Would I walk into a well-known coffee shop chain on the high street and when asked what I would like to drink, answer with a one word response: "coffee"?
Maybe I would, but when further questioned as to what type, size and whether I wished to take away or not, would I then respond with: “You make one and I'll decide if I want to buy it!”.
Of course not.
So I question why in recruitment we have allowed ourselves to be regularly put in this position?
I know that the best service my business can offer our clients when recruiting any key permanent position involves the highest level of customer service and assurance in the assessment process. Clearly this might take a little more time and effort, mainly on the recruiter's part, and indeed may involve a slight increase in cost, but there is a minimum of 40% increase in successful assessment of the candidates on the shortlist (BPS statistics).
So when we recommend to our clients that a thorough shortlisting process involving a full suite of psychometric and cognitive ability tests, a competency based selection interview possibly backed up by an assessment centre if appropriate, why do we let our clients select out the success factors and just ask for a "coffee"?
When you ask the same customer if they offer their services to their own customers at a level that they know will likely increase their chances of failure, the answer doesn't need sharing.
Recruitment has become a heavily commoditised product at some levels, which some might argue is appropriate. However, this cannot be the case in middle to senior management roles or not only are the recruiters being set up to fail but so are the customers and their candidates.
Every pitch or beauty parade we are asked to attend we are quizzed as to what "value add" we can bring to the relationship, yet far too often the added value is cast aside. There are plenty of organisations out there that are set up to supply recruitment through the commoditised "coffee" model. I would prefer that customers ask us for what they actually require and then let us supply the way we know best and with the greatest chance of shared success.
After all the brand success of any organisation is based on being clear on what you offer, being truthful and delivering on your promise.
I'll have a medium skinny mocha to take away please.