How Search Consultants Can Adapt to Change in Recruitment

The only thing that never changes . . . is the fact that change is inevitable. Rather ironic, wouldn’t you say?

And recruitment is certainly among those professions that undergoes nearly constant change. After all, when the profession started, the Internet didn’t exist. Smartphones didn’t exist. Heck, cellphones didn’t exist. And if you want to go all the way back to the very beginning, fax machines didn’t even exist. (And to underscore this point, there are probably some of you in the reading audience who haven’t even seen a fax machine, much less used one.)

The good news is that the Internet, smartphones, and other technological marvels have not spelled the end of the recruiting profession. They have, though, forced search consultants to change and adapt the way they conduct business. Which, in the big picture, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Especially since change is not going to stop happening anytime soon. In fact, it’s probably only going to accelerate.

With this in mind, below are six ways that search consultants can adapt to change in the recruitment profession:

#1—Don’t fight change.

This is an important first step. If you resist change, then it’s likely that you’ll find yourself “behind the curve.” And whenever that happens in this profession, you can bet that your placements will be fewer and farther between and your billings will start to dip. And those are two things that you absolutely do NOT want to happen.

#2—Strive to make adjustments quickly.

It’s not enough to simply be open to change. You basically have to recognize it for what it is and then embrace it. Sure change is no fun, especially if you’ve enjoyed a measure of success doing things a certain way to this point. However, the most quickly you make the changes you need to make, the more quickly you can start enjoying success doing things a different way.

#3—Let go of outdated beliefs and associated practices.

This might be the toughest of the steps listed here. That’s because, as they say, “old habits die hard.” Here’s a pro tip. If you ever hear yourself think or say something along the lines of, “But this is the way that we’ve always done it,” stop and realize that is exactly the reason why you need to stop the way you’ve always done it. That’s because a perfectly valid reason to do so has already presented itself, and you’re simply justifying your reluctance to acknowledge that reason. (Self-knowledge is hard.)

#4—Embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable.

Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable. But it has to be done. There’s a saying that goes, “All growth is painful.” Think back to when you were a youngster. When you were growing physically, your limbs probably hurt, especially your legs and especially if you’re tall. Those are literally growing pains, and they are definitely uncomfortable.

What we’re talking about here are figurative growing pains. However, the same concept applies. If you want to grow as a recruiter or search consultant (or anything else, for that matter), then you must be willing to be uncomfortable and to endure whatever pain is associated with that growth.

#5—Place a priority on flexibility.

And where you should be really be flexible is in your priorities. That’s because priorities can and do change, and they often do so on a daily basis. If you’re too rigid in your thinking or your approach, that can hurt your effectiveness, and ultimately, your production. Whatever you do, always ask yourself this question: “What is the BEST use of my time right NOW?” (You don’t have to yell . . . but definitely be awake and alert.)

#6—Learn as much as you can about the things you don’t know.

Knowledge IS power. That’s just not something that people say to sound clever or feel good about themselves. The bottom line is that it’s true. The more you know about things, the better decisions you’re able to make. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. (“How many pithy sayings is he going to use?”)

The rule is simple: learn the things you don’t know, hire somebody to do the things you don’t know, or do both. An instance in which you would do both is when you learn something, but you discover that you don’t enjoy it, you’re not really good at it, and it’s taking time away from activities in which you are proficient. (And more importantly, which lead to the making of placements.)

Change is inevitable. Don’t fight it. Embrace it, bond with it, and then use it to your advantage and the advantage of your recruiting agency.