Resigning – why you shouldn’t feel nervous

Resigning – why you shouldn’t feel nervous

Let’s face it – most people feel a bit nervous about resigning, even if they’re excited about their new job, but unless there are exceptional circumstances, it doesn’t have to be done Greg Smith style leaving bridges burned in your wake! As recruiters we go through this moment in peoples’ careers with them often, and there’s some pooled knowledge to pass on from those many experiences we’ve shared with candidates over the years.


It’s not personal!
Firstly, remember that your boss has resigned from roles in the past and so has nearly everyone else in the office. It’s part and parcel of work life not a direct attack or reflection on anyone, and if handled correctly, you can always leave the door open for future opportunities.
One of the first things you want to clarify before you resign are your push and pull factors.

Pull factors
If your resignation is all about pull factors – something new has come up and you simply can’t say no – then there’s nothing to say you can’t consider the company you’re leaving as an employer again in the future. In this case, write a (truthful – don’t be insincere by going overboard!) resignation letter which mentions how much you’ve enjoyed your role, how much you’ve learnt and that you’d love to stay in touch, and reiterate all of that in your resignation meeting. If they value you as much as you hope they do, they’ll love the positive feedback and will be pleased to return the compliment.

Push factors
If your resignation is all about push factors – not being happy in your current role – then you need to ask yourself how candid you want to be in your exit interview. Is it best to be diplomatic or bluntly air your grievances to influence change for the better? Consider the elements of your role that have made you unhappy, pick the most tangible aspects to feedback and deliver it in person during your exit interview. Keep your resignation note more factual and formal and state the dates for the purpose of fulfilling your notice period.

Stick to your guns!
Either way, get your reasons for moving on in order, stick to your guns and don’t fall into the classic trap of being flattered by a counter offer (more on that here). If the pull factors were strong enough to make you resign, remember that feeling of excitement and opportunity and leave the door open to return in the future. If the push factors were bad enough to make you resign…well, enough said.

We hope these words have been of some comfort to those of you dreading your resignation meeting whether it be for good, or bad reasons. It really is common to feel that way, just not necessary.

Good luck with the resignation meeting and most importantly, good luck with your new job!


What’s wrong with recruitment…and how to fix it!

What’s wrong with recruitment…and how to fix it!

This could potentially be a VERY long post because I’m talking about an industry that has many inherent flaws. In my opinion, many of the problems we see stem from some fundamental issues that recruiters have wrought upon themselves and customers unwittingly propagate.

The paying customers’ perspective

Having been a customer myself and in speaking with countless other recruitment customers, I can tell you that their complaints are very consistent.

There’re a lot of them so I’ll list out the top 10:

  1. They waste my time
  2. They lie to me
  3. They keep hassling me every 5 minutes
  4. Fees are too expensive
  5. Recruiters don’t understand my business or the role
  6. Candidates aren’t even being interviewed before they’re sent to me
  7. They’ve been looking for months and can’t find anyone
  8. Everyone they send to me are terrible
  9. Too many cold calls
  10. I’m sick of junior recruiters who have no idea

The recruiters’ perspective

There’s a pretty similar list of gripes here too:

  1. They waste my time
  2. They lie to me
  3. I have to chase them for everything and they never call me back
  4. They cancel roles and they’ve always got 5 other recruiters working the same role
  5. This role is a $150K investment and they won’t even meet with me to talk about their business or the role in detail
  6. Every time I send a candidate they’re “already on our database” or another agency has just sent them 5 minutes before me
  7. They’ve been looking for months but won’t budge on the spec or increase their budget
  8. They don’t give me any feedback on candidates I send them
  9. There’s no customer loyalty and they always step outside the PSA
  10. I’m sick of ridiculously low PSA rates

And the sad thing here is the true victim of this lack of accountability and partnership – the rather important people – the TALENT!

What’s to be done

It’s tempting to work through each of these issues one by one and talk about solutions but we’d be treating the symptoms, not the core problems.

