The Chicken or the Egg - the recruiters dilemma!
In a business world where communication is key, via websites, blogs, newletters, RSS feeds etc, recruiters are now more accountable than ever - not just to the companies that they provide a service for but also for candidates that they are interacting with every day. I therefore have a a nice question for all you recruiters out there that will get you thinking........ "Do you know who your clients are?"
In a sweepingly broad statement, recruitment organisations sit in two camps;
1. Client Driven (ie retained search). Specific targeted recruitment, aimed at finding well defined candidates. The clients engage the recruitment company and pay fees up front for this method (usually anyway!).
2. Candidate Driven (contingency | success only recruitment). Much larger volume based recruitment where it is focused on finding roles for the candidates. Payment is only forthcoming when the right candidate is found by the recruitment company.
So far you, as a recruiter can at least define which 'camp' you sit in. I think you would agree that in 1, the company that have engaged you are definitely your client. But with 2, is it the candidates you are working for or the companies who have vacancies that are your clients?
Just to muddy some waters here, just add to the mix the level of direct recruiting that is now going on with companies. They have been slowly (way too slow in many cases in my humble opinion!!) building their own direct resourcing capabilities, with the creation of Talent Pools of candidates interested in working for their companies. This change of focus has also been driven by the candidates themselves. Due to the level of information, career sites, Google, newletters etc candidates (especially the Y and soon to be Z generations - the employees of the future)) now actively target companies they want to work for themselves. They don't wait for recruitment companies to come knocking on their door with 'suitable' vacancies, they go and find these vacancies themselves.
So as a recruiter, who is more important to you - the companies looking for staff, or the candidates looking for a new job? They are both clients - but which one is your client?
Remember the chicken or the egg question?