CareerDid the recession kill the recruiter-candidate relationship?

Did the recession kill the recruiter-candidate relationship?

The 2008 global financial crisis and resulting recession can be identified as the impetus behind many key changes in the UK economy and political sphere, but how has it affected the recruitment industry?

The 2008 global financial crisis and resulting recession can be identified as the impetus behind many key changes in the UK economy and political sphere in recent years – tighter regulation of the banking industry, political instability, and decline in the travel industry being a few examples of how the country has responded to the recession.

While these changes have been largely visible to the public, other developments have not been so noticeable. Take the recruitment industry, for example. The sector has changed significantly over the past decade, with recruitment practices and methods post-recession starkly different to those used pre-recession.

One way in which the sector has changed – and not necessarily for the better – is how recruiters interact with candidates. While in the past, recruiters sought to engage with candidates and gain a good understanding of their job aspirations, motivations, and skills, such interaction is now harder to find.

With the abundance of job adverts on the market, recruitment today seems limitless, with the cost per advert having fallen significantly for recruiters. Yet, increasingly, recruiters are failing to speak to candidates directly, opting for a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” approach, with many candidates never hearing back after having submitted their CV for consideration. Technology, with the potential to facilitate and improve communication, is often now leveraged to shut down ongoing dialogue, with automated messages the closest candidates sometimes get to any acknowledgement or receipt of an application.

As a result, candidates are unable to benefit from discussions with a recruiter, and miss out on key advice on career progression and development. They are also deprived of the opportunity to discuss career dilemmas with experienced individuals and weigh up the potential impact of certain career decisions.

There is a danger with this recruitment model that the trusting relationship between candidate and recruiter will erode, with good candidates not bothering to submit applications for attractive job opportunities. In a post-recession environment where individuals tend to steer towards steady jobs rather than being incentivised by salary increases, companies run the risk of not having access to a decent talent pool from which to recruit.

Furthermore, in a bid to increase activity in the jobs market, many recruitment firms now advertise for jobs that do not exist, creating the impression of a high level of activity within their firm, but diluting the quality of the jobs market.

So, what should candidates look for in a recruiter?

Candidates looking for both a new job and career guidance should seek out recruiters who are genuinely interested in placing the right candidate with the right company – that is, focused on a specific assignment rather than expanding their CV database. The ideal recruiter will also speak candidly to candidates, providing a realistic assessment of what’s attainable and advice on how to achieve it. Feedback should be given constructively and with the overall aim of putting the candidate in the best possible position to have a successful career.

Finding a recruiter that is interested in building a strong relationship with a candidate could pay dividends further down the line. As well as upholding high consultancy standards, that same recruiter could become a key asset to your own recruitment needs, as well as matching you to future jobs to further progress your career.

To find your next career move, explore these job postings, and to connect with a recruiter that’s right for you, visit Burman Consulting Careers.

Burman Consulting is an executive recruitment business, primarily operating in the Midlands. Providing a high quality service, Burman Consulting builds and sustains long-term relationships with an extensive network of clients and candidates.

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