I have spent more than 30 years in recruitment and recruitment consultancy and training and have worked with many of the worlds’ most respected recruitment companies in 38 countries where I work with a diverse portfolio of leaders and business owners in recruitment - across markets and sectors - to help them grow their businesses through learning and development.
Additionally，I was worked in Michael Page when I joined in recruitment industry. In 1996 I founded my own recruitment company which was a multi-award winning office of the MRI International network.
补充一点，我迈入猎头职业生涯的第一步，是加入了Michael Page（米高蒲志）公司。在1996年，我成立了自己的猎头 公司，作为MRI的加盟公司之一，曾经荣获多个奖项。
The international recruitment market,has been facing up to threats and challenges from all quarters ; the Western economies have been suffering from a prolonged period of negative economic growth which has led to the development of internal recruitment teams, RPO and BPO, increased downward fee pressure and more competition for fewer roles. Additional challenges have been presented by client’s use of sophisticated Applicant Tracking Software and the growth of LinkedIn.
The Chinese recruitment market may be relatively immature, but it is fuelled by ambitious, competitive individuals, who, in my experience are hungry to learn from others success. However, despite a period of economic growth this is a very competitive landscape for recruiters who are increasingly facing the same threats as my international clients, but also an explosive growth in internal competition from new recruitment companies (c. 12,000 5 years ago to c. 20,000 today).
So, whilst the Chinese recruitment marketplace is truly unique it is also exactly the same!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with and learn from exceptional organisations, high-performing recruitment consultants and some of the most inspired leaders in the recruitment industry. These types of organisations have enduring track records and demonstrate that no matter how challenging market conditions are there is ample opportunity for recruiters worldwide to build and grow successful recruitment organisations and remain more relevant than ever into the future.
How are these truly unique businesses also exactly the same? I’ve identified eight traits that enduring and successful recruitment individuals and organisations seem to share, they are:
(一) SUPER BRAND 超凡的品牌
(二) SCIENTIFIC & SYSTEMATIC 科学性和系统性
(三) SPECIALIST 专注
(四) SALES FIRST 销售优先
(五) SELECTIVE 精于挑选
(六) SUCCESSION PLAN 接班人计划
(七) SMART 聪明
(八) SIMPLE 简洁
The most successful recruitment businesses, large and small, have a strong sense of self – an enduring Vision which is articulated up and down the organisation and underpinned by a set of values that drive the culture and behaviour of the organisation.
无论规模大还是小，最成功的猎头公司都具有强烈的自我意识 —— 一种持久的愿景，这种愿景从上至下串联着整个组织， 以一整套的价值观作为基石，驱动着组织的文化和行为。
Businesses that focus on building a Super Brand know that you don’t necessarily have to be world sized to be world class, but you do have to have a big Vision and a clear sense of who you are and what you stand for.
Set the vision and communicate it over and over again – internally and externally – the best recruiters and recruitment businesses leave their clients and candidates in no doubt as to their differentiators (what makes us different? what makes us better?) and their Value Add.
The most successful recruitment organisations leave nothing to chance. They recognise that a well structured, robust, and systematic approach to the recruitment process is the way to deliver professional and consistent results to Clients, Candidates and Consultants.
World class recruitment companies adopt robust and scientific processes in every aspect of the business:
Recruitment Process : formalising a step by step methodology that delivers results over and over again.
Hiring &Retention : potential consultants are interviewed in the same way every time , from first contact to Induction and On-boarding.
Technology: best practice in the place of technology is embedded into the recruitment process , but supports rather than drives the recruiters.
Training: Consultants benefit from a formalised induction and ongoing trainingprogramme – ensuring early success and long term retention.
Measuring Success: Easily measureable Key Performance Indicators are the cornerstone of all top recruitment businesses where they are thought of as ‘Success Ratios’ versus policing tool. Activity against KPIs is recognised, but commission, rewards and remuneration packages are not tied to this.
In the last few years in the West the growth of LinkedIn in combination with tough trading conditions accelerated the drive for cost savings and the proliferation of internal recruitment teams, RPO and BPO. In difficult market conditions this shake-up has hit the low cost, high volume recruiters the hardest; typically these recruiters have been dependent on technology to provide leads and candidates and they are now competing on speed of clicks with an army of recruiters working on even lower margins.
