Prior to this, I spent ten years working as an Internal Auditor, initially with the big four and then in industry.
I wanted to write something to give a bit of ‘inside information’ for those (like my former self) who got frustrated when using agencies in the past. I had many misconceptions before I came into the role and these have proven not to be true since being on the ‘other side’.
There are plenty more, but I have limited this to five main observations and I hope these will be of use to those reading who want to find out more about the recruitment world.
1. Knowledge is key
For me, coming from the industry that I recruit into is a huge advantage to the conversations I can have with my clients and candidates. I understand the role and what pressures you have as an auditor and at the same time understand the type of candidate that client wants for their business.
But this isn’t something that I am taking lightly now. I have to admit in my first week I thought I would be the oracle that everyone would look to in the business for industry knowledge. As it turns out, my new colleagues were teaching me new things from the start. The team here make it part of their normal daily routine to gain as much knowledge as they can about the area they recruit into and to keep up to date with key topics and legislation in their area specialisms. This has encouraged me to build upon my existing knowledge to ensure my USP as a recruiter is fully utilised.
2. Feel free to give us a kick
Another thing I have noticed is the amount of things that a recruiter has to juggle and juggle well in order to make sure they are delivering a good service to both the client and the candidate they are representing. The volume of tasks a good recruiter has to perform each day in order to make sure they are on top of everything makes you want more hours in the day.
So if you are speaking with a recruiter and you haven’t heard from them for a little while, feel free to give them a ‘kick’ (well not too hard!!). I personally really appreciate a reminder from my candidates that they are still actively looking. For one it helps me know that you are serious about your search but it also makes sure that you are in the forefront of my mind when I am recruiting for my clients.
3. Be organised
It is linked to the above but working in recruitment requires the need for many ‘to do’ lists. The sheer volume of candidates and clients you speak to on a daily basis means that unless you are organised your credibility to be able to work for your clients and candidates becomes impaired. It is important not to take on too much and then affect the standard of your service.
We are human though, and ultimately much of what we do is out of our control. Clients may not call back or provide feedback on candidates due to work pressures on their side, or candidates may be difficult to reach as they have pressing deadlines. Our job is to make sure we can manage expectations from both sides and being organised helps alleviate the pressure slightly and gives us a bit more control over those seemingly uncontrollable situations.
4. Meeting us is just as important as your interview / job application
Admit it, we have all thought it. Why should I meet with a recruiter? What value can it add? Turns out it adds a lot. I was always of the mind-set that meeting with a recruiter was a waste of time. Being this side of the fence, I now see why I probably cost myself some good opportunities in the past with that thought process.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should meet with your recruiter. It shows you are serious about the role you are applying for, and it gives the recruiter a chance to see how you deliver answers in an interview format. You may have great knowledge but the way you structure the answers in a clear and concise way can be the difference maker. We also have inside knowledge about what the client likes/dislikes for their respective teams and businesses. Yes we can drop it in an email but how much of that really gets taken in?
We also have a duty of care to the clients we work with to ensure that we have met or at least had extensive conversations with our candidates before speaking to them on your behalf. The more information and the more open candidates are with us the better we can work with them.
5. Finally and I think the most importantly; honesty is definitely the best policy
As a recruiter, when a candidate is as open with us as possible about their requirements and their responsibilities in their current role we are able to do our job effectively and get the right fit for the candidate and for our client. Yes, it maybe the norm to bump up your salary and responsibilities to try to get a lucrative package but this can definitely count against you at offer stage and even affect you getting an interview in the first place.
So be honest with us. In reality, we secretly know if you are being slightly economical with the truth so if we start our relationship in the best possible way then it will enable us to work better for you and for our clients.
So has the career change worked for me? At this moment in time, I have to say it is easily the best move I have made in my career. I have had great support from old colleagues and contacts that have shown faith in me as a person and given me opportunities to work with them. My new colleagues have embraced having a slightly older statesman on the team and have taken the time to get me up to speed with the recruitment world. I am really looking forward to what 2018 has in store.
The Audit function here at Badenoch & Clark look to run seminars on key topics within the Audit world for Heads & Directors of Internal Audit over the year. We work with subject matter specialists to facilitate these sessions and provide attendees the opportunity to share information and challenges in a roundtable format with their peers.
If this is something you have interest in attending, or would like more information about our current roles or support on a vacancy within your team please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org