Why do clients and candidates mistrust recruiters?

Our Operations Director explains why not all professions should be tarred with the same brush…

What we are not...

What we are not…

Since recruitment is a string to the sales bow, it is all to easy to be viewed with an incoherent suspicion by clients and candidates. It is often proffered that “Recruitment consultants are second only to…….”, the speaker then dragging up overused, exaggerated and old fashioned cliches such as the money grabbing used cars salesman, or the over eager and pushy estate agent; each trying to flog you something to line their pockets whilst being economical with the truth.

However, the truth of the matter is that recruitment is a very different ball park, especially when you work in healthcare and medical recruitment, as Total Assist Group does.

‘Good’ recruiters need a very rare skills blend that is often sought but seldom found. This is an unfortunate scenario within the recruitment industry that creates a very real dichotomy. I have worked in the recruitment industry for nearly 20 years now, and I have had the benefit of working in a wide range of settings. I have seen the best, and I’m afraid the worst in every single one of them. Scanning job adverts for recruiters it seems the requirement list for a ‘good’ recruitment consultant is considerable – check out this sample of the skills needed…

  • Drive
  • Diligence
  • Determination
  • Attention to detail
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Customer service skills
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Solutions focused
  • Organisation
  • Empathetic
  • Target oriented
  • Service oriented
  • Creative
  • Persuasion
  • Work well under pressure
  • Sales ability
  • Good written communication
  • Excellent verbal communication

The skills that are required to succeed in the recruitment world, in isolation, are already rare commodities.  To find them all in a fully packaged individual is near impossible, which is why teamwork is so essential. Usually, both clients and candidates will find themselves talking to a mix of people within the business which can get confusing and disorientating, with the person who signed you up initially actually not being your point of contact, as many industries now separate departments who chase down new business and those who then manage the relationship once a client or candidate has joined.

This can also be explained in the common ‘hunter’ and ‘farmer’ analogy, with the hunters being people such as New Business Developers, whilst farmers tend to be Account Managers. However, if we break down the attributes of both teams, many of which are are diametrically opposed, the typically ‘good’ recruitment consultant actually needs them all.

[table head_color=”#ffffff” head_background=”#D74142″]

Hunter Farmer
Restless Patient
Pro-active Re-active
Ruthless Empathetic
Impulsive Organised
Generate Maintain


Recruitment image 2

In the search for this ‘holy grail’ of skills, many may come, but very few can tick all boxes. This unfortunately leads to high turnover and the ‘burn and churn’ perception in our industry.  It also invariably leads to unskilled, or worse, untrained consultants, adopting unethical means to achieve what their overbearing bosses need them to achieve, creating the bad name with which most recruiters are a one time or another are tarnished. It is a truism that the training in this industry can be, broadly speaking, ‘sink or swim’.  Both the REC and IRP are working hard to drive-up standards and work with agencies to educate their management and staff, which is something Total Assist Group fully support and agree with.  However this is a voluntary code that can sometimes act a blunt tool, leaving agencies, largely free, to operate as ethically or otherwise as they see fit.

Our belief is that if we focus on delivering a positive experiences to our candidates and clients the ‘sales’ will look after themselves however there are still times where we do still feel like the salmon swimming upstream. Our key focus has always been to provide a high quality and necessary service to the NHS and healthcare industry, and cutting corners to do so is not on our agenda at all.

At Total Assist Group we strive to combat negative perceptions by working closely with our in-house Learning and Development team, which undertakes all of the training and teaching of recruitment consultants within the business, as well as other staff. Even at manager level, we provide courses for individuals to fine tune their skills and maintain professional development, ensuring that at all times we are constantly delivering a high calibre service, with excellent customer service. We have even taken this one step further with our increasingly popular academy programme, which trains new recruits from scratch on how to be a successful recruitment consultant, providing the necessary building blocks for a thriving career in this fast paced industry.

All of that withstanding, in the words of Max Ehrmann  “….let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism… With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful (recruitment) world.”

[testimonial name=”Robert Everist” who=”Operations Director” imagelinks=”http://totalassist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Rob-E-2-e1408021282486.jpg” vertical=”no”]”I have complete operational responsibility for the group, devising and implementing short, medium and long term business planning to deliver growth. I have been working for Total Assist Group for over five years now, and have been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years. “[/testimonial]


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