Firstly, I would like to start by sharing with you a brief summary about me; I have worked in the London Property market for three and a half years now, specialising mainly within property management recruitment. When I began the role, I didn't necessarily understand what recruitment meant, I didn't necessarily know what property managers do and I didn’t know what I was capable of, nor what I could achieve longer term. This was my first job - straight from school. One that I welcomed with both arms open wide, one I feared only because I had to figure how to use the London Underground to get there on time and one I embraced because all I knew was I had to speak to others, engage with them, relate to them, understand and sympathise with them, to eventually figure out what they could do best long term. At this stage I had no idea what 'good' looked like or what genuine reward felt like, nor did I have any concept of where it would get me to. But today, I am reflecting and today I wonder if I face an entirely new predicament being an experienced professional - an 'expert' in my market.
Today I wonder, do people fear me because I am something other than what they expect? Is the expected, unexpected?
I believe a 'good recruiter' is an 'industry expert' and from experience, it is very difficult to do one without the other. Over time I have acquired knowledge, built relationships and constructed a network in which I feel empowered within, one where I can be confident in the decisions that I make, advice that I give and job instructions I accept because I know how I may able to assist with the process. Time tells, right? And boy has it! I placed somewhere between 15-20 candidates within my first year of recruitment and now ... 3.5 years later... I am placing (on average) 6 candidates per month, 12 months a year.... that's at least 70 candidates my friends! And I work in a team of 15 people! (70x15) 1,050 candidates per year at least! We are changing lives and changing property.
However, every recruiter I have ever come across has had their own way of doing things, sometimes due to the fact that they are the product of their own teacher, others because they feel their way is simply better than the rest, others because it is a little easier than most, and then there are some who recognise that there is an in-between. That there is another 'correct' way of doing things outside what is typically considered 'normal' which can still result in positivity and success. Those 'select' but ever-growing few, really do want to make a difference and I believe it's those few who stand out. It's those few who care, about the right things; to create a better future for everyone involved, their client and candidate as well as themselves. It is those who understand the weight of employment and the importance of getting it right so that you can go on to become an expert within the right environment, for you.
Although, I also believe there are not enough of us now to consider it 'normal', to consider it acceptable, and for those who utilise our service to always feel comfortable during the process. Yes, I believe we should still keep trying and fighting for what we feel is right although I am not going to proclaim it's always easy! A confident recruiter or recruitment agency becoming an employment advisor or business partner is still an unfamiliar concept. A lot of people will welcome your advice and ooze appreciation for imparting your knowledge from experience although unfortunately many will become defensive, a little protective and perhaps skeptical about how you have come to justify your opinion. Sometimes understandably. It is your responsibility as the experienced recruiter to earn that right, to talk from your experience and to deliver on your promises.
Through experience, time, patience and knowledge, we can become experts and we can make a difference. Little by little we can begin to feel personally connected to our audience and we can beat the rest. We can change the future of the definition of the stereotype recruiter. I dare you.