OMG! Did he really say this?

  • Reading time:4 mins read

I’ll tell you who it is and what he said. Did he really say this? Check this out first:

It’s transactional. It’s superficial. It’s dangerous for your financial health. And it will smash your self-esteem too.

They [recruiters] have capitulated to the transactional recruiting tsunami, and joined that shallow mob of hard-selling, resume-pumping, cold-calling, candidate-burning, price-cutting recruiters, willing to play that dirty, cheap game.

It was Mr SavageYes, it’s a while since it was published. Many years in fact. The writer is no other than international recruitment guru, Mr Greg Savage. Did he really say this? You bet, read it on the website link to Greg’s article at the end of this blog.

This is the argument. When a recruiter and their recruitment firm work for a client, who only pays a fee if a candidate is hired, it is a rush and a week’s hard work for three reasons:

  1. Their client has also asked a few other recruitment firms to look for candidates. Normal procedure when there is no commitment. It is now first come first serve. A week’s hard work may have been a waste of time, if the client in the meantime accepted to hire from another recruitment firm.
  2. Only some 20% of 100 jobs that contingency recruitment firms are working on, end up with a successful outcome. So, imagine your own business for a second; what if you personally get paid for only 20% of your products and services? Pure madness.
  3. Because recruiters must make a commission to make a living, not to mention revenue for their employer, a consultant typically handles 10-20 or more job assignments at the same time. Once they have a box of candidates pulled from their database, job boards, and network that is ready for their client, they quickly move on to the next client assignment – quick, quick and hoping for a quick close (and commission).  

Lipstick on a Pig

How on earth is it possible to convince anyone that contingency success-based recruitment is exactly the same as executive search – but just to a cheaper fee?

Did you also think about the expression of putting lipstick on a pig? It’s a rhetorical term used by many, generally in reference to someone who may be trying to make something look appealing or attractive when it quite clearly will not work or will only deceive the dumbest of people.

Should we blame anyone?

  • The contingency success-based recruiters who just fill market needs?
  • The executive retained search firm for failing to explain why their business model serves the client’s interests so much better than other options?
  • The hiring companies’ HR departments who feel a loss of face if they must ask a third-party recruiter to help find candidates?
  • Or the Talent Acquisition department who knows it’s not them getting into trouble but instead it is the hiring manager? The hiring manager because someone will be responsible for explaining why targets were not met and in worst case even fired for their performance.

The website link to Greg Savage’s website: Read it here.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.