I work in Recruitment and Search | Selection Partners | Executive Recruitment, Melbourne

What Marine Biology taught me about recruitment…

DolphinsFirst, let me preface by establishing that I’m not working in the field of marine biology.

My first year classes were full of passionate, altruistic people looking to establish a career protecting the oceans wildlife. We all wanted to save the whales and the turtles!

As our university careers progressed, the commercial realities of our chosen career paths started to sink in. There is no (or very, very little) income to be made in protecting wildlife. Period.
The majority of qualified marine biologists do not work in their profession. The ones that do are in aquaculture (the rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic plants for human consumption), or R&D – whether this be searching for a cure for cancer or the new ‘Viagra’. This is not what they set out to do. Alas, with time, ideals fade and economic necessity takes over.

I work in Recruitment and Search because I am truly passionate about, and love this industry. It’s a positive industry; but constantly battling a barrage of negative publicity. Let me explain.

Recruitment is positive! In essence, we assist companies drive forward by helping them find select talent to take them to the next level. Alternatively we are also helping individuals take the next step in their career; usually with higher salary and more fulfilling challenges than their previous role. Win-win!

So why the bad publicity?

Again, sometimes economic necessity takes over, right? Well, it shouldn’t! Economic or other stresses and pressure should not jeopardise the standards of the service we provide to our clients and candidates. These are simple staples of our industry:

  • Speak the truth, and offer transparency around your process.
  • Keep open lines of communication. People need to be informed and kept up to date.
  • Maintain your empathy. Filling a role is not just a statistic and a commission. These are people with goals, ambitions, families and mortgages. If they are unsuccessful, they don’t need your pity, but they do expect and should receive your professionalism.
  • Build quality relationships with your clients and your candidates. These people will truly value your relationship, your knowledge and professional courtesy. Given the opportunity, these people will want to help you also.

The recruitment industry changes dramatically between quiet and busy times but we, as recruiters, should not. There is no excuse for sending unsolicited CV’s to companies. The candidates don’t want that, and neither do the clients. This is without a doubt the fastest way to burn reputations for all parties – especially yours! This however, does not mean you can’t float. Floating a good quality candidate to a client when you have relationships on both sides, and permission to do so is a completely different scenario.

So what has Marine Biology taught me about recruitment?

Always stay true to your core beliefs and values, and don’t sell out for sight of making a quick gain. No matter how many of those around you do.

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