The Truth About Recruitment

The Truth About Recruitment

The Truth About Recruitment:

No violins required but maybe cut us some slack. 


Our recruitment business celebrates its 10th Birthday this year and during that time Vitae has been responsible for finding jobs and careers for hundreds of finance professionals as well as playing a key role in building, and developing talented finance teams for a large portfolio of clients that we have been proud to business partner over this period of time.

For an industry that is ultimately responsible for kick starting the careers of many and driving change within the business world, one thing I have noticed over the last decade is that the reputation of the sector and the abuse consultants and consultancies receive has never wavered. Only today, I have logged into LinkedIn to find numerous comments and digs aimed at recruitment specialists. Here are 3 of my favourites from this morning:

“Isn’t it really annoying when you receive a request to Link In and then after you accept you receive an immediate sales email about their services!!” Face palm emoji!!

“Do agencies really know what they are looking at? I have submitted my CV 10 times for the same role and have not even received an acknowledgement! Disgusting. Their loss as I know I have done everything that is required to do the job at hand.”

“Not a bad amount of money to receive for just firing off an email is it!”                                                                     

For clarifications sake, this blog is not about defending the industry in its entirety and making a case for a concerto of violins to serenade us poor recruitment fellows. I am well aware of certain traits and behaviours that are abhorrent within the sector and that bring shame on our profession. However I would ask what sector does not have its own loose cannons and renegade individuals that play the game their own way without a care for moral decency? Accountancy? Legal? Retail? Property? Financial Services? Government? Charities??? Tune into Panorama or Newsnight any night of the week and you will be faced with a whole host of unsavoury delights served up by the above. Only last night, the BBC gave us a rather uncomfortable insight into the closure of the Kids Company charity.

However this piece is not about shifting the spotlight onto others but rather highlighting the fact that when recruitment is carried out properly it is a profession that can hold its own against any other.

When we set up, we decided that our Brand would reflect excellence in every area, from our candidate vetting to our building of long term relationships. To do this we rejected the ‘bums on seats’ recruitment model and set about building a team of likeminded individuals who would eventually become proud of what they do and what they have achieved. More often than not we have taken Graduates with solid degrees from Redbrick Universities who could have secured positions in any of the sectors above. Ask these guys some years on if they have found the move into recruitment a stroll in the park and nearly all will tell you that it has been far from it.

The global recession has meant that every single Pound made would certainly not come easily. Recruitment can never be an exact science but to achieve consistent results since the economic collapse has required an in-depth understanding of EVERY candidate sourced, EVERY business approached and EVERY brief taken. Yes every now and again you get lucky and a random new client calls in with a requirement and you have the ideal match sitting in front of you. However these pleasant surprises are few and far between and the reality is many days, months weeks and even years convincing a client that you are different from the rest and that it is in their interest to give you a go. Then comes the search for a needle in a haystack, and once found, the briefing of the candidate that think he knows it all or even worse who actually knows nothing! If all goes according to plan, your negotiation skills are more often than not required to remove the hurdles of the client who has changed their budget, or the candidate who has decided that they are worth £5k more from when the interview process first started. If your degree wasn’t in Psychology it is likely that you will achieve a First if and when you decide to become a mature student later on in life.

So why the constant flak????

  • Maybe because at some point in the recruitment process you have made the wrong call and whilst trying to keep both the candidate and client plate spinning you have inadvertently spun one side too much. In a business where there is no text book with all the answers and your product is human, this will always be a possibility.
  • Maybe because to get each and every relationship off the mark with a candidate or client sometimes requires persistence and perseverance of stalker like proportions!
  • Maybe because the person delivering the flak once gave recruitment a go and it didn’t go entirely according to plan……
  • Maybe because they haven’t read this article and didn’t realise that some people actually take pride in what they do, are very proud of how they do it.
  • Maybe because we sometimes deserve it.


The Del Boys will always try their arm in an attempt to earn a quick buck and as such, their behaviour will always grab the headlines. No-one should go into this sector for the plaudits as we will always be an easy target, unable to shout back. However, if you are good at what you do, the financial rewards will provide a thick skin, as will the internal satisfaction that you have left your mark across multiple sectors and businesses.