In this article I rethink recruitment and get to the heart of what the ultimate goal of a recruiter should be. I scrutinise the changes that have taken place in the profession over the last few years, and question whether it is in a state of evolution or regression.
WHAT IS RECRUITMENT?
The best way for me to begin addressing these issues is to reappraise my personal experience of the industry, and to analyse what recruitment has meant to me over the course of my career.
It’s logical that our understanding of whatever we do professionally should be formed in large part by the cultural environment and political vision of the company at which we work. After all, no matter the precise nature of the role, it only exists within the corporate world, so it is little wonder that our conception of it is shaped by our employers. Even the most creative of occupations are regulated by the entities in which they are based, whether that be a fashion magazine, news channel or university. We go to work each day and complete our assignments, unaware that we do so by applying values that reflect those of the company that employs us, until we suddenly realise that those principles have become our own.
I am no exception to this rule. Ever since I completed my studies and then took up positions in a series of different companies, I have been taught how to be a recruiter, what recruitment meant to each employer, and how to discharge my duties successfully. This is a key point- you can’t be a ‘successful’ employee if you don’t learn what ‘success’ means to your employer. Maybe this is the very reason why the ecosystem of professional employment has been changing recently, and why every day more and more people decide to become independent entrepreneurs.
So I learnt that a successful recruiter is one who places the greatest quantity of candidates, and who drives up profit by demanding the highest margins, regardless of the length of the project. No need to tell the whole story or explain the process to the candidate; this is the company’s business alone. These are just some of the rules that I have been taught to believe are intrinsic to ‘classic recruitment’.
But our professional lives are, of course, entwined with our personal lives. This is especially true if you work as a recruiter and your main objective is to understand and facilitate. If you don’t know how to do it from Monday to Friday then you can’t suddenly start doing it on Saturday and Sunday. I began to be increasingly aware of this dissonance, and of the fact that my relationship with candidates wasn’t living up to my expectations of what recruitment should be.
I found myself in a difficult position as, despite what my employers were telling me, I no longer felt myself to be a ‘successful recruiter’. Every cloud, however, has a silver lining, and it was at this point that we decided to create an alternative way of carrying out our professional assignments. This was the moment when Quipo was born.
What is Quipo, and how has it altered my outlook on recruitment? To answer the first of these questions, Quipo is a professional community that is designed to create a sense of belonging for everyone in financial technology. There are approximately 2,000 people working in our vendor integration niche domain, and we don’t have to fend for ourselves or feel alone. Quipo offers a way to stay connected and share experiences with peers with whom we have previously worked, and to make new contacts.
We offer a new approach to recruitment; one that relies on our peer network, whose members are located across the major European countries. Quipo is not a ‘classic recruitment agency’, and it does not follow the basic rules of ‘classic recruitment’ as I was taught to understand them. Our aim, in other words, is not to take on as many clients and projects as possible, and then fill them with candidates whilst insisting on the most inflated margins that we can get away with. Everything that we do at Quipo, rather, is designed to put the candidate back where they belong: at the centre of the hiring process. We want consultants to be in possession of all of the facts when it comes to the market, and to have access to all of the job opportunities for which they can apply. We are here to help, facilitate and provide information.
By implementing a fixed margin for every project, we have done away with the need for lengthy discussions about margins and percentages. What we focus on, instead, is establishing quality relationships between candidates and clients, as this is the only way to create long-term engagements that are beneficial to everyone.
Transparency, quality and passion: these are the core values on which Quipo is built, and which we hope to share with clients and candidates alike.
Quipo has provided the answers that I was searching for, and in doing so has transformed my career. Now it’s time to do the same for the financial technology industry at large.
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