Brennan Sourcing

Blog.

News and updates from Brennan Sourcing

We're Social

30/11/2014
What you should expect from a recruiter part 1

 

I have heard so many tales of really poor experiences had with recruiters that I wanted to outline a few ideas for what you should expect. I decided to start from the candidate side, with the hiring manager side to follow.

It is also written for the broader recruitment market, up to middle management level. Technical recruitment and Search have aspects that would be very different to what I have written below. So, all you specialist recruiters reading this – cut me some slack.

This blog is much longer than my usual, as such I have had to make it part 1 and 2. I will try and leave part 1 on a cliff-hanger!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, so for one reason or another you are on the market for a new job. If you are still engaged in a role it can be a liberating and often profitable experience, a chance to change the course of your career, and sometimes by extension, your life.

But…if you are forced to look for a job (redundancy, fired, horrible boss, office prank backfired), then it can be a tough, soul destroying experience. Obviously there are many ways to find that next great job, utilising the services of a good recruiter should be one of them.

As recruiters we have an opportunity to make this a whole lot easier for our candidates. Unfortunately, too many recruiters cut corners on their communication, their skills assessment, even their empathy with candidates.

What some fail to realise is that as recruiters, we are dependent not only on our clients, but on our ability to source quality candidates also. Treat ‘em bad too often and they might start staying away.

So – as a job seeker what are the bare minimums you should expect from a recruiter?

1/ you should expect that the job you are applying for is a real job. Sounds pretty basic, I know. But it is a widely followed practise to advertise aspirationally - my term for when the recruiter aspires to having a solid bank of candidates, so they advertise “jobs” to generate a candidate pool.

A good recruiter will build his client base, which will generate open job orders, which will in turn allow him to go to market to attract talent. Building clients is harder, and often takes longer so the lazy recruiter will often cheat their way to attracting talent.

2/ you should receive acknowledgement of your application. Most job boards do this automatically.

3/ receiving a regrets letter if you are unsuccessful – I’m sorry but the old “only successful candidates will be notified” line is just a lame excuse for being recruiters being lazy. Ideally this should be received within 1-2 weeks. It is one of the most common criticisms of recruiters and one of the easiest things to fix. 

Oops, out of room – part 2 to follow.

 

30/11/2014
What you should expect from a recruiter part 2

 

4/ If you are being phone screened or being called in for an interview, then it is reasonable to expect a full briefing on the job and company, with a Position Description ideally to allow you to adequately prepare. This will also ensure it’s a real job, and you can assess the level of relationship between the recruiter and his client. If you don’t get the sense that the client/recruiter relationship is solid – run for the hills. Chances are they haven’t been engaged and plan to market resumes out to try and “cut-a-deal.”

I know that many recruiters won’t disclose who the role is for until you front up, unless you demand it, but they do that to stop candidates “going behind their back” directly to their client. Building good relationships with your candidate at initial screening stage will prevent this.

5/ at interview you should expect a thorough and appropriate assessment process. From here you should have a clear understanding of the key elements of the role, and if you feel there is a fit.

I’ve heard so many stories where a candidate interviews with a recruiter, and within 10 minutes the recruiter has laid down 10+ SEEK adverts from different companies, proposing to market the candidate to all these jobs. Firstly, are all of these jobs right for you? Secondly, why would the hiring manager happily pay a recruiter for work they have not been engaged to conduct?

For the recruiters reading this, I agree that reverse marketing the right candidate for the right opportunity can be exactly the right thing to do – but I am also saying that the volume, resumes out the door approach that currently goes on is exactly the wrong thing to do for the candidates involved.

6/ post interview, you should expect timely and honest feedback. This is true whether you are progressing to client interview or not. Obviously this feedback should continue if you progress to interviews with the client and include the feedback on your interview with them.

I’d recommend you pre-arrange a time with your recruiter for feedback. There is nothing like a pop up reminder in your calendar to prod you to call your candidate to update them.

7/ if all goes well and you progress to job offer, expect your recruiter to give balanced advice regarding the merits of taking the role, the right salary level etc. Don’t be talked into anything.

Above all, remember the recruiter doesn’t own your resume. Like anything, back your gut on their honesty, capability and even whether they “get you.”  If you are choosing a recruiter, try to choose one that works hard to involve you to get the right outcomes. If you have no option but to go through a specific recruiter for the role you want, then hopefully this has given you some tips as to how best manage them to work for you.

I hope this helps. 

 

25/11/2014
Recruiters - Dirty Rottens...