It seems to me that most problems stem from the bounty hunter style pricing model prevalent in the market where the fee is contingent upon success. With this model the customer has nothing to lose by being non-committal and farming the role out to multiple recruiters.

To draw an analogy, this model is like giving your tax return to 5 accountants and telling them that you’ll only pay whoever gets you the quickest result. If you did that, what kind of result would you get? I bet any accountant worth their salt would turn it down instantly and if you were lucky enough to get a few to agree how would they approach the assignment? They’d rush it, they’d probably cut corners so they don’t invest too much time in case they don’t get paid. Just like you, they’d be hedging their bets.

So when we do the same thing in recruitment a few important things happen. Because we’re dealing with a number of recruiters this soaks up so much time that it’s too much effort to do a proper job brief. In fact it’s too much effort to call everyone back or respond to the CVs they’ve sent. We haven’t spent any money so it’s no skin off our nose, right? Then the follow-up calls start and we get fed up pretty quickly.

The recruiters know how the game works so they’ll make a call on where your role should sit in their priority list. Most good recruiters will successfully place between 25% to 50% of the roles they work. That means they spend their own time and money on 10 jobs but only get paid for 2.5 to 5 of them (sometimes none).

So recruiters usually look at their jobs and think “what can I definitely place?”. This is where the bulk of their time will (should!) be spent. If you’re not a top priority because you don’t return calls or you have too many recruiters working your role, or your fee is too low, or you’ve been looking for ages and you’re not paying enough money… then guess what, you get a half-hearted effort.

More importantly we’re motivating recruiters based on speed, so it’s in their best interests to try to get the best return from the least amount of effort. This encourages what we call a flick and stick, or spray and pray approach. Basically, this means playing the numbers and throwing as many CVs out to as many customers as possible knowing that the law of averages means that something will stick. The scary thing is, this is so entrenched that Recruiter’s KPIs are actually measured and rewarded based on these numbers! I hasten to add not at 33 Talent for this very reason (check out our ROWE article for more info)


There is a better way!

I think the solution is to throw out the contingent fee model. Instead, work with one recruiter and pay them a portion of their fee upfront. This commits both parties to getting a quality result and puts your job firmly at the top of the priority list. It means that the recruiter doesn’t have to cut corners to get you a CV before someone else snags the fee. It means recruiters can afford to take on half the number of jobs because they know they’ll get paid for all of them. It means candidates aren’t getting calls from 5 different recruiters and don’t start thinking “jeez these guys (Client X) must be desperate!”. It also usually means you’ll be able to negotiate a discount because you’ve removed some of the recruiter’s risk.

Is this risky for you? Yes it probably is, but in the context of all your recruiting over a number of years, doesn’t it make good business sense to spend time up front picking a good recruiter with good references and a strong track record? Then build a strong, exclusive relationship with them until you get to the point that they know your business better than most of your staff. If they let you down, find another agency. You might have the odd false start but over time you will get much better results and you will absolutely save money.

A common misconception

I once had a customer say “But I’m buying a product, if I like what’s on your shelf then I’ll pay, if I don’t then I won’t”. Sorry, but candidates are most definitely not sitting on a shelf waiting for your call! You’re not buying a product, you’re buying a service. You’re paying for someone to go out to market and represent your business. You’re paying for someone to search high and low, ask for referrals, network extensively and generally do whatever it takes to find you the perfect person.

Having said that, the best recruiters invest heavily in their network so they will often be able to recommend someone they’ve already met. But it’s important to recognise, you’re still paying for a service. You’re paying for someone to successfully broker and secure a long term relationship on your behalf that you can then benefit from quickly. Just because they are in the recruiters network when you ask doesn’t mean a huge amount of time (usually years) of effort hasn’t gone into making that the case

Final thoughts

If you spent $150K (on say a piece of Software) in your business, would you spend a lot of time with a vendor to make sure they really understood what you wanted? You bet! Why is a $150K candidate any different? It’s a big investment and very expensive if you get it wrong so it pays to invest the time with quality partners to make sure you get it right.

