our blog gets recruiters thinking

Are you a recruiter?

Do you know that a lot of people think your job does not add value or worse, obsolete?

Have a read of this not so unusual case study and have a think about what you may need to do to counter this.

A Game of Two Halfs

I was at football last week (I take my 5 year old on a Saturday). I watch my son and his mates kick a ball about whilst chatting to the other parents.

A GP friend of mine takes his two sons too. We were discussing his expanding practice and how he was looking to source a new partner. The conversation went along the lines of...

“You know about social media don’t you, Lisa?” “Yes” “What’s the best way of finding a new partner – I’m having a nightmare and don’t know where to start” “Which recruiter are you working with?” “I’m not using a recruiter – I spoke with a company recently and I couldn’t believe how much they charge…”

Now, we have all seen the news about GPs and their average salaries exceeding £150k, the public not having enough appointments and the new setup regarding the death of the PCT and GPs now having even more responsibilities… thus surely no time to do their recruitment (and surely they have the budget??) Well not in this guy’s world. He just didn’t see the value and was focussed on the cost.

So I asked him how much he thought was appropriate to pay a recruiter – he couldn’t answer. So I asked him how much time he was prepared to invest in sourcing a new partner for his practice. Again uncertainty. I then asked how much he thinks he bills per hour and how much time he thinks he’d need to invest in this recruitment task. Again not sure.

Bless, him. I got my ladder out and jumped up onto my soap box. I went into what recruiters do, their process, the value, the offering. The fact that the average employer has no contacts to source or advertise. The fact that he should be busy enough with his own role. The fact that recruitment is not purely advertising.

At this stage he admitted that his most obvious route (a journal for GPs where he has often seen adverts published) was in his opinion abhorrently expensive. The cogs were turning and he was starting to see what recruiters may be able to offer.

Put your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Why should it take me on a Saturday watching 5 years olds bash a ball about to explain to a normal, everyday guy why recruiters exist? Because many recruiters never take the time to explain their science.

We never question the value of cleaners, mechanics, brain surgeons, chefs – all people who do stuff that given time, training and resource we could do ourselves (yes, I would be an awesome brain surgeon, honest!)

The Problem with Recruiters

The problem with recruiters is that they spend so much time talking about vacancies that we don’t really get what they do. They are often compared to car salesmen and estate agents – they are often seen as quite low down the food chain.

Explain Your Science

If you want to get more clients, keep your existing ones happy and get your bills paid quicker, it’s simple: tell me what you do, how you do it, why you’re better option than them doing it themselves.

Give me some compelling stats as to how much advertising is, how long it could take the average Jo or Joanna to sift through 175million names on LinkedIn.

Tell me how hard it is to sift through longlists.

Explain that 80% of candidates are passive and need a careful touch.

Let me know that even if people come for interview and accept a role, that they need careful management until the day they leave their current role.


  • Stressful
  • Their day job will suffer
  • It will cost A LOT more
  • They may not get the right candidate
  • Who will be operating the brain drill, hoover, saucepan, whilst they are trying to be a recruiter?
  • What do you do to explain your reason for being, or do you just get great deals on advertising?

Thanks APSCo for publishing this Blog


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  1. I agree with the theory, but under the conditions and business model most agencies work to, it's almost impossible to make working this way feasible.

    Many clients see agency value collectively rather than individually.

    If agencies want to be valued individually, then they're going to have to offer a service, like any other supplier business would, that they can deliver almost 100% of the time fro each client they work with.

    Some agencies are starting to do something about this, but they are in a massive minority.

    Mitch Sullivan

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