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Recession enables recruiters to prove their worth

Recession enables recruiters to prove their worth, reveals new survey

Trade body launches new institute

One in five recruitment professionals questioned in a recent survey have suffered verbal abuse from candidates frustrated by the lack of job opportunities, whilst 59% have seen an increase in the number of candidates demanding to be put forward for unsuitable roles.

The survey coincides with the launch by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) of a new professional body for recruitment consultants, the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP), established to further improve standards in recruitment and remind clients and candidates of what professional recruiters have to offer.

Whilst demands from candidates continue to increase, many recruiters are turning the situation into a positive opportunity to develop themselves with 67% claiming the recession has made them better recruiters, and over a third (35%) feeling that job seekers and employers have more respect for them now than when the jobs market was buoyant.

Other survey highlights include:

Existing skill-sets get a polishing - a third admit that the current climate requires an even more in-depth knowledge of employment law 67% cite business acumen as a greater requirement in their role better people skills (80%), tenacity (59%) and patience with both candidates (41%) and clients (53%) were among some of the other areas that a recruiter needs to excel in

Versatility vital proving that softer skills are also an essential part of a recruiters role, 60% have needed to deal with candidates who have become emotional or upset as a result of being made redundant

Market instability a time-waster at a time when its understandably a challenge for employers to make decisions about recruitment, 80% of recruiters have been affected by employers changing their minds at the last hurdle and deciding not to recruit

Kevin Green, CEO, Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), comments:

Keeping Britains workforce moving in the current economic climate is no easy task. Recruitment professionals have the momentous challenge of helping many more jobseekers back into work, whilst balancing the demands of employers whose expectations have increased due to the wider pool of talent.

Recruiters have two options, to become defeatist or use the challenging climate as an opportunity to develop their professional skills and capability. Its encouraging to see the majority taking the latter approach.

Green concludes:

Our new professional body representing individual recruiters sets out to improve the recruitment experience and is proof that recruiters want to raise standards and prove the value they offer candidates and clients.

The IRPs core purpose is to enhance the capability of recruiters and to demonstrate to clients their credentials. To become a full member of the IRP, recruiters will have to pass externally recognised qualifications or prove their professional competence.

Commenting on the findings, Rachael Hanley-Browne, an REC London regional director and owner and director of recruitment firm, Resourcefulpeople, says:

There is always a tendency in a recession for employers to think in a short-term way and to want to circumvent the proper recruitment process, which in turn does lead to some aggression from rightly frustrated candidates.

However, recruiters who have the nous do understand the importance of supporting and building long term relationships with their clients and their candidates in such challenging times. This requires them to use people skills and business acumen so at the end of the downturn, it will work to their benefit as employers will remember them and contact them first.

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