An open letter to rec2rec agencies

  • Date posted: 28 Apr 2016
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I hate the term rec2rec.


It has too many negative connotations and back in the day, before I launched my own, my experience with rec2rec agencies was poor to say the least. The many issues I encountered included:
 

  • Supposed Consultants that didn't take the time to get to know me or my business.
  • Candidates plucked from CV libraries that were irrelevant.
  • Candidates not briefed for the role.
  • Candidates that didn't turn up for interview.
  • Rec2Rec Consultants that were invited in to discuss my business then used that knowledge to try and poach my own staff.
     

The list of complaints was long and I was astonished with the lack of professionalism. But from those ruminations a seed was planted. I had known for some time that I had outgrown the business I was in and needed to fulfil my own ambition of creating my own business. Ever the show-off who thrived on doing things other people couldn't, I decided to change how rec2rec was perceived and executed by launching my own.

I have to admit, despite my 14 years in recruitment at the time, I was unprepared for the realities of running a rec2rec agency. Yes I had trained and managed 100's of staff, I knew my stuff in terms of training, marketing, business development, systems, IT, social media and day to day operations but what I wasn't prepared for was how cynical some clients and candidates would be. 

Clients needed you but would try and keep you at arms length; candidates would waste your time with knee-jerk reactions then disappear off the face of the earth. On reflection now,  I understand why people behaved the way they did back then, they were victims of poor rec2rec experiences and their barriers were up. 

Thankfully, over time, we crafted a system that worked for everyone. And on the basis of this we built a strong network of superior agencies and candidates that understood our value and became brand ambassadors for us (the result of which is that we are finalists this year for BEST CANDIDATE CARE at Recuiter Awards 2016). We were doing things very differently and as a result we were achieving unheard of conversion rates for placing candidates and filling jobs. And so, quietly but steadily, we built up our business, took on more people, expanded our offering and became more and more successful.

But 5 years in we now face another issue. Other rec2rec agencies are now really feeling our presence and they don't like it. We are now once again having to re-craft our systems and processes but this time it is to stop other rec2rec agencies that are trying to disrupt our business and in the process are attempting to sabotage our client's and candidate's success and quite frankly it's appalling.

So here is my response to those other supposed rec2rec agencies. 

STOP.

The world of rec2rec is challenging enough without this unprofessional and unethical behaviour. You may think you are trying to derail a competitor but in actual fact all you are doing is damaging your own industry. You are damaging the reputation of the industry as a whole and it is totally unnecessary. 

Stop:

  • Creating and attempting to send fake CV's to our jobs
  • Sending staff to our offices pretending to be candidates (this one is particularly embarassing for your poor juniors)
  • Stop attempting to download and copy our resources and website content
  • Stop trying to pose as clients
  • Stop interrogating candidates on what interviews they are attending to try and undermine them
  • Stop trying to disrupt processes for clients and candidates just because you're not involved
  • Stop lying to clients and candidates just to try and get a quick fee

None of this is necessary and as you are realising our systems are robust enough to expose what you are doing. I feel embarrassed for some of you on this. 

We are strong and we are creative and we are prepared to spend more time and money that you to defend our business and our client's and candidate's best interests. We're here to stay. The industry needs a safe haven and a quality and ethical rec2rec and we will not give in.

Instead of wasting your time on this perhaps you ought to:

  • Spend time actually meeting your clients and getting to know their businesses
  • Spend time actually meeting candidates and listening to them
  • Spend more money on your systems and website and advertising
  • Focus on quality rather than quantity
     

That's it. It's not rocket science and there's room in this world for all of us. I write a column for Recruiter Magazine every month, I am a Judge for Recruiter Awards and our company is a founding member of Women in Recruitment. Anyone that has dealt with me will know that I have a voice and lots of opinion and common trait in our team members. If you really want some tips on how to run your rec2rec agency we're happy to share because you know what? If you all behaved a bit more professionally and stopped with your games the entire industry would benefit.

So make a choice. Opt-in to the future of rec2rec or get out of our way because less and less candidates and clients are going to tolerate your games. Especially now there is an alternative.

We are Recruiter Republic.

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