hire will yield 4x the return of an average performer and typically know and attract higher quality referrals. Every company varies so probably best to look at the variance from your own ROI as a benchmark between an average performer and a top performer.

Also worth mentioning as a contingent recruitment consultant – the consultancy and service is ALL completely ‘free of charge’ until you make the decision to hire a rock-star who you would have compared against any direct or internal alternatives.

A hiring mistake typically costs a business up to 30% of the starting salary costs. Without mentioning the impact to morale, the cost of replacement or the missed opportunities a quality sales executive would have secured.

And to potential candidates...

Imagine speaking to a genuine specialist in your sector who had a real handle on:

  • The 'Who’s Whos?' within your market-place, sharing direct experience of the good, bad and indifferent from genuine experience and proven examples.
  • Able to talk you through your worth in the market-place and support you to achieve the right balance to tick off your ideals.
  • Support and guide you through the interview process.

Sounds like a fantastic service... even better because it's completely free of charge!

In return they might just ask you to write them a recommendation or possibly recommend a friend to experience the same high levels of professionalism and service and then reward you for making the introduction – sounds like a decent trade-off, even if I am a little bias.

Finally a shameless plug..

CPI Selection always visit EVERY client we work within our permanent division, and within our temporary division we look to take this a step further and shadow the existing members – the better we understand your business and culture the easier it is for us to support with that ‘perfect match'. Our consultants are trained to genuinely look to add value and provide a quality service to both candidates and clients. We challenge ourselves to ensure we are CONSULTANTS in our specialist sector. 

Recruitment IS an incredible industry to work within, but with its current negative reputation, not enough credit is given to those heroes working in the industry. 

John McAteer









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