Never been a fan of Christmas… I can hear the collectives oohs, hisses and sighs normally reserved for one of James Caan’s posts.

Look I can get on board with the fact you can have a drink at 7am and everyone thinks that is normal. However I find the pressure to smile and nod to everything because of “Christmas Spirit” to be rather annoying… If I wanted to do that I would work in Politics or Recruitment… Oh right… Now I get it. The fact I should pander to people more than I do already because of everyone else’s general mood is borderline insane.

Anyway I thought my blog this week could be a re-imagining of the old Muppets story “A Christmas Carol.” Jim Henson did some amazingly creative work over the years but no idea how he came up with such an original tale of woe.

We have, probably, all worked for that boss over the years. Not overly approachable, not really living in the now. They usually come from a few stereotypes:

  • Made their money and continue to do so, but also were forced to step up into management or they couldn’t get a payrise (even though they have made millions for the firm over the years.) They don’t want to manage, and they firmly believe in “No School like the Old School.” Motivational Quotes such as: “Get on the effing phone”, and “Make money or the doors over there.”
  • Never really made any money, however they were that person who was a bit of a sycophant with the big billers and the bosses. Always inviting themselves to meetings and after work drinks. Someone would leave and they would end up getting their clients and ultimately their “relationships” got them a manager job. Even though they have no actual knowledge of Recruiting. Motivational Quotes such as: “I used this script, it always worked for me”, and “How are you sitting against your KPI’s this week?”

*Any likeness to anyone I know who reads this are probably completely true, and if you are reading this. Sorry, but remember its Christmas…

Now sweeping generalisations aside, we probably have met some of the above types before. In the context of my story these people are the scrooges.

Now you, the underlings. You guys are the Bob Cratchits of the world. Trying to make some money to have a great Christmas for Tiny Tim (Subliminal advertising feel sorry for me… send me your jobs.)

Imagine, if you would; Scrooge is working you day and most of the night. You have been hitting the phones so hard you have tennis elbow. You can’t even remember the last 20 phone-calls as the script took over. You are a machine.

Sadly for you this isn’t a Christmas fable, and the ghosts of Recruitment Past, Present and Future are not going to haunt your boss in their sleep. However it is not to late for you to educate yourself, show success, and maybe (unlikely) they will listen,

(The Serious stuff, no jokes after this point… Sorry)

Recruitment Past is exactly where it should be, whilst there are arguments for hitting the phones and making friends with the gatekeepers. Ignoring the recruitment function completely and pitching straight to the Hiring Manager can sometimes be more of a hindrance if you rub someone up the wrong way… The Internal Recruitment function is no longer Office Managers and 5% of the job of the HR Manager. It is heavily invested in… Mainly down to how much much your boss made in the 90’s. You need to build relationships within the Recruitment Function and prove you add more than a candidate you found randomly on Jobsite. Provide tangible MI (Not the dross your company comes up with every year, where you sourced your candidates, actual real-time market intelligence, candidate reaction to them as a company to work for etc.)

Recruitment Present Whats happening now? Well social media is pretty big. We can now reach out and touch people in more ways than we ever could before. GitHub, Meetup, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. Where as in the past we recruiters never liked to share information, it was dog eat dog. Hell a lot of recruiters would avoid putting client details on databases so they didn’t have colleagues ringing them. The aim is to now always be learning and evolving and staying ahead of the market. As these platforms grow and change, perhaps we will see less reliance on job boards as its easier to reach out for the job you want? Never before has “Becoming a Brand” been so important in recruitment. Sell yourself, create an image, and sell that. Not a script.

Recruitment Future A contentious subject… AI, Robots, Algorithms. All interesting debatable subjects. In my eyes… Recruitment is all about engagement. If your process moves towards removing the frontline engagement then you are doing it wrong. Back end sure. Use X-Ray searching, run spider programs, if it helps you find the right people quickly then crack on. But if you build a robot to make calls for you then you might as well give up and marry the thing.

I don’t know where this crazy industry is going, but I would hope to see more retained collaboration projects where the Recruiter works on a number of requirements. Markets the company, the positions, and is paid for the project as opposed to per hire. The Recruiter is paid not just to Recruit but to enhance the brand.

So if your Boss is a Scrooge, just remember their way is not always the right way. Adapt, and every chance you get try and learn something new about this job. It will pay off one day (I hope so anyway, or my family is getting coal again.)

Now for some cheesy christmas sign off from me… “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal…?”

“Tiny” Tim Chattaway – Recruiter, Orders Cheese Board for Dessert.