How it works

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What does the recruitment consultant actually do?

January can be a tough month for recruiters – all that lovely snow we’ve been having ensured that lots of interviews have had to be re-arranged.  It is a busy month anyway because a lot of things that went on hold in December have gone from ‘low priority’ to ‘urgent’.  Also, in addition to our normal workload we have been kicking off a new marketing campaign.   Most alarmingly, it is very cold in our office and we had to buy a new kettle – what is going on?!

No two days are ever the same in recruitment – we never know quite what a day is going to bring.  When someone asks what you do for a living and you reply ‘IT recruitment’ you inevitably get one of two reactions.  The first is an expression of controlled hostility – this is the reaction of someone that has had a bad experience with a recruitment consultant.  The second is a kind of glazed expression, usually accompanied by the words ‘Oh, that sounds interesting’.  Reading between the lines, this can be translated as ‘Oh, that doesn’t sound interesting at all, and I hope you aren’t going to tell me more.’  But very occasionally, someone will ask, what is it that you actually do as a recruiter?  And in fact, we thought this would be an interesting and enlightening topic for our weekly blog.

Commercial recruitment is fast-paced in comparison to IT, in that the priority is often to secure a person that is looking for work who has basic skills and can start in the morning.  But IT recruitment doesn’t work like that – we might be searching for someone with a very rare skillset – and this might mean we have to be creative in our approach to finding them.   In addition to the usual recruitment channels, such as advertising the vacancy online and searching databases for CVs, we might also have to do a social media campaign via LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.  We also have to network with people that are not on the market or who work in a similar sector to find out if they know someone that might have the skills we are looking for.  On several occasions, we have contacted candidates that lives overseas that was looking to move to the UK and managed to secure them a role.

Finding the candidates is just the first step though – assuming they have the skills we are looking for, we have to sell the vacancy to them as much as we have to sell them to the client.  We don’t bombard our clients with CVs, we make sure the candidates we put forward are well-qualified and up to the job by interviewing them at our offices in Burton or via Skype, and administering online technical assessments.  Finally, we will arrange their interviews with the client.  We are also fortunate to be in the position where we rarely compete with other agencies – most of our clients deal with us exclusively which means we can do a really good job for them rather than just hurrying to send as many CVs as possible without properly qualifying the candidates, which is one of the things that gives a lot of recruitment agencies a bad name.

Once the interviewing process is complete, one of the candidates will be selected by the client, and offered the role.  This might mean that we have to negotiate with both the candidate and the client to make sure the package is acceptable to all concerned.  And of course, for every successful candidate that receives an offer there will be several other strong candidates that were not selected.  We will let them know why they were not selected, and keep them posted of future vacancies.  A lot of candidates that just miss out will go on to be placed by us at a later stage.

Every part of the process has to be documented – including all our conversations with the candidate and the client.  These notes can contain essential information when it comes to negotiating job offers.  A good day is when everything falls into place – candidates accept offers and clients are delighted.  We don’t have too many bad days but it goes without saying that ultimately candidates are free agents and however much we might want them to accept the job, they might not want to!  If this happens, we’ll speak to our client and if necessary, start the process again.

In addition to all of this, we deal with hundreds of emails and calls every day.  We all contribute to marketing activities, and occasionally to our blog (!), we visit clients and gather new vacancies, and keep the business ticking over.  People in IT tend to be friendly and approachable, so it is rare that we have to deal with unpleasant situations.  In general, IT recruitment is a challenging career where there is genuinely never a dull moment.

If you are interested in joining the Blues Point team, why not send your CV and a covering letter to Steph.knipe@bluespoint.net outlining why you are interested in Blues Point and what you think you could bring to the team.  You will need to be based within commuting distance of Burton on Trent with a UK driving licence.  We do recruit for new team members periodically, so if you have a positive, pro-active attitude to work, excellent communication skills, and would like to work in a fun, friendly office, we’d love to hear from you.  

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