Recruitment expert, Robert Kenward from You Exclusive, explains why some recruitment methods are not always a job well done.
Robert Kenward, a recruitment expert specialising in senior hires within the events, MICE, and experiential sectors has over 21 years’ experience and brings a unique perspective of hiring from all angles – as a candidate, a client, and a fitabilty® recruiter. In 2022 Robert co-founded You Exclusive, a recruitment agency dedicated to the events sector and the incredible event profs in it.
Hi Robert! Event venues and suppliers talk about a staffing crisis in the industry resulting from Brexit and COVID-19. Have you found this to be the case at senior hire level?
Crisis is a strong word. I think it’s not as much of a crisis as we all think. Looking at it from the point of view of these companies who are getting rid of 7,000 to 10,000 people, that’s not a problem with the economy or with the industry, that’s the problem with them recruiting poorly in the first place. Last year was an absolute mess in recruitment with companies just recruiting anybody and everybody with no sort of due diligence done, it was more a rush to hire rather than a rush to recruit and I think that is what’s at the core of our problems now.
If you think the problem lies with recruiting, what are some common recruiting mistakes companies make?
There’s a big badge of honour with people boasting ‘I recruited within one week.’ For me, I look at that and think: ‘Well, that’s the problem.’ That’s what’s causing the issue: you’re not recruiting the people who are going to grow with your business. You’re recruiting people for that gap you have right now which alleviates a pain now, but if you’re just kicking it into the long run, it will come back to bite you.
I think the headaches come when people have tried to take the easy option – because recruitment itself is not hard, but the work is hard. My podcast is called Side of the Desk because that’s what happens with recruitment; people have to do it rather than want to do it, so it gets stuck on the side of someone’s day job. The biggest mistake companies make is not treating it as a strategy.
What are your three biggest industry pet peeves?
My number one pet peeve is that people don’t recognise there’s a difference between job descriptions and job posts. So, they will post a job description and say: ‘I’m recruiting, here’s the job description’. So, I write bespoke job adverts with fresh copy every single time. Then afterwards when people speak to me then they get the full job description.
Number two is that they don’t put salary brackets on there. Problems we have like the gender pay gap and the ethnicity pay gap are exacerbated by this and in countries such as Denmark where transparency policies have been created, they have noticed an improvement or even a closure of this gap. It should be illegal not to post a salary on a job advert.
And the third thing would be if people try to merge a job description, a job advert, and a profile together – they end up with a big mess. A job description by its very nature should be boring, a job description is not an exciting thing. A job description is a manual for a car, that’s not exciting, the exciting bit is driving the car. A role profile should be priorities, challenges, relationships, the softer stuff that keeps people involved in their work.