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Hello, my name is Simon and I’m a Recruitment Consultant – with honesty and integrity! There, I’ve said it!

Most people don’t associate such values with recruitment agencies and seem to constantly berate them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. But, in today’s social media-driven world, you are only really one connection away from someone. By proving you operate with integrity and honesty, recruitment by numbers could be a thing of the past.

I’m passionate about food, drink and – of course – supporting people through their career or professional evolution. Great service is part of that. My time served in the RAF, followed by a long and successful career with British Airways, has shaped the person I am today. Integrity, honesty and working in partnership are all traits that run through my DNA, and for the past 11 years, I’ve been partnering with some of hospitality’s biggest brands to find and supply the best senior operators across the sector.

Recruiting by numbers

In my experience (and I appreciate this does not apply to all), recruitment agencies manage the performance of their consultants by numbers… “How many CVs have we sent? How many calls made? What revenue has been achieved?” It isn’t healthy to work under so much metric pressure. League tables are in there too – numerical target boards which suggest that results are purely based on who does what, as fast as they’re able, in a given period. It’s no wonder that this affects recruitment behaviour from the top down.

Recruiters don’t just work one role, you see. They work several at once, so speed becomes vital. Rather than quality, it is all about quantity: the fastest fingers are first to the post. Several agencies are usually competing for the same candidates. Given that there are only so many suitable professionals in one particular location, those candidates indirectly become a victim of the numbers system – as do those who apply to the jobs that are not relevant.

On top of that, some clients get drawn into this game too. They’re affected, on one hand, by the sole, metrical barometer of success that an agency holds up to their recruiters. But they’re also prone to taking on three, four or even five recruitment agencies to work on the same role, instead of trusting a single service to do the job. Candidates unwittingly add to the problem, uploading their CVs on several job boards, as well as dishing their CVs out to multiple recruiters at a time (understandably) to get the role they want.

We will never truly break this behavioural cycle unless we get back to basics, which I believe means putting the individual at the heart of everything. Remember: partnerships, honesty, trust and integrity.

Finding a partner in personal service

For me, recruitment is fairly simple. If you take the time to truly get to know your clientele and the candidates you are supporting, they’ll appreciate your knowledge and support. When relationships are nurtured, this is reciprocated. A recruiter may not get the financial reward right away, but what goes around, comes around – and it will!

When a client sincerely trusts their chosen recruitment partner, they won’t feel the need to juggle several agencies. Furthermore, when a candidate has a ‘go to’ recruiter who has supported them well in the past, this relationship will also bring the best results.

An honest approach to hospitality recruitment

Now I appreciate that, like most industries, there are good and bad agencies – those who believe their own headlines about their service credentials and then fail to deliver quality. Breaking the numbers game sets the precedent for what we believe in as a business at SPE Resourcing.

To find the best person for any job takes knowledge, time and effort – there is no ‘quick fix’ in this game. We have spent years building long-lasting, trusting relationships with our clients and are dedicated to delivering the best talent to them with quality value and service.

This also applies to the candidates we represent. I have met several people recently who have found themselves looking for a new role, many of them willing to take the first job that is offered. It would be very easy for me to ‘sell them their dream job’, but I believe it’s our role to make sure it’s the right opportunity and fit for them.

The role may look perfect on paper, but if (for example) the company culture isn’t, then this will become an issue sooner rather than later and probably lead them to leave after two or three months. I want to make good on a client’s investment, and ensure the candidate finds somewhere that fulfils them. Some people just aren’t meant for certain businesses.

Recruitment is a people industry. The hospitality sector’s reputation is built on the pillars of great quality, service, diversity and knowledge. By continuing to work with these same values, continuing to gain knowledge and understanding, and listening to my clients’ and candidates’ needs, the results will continue to come.