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What will make a 'future' recruiter?

James Reed, chairman of REED


Back in 1992, when I first joined REED, the UK economy was in a terrible state: over three million people were without a job. At the time, permanent employment was the status quo in most sectors, meaning employees were paid by a single employer and were loyal to that employer for an indeterminate period of time.


Fast forward 27 years, and the jobs landscape is unrecognisable. Employment is at a record high and in large part this is thanks to the flexible labour market. Flexible working is quickly becoming the new standard and more people around the world are embracing it. For example, the Turkish government recently legalised temporary in 2016.


Having seen how jobs have changed over the years, and having recently established REED offices in Turkey, I am excited by the opportunities that flexible working presents recruiters. It supports positive workplace relationships, in turn creating a happier and more productive workforce. Flexibility at work is good for employers, it’s good for workers and it’s good for society.


Much of this change is shaped not only by worker demand but also by advancements in technology, which is creating opportunities for new ways of working to be realised. Recruiters are having to adapt to find new ways of delivering their services. I believe this shift in types of working and the development of technology will continue to influence the future of recruitment more than any other factor.


To survive, REED has had to continuously adapt its services to suit a modern job market. For example, we pioneered recruitment portals with in 1995. In many ways, the same goes for recruiters. In a dynamic future, only the most flexible recruiters will flourish. In my new book The Happy Recruiter, I discuss exactly how this can be done by following seven guiding principles which I like to call ‘the seven Rs’:


The relatable recruiter


Whether it’s talking over the phone or meeting clients and candidates in person, recruitment is a people business. In a way, it’s not too dissimilar to matchmaking as the role involves introducing two strangers to one another. A key focus of recruiters should therefore be on creating long lasting and rewarding partnerships and can be achieved with a warm, approachable and trustworthy disposition.


The relevant recruiter


While crowdsourcing advice from my network of thousands of recruiters, a common answer in response to the question ‘if you could go back to “you” on the first day of your recruitment career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?’ was the importance of specialising. To remain relevant, recruiters must know their field inside out and find an area of expertise they’re interested in and excel at it.


The ready recruiter


Practice, organisation and vision are key skills to being a ready recruiter. Invest time and effort into planning and you’ll be in a great position to make the most of any opportunity that presents itself and will be less likely to panic if any problems arise. This is a great attribute to help recruiters effectively manage KPIs and changes to briefs.


The rapid recruiter


Recruitment is a business in which speed is vital. Clients want a vacancy filled without delay regardless of the role or seniority of the position, and candidates need to keep paying the bills. With that in mind, recruiters must always be thinking ahead or risk losing business to a rival agency.


The resilient recruiter


The jobs market can be dog eat dog at times, and the harsh realities of working life can be tough to face up to. Perhaps this explains why I received more on the topic of resilience more so than any other while researching my book. It seems that every recruiter has challenges in this area, because clients and candidates can be changeable and demanding. That’s why, in such a tough environment, resilience and patience is key so that when obstacles present themselves, recruiters can work around them.


The reflective recruiter


No recruiter is born a top performer. It takes time for recruiters to fine tune their skills and work their way up the ladder. Analysing what they do and how they do it, and adapting their behaviour to deliver better results is crucial to achieving this. To go truly far in a career in recruitment self-knowledge is a characteristic that must be cherished.


The rewarded recruiter


These qualities are ultimately the building blocks necessary towards developing the rewarded recruiter, who is fulfilled and respected for every aspect of their work. Recruitment can be a rewarding job. Not only do recruiters benefit from the gratification of matching a candidate with a particular role and watching them flourish, but with success as a recruiter comes great personal rewards too. Follow ‘the seven Rs’ and recruiters could be well on their way to becoming a well-rounded and richly rewarded recruiter.

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