Don’t worry, there’s enough political dialogue going on at the moment without someone who isn’t married to a Samoan or related to a dairy farmer to weigh in on. The title of this blog actually refers to the recruitment industry. This week I was accused of being “opportunistic” as if that was a bad thing?? The ‘client’ thought I had got wind of a role from the consultant that had left the business, in actual fact a division manager had asked for consultants and then called to explain the situation. This story results in some hypocritical, immoral, and short-sighted behavior from a ‘leading recruitment agency’ but that’s a scathing story for another time. 😊

“Please comment on his/her ability to identify business opportunities and act upon them”

That quote comes from Rice’s very own reference checks. It’s an important tool in a recruiter’s arsenal; being able to identify a hole and fill that hole with a corresponding shape. Especially in these times, if you have an ‘in’ or have heard rumblings before the rest of the market that usually works in your favour. For example, having recently completed our market map for another quarter I can see what agencies were the beneficiaries of Michael Page’s hasty exit from the market and the orphaned consultants it created. An opportunity seized upon by a handful of agencies snapping up good ‘out of the box’ consultants.

Opportunity meeting preparation, that’s when luck is created or so we’re told. However, some have been known to engineer their own luck. You may have even been in the vicinity when a seasoned recruiter’s been regaling junior consultants on the highlights of their career; the good the bad and the ugly. The more grizzled the recruiter the more luxuriating is done in the bad/ugly. Leaning against a lamppost/watercooler, eyes darting, flipping a quarter in a hushed tone they relay the story of the Kansas City Shuffle, the double bubble, the hokey pokie, the ol recruitment rope-a-dope; taking a candidate out of a business and refilling that position with another candidate from the stable! Personally, I’ve never had the sleight of hand to pull something like that off. It takes the most opportunistic of recruiters with the brassiest of necks to front up to this and a client who is void of emotion to take this on the chin but, it happens. Sure, you’ve created a problem but you’ve also solved it but, would the problem have arisen without you? Probably, but it definitely wouldn’t have happened so quickly. At least this way the company isn’t left without an option. Very much the silver lining in the mushroom cloud for Mr/Mrs. Client.

I would argue that everyone in the process is in some way opportunistic, the candidate is attempting to parley the skills they’ve gathered over a period of time into a better role with more benefits. The client is choosing this time to add to their headcount in order to take advantage of the demand in his/her market. The recruitment consultant is the only one who is given a ruffle of the hair to the tune of “what are you like?” Opportunity is often how we phrase a new role; it has positive connotations. I mean I understand not being open to talking about a new job but can anyone really so that they aren’t open to opportunities? Many a consultant in this new normal has acted in an opportunistic way but not just out in their respective markets, internally also. With desks left vacant due to dwindling demand in certain industries, consultants have hoovered up the scraps. Scraps that weren’t enough to sustain a full-grown recruitment consultant but act as financial jalapeno poppers to the main course of your desk. I’ve also seen a lot of consultants that have earned their stripes in perm recruitment gracefully pivot to contract and temp. An opportunity that’s leads to consultants becoming more rounded as recruiters, experiencing the fast-paced and often high-volume side of recruitment. Being introduced to this style of recruitment can only be a good thing when or if they return back to the perm side.

Recruitment in itself represents an opportunity, most of us never grew up wanting to be recruitment consultants. It was an opportunity presented to us often at a time when we were applying for a role we actually wanted. What you make with this opportunity is completely up to you. For me, it represented an opportunity to stay in the country I love, one I am still very much smitten with. The long and short of it is, if someone is claiming recruiters shouldn’t be optimistic; they don’t know the first thing about recruitment.

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