Sometimes viewed as sales reps, sometimes as HR managers, and often acknowledged to be experts in their professions, true Recruitment Consultants are actually aliens from very different planets. When you bump into them in the corridors of large trading companies, they come across as sales reps, negotiating with their clients for the best search mandates. When you see them at interviews, they are HR managers, asking general, technical or very specific questions. And when you chance upon them at events, they are experts in various professions who can chat comfortably about the news concerning some commodity or other, or any country you might care to name.
And that is only the top of the iceberg. We can imagine the consultant analysing a company’s existing teams, searching for experts, studying CVs closely to understand candidates’ career paths, coaching them to optimise their chances, analysing all the details of their personalities to determine whether they will integrate well into their future environment, spending hours giving clients an outsider’s opinion of the organisation of their teams, and much more. You get the picture – it’s a fascinating profession because it’s so varied, and demands the dexterity to move from one activity to something completely different whilst still being able to prioritise and react to urgent situations.
But, you might say, in order to tempt some to their cause, they have to make a special effort to be funny, friendly and full of enthusiasm, don’t they? Well, yes, we do know of certain ones where that is indeed the case (but we are not mentioning them here, they would be bombarded with just as many CVs as job offers). But on the whole, it is often said that this is not the main selection criteria used by HR when recruiting. No, they have to be rigorous, organized, reserved, discreet, analytical, succinct. In other words, many qualifying adjectives that do not necessarily means ones should be austere when working in such fascinating functions.
‘So,’ you ask, ‘how do you become one of these aliens?’ Some will have a very simple answer: come to it from one of the professions for which we are recruiting. The simplistic, ‘business’ image of this noble activity does indeed attract numerous market players who reduce recruitment to a simple sorting of CVs ‘on behalf of’, preferring a strong sales pitch to the quality of the work for which they are paid. At the other end of the scale are the lovers of human nature, hailing from a planet that is light years away from the former, who see recruitment as the first act of Man within the company, which they consider to be one of his primary social groups. Generally, both will return to their respective planets disappointed, having been unable to grasp all the dimensions that render Recruitment Consulting unique, leaving behind them a wasteland and a negative image of the industry as a whole.
Generally, both will return to their respective planets disappointed
Given the complexity of the role of Recruitment Consultant, there is no standard profile. It is more of an intelligent mix of analytical ability, knowledge of skills evaluation, a clear understanding of the professions concerned, interpersonal skills, resilience, persistence and creativity… In sum, those with an entrepreneur profile tend to be the most successful in this field! And in a team, as we always say to our partners, it’s best to avoid clones – it’s in varying the proportions of the ingredients and in the continuous training of individual team members that a talented team evolves into a successful one.
So, do you want to join our planet?