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What should you expect from a recruitment consultant in 2011?

In these times of lasting crisis, are there still HR Managers that work with recruitment consultants? Well, considering the fact that we are entering the last days of the year and many companies in Croatia and South East Europe will not reach their budgets, I believe that HR Managers are pushed to do most things on their own and instructed to postpone hiring of new staff. In many other cases ‘redundancies’ are much more top-of-mind than recruitment. However, ‘as every disadvantage leads to an advantage’ (quoting a former Dutch football star: Johan Cruijff), it just might be the time to improve the quality of some key position holders in your company and to hire a recruitment consultant to find bigger talents.

During the last 12 months, most HR Managers have been confronted with the more negative side of their profession. It is hard to keep up the motivation of the employees, who have experienced colleagues and friends being dismissed and who felt the crisis in their own pockets. In many companies salaries have been decreased and the ‘usual’ bonuses were not paid out. This has led to a number of managers in the market, who have decided that their loyalty to their current companies diminished, leave and explore greener pastures somewhere else.

Compared to a year ago crisis caused a change of pace in the employment opportunities but also had the effect of a changing mindset among employees. Therefore, it is now the right time to make necessary changes in the organisation and a recruitment consultant can assist to locate and approach the right talent for your key positions.

In order to stay in the business every company has to reinvent itself continuously. If not, there will always be a competitor that takes the market share while laggards are still living on their past glory. What should a client expect from a Recruitment Consultant?

First of all the Consultant should be able to understand the client’s business fully and truly. He should not only say that he understands but he should prove that he does, based on hard facts like former experience, research and study. The Consultant should prove that he is immersed in the market, works on real assignments and does not spend his whole week hiding behind a computer in his or somebody else’s office.

Secondly, the Consultant should show flexibility in addressing the client’s exact needs. The recruitment process can be broken down into several stages from research to approaching and attracting talent, interviewing and assessing, reporting, reference checking, negotiating and closing labour agreements. HR Managers should decide which part of the recruitment process they wish to outsource and which part they can do themselves. The recruitment consultant should be able to tailor his services to the client’s specific needs without hesitation.

Furthermore, clients prefer a consultant who is accountable for what he is doing. The work of a consultant should be completely transparent and clients should be able to check it if necessary.  A consultant should be happy to invite you to his kitchen and give the client the opportunity to shadow his work.

When talking about delivering top quality, the biggest difference between one and the other recruitment consultant is the focus and dedication to the factor of confidential research. The chance to receive a shortlist with potential candidates who match your job specifications will be increased dramatically when the consultant approaches this part scientifically. In addition to that he should be able to explain to the client in a transparent and structured way how an in-depth and concise research strategy leads to finding successful candidates.

We conclude that a recruitment consultant of 2011 should have the right background and capacity to understand your needs. He should work according to a transparent, open and flexible business model and provide value for money. Last but not least, the consultant should actually make companies less consultancy dependent but on occasions when a client has a real need he should offer a credible and transparent solution and be remunerated accordingly.

New Europe Resourcing had an excellent year in 2010 thanks to the clients that entrusted us with their assignments and we wish our current and future clients a great 2011!

December 2010, Robert Groeneweg

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