Today, more and more people in the recruitment agency industry are identifying themselves as “specialists” when their experience and expertise do not actually represent any kind of specialization or specialty. With so many recruitment professionals tacking “specialist” onto their job title, it can be difficult to find someone truly qualified that understands or better still has worked in the industry to which they claim to be a ‘specialist’ recruiter.
Intelligent Questioning Based On Industry Specific Work Experience
One of the most critical assets that a true specialist recruiter will have is their ability to question a job brief, to get right under the skin of it. A true specialist will have prior work experience from the profession for which they are recruiting. They will be able to probe, ask questions and challenge the client in a lot more depth and more intelligently than someone who doesn’t. This is probably going to ruffle some feathers, but you know it’s true! The same applies when asking a candidate about their skills and background.
Variety of Roles & Duties
The role of empathy and mutual understanding is critical for any specialist recruiter to perform their job exceptionally. They need to be in tune with the human element of the job search and understand the particular challenges of different roles. If a recruiter hasn’t worked in their specialist recruiting area, how would they have acquired the experiences that help understand the roles to which they are recruiting? A specialist would understand the entire recruitment ecosystem within their specialist area and use that knowledge to offer a holistic solution to the candidates and clients they are supporting.
Many recruiters are heavily targeted and are just sprinting through roles they need to fill and not even taking care to build relationships with their candidates. They may have got you that job Mr or Mrs Candidate, but was it really the right fit for you once you started? Was anything missed? Could this have been avoided if the right questions were asked early on? A true specialist recruiter will take the time to intelligently learn about both the company and the candidate by using their industry background and experience, so that only the highest quality matches are made.
A career trajectory that scales upward within the industry that a specialist recruiter recruits is a key indicator that someone is a true specialist. Therefore, bonus points should be award to these real specialist recruiters, as they will be able to assist you at every stage of your career.
Hang On…. Last Year You Were An IT Recruiter? (or were an Estate Agent??)
Next time you get a call or a LinkedIn request from a specialist recruiter in your profession, have a look at their background for a second. Even if they work in a ‘specialist’ recruitment firm, that might be the only thing specialist about them. You will probably find a lot of recruiters (especially due to the high turnover) have very little experience recruiting in their “claimed” specialist industry, let alone actual “work experience” within their recruitment specialism.
By using a recruiter who is truly a specialist that has worked in that industry, you can trust that they will fully understand your history, your career aims, the client’s job brief and your industry. Would you put your career in the hands of someone who isn’t? I know I wouldn’t!
We’ve Been On Your Side Of The Table
If a specialist recruiter has actually come from the industry in which they now recruit for, they have the advantage of truly understanding what they liked and disliked about using external recruitment agencies. They also are less likely to come from an aggressive sales background of cold-call targets, ridiculous bell ringing and the ego that you typically see from a lot of recruiters. They have been where you are and will adapt their approach to how they would have liked to be treated by external recruiters.
What you end up with a partnering approach, based on a true consultancy model. Rather than an aggressive ‘must fill’ my role quota this month, 'mud on the wall' hoping that some of it sticks mentality, which unfortunately seems to be life in a lot of agencies.
I know which I would choose if I was a candidate or a client.
If you're looking for a new job opportunity or looking to find amazing HR professionals for your business, then please do get in touch by calling me on 01727 223973 or emailing me Andy Selway MCIPD, Specialist HR Recruiter at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm CIPD qualified (Chartered) and have personally clocked up 15 years’ working as an in-house HR professional including up to Head of HR level and as a Freelance HR Consultant. I feel that this can only add huge value to the overall client and candidate experience for those that I work with, as I have worked in the roles I recruit for “I’ve been you as a candidate and you as a client, I truly get it”.
Feel free to contact me to discuss your permanent, interim or temporary HR requirements from entry level to Director level across all sectors, including job roles such as; Head of HR / HR Directors, HR Managers, HR Business Partners, HR Advisors / HR Officers, HR Assistants / HR Administrators, HR Consultants, Learning and Development (L&D) and Resourcing, Recruitment & Talent Acquisition.