 

I have been working in the recruitment industry for a while now, and let me tell you, most people do think of us as “dirty rotten recruiters.”

The list of horror stories from clients/hiring managers AND candidates is as long as your arm (provided you have really long arms)

Pushy, too salesy, dishonest, incompetent, uncaring – and worse, but this is a “G” rated blog so I will stop there. If you want proof of this, enter “recruiters are” into GOOGLE and see what happens.

So, as an industry that should be about sourcing and engaging with quality talent for your clients, how did it come to be that so many are focused on volume, transactional activities?

It’s true, the industry does have its’ fair share of cowboys, but mostly it is KPI driven. I define KPI driven as “activities/targets that get rewarded/punished are repeated/ceased.”

It starts with the transient, high turnover nature of the industry.  Recruitment agencies tend to hire quickly, plonk em on a seat, hope like hell they bill, and if they don’t bill (and quickly) flick em. Rinse and repeat. So the poor recruiter is instantly forced to take a short term, transactional view. “I need to bill and I need to do it now” Long term relationship building? Maybe, if I survive my probation period.

This leads the recruiter to focus on  short term activities to get a quick wins, to cast his net out trying to recruit in areas he doesn’t know, and most likely, to send as many resumes out the door with as little time investment as possible, to poor, unsuspecting hiring managers. When hiring managers are asking themselves; “why did that recruiter Carrie Cutadeal send me this candidate who is clearly not qualified?” The answer is – because poor Carrie is trying to cut a deal to save her job. In short, the focus has become about having as many shots at the goal as possible.

Hiring managers have very different wants from their agency recruiters. Honesty, speed, competency, market knowledge and mostly finding the right candidate and bringing them to the table well briefed, ready to say yes.

In my experience, a true partnership comes when both parties are working to the same end goal, with the same drivers and with the rules of the game the same for both sides.

Since leaving agency land to set up my own practice, I have thrown out the agency rules and practises and tried to create a sourcing specialisation instead. My KPI’s are qualitative in nature, focussing on greater investment in candidates and clients.

BUT, I have worked in the agencies with the other model, and I can speak from experience – sometimes it is the agency business model that drives the behaviours. I am fortunate enough to have the experience within the industry to call my own shots – especially now that I have started my own practice.

 

20/11/2014

Brennan Sourcing – who are we really? (a brief history lesson)

 

As the founder and Principle, Brennan Sourcing is my baby.  It funds my life and the lives of those who depend on me.  As an entity, the principles, policies and practices of Brennan Sourcing are driven, even derived from me and the life experiences I have collected over the past 25 years.

I started my working life as a retailer – long hours, tight budgets, demanding bosses (those who worked for me would have me in that category) and the much needed ability to MacGyver solutions – For those unaware, to MacGyver is urban slang derived from a mid 80’s TV show in which the main character would fashion complex devices from a hairbrush, a nail, and 3 jelly beans.

I loved my retail life, right up until I didn’t. I guess the hours caught up with me.

Moving to a Carlton based boutique agency that specialised in Retail was a bit of a career gamble, but one I had to make. Fortunately I found myself in a new career that was a match for my inherent skill set. Phew. I say “Phew” as it was a risk, one which I went into against the well-meaning advice of approximately 95% of my personal and business network.

6 years later I made the move to a larger, Collins Street agency that had a broader client base. This was where I truly came to understand the meaning of Sales in recruitment. But that is fodder for another blog methinks.

This move allowed me to broaden my client based, and through following some key clients as they transitioned from one industry to the next, I was able to build a strong portfolio of activity across a number of industries. It also helped me to identify that rather than an industry speciality, my true recruitment passion lay in helping companies build their talent based on a significant aspect of cultural and motivational fit. More DNA than Resume.

Typically, larger agencies have strong, industry based demarcation lines. When I say strong, think old style BLF picket line type stuff and you will get the idea.  So the only way I could continue to build a practice based on long term relationships with my clients rather than an industry based client group was to start my own practice.

Having traded as Brennan Sourcing since 2012 I have focused on helping clients who want a forward thinking sourcing strategy that delivers quality talent who know what they are getting in for. 

(Sourcing specialist vs Recruitment Agency – that is a whole ‘nother blog right there)

 

18/11/2014

Let's get started...

Having been described as the opposite of an early adopter of blogging and other forms of social media, this is going to be something of a learning experience for me. For you, I will use the phrase "test subjects”, rather than "guinea pigs."

There are a few areas of interest (to me) that I will endeavour to touch on with this blog.