Clients, and in particular, their Line Managers are waking up to the fact that whilst ‘click’ recruitment methods may fill the easy positions, for time sensitive, leadership and specialist roles these methods simply do not work.
Add in the additional pressures of an economic recovery and a return to "he War for Talent" where candidates with specialist and desirable skills are in high demand and short supply - and this creates an ideal environment for those recruitment businesses , no matter what size, who are niche and specialist.
This is as true here in China as it is in more mature recruitment environments, one of the greatest inhibitors of continued growth will be access to skilled and highly qualified candidates.
No matter what the competitive landscape there will always be a place for specialist recruitment expertise, what we used to call the‘bricks' recruiters, those organisations who have a more highly trained work force with a well developed tool kit of‘old fashioned’recruitment expertise, who are knowledge workers and who work the 10 – 15% of positions that will never be filled by the low cost, mass market providers.
Market leaders in recruitment here and internationally are those businesses that are single minded about business development – making sales their first priority every day. These are organisations where a sales culture is a source of pride, and where business development activity is never allowed to drop below 50% of commercial time.
In China and elsewhere I have seen too many businesses that are bottom heavy, where recruiters with a business development or even a 360 degree skill set are in the minority and as a result the business is dependent on too few accounts. This poses a massive (potentially fatal) risk to that business when markets slow or a key client has a hiring freeze.
In China I have witnessed manybusiness leaders reluctant to push their consultants too hard, or train them to business develop fearing that they may leave because they don't like to be pushed to business develop or, worse, if they have 360 skills they may leave and take clients with them. Guess what? I’ve witnessed this same pattern wherever I have trained!
Leading recruitment businesses never reduce their emphasis on sales and new business development and when hiring consultants the number one criteria is a sales profile.Successful recruitment owners protect their businesses by ensuring they have a majority of 360 degree recruiters in their business, and by training and supporting those recruiters well.
They also protect their businesses by ensuring that each client relationship is a business to business relationship rather than dependent on one individual. They meet each client, and establishtheir entire organisation as the solution by making the client aware of the resources, team and Super Brand that stand behind any one salesperson.
Because winning recruitment businesses are Sales First and are single-mindedly focussed on continuous business development they can afford to be extremely selective. These businesses and their recruiters do not spin their wheels or waste their time partnering with clients that don’t respect their place in the process, or on poorly qualified or unrealistic Job orders.
The best recruiters are selective about the candidate’s they work with - only representing those who demonstrate mutual respect, are fully co-operative , realistic in their expectations and have skills and experience that are in demand in the marketplace.
They recognise that to be anything other than highly selective is a poor investment of their commercial time.
Leading recruitment businesses are extremely selective in the people they hire, and are not afraid to remove toxicity, to fire those that don’t support the Super Brand, are unable or unwilling to be Sales First or who don’ t support their vision and goals.
The best recruitment companies, large or small are those that recognise the development needs of their recruiters and that invest in training and development, - in particular investing in their next layer of leaders and supporting them with robust management systems.
Here and at home, over and again, I see good recruiters ‘promoted’ to Team Leader without being giving adequate support with the transition – and, let’s be clear, top recruiters don’t always make the best managers!
Identifying those individuals who can balance desk performance with management is not easy, but putting robust Scientific and Systematic processes that support replication of successful habits is very achievable and aids retention of good recruiters – the top businesses know this.
Smart recruitment businesses judge their success on profit not size, they understand that bigger is not necessarily best; they choose to work smart not hard, they have a clear vision, invest in their brand, their systems and above all else their people.
They put planning for success at the heart of the business, and empower their recruiters to be focussed in their daily activity by building a super brand, being scientific and systematic in their operations. They know that being specialist knowledge workers who put sales first allows them to be commercially selective -which all adds up to working Smart!
The most successful recruitment companies in the world are those that are relentlessly, elegantly Simple.
These are organisations and individuals that apply the principles above to create businesses that are Simple:streamlined and business fit, able to adapt and respond to market conditions , avoid distractions and focus on success.