What Makes High Turnover a Recruitment Killer?

I was genuinely chuffed to present at a recent Career Development Association of Australia event, looking at the world of recruitment and how it interacts within the greater Career Development Consultant market. The research into the presentation included a look at staff turnover rates for most industry sectors. Most were pretty average and indicated and level of comfort and engagement within a number of these industries. The usual two industries often noted as having the highest – retail and hospitality at 29% and 31% respectively – maintained that standing…yet they were both superseded significantly by one other.

Recruitment.

At 43%

exit-44205_1280So, in essence, 43% of employees who start a role, leave within 12 months. That is almost half and indicates that an almost full office of recruiters is replaced every 24 months. Suggestions that a significant number of employees leave the industry for good add to an already problematic situation – and one that really threatens the industry as a whole

At more than 10 percentage points higher than the next highest, it is a figure that should sound alarm bells to the industry as a whole. Whether it actually is creating concern or not is a matter of opinion (mine says it’s not…), but whatever the resonance from this statistic is, the fact is it is a very unsustainable rate.

So why is it so grim for the industry?

Is it too salesy?

No. Outside of the myopic view by some that cold, unsolicited calling still has some part to play in modern-day recruitment (it doesn’t), sales is incredibly vital and it must be in the kit bag of any recruiter. On top of that, it has such a visible element of the role that no one new to it will be unaware of its requirement. Savvy agencies realise that sales is not cold phone-based, but involves deeper understanding of industries and business and being able to build business via branding and more modern marketing techniques.

Is it a rotten job to work in?

For all the comments I have made about its negatives, recruitment, when done right, is a fantastic job to work in. Imagine being able to directly help in getting a candidate to realise their career goals, or to be influential in making some pretty important decisions about their jobs? Or help a business find that elusive candidate they have been struggling for months to find? It can be a really fulfilling and exciting career.

Do certain agencies perpetuate this problem?

I know of agencies that give consultants minimum training (usually of the internal database and recruitment software), give them a list of clients and tell them to find roles. Worse still, some are actively giving consultants only a relatively short time to make ‘sales’ or they are booted. This is the oft-touted ‘churn and burn’ in recruitment, and it has no place at all in the modern industry. It is archaic, misinformed and a highly contentious policy to play – and agencies subscribing to this method are part of the problem, not the solution.

Does it attract the right people?

This is a key issue. Problems within the industry are not consultant-centric. They are management’s doing. The industry is not an attractive proposition to those who would give the industry a much-needed boost – those who are people-centric, personable and driven to meet the needs of candidates, clients and internal colleagues equally – and it is the failure of management or those responsible for hiring consultants to properly secure these people.

Is there enough ‘can’ or too much ‘should’?

How agencies allow consultants to play their own game, give it the ability to become engagement models. What a consultant can do offers flexibility in the way they find clients, negotiate terms, locate candidates and complete roles. Compare that with agencies who tell consultants what they should do (or even worse; must do) to see where the more favourable – and engaged policies – lie.

Does it lose the right people

Unfortunately it does. If the industry is lucky enough to hire these quality candidates, it doesn’t take long for the ugly side to come out and for these folks to be turned off and ultimately escape it.

Does it actually have an ugly side?

When recruitment goes wrong, it does so spectacularly. Forced KPIs that fail to acknowledge changes in markets and which are changed on whims, the ever-present spectre (real or not) of ‘cowboys’ and the self-centred, money hungry, crash or crash through approach to recruitment, antiquated sales techniques forced on consultants, usually to the detriment of more modern and effective techniques and an obsession with the ‘old ways’ all seem to set modern-day recruiters up for fail. When these are present, the role is an ugly one to be a part of.

Is the views of outsiders impacting?

Oh, definitely. The agency recruitment model has one of the worst reputations in the business world. Comments throughout social media, publications and general viewpoints offer clear examples where the industry is falling over. Whilst some would say that only negative comments make it to the public domain, they are ignored at their peril.

Is it a transient industry?

By this, I mean is it like hospitality or retail: used as a springboard into another industry / career option or as a tool to get one’s permanent residency? It certainly appears that way – in some cases, whilst in others it is held onto as a career in itself. Can it be solely attributed to high turnover? I’ll lean to a ‘no’, but it is something that needs careful looking at. Using the industry as a ticket to other outside areas is not sustainable. Recruitment is not hospitality nor retail, where transience is common. Serious thought needs to given to making it attractive to the point where importing consultants from overseas is not a necessity.

