It is a dilemma that many recruitment business owners face – do you recruit proven talent with a track record of success or do you opt to bring in those who are new to the industry and develop that raw talent?
Some would argue that with limited finance and resources during the early stages of a recruitment business the decision to take on someone who is relatively inexperienced is an obvious one.
However, with the increased amount of support services currently available to recruitment business owners, such as that provided by the likes of Simplicity, this argument is nullified and the question then becomes one of Who is right for my business?
Experience is obviously key to the success of any business, and it is important to focus first and foremost on getting your foundations right by only hiring those consultants who have been immersed within the industry for some time. These will be the people who can hit the ground running and can drive business growth in those most-critical first two or three years of the agency opening its doors.
But once you are in the comfortable position whereby you can afford the time to support and nurture new and inexperienced talent, you can then begin to consider bringing in fresh-faced talent who are entering the sector for the first time.
In 2015, 62% of APSCo members put growing recruitment talent at the top of their list, while the REC followed up with the forecast that the recruitment industry is set to grow by a further 18% by the end of 2016 with many more new entrants to the profession expected in the coming months.
But to facilitate this growth, recruitment business owners need to attract quality candidates into consultant positions to help them drive revenue and growth for their agencies. That means positioning recruitment as a career of choice for those who are both in the industry and those outside of it, with graduates providing perhaps the greatest – and relatively untapped – pool of potential recruitment talent.
Indeed, the number of graduates leaving university and entering the world of work is at a record high, with 76.6% of the 2013/14 cohort currently working. Of course, there will invariably be some agency owners who will be reluctant to take on a fresh-faced graduate with no previous recruitment experience.
However, having canvassed the opinion of over 50 recruitment business leaders at a recent directors event, here are five key reasons why you should consider giving a graduate a chance:
They are a blank canvas: Although graduates have learned much throughout their university degree, when it comes to the real world, they will be less tainted with bad habits that many recruiters pick up in each previous agency they have worked in. As such, they are more likely to ‘go with the flow so to speak. Sometimes hiring a candidate who has more experience from a previous position can lead to complications for recruitment owners, as they may try to enforce changes in the current business operations.
They soak up information like a sponges: After constantly absorbing information throughout their degree, graduates will be just as ready to learn new things as they were in university. Recruiters will hugely benefit from this, as with eagerness comes determination, which will evidently lead to positive results.
They are more affordable: Hiring a graduate will not break the bank – if anything they will earn you more money in the long run (ever heard of student debt?). They are a cost-effective way of employing intelligent people, and are less likely to query their salary.
They have a different perspective on things: Everyone has a different opinion and outlook on things; but as graduates will often be from a different generation to those at the top of an organisation, they will help to bring fresh ideas to the forefront that may not have been identified previously.
They have solid business skills: By having to meet deadlines, plan assignments in advance and write to a certain standard, graduates will be set up ready for operating in the business world. These basic skills mean that a graduate will be ready to get involved in tasks from the get go.
Entrepreneurial recruitment business owners are not risk averse. After all it takes a certain type of person to shun the safety of a regular paycheck in pursuit of something even better.
So if you want to truly create a successful business in your own image, bring in those people who will share your vision and go about conducting business the way that you want it done.
Remember, just like a CV that you receive on behalf of a client, the candidate is selling their potential to do a great job so why not mould that potential yourself? And who knows, you could even be getting your hands on a future “purple squirrel”, and trust us, that’s something every business wishes they had.