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In The Great Big Recruitment Industry Survey the market told us the following worrying stats

  • 56% of us are terrible
  • 31% are ‘meh’
  • Only 13% are exceptional

If you’re a recruiter and you’re reading this then chances are (87%) you’re not quite as amazing as you think.  But maybe you are.  Maybe you are one of the 13%.  Want to find out?

Reading the results of the survey was a sobering experience.  Probably the biggest surprise was the absolute consistency of message across all respondent groups. We had expected some vitriol and anger but what we got was much worse: a sense of resigned disappointment with our entire industry and the recruitment process as a whole.  It would appear (to paraphrase my mum talking to teenage me) we’ve let our clients down, we’ve let our candidates down, but most of all we’ve let ourselves down.

The most commonly used word throughout the responses was “human” Our market doesn’t think that we think of them as humans.  We certainly don’t treat them like humans according to our results.

The survey brought up anecdotes of people sending out hundreeds of job applicatons with not a single response, of going to client interviews and then never hearing back, of being lied to, being kept waiting indefinitely and of being verbally abused.  And the worse bit – these are not isolated incidents, they relate to 87% (yes 87%!!) of our industry.

So the bad news is, they only like 13% of us.  The good news is, its really really easy to change that.

The question is are you one of the 87% or #areyouoneofthe13percent

We asked people to rate the things they hated the most about our industry

chart 1

The top 4 sent a clear message.  The market’s main gripe is lack of any feedback, lack of quality feedback when it is given, lack of understanding of roles which translates into an inability to effectively represent roles.  

These boil down to 2 main factors; lack of care and lack of quality in process. 

So how do we address these? 

  1. Get back to everyone with specific, quality feedback
  2. Spend considerable time taking good quality job information

So how do you rate here? Do you get back to every single applicant with a specific reason they aren’t progressing in your process (auto “job is now closed” emails don’t count)?  For this one to count you have to give them a specific reason and closure, not a generic response. This needs to be everyone who applies to you, even of you will never make any money from them.

Do you give personal, brave, confrontational, quality feedback (either over the phone or face to face) to everyone who has been interviewed by you or by your client?

Do you spend half hour+ taking a quality job brief (even if it’s a regular client) so you can get a full understanding of it (even if it’s a role you work on regularly)?

If you’re not doing the above for everyone (not just the applicants you can make money from), then chances are you aren’t in the 13%.

That’s the bad news. This article isn’t about bad news and it isn’t written to bag out our industry.  Its purpose is to give you the good news.  The good news is that, according to our research, it is extremely f#$%&@g simple to be in the 13% club

We asked respondents to list the things that most impressed them about a recruitment process and here is their response:

Simple yes, easy no.  To summarise those charts.  To be in the 13% Club, as well as actually filling roles you need to:

  • Give everyone, every single applicant, a personalized response with a specific reason why they have been rejected
  • Treat people like humans – even the ones you’ll never make any money out of (I think that’s the definition of treating them like humans)
  • Give everyone clear and specific closure
  • Give brave feedback, even if its bad
  • Be thorough in your process so you can give good quality and accurate descriptions of roles

By our nature we’re vacuous creatures. We look for immediate results, in fact we’re paid for immediate results.  But often we forget that out there is a sea of humans looking to us with a false sense for answers.

The 13% recognize this and spend time building good systems to facilitate a better level of service and closure, they have a thorough process to ensure accuracy and quality of information. The 13% realise the important role that our industry can play, not just to the few people we find work for but to the sea of humans looking to us for guidance.

But in doing so, in caring, in being thorough, the 13% are better recruiters.


The question is, #areyouoneofthe13percent


The Recruitment Company is looking for a contract recruiter from within the 13% to run our flagship .Net Contract desk.  Click here to see the role or check out what it means to be a part of our team here