Champagne or Razor Blades

The title of this post is a direct quote used by an experienced recruiter I met a few years back, to describe the contingency recruitment process. He was struggling at the time and I felt the need to hide the razor blades.

Since setting up JDT I have had my fair share of high and low points. Champagne or razor blades I tell you. However the brand is stronger and growing. We are in a position now to really sell our ability as a ‘proven entity’. And we are getting some good campaigns to work on now. I guess the same applies for any business; our new-found confidence is off the back of some laser focus and lots of hard work; blood, sweat and tears, Done with the smarter not ‘only’ harder mantra in place.

Our distraught experienced recruiter unfortunately lacked many of these elements and had placed himself somewhere between the Neolithic and Jurassic ages of generalist recruiting. I was only mildly sympathetic. I really look up to some of my industries best performing agencies, their approach, products and success. Carving out a mutually beneficial process for my clients, candidates and business is the sustainable business model we aim to achieve.

I am a specialist recruiter within the construction and property industries. Much of these industries and my clients are driven by the tender market to win work; ie: get paid. An extremely expensive process using their best resources to estimate, price and programme work they are hopeful to win. Usually this is between 2:1 and 6:1 chance of being awarded a project. This reminds me of the contingency recruitment process in many ways.

Construction contractors that are negotiating high percentages of their work are doing so on the back of their own proven track record. By avoiding the tender game, they are utilising their resources better, and are guaranteed to keep their cash flowing, which is the number one rule to business success. In freeing resources they also have bargaining power, more margin to play with, improving their price point. These types of relationships, built through trust, have their clients putting faith in their ability to deliver an end product that meets their high expectations. Repeat business looms for the succesful contractor.
You see how I could relate this back to my business.

Agency recruiter…. ooh sounds dirty!

Most of my clients really value my service, some less so but they are still engaged; I can respect that. Others seem to think fairly negatively and focus on cost of the recruitment process. The question I ask is “Do I bring you value?” Many unengaged managers are happy to register a job “for free”. I am happy to hear you out but I can’t guarantee my service on this basis.

Recruiting takes time, knowledge and timing. Lots of networking, hours of marketing, advertising, blogging, vlogging, editing, creating pretty pictures, networking, emailing, writing and most of all phoning. “Needles in haystacks” that is my daily grind. For all these reasons I need to gain some form of exclusivity to ensure my time is best spent for the end users.

Candidates are king, let’s be honest. If a recruiter is not treating people right, and adopts the attitudes used by some agencies, then you stand on the edge of transactional and unsustainable practice.
We don’t.
The same could be said for users of recruitment services. Engaging on a transactional basis with many recruiters may harm their employer brand, waste their time and potentially leave them in the same position they were at the start, with no real talent attraction. Conversely, engaging an exclusive process with a trusted business partner will yield results. Putting their full trust in a conscientious worker that has a vested interest in the successful placement of talented individuals in their business, trumps the alternative. Every time.

More Champagne please.