The Truth About Recruitment Resourcing
Recruitment, as a profession, attracts quite a lot of people. Half the adverts on indeed.com these days seem to be for recruitment consultant positions.
Or trainee recruitment consultants.
Or recruitment accounts managers.
Or, a role I’m personally very familiar with, the dreaded entry-level ‘Recruitment Resourcer’.
You’re dragged into it with the prospect of earning a six-figure salary (OTE), and the success stories from within the company. Other people do it, so you can too.
You’re told that in your first year as a consultant, you’ll earn £40,000 plus.
Second year, £65,000 plus.
Third year, £100,000 and up.
No joke, this is genuinely what you’re told during your interview, or phone call, or induction. You’ll become the richest person you know. It’s very possible, all it takes is hard work and a can-do attitude.
And me, being the dumbass that I am, I fucking believed this.
Don’t get me wrong, it does happen for some. There are a handful of people who end up as Jeff Bezos Jr.
But they’re few and far between.
More probable than not, you’ll just end up losing your sodding mind… exactly like I did…
Up until last month, I was in temp recruitment, rather than perm - which means I was part of an agency that placed people into temporary roles (covering for when the permanent staff are on holiday or pregnant or full of Ebola.)
My speciality was healthcare – care assistants and nurses and the like - meaning that the preemployment checks were a beyond-hideous ordeal. Temp agency legal requirements are a bit more highly strung than permanent staff…
Phone calls to screen candidates.
Interviews to make sure they know what they’re talking about.
Collecting Right-to-Work documents.
Proof of national insurance numbers (proof, as in a document showing it, not just telling me you know it off by heart.)
Proofs of address.
Criminal background checks.
Booking them onto our mandatory training course (and hoping they turn up).
And, worst of all, obtaining two professional references that match up with their CV, therefore proving they’ve not lied about their experience. (For some reason, most employers won’t respond to these. No matter how many times you email or call, they just WILL NOT fill them in. I’m convinced it’s because they can’t be arsed.)
It might not sound like much, but trust me, it’s harder than it sounds. Especially if an individual you’re dealing with isn’t the most compliant person…
Yes, I understand you were born in Britain, but I still need to see your documents.
‘Why though, I’m clearly British.’
It’s a legal requirement. We’d be breaking the law otherwise.
‘Can you not just do it this one time?’
Because it’s a legal requirement.
‘But I’m British! What a fucking joke!’ *hangs up the phone*
Or, even more frustrating than that, is a candidate that doesn’t do a single thing you ask them to, not one thing, be it showing documents, applying for a criminal background check, not providing details of references, not attending the training, and then having the cheek to call up a few weeks later asking when they can start.
This was my job. Dealing with this for 45+ hours a week, sometimes 50+ depending on how shit people were being, or whether I had to deal with stuff over the weekend. All for minimum wage.
Yes, you read that right.
‘Third year, you’ll be earning £100,000 and over.’
What a boiling pot of shit.
The life of a resourcer. Minimum wage, salaried at the equivalent of 40 hours a week, meaning overtime was unpaid. And on top of that, they slashed our bonus structure. By the end, I was lucky to be making £30 a month commission.
Admittedly, as a resourcer, they don’t promise the Jeff Bezos lifestyle. Not until you’ve worked your way up to consultant level.
But the thing is, if you come in as a resourcer, you will stay as a resourcer.
One person in another branch had been in the position for five years straight. Which, given the average lifespan of careers in recruitment, is a long time.
Recruitment agencies will often say that they’re all about personal growth, and that they promote from within using fast track management methods.
Warning: Extremely Hot Bullshit.
I put up with it for two years myself, recruiting staff within the rural areas of North Wales. Maybe I could have pushed past it. Maybe I could have become a consultant in year three. But was it worth sticking around?
You see, not only is resourcing a tough, frustrating, underpaid job. It’s also entirely your fault whenever things go wrong.
The number of shifts filled has gone down? Must be something to do with the resourcers.
People aren’t applying for jobs this time of year? The resourcers are obviously doing something wrong.
The legal requirements for agency staff have been fucked about and no one understands it? Pfft, those sodding resourcers, ey?
You will quickly learn in entry-level recruitment, It’s your fault that people are shit.
And with constant targets and expectations, there is always, always the threat of being sacked dangled above you. And boy do your managers make that known.
I’ve been dragged aside so many times to be told that because I’m only getting ten people through the process a month instead of fifteen, I’m not an asset to the company and this needs to change…
Doesn’t matter if you’re targeting a sparsely populated area. Doesn’t matter what the current job market is like. Get the results or you’re out.
Between the recruitment of agency staff, there’s also the general admin tasks, customer service, dealing with queries, dealing with clients, collecting timesheets, completing payroll, supporting the consultants, covering for them when they’re off, dashing off to job centres, job fairs, running to the training venues to make sure people show up, meetings, and filling shifts when other people are too busy to do it.
I’d say, out of the five-day working week, I only spent about two-and-a-half doing the actual recruitment.
Any wonder hitting targets can sometimes feel impossible? Combine that with the difficult candidates, and the fact that most people don’t want to work for an agency, and you’ve got no chance. Especially if you’re covering the countryside instead of a big city.
My opinion? Don’t do it.
If you’re offered a job as a Recruitment Resourcer, just do not fucking do it.
You’ll be no worse off financially if you just get a full-time job in that lovely little pub round the corner. Or that quaint sandwich shop. Or Gregg’s.
But you'll be a helluva lot happier.
Resourcing is simply not worth it. There's a reason they've always got positions advertised...
Only go into recruitment if it’s an immediate consultant position. Because even though that’s stressful too, at least you’ll be paid enough to deal with it.
Don’t do it. Just don’t.
You’ll turn grey within six months.