Are employees engaged properly?

A-ha! Bingo. Here lies a big gap in the industry. Engagement levels hover at a lower-than-average and are a hugely untapped area for the industry that could really change its standing. This goes way beyond Friday drinks and the Christmas party, and more into both structured and organic programs designed to make a consultant feel a part of the organisation, in tune with what they are doing and how it impacts and happy with where they are and where they can be. Whilst some agencies have semblances of engagement programs, it does not go deep enough for long lasting engagement, and its most common result: retention.

So…

Is the recruitment industry serious in addressing this unsustainable turnover figure? Do they want to set up their agencies for success within their own employee base, as well as their profit margin?

Let this be a wake up call.

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The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

Paul RevereOn the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and two others, made aware of imminent movement of the British Army on military supplies held by American Revolutionists in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, rode to these towns to warn them of the incoming British forces. This became known as “Paul Revere’s Ride”, romanticised within Longfellow’s poem as having him yell in warning ‘The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming’.

Whether Revere did shout those words is for the historians to argue, but overall, England via their armies were keen to ensure (and enforce) their approach to colonisation was done their way, no matter how much it conflicted with the new American nation’s differing approaches and desire to do things their way.

 

These days, recruitment has been witnessing a revolution of its own. Here in Australia, there is the unmistakable acknowledgement that those brought up in England and on English approaches are moving and have moved to Australia over the last 10-15 years and taking up a significant share of the recruitment market. This has seen improvements, profitability and some new practices to invigorate part of the industry, yet like their ancestors in the American revolutionary war, are they here to radically change the industry, or just happy to integrate their skills in recruitment within the best country on Earth (this humble blogger’s opinion, only!)?

The Facts

To put some perspective on the issues with this revolution, a few quick comparisons must be made.

These numbers identify there may be a large disparity between the world of recruitment in London versus the world here in Melbourne or Sydney. However, what the numbers don’t indicate thoroughly is the clear and distinct difference between the recruitment industry in Australia and the UK. The English recruitment industry is highlighted by a highly sales driven environment, where dogmatic sales and the more ‘in-your-face’ approach is commonplace. Where the high-pressure, KPI-centric and churn and burn model is generally the accepted norm. The relationship model is not really concentrated on (though it is there in pockets), and is largely discounted for the quick sale, quick turnaround and quick fee service. Competition is fierce and is reflected in methodologies and approaches. Here, if clients and candidates are burnt there is not really much care held when this happens simply because the market is large enough to have a few casualties along the way. Interestingly, they have more in common with recruiters in the United States than here in Australia as far as approach is concerned, yet have more of the flair and savvyness seen in Australia than their American counterparts

The Approaches

To make it in this market, you need to be aggressive. With the incredibly large numbers of recruitment consultants in Greater London, there is a fight to get the biggest and best names on their books. Transactional recruitment is king and relationships are only a minor tool used in the overall arsenal that is skewed significantly to the aggressive side. Small clients are often ignored or given an even poorer level of service whilst the sport is in chasing those big names. It is an approach that has proved to be effective for the market and conditions there, and I am by no means examining how they conduct business nor am I opining on it. It is placing context into what then happens here.

The Australian approach with is more relationship driven, where reputations are built on the work they put in and by the response of clients and candidates alike. It is here where all clients, no matter of size are treated as if they are incredibly important to that individual consultant. So then, when consultants within the English market make their way out here either permanently or on holiday, friction is caused as two approaches, both different, seek to integrate together.  The Australian model contrasts sharply to the London model and this friction is one of the contributing factors to the decline of the recruitment industry’s reputation.

Fortunately, though, this has been seen as a definite issue in some sections and a portion of these imported consultants fit well into the Australian business approach, and have worked successfully at forging and building solid relationships. In fact, this portion go out of their way to dismiss the tactics of their old environment because they understand they will get nowhere adhering to these methods out here.

The Conundrum

However, the practice of importing overseas recruiters (primarily from the UK) begs the questions:

  1. What is it doing to the Australian industry and perceptions of it; and
  2. Why is this so actively endorsed?

Quite a number of complaints bandied around by candidates and businesses about the industry all seem to be around lack of communication and the ‘cowboy’ attitude some recruiters have. In relatively the same breath, most complainers lament that the industry is now ‘overrun with English recruiters’ (based on observation within one online forum, that focused on IT recruiters). Whether this attached comment is mere circumstance, coincidence or a genuine belief that the two are concurrent is perhaps up to individual contributors, the facts are that a lot see concurrence in the importing of recruitment talent and the poor level of service. This is an observed perception in the market, and whilst semblance to truth may be a little stretched, can there be a real issue of a clash of work practice that has left many in the Australian market put out by the imported practices and the friction that it causes? Indeed there is. However, there is no apportioning of blame here, nor does it feel like that in the market, simply because the clash of workplace cultures is the underlying issue.

