Who is the customer in recruitment?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 - Blog

Who is the customer in recruitment?

Customer Redemption

Simon asks: Drucker always asked “Who is your customer?”. When undertaking strategic planning within a recruitment agency environment do you believe the customer is the candidate or the client? Can strategic planning be successful when you consider both groups as customers when they often have opposing needs/wants?

In answer:

Three answers here from three perspectives:

  • In pure theory: both the recruiting organisation and the candidate
  • In practice: the HR manager, the recruiting manager, and the candidate
  • In reality: there would be no “customer” if there was no need to fill a vacancy, so the hiring company

In the old days, recruiters considered both their dBase of candidates and their client contacts value able assets. In these days of the internet and domination of the market with the likes of Monster et al, the pure “fill the vacancy fast” ethic has meant the customer is where the money is. This is often – always true in low wage sectors, reduces as you go up the pay scale – to the detriment of candidates, who now feel like paper pawns pushed across a recruiters desk.

The new internet world has empowered the employer as a customer, but I think in many real ways for most it has made the candidate a virtual and disposable commodity. Its not a way I would wish to be treated personally as a candidate.

Good Luck!


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