Lessons learnt from recruiters recruiting recruiters

When it comes to recruitment, we’re the experts. So you would think that with all of our experience sourcing candidates for our clients it would be easy for us to do the same. However, through trial and error, we realised what we’re looking for most in a new team member doesn’t often come written down on a CV.

Recruitment Consultant Laura Evans provides her experience and insights on how we changed our approach to internal recruitment, and what attributes make recruiters succeed at Capital Recruit.

Trial and error

When we first set out to hire for our recruitment teams, we approached this as we would with any of our clients. We started with a position description, proceeded to job advertising and headhunting, pre-screened potential candidates, and conducted interviews, but then… the results fell flat.

A career in recruitment is rewarding, and yet the process to recruit internally was not. When we approached our own recruitment with the same lens we apply to clients, it was less effective.

We thought sales experience would be essential, but we soon realised that those with a heavy focus on sales weren’t necessarily the right culture fit for the Capital Recruit team.  We love people and building relationships, and this means more to us than a commission. What drives some salespeople to succeed in their role is not necessarily something that aligns with our values. Previous sales experience is an asset for those seeking a career in recruitment when it is used to build relationships and drive positive outcomes.

So, we took the time to understand our own recruitment needs and revisited the “must have” requirements in the position description.

A different approach to recruitment

When you recruit for your own organisation, you have a deeper understanding of what makes the culture and team environment so successful – and for Capital Recruit it’s all about values alignment. While we have a thorough process for clients, that same process didn’t work for us until we understood what we needed.

This also made it all the more difficult because values are almost never written on a CV. This meant going back to the drawing board. It meant speaking to every person who applied, plus additional headhunting, because it turns out experience wasn’t as important. We needed to get a feel for who they are, what drives them, and what they bring to our team and culture.

Recruitment based on values

Values alignment is now the most important feature in internal recruitment at Capital Recruit because we recognised we can train the knowledge and skills. For Laura, the value that resonates most is no surprises. Transparency is key in all recruitment processes and workplaces. For people to succeed, clarity and honesty is the best approach.

When interviewing candidates, Laura remembers sitting down with someone who had burnt out at another recruitment agency. Laura soon uncovered that the candidate actually loved their job, but couldn’t thrive in the environment. Through further conversations with Laura and other members of the Capital Recruit team, the candidate discovered that our culture wasn’t a stereotypical recruitment culture.

We put our people first because people are at the centre of everything we do.

When it comes down to the attributes of successful candidates, Laura listed some essential criteria:

  • Self-motivation is important. With an inner drive, you can achieve so much. While it is a fast-paced environment, the sense of urgency that comes with being a self-starter and proactive means you can hit the ground running.
  • Emotional intelligence is also required in a high-performing recruitment consultant. Your ability to care about and connect with people easily is a strength, but you also need to accept that things don’t always go according to plan. This is where a high level of resilience is also an asset.
  • Curiosity is underrated in recruitment. Asking questions to discover a hidden talent or motivation can mean all the difference between a good recruiter and a great recruiter. Likewise, listening and being a good judge of character will help you succeed in this industry.
  • Working with a lot of our clients, there are strict compliance regulations and guidelines to follow, so while being able to talk to people from all walks of life is important, so is following procedures and providing written documentation.

Advice for new recruiters

For anyone considering a career in recruitment, Laura has three things to say:

  • When you’re being interviewed by a recruitment agency for a role with them, remember that you are also interviewing them. Ask about their values and approach. Find out what they place value on, and determine if this is something that aligns with your own values.
  • It’s important to be brave and courageous. There will be times you need to have tough conversations because you’ll need to be transparent and avoid surprises.
  • It can be a little overwhelming at first because it is fast-paced and sometimes you are competing against other agencies, but the right environment makes all the difference.
  • Understand the challenges before you dive in – reach out to any of the Capital Recruit team to have a chat and ask about their experience, and figure out if a career in recruitment excites you.
  • Seeing people succeed in their roles leads to high job satisfaction. Recruitment is highly rewarding.

As for Laura, we are excited to share our support of her upcoming six months of leave to travel around Canada and the US! We know that this experience will be amazing for her and foster continuing personal and professional growth.

Capital Recruit is always open to recruiting talented people for our internal job opportunities. If you feel recruitment is your next career move, get in touch.

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