However, the point here is not that the English are horrid recruiters, turning the local market into a mire of sales cowboys and poorly treated candidates. No, it is that they will come and keep coming, and it is their lot – and ours – to ensure the integration of an entrenched approached can be exchanged for another.

Today, we are seeing the recruitment industry undergoing a significant upheaval. Brought on from the effects of the GFC, there is a view that the current industry model is outdated and unworkable to cater to changes mentioned. In fact, some elements are already announcing the death of the industry as sourcing candidates internally becomes easier for the average business.

This has seen a lot of recruitment agents leave the market permanently (when you consider that staff turnover for the industry fluctuates between 45% and 48%, there is a problem – even the current figures of 39% are still almost three times acceptable turnover rates). Tenures for consultants seem to average around 2-3 years (sometimes less depending on agency or industry serviced) and there is significant backfill required at any given time. This is the number one reason why importing consultants is seen as the best-fix measure. Recruitment-t0-Recruitment agencies often advertise overseas (some solely look for candidates from the UK) and recruitment firms make sponsorship an attractive proposition for these.

Seemingly, the recruitment agent conundrum is answered, in part, by the imported brand of agent. However, is it geared to success, or merely to fill a panic-inducing hole within an agency? We have an almost boundless supply of eager agents (who wouldn’t want to come out here?!) and their methods are, apparently and according to those attracting them over, are apparently compatible with Australia’s.

In answer, it would seem reasonable to suggest that recruiters from the UK are just better at doing the job, provided they are across exactly what businesses here demand.

Thing is, the old methods of recruitment are not working. The sales approach is flawed and the disproportionately bad comments leveled at the industry increasing. Change is needed, and it needs to be conducted by those with a sway. By this, it is the imported English recruiters that will have a major say as to where the industry is heading. No use saying they are the detriment; it’s too late to question the importation policies of firms and rec-to-recs. The fact is they are here and will continue to arrive. The industry’s survival in Australia will be down to these and how quickly they can adapt to the different environment, culture and business standards expected here. Can these international recruiters sufficiently attend to a market clearly different to that which they come from and in turn bring the industry out of its difficulties and the antipathy it brings and into a return to its vitality and acceptance?

It is a question without an answer…yet.

Cold calling continues to divide recruitment industry opinions

Recent interview with Shortlist on Cold Calling, based on my previous article: “Why Cold Calling is Ruining the Recruitment Industry”:

 

Shortlist

 

 

Cold calling continues to divide recruitment industry opinions

29 October 2013 9:31am

Top recruiters are split on whether cold calling is an essential marketing tool, or a relic of transactional recruiting, and one agency owner has questioned whether the practice played a part in the downfall of Hamilton James & Bruce.

In a post on Shortlist’s sister site, Recruiter Daily, Scott Brown Recruitment principal Scott Brown says he believes cold calling contributed to the recent collapse of Hamilton James & Bruce.

He told Shortlist HJB was one of several companies that Melbourne HR managers would single out when complaining to him about excessive cold calls.

Brown argues that cold calling drives clients away and is linked to poor engagement, high turnover, and reputational damage.

“The pressure to deliver on sales is one of the reasons we see the remarkable levels of turnover we have in this industry. And there is serious damage to your brand and how the business community perceives you, if you’re turning over consultants every six to 12 months.”

But AWX general manager Thomas Reardon says cold calling, done well, is critical to growth for all

businesses, and benefits AWX every day by increasing brand exposure, developing market intelligence and uncovering opportunities.

“Unsuccessful salespeople see it as a hassle and a numbers game, yet successful people in our industry see it as a great challenge,” Reardon told Shortlist.

The cold calls AWX consultants make could more realistically be called lukewarm calls, Reardon says, as they are trained to start the call with a talking point based on their area of expertise, targeted to the prospective client.

“We work in multiple sectors and have done for the last 13 years, so that gives us a benefit because we have the know-how, and understand how [the client’s] industry works.”

