Here, Konstanty Sliwowski, the founder of Caissa Global Recruitment, defines the recruitment network and its true meaning. He talks about what clients should deduce if they have a recruiter with a big pool of candidates. And what they should do instead.

Here’s the video transcript for you:

Network. It is all about the network agencies have.

Talking to CEO’s, Chief Technology Officers, CPO’s and CHRO’s, I am struck at how often I hear them talk about working with recruitment agencies because they have access to a “network”. A network of some mythical origin where all the amazing candidates seem to hang out and wait to be employed.

And yet, when discussing a new project with a client, I am very rarely asked for quantification of my “network” or proof of its existence. Which is a pity.

So what are we talking about? What is this mythical network leaders refer to and assume all recruiters have?

Well, a recruitment network is a bit like a starter or yeast for baking bread (I know, many of us indulged in baking during the lockdown, so let’s go with this example). A network is like your sourdough starter or yeast. 

  • It will not become the bread you are baking, but 
  • Without it, you can not bake bread 

It is essential to success.

Recruitment is not all about hiring from your network. Yes, of course having a network helps to start a search. Often, however, searches can not be executed purely on the basis of a network. 

The importance of a network, though, is in the understanding of the subject matter

  • If I did not have a network of CTOs with experience in VC-backed ventures, this would be a clear sign that I do not have enough depth of understanding in this area to execute an effective search. 
  • Similarly, if my colleague did not have a network of DevOps engineers with AWS and Kubernetes experience, I would need to question his understanding of the subject and depth of experience to effectively execute such a search on behalf of our client. 

Thankfully, in both cases, we have a network built over years of working and understanding these areas, which means that we can: 

  • Go beyond keywords, and 
  • Actually understand the business needs

I do digress so let me summarize. 

When engaging a recruiter, don’t look at their network as a place where all the great candidates hang out. Look at it, instead, as a symbol of: 

  • Their deep understanding of a specific market, and 
  • A pre-existing experience of placing candidates with a specific background 

Having a deep network indicates specialization. Specialization means focus. And focus means that when executing a search, a recruiter can: 

  • Go into granular detail, and 
  • Actually understand what your business needs, and WHY 

Thus, they are able to focus on more effectively representing you as an employer of choice to the right candidate audience.

In a nutshell, instead of relying on the network the recruiter has, you should:

  • Understand that networks bubbling with candidates don’t count. What matters is their understanding of the market you belong to, and their experience in providing you with suitable candidates.
  • Choose a recruiter with a deep network. Because this represents their ability to focus on clients, go deep into detail, and furnish CVs according to your needs.   

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