Of course, I will tell you something about myself and about my business, and hopefully hold your interest whilst discussing how Brennan Sourcing differs from the traditional agency, both for candidates and hiring managers.

That will inevitably lead me to making some observations about the general world of recruitment, what is great about it, what is less than great about it. There will likely be some amazing pearls of wisdom (?) describing how as either a candidate of a hiring manager you can make the most out of what a good recruiter can offer you. The flip side of that coin is I will hope to provide some tips on how to avoid the worst of the industry, and what to do if you find yourself ensnared in a situation that is not to your liking

I will play my own version of Mythbusters as I break down some of the much loved myths that pervade the recruitment industry (your resume should be how many pages?) and provide some insights into how candidates and hiring managers are winning. I may even regale you with stories that are the recruitment equivalent of chefs spitting in your food if you complain.

I will offer my anecdotal observations of the world, and how we as a species occupy it, what amazes me about people, and even what shocks me about people and their behaviour. Hmmm  perhaps “Brennan Sourcing – Modern Etiquette Tips” as a future blog title?

I look forward to this journey – mostly I am excited to finally have an outlet for all of my pent up “Dad jokes.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30/11/2014
What you should expect from a recruiter part 1

 

I have heard so many tales of really poor experiences had with recruiters that I wanted to outline a few ideas for what you should expect. I decided to start from the candidate side, with the hiring manager side to follow.

It is also written for the broader recruitment market, up to middle management level. Technical recruitment and Search have aspects that would be very different to what I have written below. So, all you specialist recruiters reading this – cut me some slack.

This blog is much longer than my usual, as such I have had to make it part 1 and 2. I will try and leave part 1 on a cliff-hanger!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, so for one reason or another you are on the market for a new job. If you are still engaged in a role it can be a liberating and often profitable experience, a chance to change the course of your career, and sometimes by extension, your life.

But…if you are forced to look for a job (redundancy, fired, horrible boss, office prank backfired), then it can be a tough, soul destroying experience. Obviously there are many ways to find that next great job, utilising the services of a good recruiter should be one of them.

As recruiters we have an opportunity to make this a whole lot easier for our candidates. Unfortunately, too many recruiters cut corners on their communication, their skills assessment, even their empathy with candidates.

What some fail to realise is that as recruiters, we are dependent not only on our clients, but on our ability to source quality candidates also. Treat ‘em bad too often and they might start staying away.

So – as a job seeker what are the bare minimums you should expect from a recruiter?

1/ you should expect that the job you are applying for is a real job. Sounds pretty basic, I know. But it is a widely followed practise to advertise aspirationally - my term for when the recruiter aspires to having a solid bank of candidates, so they advertise “jobs” to generate a candidate pool.

A good recruiter will build his client base, which will generate open job orders, which will in turn allow him to go to market to attract talent. Building clients is harder, and often takes longer so the lazy recruiter will often cheat their way to attracting talent.

2/ you should receive acknowledgement of your application. Most job boards do this automatically.

3/ receiving a regrets letter if you are unsuccessful – I’m sorry but the old “only successful candidates will be notified” line is just a lame excuse for being lazy recruiters. Ideally this should be received within 1-2 weeks. It is one of the most common criticisms of recruiters and one of the easiest things to fix. 

Oops, out of room – part 2 to follow.

 

25/11/2014
Recruiters - "Dirty Rottens...."

 

I have been working in the recruitment industry for a while now, and let me tell you, most people do think of us as “dirty rotten recruiters.”

The list of horror stories from clients/hiring managers AND candidates is as long as your arm (provided you have really long arms)

Pushy, too salesy, dishonest, incompetent, uncaring – and worse, but this is a “G” rated blog so I will stop there. If you want proof of this, enter “recruiters are” into GOOGLE and see what happens.

So, as an industry that should be about sourcing and engaging with quality talent for your clients, how did it come to be that so many are focused on volume, transactional activities?

It’s true, the industry does have its’ fair share of cowboys, but mostly it is KPI driven. I define KPI driven as “activities/targets that get rewarded/punished are repeated/ceased.”

It starts with the transient, high turnover nature of the industry.  Recruitment agencies tend to hire quickly, plonk em on a seat, hope like hell they bill, and if they don’t bill (and quickly) flick em. Rinse and repeat. So the poor recruiter is instantly forced to take a short term, transactional view. “I need to bill and I need to do it now” Long term relationship building? Maybe, if I survive my probation period.

