Changing the meaning of recruitment…
I have worked in recruitment for the last 10 years, and as silly as this might sound, I still don’t see myself as a recruiter. I have thought long and hard as to why this might be, this isn’t imposter syndrome, and it isn’t because I’m in denial. I think it’s because, perhaps like many people, my perception of a recruiter has always (rightly or wrongly) been a slightly pushy sales person with that underlying feeling of ‘you only care about a fee, and not my career growth’, and the care of the individual not necessarily being at the forefront of the goal. In truth, I have never actually aspired to be a recruiter (eek, plot twist).
Just to be clear, I know there are so many recruitment businesses whose teams are far from this perception, so I’m not talking about all recruiters here and definitely don’t want to tarnish other agencies with these negative connotations. I am sure times and culture have changed for many other recruitment agencies. I’m talking about the ones’ that have phones sellotaped to their hands and answer calls pretending to be interested in you but they really have ££ signs in their eyes, are twizzling their pen triumphantly, and lazing back into their chair because they’ve got through the gatekeeper. I might be wrong, but I think many people who don’t work in recruitment might have this perception too.
I’ve seen the disinterest in the face of the person I’m meeting for the first time, or eyes glaze as soon as they hear the words ‘recruitment agency’ […]
Over the years I have found myself rephrasing what I do to be more palatable to the receiver…I’ve seen the disinterest in the face of the person I’m meeting for the first time, or eyes glaze as soon as they hear the words ‘recruitment agency’, even when I have tried to reword it to ‘I work for an agency that represents freelancers in media’ I often get the response ‘so you’re a recruitment company’, to which I always reply with a slight defeatist ‘yes’.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of what I do. But, knowing that many people have a slightly negative perception of recruiters, I have scurried, ducked and weaved around this word, desperate to not let the word leave my mouth, or even tried to mould it to feel more resonance with it.
The fact is, The Crewing Company is a Recruitment Agency, and I am the Managing Director of this agency, so in essence I am a recruiter. However, I genuinely feel we are so much more than this. The team around me is full of kind, nurturing, enthusiastic, caring and collaborative people whose aims are to create strong relationships with freelancers and clients and genuinely try and understand them as people to help create strong, lasting relationships, and help career growth.
The team around me is full of kind, nurturing, enthusiastic, caring and collaborative people whose aims are to create strong relationships with freelancers and clients and genuinely try and understand them as people to help create strong, lasting relationships, and help career growth.
Ironically, I’m aware this might sound like a sales pitch. I promise you it’s not, it’s me being my usual soppy self. We are genuine people who genuinely like helping people.
As a recruitment agency, I have also realised in the last couple of years that we have a sense of responsibility that well exceeds expectations of what a recruiter should do. It’s actually even come as a surprise to me, but a pleasant one at that. One that helps me feel even prouder of who we could be and what we could represent as an agency. Since the pandemic, so many important and critical issues have risen to the surface, and we have found ourselves having countless conversations, and feeling evermore passionate and responsible in helping to create change in our industry.
We are not aiming for perfection, we are aiming for evolvement, and with that comes discomfort and beauty. Working within the realms of media, we see an ever changing landscape that we often have to adjust to, and prepare for. Important issues such as equality, inclusion and diversity, neuro-diversity and skills gaps have, quite rightly, come even more to the surface in recent years, and we know we have the means to drive these issues forward. As an agency, we have numerous contacts, and see the industry from every angle – clients, freelancers, educational organisations, advisors and industry bodies. We can be, and often are, the line of communication that weaves through them all, and we have realised over the last couple of years that we can use these wonderful connections to push conversations forward, share thoughts and insights, and support and guide the industry in a positive way.
As an agency, we are passionate about making sure the media industry is an inclusive one. We want it to be a place that everyone loves working in, and look to the future to help make it a positive and nurturing place to be. Through our Rising Talent initiative, and our quarterly TCC Talks, we hope to help to push important conversations forward and raise more awareness of how others could help nurture new talent, close the skills gap to ensure our industry stays thriving, and that anyone and everyone feels welcome.
We don’t see it as a quick fix, it is a long-term commitment to ensure change continues to happen.
We don’t see it as a quick fix, it is a long-term commitment to ensure change continues to happen. Whilst our job is always to get freelancers work, and help clients create great content, our team will be making sure they continue to drive important conversations, support new talent, growing talent, and come up with ideas and initiatives to help support our amazing industry.
So, whilst some people may always see us as recruiters, hopefully this word starts to be more associated with care and support, that holds real people and real issues as high on their priority list.