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YOU ARE EITHER A HYPOCRITE, OR YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND RECRUITMENT
Headhunting is a vital and absolutely necessary practice in our industry. So crucial is this element, it coins our colloquial job title – headhunter, because this is what we do: identify and approach (a suitable person employed elsewhere) to fill a business position with our client.
Why is headhunting so essential? It validates our existence! To put it in more pragmatic terms, what clients pay formidable recruiter fees for is to find talent for their business that they cannot find themselves. This is the “value-added” component of our service – to find and engage with passive talent and win it over. Headhunting is what good recruiters do all the time, our bread and butter.
What I find absolutely bewildering is the attitude of some Recruitment Managers towards a highly proactive rec-to-rec agency, such as ours, headhunting staff from their ranks. Now, a crucial point here – if a particular Recruitment Agency is a fee-paying client, no rec-to-rec in their right mind would headhunt from there. Do not bite the hand that feeds you, as the saying goes.
On the other hand, if a Recruitment Agency is not a fee-paying client, it automatically becomes part of the market that we actively map and headhunt in for good talent – on behalf of those Agencies that make up our small yet distinguished client base.
So, whenever approached by an exasperated Recruitment Manager, hopelessly clamouring that we stop headhunting their staff, one of two conclusions come to mind – they are either a total hypocrite or they do not understand Recruitment.
Scenario 1 – Hypocrite
A Recruitment Manager in Agency A is a successful Headhunter with a blossoming career and many a senior placement behind her belt. She does not want to pay rec-to-rec fees and does no business with a particular Rec-to-Rec. When the said Rec-to-Rec headhunts her staff, she demands that the Rec-to-Rec stops. A Total Hypocrite.
Scenario 2 – Does not understand Recruitment
A Recruitment Manager in Agency B may not be a bad Recruiter at all, but relies heavily on Seek and other Job Boards to source his candidates. More often than not this is a high-volume type of work that his team is doing. He does not understand what a candidate-short market is really like to operate in. This manager does not understand Rec-to-Rec Recruitment.
We pride ourselves on the Recruitment Agencies that we partner with. They are innovative, well-managed and offer uncapped, transparent commission structures. Recruitment Consultants within our Clients are proactive, treated well, remunerated accordingly for their hard work and ultimately find longevity and a long-term career.
The best and most successful Recruitment Consultants headhunt. It is what we all do for a living; both in rec-to-rec and regular recruitment world. As long as we are not headhunting from our clients, there is nothing unethical about it. For those agencies that do not want to partner with us, it is completely hypocritical (and ineffective) to protest against us headhunting from their ranks. When such occasion does occur an obvious question arises – do these people understand recruitment?
What do you think? Are you a proactive Recruiter or do you rely on Applicants from Job Boards to fill your roles?
I would love to hear your comments, and… Happy Headhunting.
Dmitri Goloub is a Senior Consultant and all-around good bloke at Hamilton Professional. He is interested in human behaviour and decision making within contemporary corporate and business culture. Follow him on Twitter.