Employees receive one-on-one coaching to help finetune their call skills, go through role plays, and have team leaders listen to their calls and give feedback, he says.

“We give them a framework, and then let them interpret the conversation and read the needs of the client. It’s about active listening and correct questioning to find out what their needs and wants are, and how we can add value to them.”

Cold calling has been the first step in establishing key, long-term relationships for AWX, Reardon says. It also provides intelligence on the company’s rivals.

“You might hear about a margin, or how many people that client has got through a [recruitment] organisation, or about the current environment in labour hire in their industry.”

AME Recruitment director Allison Ashby, on the other hand, says cold calling has no place in her business. It shows a lack of respect for the prospective client to make unsolicited calls when they are trying to run a business, she says.

“And the thing is, we’re not trying to sell widgets here – we’re dealing with real people and their lives, and [cold calling] treats them as though they are a commodity.”

Rather than cold calling, AME is heavily involved in attending, sponsoring and hosting networking events and seminars attended by prospective clients, she says.

The events have to have “a purpose, and something that will appeal to them – it’s not about us”. This could mean an interesting speaker or a discussion on an issue that affects those clients.

Consultants then have a chance to meet people face-to-face, get to know a little about their businesses, and then determine whether they might need the company’s services – without trying to sell them anything.

“What we find is they then call us, because we’ve given them something for nothing, and we don’t talk business. “A classic case is this week, when we were invited to meet with an HR person who came to one of a series of HR networking events that we run. We get an experienced HR practitioner to share information with a group of people, and that’s how they came to know us.”

Butler HR director Scott Butler says any recruiter who is “sales-phobic” is going to have a hard time.

However, he says, cold calling is used extremely sparingly at Butler HR. “I wouldn’t say it’s frowned upon, but we get most of our work through word-of-mouth and referrals. It’s certainly something we don’t do a lot.”

Butler says he is not convinced of the merits of cold calling, and questions whether it simply makes recruiters “feel like they’re doing something”. He cites networking and after-hours events as more “organic” methods of meeting and connecting with potential clients.

The company takes advertising very seriously, he adds, and is careful about how it promotes its brand. “We use LinkedIn and SEEK, but we also still advertise on page three of the newspaper – it’s a little bit old school but it’s about the way in which we present ourselves, and I’d like to think people will seek us out as a result.”

Butler HR is a Wollongong agency with a strong local reputation built over many years, he notes, which might give it an advantage over agencies operating in crowded markets like Sydney and Melbourne.

“A lot of people know me and my brand, so it helps.

“And also I generally deal with the leaders of businesses. I think it would be completely ineffective if I tried to talk to some of those businesses without going direct [to the leader], and that can be difficult if you start with a gatekeeper, so I don’t know that a cold call is an effective use of time.”

© Copyright 2013 Shortlist

2014 – The HR and Hiring Trends That Could Happen

This very quick post will attempt to highlight what 2014 may have in store for HR and recruitment…or at the very least what ideally should happen:

  • As mentioned before, HR needs to regain its rightful place in the boardrooms and decision-points of business. In 2014, I would like to see some voices being made to be heard about the power and necessity of HR. There are some encouraging signs, and it is a real possibility that a move to a more people-focused business could be initiated.
  • The Recruitment Industry needs to resolve to be a little more candidate-friendly. However, this will happen after Applicant Tracking Systems become seen as an inhibitor. There will be an increase of bad hires made on the back of ATS’s and I would hope the foundations of a more careful approach to sourcing be instigated.
  • That said, greater use of technology in the hiring process will come more and more widespread. This will particularly become vital in locating talent as the more traditional job boards fall in use due to their failure to properly adapt.
  • There will be more of a push-back on recruiters who are too ‘sales-y’, or display cowboy approaches. The relationship models, those that desire to understand fully how their client operates and seeks to grow with them, will overtake the traditional sales approach and the cold, unsolicited call will become a bad memory.
  • The humanisation of the hiring process is gathering momentum. 2014 must see a shift to greater communication, open processes and clearer hiring plans
  • Speaking of plans, businesses will finally realise that to hire right, one must plan right. It will be the year of the plan.
  • Finally, grassroots movements around HR and hiring will push back on established (and time-wasting / cumbersome) policies and integrate more positive approaches to how HR and hiring are done.

Very quick, very wishful thinking, but very much identifying where change and/or realignment of the way things are currently done is needed.

Will it happen? Yes, I believe it will. Will it take 2014 for it to do so? That is for the next 11 months to see.

