Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Recruitment Consultancy: the profession that embarrasses everyone

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a wide range of reasons to speak with recruitment consultants of all shapes and sizes.

The one uniting feature of them all appears to be that they are all embarrassed to admit to being one.

This embarrassment takes its most common form when they utter the immortal words:

We’re not like other recruitment consultants. In fact we’re not really recruitment consultants at all.
Somehow this statement is meant to make me feel much more confident in their abilities, and trust my candidate or job search to them.

But it doesn’t. In fact it does the opposite.

If you’re a recruitment consultant, here’s a little game to play to demonstrate the effect that your “we’re not like other recruitment consultants” statement has on people.

Simply replace the words “recruitment consultant” with that of any other profession and observe the results.

Here are a few examples I prepared earlier to make it easier for you.

  • You want to sell your house, so you walk into the appropriate office in the town centre, and, after giving your details to the girl behind the desk she says: “We’re not like other estate agents. In fact we’re not really estate agents at all.” Does that make you feel more comfortable? No, me neither.

  • After suffering with painful toothache all weekend you pay a visit to your friendly local orthodontist. The white-coated guy who smiles down as you recline on the chair is new, and introduces himself by saying: “Hi there. I’m not like other dentists. In fact I’m not really a dentist at all.” Slightly nervous? Me too.

  • The Boeing 747 has just reached the end of the runway, and is second in line for take-off. The captain comes over the intercom and tells you that there will be a slight delay while the inbound flight from Los Angeles clears the runway, then adds, “While we’re waiting, I’ll just inform you that once we’ve reached cruising altitude, we’ll be flying at 35,000 feet. And, by the way, you may be interested to know that neither my co-pilot nor I are like other pilots. In fact we’re not really pilots at all.” Seat-backs to the upright position? No chance! Where’s the exit?
There are in fact only two types of recruitment consultants

Good ones and bad ones.

Which are you?

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