Sophie's Blog


During the course of my work, I am fortunate to speak to many recruiters and we usually have very interesting discussions about recruitment, life and other matters. I have however noticed that occasionally the nature of the questions I'm asked are not of the highest quality. Let me give you an example.

Quite a few recruiters have asked me the following question: "How can we get around HR when dealing with companies?" To me this is the wrong question on so many levels:

1. HR in many companies already have a well founded (in these instances) suspicion that some recruiters just want to circumvent HR to get directly to the line managers. This does not lay the trusting foundation that is required for a mutually beneficial longterm business partnership.

2. Recruiters complain that HR consider them a necessary evil that are not to be trusted...Can you see the irony here? If recruiters view HR as adversaries that need to be circumvented, then why wonder why HR see recruitment companies and their consultants as adversaries. After all you get back what you put out in life.

3. By circumventing HR, the recruiters rob themselves of vital information of what else is happening within that company long term. This then turns them into pure transactional consultants, which is akin to a 'snatch and grab' attitude to business. You will not get repeat business with this attitude.

4. If as a recruiter, you only deal with line managers, your penetration into the company is not as deep and you will be vulnerable when the line managers move on, which they invariably do.

5. HR managers also move on. Onto other companies where if you have served them well, they will most likely bring you in to assist them in their new workplace. New client for you just by asking the right question.

Which leads me to the answer I give when recruiters ask me how to circumvent HR: " You are asking the wrong question. A better question to ask is 'How do I become so valuable to HR that they can't even imagine doing anything without having you at the table?'" That's a much better and more fruitful question for you and for your clients.

So for 2016, I wish for you the highest quality of questions as the quality of the questions and its answers go a long way towards assisting you on the road to achieving what you want.

Happy questioning!


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