This leads the recruiter to focus on  short term activities to get a quick wins, to cast his net out trying to recruit in areas he doesn’t know, and most likely, to send as many resumes out the door with as little time investment as possible, to poor, unsuspecting hiring managers. When hiring managers are asking themselves; “why did that recruiter Carrie Cutadeal send me this candidate who is clearly not qualified?” The answer is – because poor Carrie is trying to cut a deal to save her job. In short, the focus has become about having as many shots at the goal as possible.

Hiring managers have very different wants from their agency recruiters. Honesty, speed, competency, market knowledge and mostly finding the right candidate and bringing them to the table well briefed, ready to say yes.

In my experience, a true partnership comes when both parties are working to the same end goal, with the same drivers and with the rules of the game the same for both sides.

Since leaving agency land to set up my own practice, I have thrown out the agency rules and practises and tried to create a sourcing specialisation instead. My KPI’s are qualitative in nature, focussing on greater investment in candidates and clients.

BUT, I have worked in the agencies with the other model, and I can speak from experience – sometimes it is the agency business model that drives the behaviours. I am fortunate enough to have the experience within the industry to call my own shots – especially now that I have started my own practice.

 

20/11/2014

Brennan Sourcing – who are we really? (a brief history lesson)

 

As the founder and Principle, Brennan Sourcing is my baby.  It funds my life and the lives of those who depend on me.  As an entity, the principles, policies and practices of Brennan Sourcing are driven, even derived from me and the life experiences I have collected over the past 25 years.

I started my working life as a retailer – long hours, tight budgets, demanding bosses (those who worked for me would have me in that category) and the much needed ability to MacGyver solutions – For those unaware, to MacGyver is urban slang derived from a mid 80’s TV show in which the main character would fashion complex devices from a hairbrush, a nail, and 3 jelly beans.

I loved my retail life, right up until I didn’t. I guess the hours caught up with me.

Moving to a Carlton based boutique agency that specialised in Retail was a bit of a career gamble, but one I had to make. Fortunately I found myself in a new career that was a match for my inherent skill set. Phew. I say “Phew” as it was a risk, one which I went into against the well-meaning advice of approximately 95% of my personal and business network.

6 years later I made the move to a larger, Collins Street agency that had a broader client base. This was where I truly came to understand the meaning of Sales in recruitment. But that is fodder for another blog methinks.

This move allowed me to broaden my client based, and through following some key clients as they transitioned from one industry to the next, I was able to build a strong portfolio of activity across a number of industries. It also helped me to identify that rather than an industry speciality, my true recruitment passion lay in helping companies build their talent based on a significant aspect of cultural and motivational fit. More DNA than Resume.

Typically, larger agencies have strong, industry based demarcation lines. When I say strong, think old style BLF picket line type stuff and you will get the idea.  So the only way I could continue to build a practice based on long term relationships with my clients rather than an industry based client group was to start my own practice.

Having traded as Brennan Sourcing since 2012 I have focused on helping clients who want a forward think sourcing strategy that delivers quality talent who know what they are getting in for. 

(Sourcing specialist vs Recruitment Agency – that is a whole ‘nother blog right there)

 

 

18/11/2014

Let's get started...

Having been described as the opposite of an early adopter of blogging and other forms of social media, this is going to be something of a learning experience for me. For you, I will use the phrase "test subjects”, rather than "guinea pigs."

There are a few areas of interest (to me) that I will endeavour to touch on with this blog.

Of course, I will tell you something about myself and about my business, and hopefully hold your interest whilst discussing how Brennan Sourcing differs from the traditional agency, both for candidates and hiring managers.

That will inevitably lead me to making some observations about the general world of recruitment, what is great about it, what is less than great about it. There will likely be some amazing pearls of wisdom (?) describing how as either a candidate of a hiring manager you can make the most out of what a good recruiter can offer you. The flip side of that coin is I will hope to provide some tips on how to avoid the worst of the industry, and what to do if you find yourself ensnared in a situation that is not to your liking

I will play my own version of Mythbusters as I break down some of the much loved myths that pervade the recruitment industry (your resume should be how many pages?) and provide some insights into how candidates and hiring managers are winning. I may even regale you with stories that are the recruitment equivalent of chefs spitting in your food if you complain.

I will offer my anecdotal observations of the world, and how we as a species occupy it, what amazes me about people, and even what shocks me about people and their behaviour. Hmmm  perhaps “Brennan Sourcing – Modern Etiquette Tips” as a future blog title?

I look forward to this journey – mostly I am excited to finally have an outlet for all of my pent up “Dad jokes.”