Recruiters urged to shake off ‘necessary evil’ tag

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Recruitment firm Core-Asset Consulting has urged its peers to modernise and abandon the industry’s sales-driven business model to avoid being seen as a “necessary evil”.

Betsy Williamson, managing director of the Edinburgh-based company, said the sector often views the number of CVs being sent to clients as more important than finding applicants who “promise a good cultural and behavioural fit”.

She said firms wanted their recruitment partners to adopt a “more consultative approach”, meeting candidates face-to-face to assess their suitability to the job before submitting CVs that have been tailored to the role, but much of the sector “still appears mired in the dark, swampy world of sales” that emerged in the late 1990s.

Williamson added: “Why this remains the case we’re not really sure. If Ford or Toyota were producing today the same cars that had rolled off the production line 20 years ago, no-one would dream of buying them. But for some reason the recruitment industry’s first-generation ‘product’ is still viewed as acceptable.

“To raise its standards and be viewed as a valuable partner, it’s vital that recruiters modernise the way they do business. The world has moved on and people’s standards have risen. The recruitment industry needs to do the same if it ever hopes to be viewed as an extension of its clients and not just a necessary evil.”