Have a Whinge, Yes, But Get The Facts Right!

This recent article in news.com.au –http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/former-recruitment-agent-spills-details-on-what-really-goes-on-in-the-industry/story-e6frfm9r-1226759720120 – interviews an apparent ex-recruiter and is, by all appearances a ‘tell-all’ on the inner workings of the industry. Contained within are exposés on the  nefarious activities of recruiters and their shallow, almost radical disregard for candidates in pursuit of the almighty dollar. There is no grey area here, it is black and white: recruiters are scum. Belligerent, money-hungry scum.

Now, I am probably the most critical of the industry and often call into question many practices and types of recruiters that give the industry a bad name. At the very least, though, it is done constructively and in the hope that the industry can develop accordingly and still remain viable. However this article is pure tar-brushing without compromise. A painting of the industry as wall-to-wall cowboys with no redeeming features whatsoever. For all my concerns with it, I wouldn’t stoop this low.

Contained within the article are several glaring issues that are either stretched beliefs or blatant falsehoods. Whilst I don’t want to call the interviewee an outright liar, there are points mentioned that are not hallmarks of the industry and if occurring, only do so in a very, very small, ostracised corner of it.

The ‘recruitment game’ says the ‘ex-recruiter’ (no name given, highlighting either embarrassment for the litany of crap written, fear that he will get found out and blacklisted or complete and utter cowardice) involves this: ” Often you know they’re not the best person for the job and they’ll get into the role and quit in two weeks. But all you care about is invoicing the client before they do.” Apart from the base-level ethical question here, plenty of recruiters I know go for skills and culture fit for any job they fill. Whilst I have heard echoes of this happening in some corners, including within PSA accounts, it is not as widespread as this ex-recruiter would have us believe. Also, Mr ex-recruiter seems to be ambivalent to the fact that most (if not all) agencies have a guarantee period, and that ‘quit the role in 2 weeks’ conundrum would be covered by said agreement. Maybe he/she forgot to mention that little gem.

Then he/she laments they may have “four to five jobs on the go” and “500 messages” to go through that are often deleted. Poor diddums! Four to five jobs on the go? How ever did you survive? Pfft! Give yourself 20-30 jobs on the go and see how you like that.  Most consultants can handle these, candidate inquiries and interviews with ease. Then it comes to deleting “500 messages”? First of all, if you are getting that many messages for the 4-5 roles you have, you have a crap job ad. Second of all, if you are deleting messages, what sort of heartless mug are you? All the recruiters I know would take the time to go through each and communicate in one way or the other back to them. Just because you deleted them does not guarantee other recruiters do.

The fees, he/she laments, comprises a percentage of “base, [and] if there is a car included…”. Well, the fee structures I have dealt with comprise the base and superannuation only – not on any extras, bonuses, incentives and the like. I doubt the acknowledgement of a car is part of a fee structure in most organisations. And, if you are charging $15k to a client without meeting the candidate, not only are you doing a poor job, but you are in the extreme minority.

The fake jobs scenario is one I have heard of…and most recruiters have as well, yet it is as infrequent as a blood moon.  I have been “especially in IT” for many years and I am yet to see a fake job actually get posted. This may occur, but if it does, it is very rare.

I love the next part where he/she describes the “fact-finding mission” of finding details from candidates about employers. Most sales people do that, regardless of industry, and the best intelligence is gained from someone close in. Why is that treated with disdain when it is so common? However, this ‘recruiter’ declares that recruiters hate candidates “half the time”. I don’t know where this fool gets off saying such things, but to say that is a load of bull is being nice. Most recruiters live by the old (and somewhat overused) axiom of ‘today’s candidate, tomorrow’s client’ and to say “I hate you” is simply based on nothing but this person’s overinflated sense of self-worth.

The next point they make is simply hilarious – screwing people out of decent pays apparently is common practice. OK, Mr / Ms Recruiter, I have been in the industry for 14 years…I cannot think of one occasion where I have not got the best deal for a contractor and actually fought for pay rises at contract renewals – sometimes to the detriment of margins. Frankly, if you screw people out of pay, they go elsewhere, do a crap job or just leave and you then have an angry client to deal with. If you want that, go right ahead. The rest of the sensible recruiters will gladly pick up your slack.

Look, I know the industry has it’s flaws, every industry has, but this article is simple belligerence for the sake of it. There is nothing constructive in it. There is no push for improving the industry. It is pure antagonism, from an ex-recruiter who probably wasn’t that great at their job in the first place.

