There's more to choosing the right employer than the 'benefits package'

Are you enticing the best talent and retaining your team in such a competitive hiring market? We asked 10 recently departing recruiters their thoughts when it comes to the white noise of talent attraction…

The market is buoyant, great candidates in our industry are making game-changing career moves daily and as a recruitment business owner sometimes you’re so busy focusing on the million jobs you have to do that the attraction strategy goes into default mode. We took some time to ask our last 10 experienced recruitment candidates to articulate exactly what it is they want to know about when deciding to join a recruitment business… Here’s what they said:

  1. The boss/senior management team: Most recruiters appreciate that they aren’t the finished article, they want a leader that will enthuse, inspire, invest time in training and coaching and back them to achieve both their personal and career goals. To the majority this included having a manager who STILL DOES THE JOB, not one of our panel wanted a manager who was no longer hands-on as they felt that they wouldn’t learn or develop. Their career path and how their manager will help them to grow as an individual was of utmost importance in this area.
  2. Your brand and your USP’s: What makes your company different from the usual suspects and how? Everybody in recruitment wants to be different however there are genuinely very few who are (and why does everybody want to be different anyway? What about being the same just loads better?) Whether this is your market, the focus you place on certain aspects of the process, your technology, your marketing, your brand itself, the heritage of the business. Whatever it is be able to articulate it in 30 seconds, if you can’t then you either don’t know it well enough or it’s not simple enough. Your employer brand is key here and having a great (active) presence on LinkedIn and GlassDoor will help no end.
  3. Their basic salary, they want to know how much they’ll get paid and expect a decent uplift on their current package. We’re always happy to advise you on current market rates (to both candidates and clients).
  4. The commission structure: Typically a recruiter should earn between 25-35% of their billings (inclusive of basic salary) and are either paid monthly, quarterly or a combination of the two. Some companies keep a portion back for an annual or bi-annual bonus scheme (possibly to improve retention?) however your structure ask yourself these two questions… ‘Are we competitive?’ and ‘Are we rewarding our best performers well enough to prevent them going elsewhere?’
  5. Your CRM and technology suite: Is your database going to help them do their job more efficiently? With the recent boom of ‘cloud based’ this that and the other it’s imperative that your data is secure, system is efficient and your systems and data is accessible from anywhere (see point 6 around flexible working). There are so many great CRM’s on the market now with the likes of Bullhorn, JobScience, ZoHo and JobAdder all taking huge market share in recent years (and with it tables filled with free drinks at most recruiter networking events hoping to entice more customers!)
  6. The ‘perks’: Now this area brought to light some mixed opinions and proved to us that a ‘one size fits all’ approach just won’t cut it.  Some of our panel opted for annual leave allowance, some wanted flexibility around working from home and early finishes, others were more fussed about incentives and the previous ‘winners trips’ locations, others the long list of discounts and voucher schemes for childcare, dental and healthcare etc. Talk to us for a free ‘sense check’ when it comes to your employer brand, benefits package and any of the 7 points you find in this article.
  7. Location, location, location: Is your office commutable for the majority? Too far from the station and people could be put off, City Centre based but no car parking, could also deter people. Out in the sticks will people want to drive there? Are there amenities to break up the day? Nobody takes a full lunch in recruitment however it’s nice to every once in a while pop to the coffee shop and treat yourself/your team, or nip to the bank or post office to post the old iPhone you sold on eBay. Most recruiters work long hours, it’s nice to get out of the office and have something to do.

Now there’s probably another 20 that were brought up but didn’t make the list, the above 7 points were the most commonly discussed topics and are probably the same in most other target driven and service orientated industries too.

Most good candidates will ask you questions around these areas during the interview process but as a hiring manager or owner/Director of a recruitment business ‘are you doing your business justice during the interview process?’ You don’t need to come across too ‘salesy’ and it’s definitely not good practice to ram all this stuff down every candidate’s throat however if you’re not covering the above either on your careers page, a handout, careers brochure, email campaigns, interview process, recruitment-to-recruitment partners or any other ‘candidate touch points’ then you might be losing out…