There are two main types of recruiters – sales oriented and process oriented recruiters. A sales oriented recruiter will spend a lot of time ‘warming you up’. There will be banter, humour and the meeting is focussed on you ‘liking’ them because we buy from people we like. When you encounter this approach, make sure the recruitment consultant also spends time in taking a decent brief of the open position. Sales oriented recruiters often leave you feeling good. This gives you a perceived assurance they can fill the brief and off they go with the assignment.

I have worked with these sales oriented recruiters in larger firms and yes – they win the brief. However, being able to really make an ideal match for a company uses a lot of art and particularly, luck. Many times the person a sales oriented recruiter places will fall over in their first few weeks to a year as they often are not the right fit for the organisation.

For example, I had a recruiter on my team who was lovely. He went out and got the brief and even made the placement, often harnessing sales skills to get the candidate over the line. It was when the placed incumbent was working in the role and it turned out not to be what they were looking for, the cracks then started to appear. Many times candidates would ‘fall over’ as it just wasn’t the right match. The recruiter then would go back to the drawing board and gain more candidates and the client, while ‘managed’ well by the recruiter, starts to question if outsourcing recruitment is the way to go.

I also go out on competitive pitches and see organisations that feel the recruiter they chose ‘had a handle on the role’ because the recruiter didn’t ask many questions. It is reverse logic as this is a recruiter that really has failed to get to know their client’s organisation, the culture and the role in question. As a manager, you know how difficult it is to get the right fit. If an outside recruiter does not take the time to get to know intimately how
you work then you are really putting the exercise in the lap of the Gods.

Thankfully there is another style of recruiter, the process driven recruiter. This recruiter is amicable and friendly but not a sales person. They will demonstrate success through results and will talk more about the process they will follow to gain an outcome.

The process driven recruiter will be careful and pay a great deal of attention to detail when taking the bri
ef. Do not be perturbed or put off by the amount of detail they cover. These are the right style of recruiters to engage.

The recruiters who are process driven will know what an ideal candidate looks like because they have gone to the next level of detail when briefing. They know there is more to the right candidate than purely having the technical skills. They also look for personalities that will fit in with the team and for candidates that possess similar values as the organisation and where the ‘no go’ zones are when sourcing candidates. It may mean your company name is not released in advertising and that candidates from competitors are kept from knowing your company until the end. This too requires discussion, who re your competitors? Do you want candidates from your competitors?

A good recruiter will ask about your company and the team dynamics, will gain a detailed brief on the role and then ask and discuss recruitment strategies. You can feel confident that they can fill this brief and, by and large, the right person will be generated.


Article written by Maree Herath, Director, Harvest Recruitment.

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