Attitude sickness

09-06-2005

Solving the recruitment industry staffing crisis isn�t just about finding new consultants. To most of us in the recruitment industry, it seems like there�s been a distinct lack of good consultants since the Ice Age. The world might have warmed up but we�ve still got the same problem.

The disappointing fact is that at any time an estimated 3,000 or so vacancies exist for recruitment consultants at all levels in the UK. Surprising really, when generally no particular qualifications are needed, and the overriding attribute for most recruitment positions is simply having the right attitude.

Attitude is certainly something I�ve come to appreciate. In the 25 years I�ve been in this sector, I�ve been lucky enough to engage a number of super-billers � recruiters who produce anything up to �1m a year. Their backgrounds were diverse � from a New Zealand teacher, to a mid-30s secretary and an ex-riding instructor. None of them had any prior sales or recruitment experience, yet they shared a burning desire to succeed (and earn big money). I�d like to think the training and support they received was a major contribution to their success but, without their attitude, nothing would work.

Surely there is an abundance of people around with the right attitude? The only trouble is, how do we recognise them?

Many clients want experienced, proven recruiters. To meet this demand our firm commits a huge amount of time and resources. We spend a fortune on advertising in the trade press and on the web, we trawl our vast database and we network like crazy.

If experienced recruiters are not available, we turn to trainees. However, the average attrition rate for trainee consultants is 70% within the first six months. Many factors contribute to this, but regardless, it�s still a huge waste of time, effort and money.

We do everything we can to spot the right people. We employ competency-based interviewing, check references, utilise psychometric profiling and even offer a work experience programme. After completing our programme, trainees at least have a better idea of what a recruiter�s life is really like, and some decide it�s simply not for them.

None of us has a magic wand to solve the consultant crisis, but we have at least identified the three most important things that make successful recruiters: attitude, attitude and attitude.

CONTRIBUTOR: Vic Chuntz, CEO, Aston Tyler
RECRUITER

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