Working in a telemarketing company for almost a decade, I understand what it’s like to be seen as being fairly far down the professional food chain. One of my favourite phrases has always been ‘nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to be a telemarketer’. If I had a penny for every time someone had told me they hated making and receiving cold calls, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog right now.

This week, I was shown an interesting exercise; you only have to google the phrase ‘Telemarketers are…’ to get an overview of the most common opinions online. Try it, it’s quite interesting:

Excluding the hilarious contribution of, ‘telemarketers are a gift from the lord’, which no doubt is a quote directly from Moses himself, it’s a fairly damming appraisal, as I'm sure you would have guessed.

Telemarketers are scum, telemarketers are spies and telemarketers are annoying are prevalent and, as you delve further in, you’ll see there is a lot worse.

Not being happy sitting near the bottom of the food chain, for some reason I seem to have moved to an industry looked upon as scraping the bottom. Are recruitment companies really down there with used car salesman?

Whilst we would all be aware of some of the perceptions out there about recruiters, I hadn't quite realised the extent of the hatred (I use the term ‘hatred’ lightly).

Okay, I get it, most of us have had a bad experience with a recruitment company. But we’ve probably all had at least one bad experience with hotels, buses & trains, I.T. providers and supermarkets. But we don’t then tend taint the whole of the industry with the same brush. We simply make a decision not to use that provider and we carry on looking for the right partner for us.

My point is only this; as with every industry, there are some shocking operators out there. Some cowboys, if you like. But in amongst those are some gems.

At this point it would be easy for me to rant about how Reuben Sinclair work and why you should use us but after just one week, that would be pretty hollow. Having said that, in the last week or so I’ve watched how things work in this industry as an outsider and there are some tangible differences that separate one end of the market and the other.

But, as always, it comes down to people. Another of my mantras is ‘People buy from people they like’ and I’m constantly reminding my sales teams of this point. It’s amazing how many people forget this all too easily. TRUST is what makes the difference and trust comes from people. Whether you’re a recruiter or otherwise, if you look after your customers they will learn to trust you. And they’ll trust you when things go well and when they don’t - it happens to all of us occasionally.

So when you’re thinking about recruiting - which we all have to do from time to time - and if you’re not sure what to look for here are some things you can ask them about to help guide you through the jungle of potential providers and find someone you can really trust:

  • Ask them about their processes, not just their candidates
  • Ask to speak to some of their current clients
  • Ask how many CV’s/candidates they expect to find and send you b(make sure it’s not too many)
  • Ask them to work with you to define a realistic minimum criteria on what a candidate you want to talk to looks like and don’t let them send CV’s outside of that
  • And ask them about time frames
  • Ask them about your business and your industry; make sure they understand you and your businesses culture
  • Ask them to agree on some reasonable timeframes for delivery of a shortlist
  • Ask about psychometric or behavioural testing
  • Ask them to come and see you (if it’s viable)

These are simple things and there are thousands more questions you could ask but these should give you a reasonable idea about how much your potential new provider is prepared to work with you to develop an ongoing relationship based on trust.

Data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) states that recruitment was a £28.7 billion industry last financial year in the UK. We don’t spend this sort of money without some trust. There are around 100,000 people who work in recruitment and more than 10,000 recruitment companies in the UK too. Your mission is simple; find the one you trust. Good luck.

You can read more blogs from Owen by clicking here.