Changing jobs means thinking about the future because that’s where new jobs happen. So, as recruitment consultants, we spend a lot of time helping our clients think about tomorrow. It helps us look after them – and it’s very important for our own long-term success too.
We like to stick with people from when they start to when they’re senior, helping them move multiple times along the way. That gives us a deep insight into how whole careers work, so we can help all of our candidates think about their long-term as well as their immediate futures.
That process involves a lot of change. Recruitment consultants can be relaxed about change because we’re doing it every day, so it’s normalised. For candidates, it’s a big thing and it doesn’t happen very often. So we do everything we can to use our experience to smooth the path for them.
And of course, knowing people at every level gives us a very rich flow of information about the companies they work for. It adds another dimension to the advice we give and makes sure that the people we find for our clients are a genuinely great fit with them.
We think a lot about our own future too. That’s particularly important at the moment because technology’s changing our industry so fast. A lot of modern recruitment systems want to take away people like us. They see recruitment consultants as CV shufflers who just aren’t needed any more.
There are definite roles for that kind of AI – for example, it’s great when you need to sort through active job seekers who are coming to you. Goldman Sachs runs a significant part of their graduate recruitment programme like that. But we do something a bit different, and we have a very clear sense of how we’ll keep doing it.
Our plan is to stay as human as we can. That’s because there are some very important things that humans can do and AI can’t. I touched on them above, when I talked about staying with people for the long term. But really, you can sum them up in two words: persuasion and emotion.
We mostly work with people who are happy where they are and aren’t looking for jobs. We need to motivate people rather than just sort through them. So, when the right job comes up, we get in touch with them and use the power of persuasion and emotion.
We create a compelling story about what change might mean for them. We tell them what their potential new team and employer looks like, then – because we know all the different career steps – we build on that to help them imagine what their whole new future could look like.
An AI can’t do that. In fact, a lot of very human recruitment consultants can’t do it. But we can, because we believe in the future. That’s why we’re so motivated to stay with people throughout their whole careers. It’s as vital for our tomorrow as it is for theirs.