Is Cold Calling Ruining the Recruitment Industry?

When I hear of recruiters who chase the sales rather than work with a client in a mutual relationship, a piece of me dies. Similarly, when I get told that the only people agencies look for are ‘hungry sales people’, I feel the annoyance factor reaching critical levels.

Then, compounding this is something I heard direct from a senior manager in one recruitment firm when he said “recruiters are farmers or hunters, there is no in-between”, gathering as I did in my non-metaphoric understanding way, that “farmers” are the relationship builders (generally account managers and similar), whilst the “hunter” is the phone jockey, the impression I got was the ‘hunter’ was far more preferred than the ‘farmer’.

Now that I am in the unique position of being able to view the industry from all sides, I find the true extent of where the recruitment industry has headed and is heading…and frankly it leaves me confused. Whilst all businesses in the current economy are changing and evolving into a more relationship / quality driven scope, I find the recruitment industry has largely not kept pace with the greater changes in business and are instead insisting on the old, antiquated methods of sourcing – and keeping – clients.

One, also, has only to look at the overall changes in sales practice, and the newer methods of doing so, to realise that the old ways are for the scrapheap, and the ones that fail to adjust accordingly will be left on the shelf.

Before continuing, I want to affirm that I am most certainly not anti-sales. Quite the contrary, sales are vital for any business (or agency) and it must be a central part to any strategy to improve client numbers and overall revenue. What I do arc up on is the methodology used, and more centrally, the insistence of only one method of selling. Phone selling, too, is useful, but only under certain circumstances, and as I see it, certainly not when it comes to establishing new business.

Cold calling is intrusive. It is a relic of both a past ideology when this was the norm, as well as an imported belief system that this is the only means to drive business. This is absolute baloney. If recruiters are still in 1985, there may be some validity. If they are sitting in an office in down-town London, then you would concur it is the best form of sales. But this is Australia, 2013. Business demand that intrusive calls, especially from recruiters are not acceptable. As with a lot of areas in business, they are demanding relationship-based selling. There is no room for a wham! Bam! sales approach where the in-out, never to hear from again process is as antiquated as the phone itself. The demand is that recruiters leave the phone alone and engage them on a more face-to-face level. Whether it be networking, presentations or similar, the phone is used merely as the follow up device, not the initiator.

What really grates is that there is still recruiters (and rec-to-recs) who believe phone-based cold business development is one – nay, the ONLY – way to sell. These are the same that believe in the churn and burn mentality. Who believe that candidates are the commodity to close the sales with and relationships are best left to lovers and family. There is no room for growth with a client unless it means a greater profit in the end. And in the end, if they burn the client, well they just move on to the next one as if it is of no consequence whatsoever.

This behaviour is the EXACT reason why the industry has a rotten reputation in the market, why employee turnover fluctuates between 45 and 49% (one of the highest in the commercial world) and why businesses are internalising their recruitment function. The business world is actively avoiding the recruitment industry simply because sections of the industry refuse to join the new, real world and subsequently burn other recruiters trying to buck that trend. It is evidential in the number of internal recruitment positions advertised and the falling numbers of in-the-market candidates for agency roles. In addition, read any business forum that subjects recruiters to scrutiny, and it is overwhelming negative in almost all cases. A quick Google search will confirm that.

Evidently, those recruiters that actively encourage (demand?) compliance on cold-calling are also the ones that can be labelled as cowboys. They drive animosity towards the industry from the cold-call to the physical interaction with clients and candidates. They usually find no reasoning to treat candidates in a clearly defined and careful approach and choose to burn anyone who stands in the way of them and dollars. Conversely (and surprisingly common), they hold over their employees KPI’s that can be classed as restrictive at best and punitive at worst. The churn and burn mentality applies as much to the way they run their businesses as it does their outside approach. When their negative reputation increases, the claim they can’t find any “decent” employees reaches a shrill. Their regressive approach is merely looked upon as comeuppance by the greater business community.

This stupidity means that the wider industry’s reliance on the cold-calling model, so outdated in a modern business context is placing it on a dangerous path. This unequivocal insistence is more likely to create obsolescence of the agency model and a collapse of the industry.

But, hey, if it creates the wonderful profits and massive salaries…

 

ADDENDUM: With the recent collapse of Hamilton James Bruce, one agency who has indulged in the above, I wonder if this article is prophetic in it’s conclusion?