Recruitment consultant, agent, search agent, head-hunter – these are just some of the titles my profession use, and they all convey a different image of what that person does (or thinks they do!). Whatever you want to call yourself, what it boils down to is providing advice – clear, objective, practical and honest advice. To do this properly you need to put your customers (candidates and clients) first.
This has always been the case, but with market sentiment improving, and more clients actively looking to grow, it is vital that you partner with someone that can guide you through your options and provide the best possible advice for your career.
Sounds simple…but there are some agents who view their relationship with their customers very differently. Sadly, the events of 2020 have seen an increase in advice that I believe puts candidates and clients in a worse position:
- The agent telling a candidate to be more “bullish” (lie?) about their following – do they think no one will find out?
- Telling a senior candidate facing redundancy that they hadn’t been selected for interview – when they didn’t even send the CV because they hadn’t been instructed by the client. A lose-lose scenario if ever I’ve seen one.
- Asking a candidate to sack their other agent as they know the hiring partner personally, when at best they have been in the same building as them once, and most likely found their name on the Legal 500.
- Promising to speak to their network on a candidate’s behalf, and then sending their CV to half of the City – including their own firm!
These are some extreme examples and thankfully not that common, but they do highlight the importance of making sure your advisor is acting in your best interests. How do you do this when there is so much choice and you have so many approaches:
- Spend time with them – working from home means it is easier to speak to and/or video conference your consultant BEFORE you commit to working with them.
- Do they take the time to learn about you, your motivations, career goals and ambitions?
- Can they offer advice on how to achieve these goals?
- Do they understand what you do and the success you’ve had so far in your career? Or do you just have a marketable cv.
- How do they plan to highlight your suitability and skills to a client?
- Can they provide a good overview of the firm, the role and the benefit it can offer your career? Sometimes we won’t have all the answers, but we should be honest if we don’t. No BS!
There is much more I can say about this, and I’d be happy to have that conversation with you. However, what it boils down to is that a good agent should take a long-term view. You should become part of each other’s network. It may pay dividends today, next year or maybe never. But by treating other with respect it will become mutually beneficial.
Managing Director – DMJ Legal
About me: I have worked in recruitment for over 20 years and have run DMJ Legal for almost 14. I have seen first-hand that what goes around comes around. My team are highly experienced, and all know the value of long-term relationships, and of providing practical, honest and helpful advice, even if that means losing sometimes.