In this series, professionals discuss how to reach the next level in your career. Read the posts here, then write your own (use #SkillsGap in the body).
When people discuss the ailments of the recruitment industry, talk is often centred around the front-line recruitment teams and how they interact with their candidates and clients.
As in many industries, it is the visible parts of the organisation that receive the criticism or the plaudits, but in many cases, the best recruitment outfits hit the heights because of an additional top-class back office operation.
There are two things to take into consideration here: people and technology.
In my opinion, far too many recruiters concentrate their internal recruitment strategies on hiring the top recruiter talent, when actually a great resourcer, relationship manager, office manager or accountant is what is truly needed. When stress levels start to rise, it is these sorts of people who provide the glue for the entire office and ensure that operations run smoothly for both candidates and clients.
They are what can make an average client experience into a memorable client experience. They are what ensures that candidates become clients down the line. They are part of that “extra mile” in an industry, where efficiency and speed are vital elements of the role.
However, no great back office can be complete without some truly innovative tools of the trade. Technology is sprinting forward at breakneck pace in most industries, and recruitment is no exception. So many companies are being left behind because they don’t want to “change” their tried and tested methods, but these days, you have to adapt to merely keep up with the market, let alone stay one step ahead.
Recruitment software is becoming ever more intuitive. Big Data sourcing solutions are starting to come to the market and the will revolutionise the candidate identification process over the coming decade. Payroll solutions are now so advanced that they work away quietly in the background.
They say that one feature of the best technology is that you don’t even notice it is there. Much can be said of the recruitment back office.
When the best recruiters get praised for their work, a portion of that praise should also go to the people around them (and the technology that supports them). When things don’t go quite right, they should equally not always have to shoulder the blame.
If the recruitment back office runs smoothly, a recruitment organisation will be able to attract the best recruiters by providing them with the maximum possible amount of support. If the back office doesn’t work so well, it is often the case that the turnover of recruiters will be relatively high. No one wants to work in an environment where they are undermined by the technology they use and let down by under-qualified and demotivated colleagues.
How good is your recruitment back office operation? Honestly? Could it run a little smoother sometimes? Probably.
Peter Giltrap, Director EdenGroup