Recruitment Gone Wrong

6 minutes, 41 seconds reading time

I have to chuckle to myself when I hear recruiters claim they are experts. If that were true, why does our industry suffer from some of the worst employee attrition rates and performance issues out there? I've experienced this first hand working at recruitment firms and it's an industry wide phenomenon, but don't just take my word for it:

Recruiters bill over $12bn in fees annually in Canada alone. Yet we are generally disliked and seen by many as nothing more than a necessary evil! As an industry, we say we are a professional service, well if that is true it is high time we started acting like it! Let’s start with the basics, here are a few comments from the Glassdoor rankings on what it is like working for three of the largest ‘recruiting experts’ in Canada:

  • “Micromanagement, 100% KPI driven, highly competitive…..recruitment grindhouse.”
  • “They spend 5 minutes interviewing a candidate then send him to a company and expect $20k fee.
  • This company is the definition of throwing dirt at the wall and praying to god it sticks.
  • “They will only give a 3 month guarantee period, then will head hunt their placed candidates 4 months in so they don't have to refund the clients”
  • “Too transactional and numbers oriented. Poor people and culture practices.”

Unfortunately, these are not unique, one-off statements. It is the norm in this industry, and there are endless examples of these comments on various peer review sites. The majority of recruitment firms can’t hire effectively for themselves, yet expect to be able to do so for their clients. To make matters worse, there are many stories of recruiters placing people and then headhunting those people from their clients. The left hand is depositing money in the bank and the right hand is robbing the vault, and profiting again on the next replacement.

It is hardly surprising that ‘recruiting experts’ aren’t prepared to be properly accountable for the work they do for their clients when they can’t even retain their own employees. Three month guarantees are the market standard. We all know it takes far longer to determine whether a new hire will be successful.

Charging companies for making placements does not make you an expert, that is a simple transaction.

That is why finding someone is not enough. To be truly committed to successful recruitment, you need a process that ensures the fit is right and and that recruits are onboarded successfully. Recruitment fees are high enough to demand a high level of professionalism. The current industry service level is just not high enough. Either we collectively start doing more for our money, or we charge less. As a business owner I know which appeals more to me.

Recruitment Re-engineered

The question is, for those of us that care: how can we do better? Keynote was created to right the wrongs of our industry. We are named as such – in a world packed full of self-appointed experts, there can only be one Keynote. That was the question we asked ourselves. How do we find incredible employees and ensure they are successful in your company?

AI That Finds Better Employees

The first answer was incorporating modern technology. People are great and critical to any organizations success, but even the smartest people can only do so much in a day. Artificial intelligence can enable recruitment firms to perform extensive, unbiased employee searches that captures the thinking of dozens of people in a matter of minutes. AI lets you go deeper, broader and faster than any competitor in our space who is still powered by manual labour. Keynote does this with every search.

We can glean up to 20 times the data of a typical researcher would generate in 2-3 weeks - in a matter of hours! At Keynote, we can predict who is most likely to both be successful and interested in the opportunity plus gain initial insights into who they are as a person. It is so powerful that on day two of any engagement our headhunters are targeting the top prospects for the job based on skill, experience and potential fit.

For our clients it means we can reduce search timelines while also providing a far more objective view of the talent pool. We don’t have to rely on people applying to postings, hoping a passive candidate comes up in our search, we quite literally have access to everyone with a skillset and experience match for our customers. That makes our job about marketing opportunities for our clients, rather than simply screening those people who come to us. There is no ‘hope’ in our approach, we are in control and our clients are the ones that benefit.

Industry Leading Postplacement Support

The second answer we came up with was process. A fair and transparent process that engages our clients - not just in finding that great person and getting them to join your business. That’s only part of the equation. As I wrote about in hiring is easy, the determining factor in success is what happens after someone starts.

Most recruitment firms see themselves as placement businesses, not retention businesses. The crux of it is they charge for placements. They leave their clients to worry about what happens after they send that big invoice! You can’t be committed to the success of anything if you’re only involved in half the equation. We hold ourselves accountable and provide the support and structure to maximize the chance of success. We charge for employees - a subtle but dramatic difference in mindset.

Keynote Search Employee Onboarding Services

After every placement we utilize a combination of HR consultants, business coaches and industrial psychologists to work with the leadership group and the new employee. These engagements, which are fully funded by Keynote as part of the employee search, are in place to drive two-way communication and help manage expectations on all sides. We will work with a new hire for up to 6 months with feedback loops to management to help overcome challenges and build milestones.

12 month guarantee on EVERY hire

This one irks my competitors the most, whether we are placing a 60k staff employee or a 250k executive we stand by our work for an entire year. For most recruiters they know they just need someone to last 4-5 months to get their fee, meaning they put less emphasis on long term success and submit people who will get hired. We have no choice but to focus on people who will be successful for the long term.

When a company is accountable to the results of their work, and have data-driven proof over time that a solution works, a guarantee is simple. No quibble, no fuss, we protect your investment. While it is seen by many in our space as a risk, for us we focus on helping our clients secure new employees, that doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. We live by our two core values – productivity and retention, our guarantee is a major part of that commitment.

What is ironic is that we rarely need to use the guarantee. With our AI providing access to a wider, more suitable talent pool combined with team dynamic analysis and psychometrics, all backed by post placement support – we have done everything possible to de-risk the process. Ultimately the only reason things typically go wrong is due to mother nature effects or change of life circumstances. In those instances, we still stand by the guarantee, our relationships are long term and it is just the right thing to do.

So there you have it, the secret sauce that is Keynote Employee Search! We do work damn hard, we do have amazing people who care. However, when you add our AI, post placement support and guarantee to that – we can genuinely say we are different. Perhaps it is time your company gave us a chance to support your talent initiatives?