At 33 Talent we have built a new suite of models that make this transition easier for clients. One of them, for example, only requires a small proportion up front and then a reduced success fee at the other end which isn’t payable if the Talent comes from an ad as opposed to Search & Networks.  This reduces waste and risk on both sides for a win win.

There is an element of Trust required still sure, but there is in any meaningful relationship in life! Whatever your solution, Clients and Recruiters need to start partnering more and at a deeper level to make sure the ever growing disconnects that also effect the Talent (And therefore Employment Brands) start to be bridged and turned around.

If you want to discuss any of the solutions and ideation around how to make recruitment better for all concerned, please contact us at or +61 (0)2 9283 6004.

Why I Love Recruiting

Why I love Recruiting

Recruiting is so often misunderstood and misinterpreted and is incredibly hard to do well. Friends, family and past co-workers have often asked me; Why do you still do it?

Well thanks to a spur on by RecruitingBlogs I have finally put it down in words, Why I Love Recruiting. Its important to share what’s to love about our job with all the negativity around, so I hope this inspires some people and demonstrates to others why it can be a great profession to be in and stick at…

Two words: ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘BUSINESS’.

PEOPLE: There is nothing that fascinates me more, never has been, never will be. My job, especially as I’m also a business leader, is 100% about people. My clients are people, my talent are people, my employees are people and my services and solutions are all people focussed.

People are intriguing, frustrating, passionate, annoying, fun, boring, clever, dumb, irrational, rational, strong, weak, single minded, pliable, emotional, passive, dominant, detailed, sloppy, fearful, fearless, intuitive, blind (not in seeing sense), knowledgeable, well read, narrow minded, interesting, aggressive, friendly, desperate, cynical, angry, happy, caring, selfish…and the list goes on.

I am responsible and accountable for making sure that within this mix I introduce the right people to each other, keep them interested as they ‘date’, manage all the delicacies of their individualisms and the process they go through and then make sure they are happy thereafter. Now to do that well is a challenge. It’s varied. It’s a journey and it has its ups and downs, highs and lows. No other job I can think of would deal with people in such a concentrated way.

BUSINESS: Other than People, here is nothing that interests me more than Business. I get to see and listen to businesses and the people that make them every day. I get to learn about what works, what doesn’t, what’s new, what’s old, issues, solutions and everything in between. I get to see them grow and develop and become all they can become. I’m privy to insights and inside thoughts from the grad to the CEO.

I am responsible for listening so I truly understand them and the people in them. I then get to introduce people into them and watch them all grow and benefit from this introduction.

Both the above can be thankless, painful, political and difficult tasks but it is satisfying in ways I cannot begin to describe (you really have to live it to understand) when it all works.

I love recruitment because I love people and their differences, and businesses and their challenges.

I love recruitment because it pays me to be involved with people in one of the most important aspects of their lives, their careers and their businesses. I get paid to do what I love. Corny, maybe, conveniently truthful – absolutely!

Do what you love. When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.
Uri Geller

I’ve just started a new job but don’t get on with my boss, should I quit?

Of course most people have met with their future boss during the interview process so presumably there has been some cohesion between the two of you at some point before accepting the role. Not getting on with someone can be based on a complex variety of many things. Do you disagree with their professional decisions? Or is their management style not to your liking? Is their personality in the work environment a clash?

If it’s a personality based factor I would certainly try and put this to the back of your mind and push on. Most people have redeeming features once you look for them, and if you get on with other people in the office then you can look to fulfil your friendships through other avenues, as long as you’re feeling challenged in all the right ways with your work.

Style and all that it encompasses is trickier, but still one that you can address quite easily by planning the ‘style conversation’.

There are four principle areas to address here.

One is your boss’ personal style. Diagnose it quickly – if you’ve sent an email to your boss on an urgent matter but then land in trouble for not giving the heads up, guess what, don’t rely on email in getting your messages across to your boss. If they are micromanaging and that suffocates you, focus on communication methods i.e. update periods and address it through that.

Secondly, scope out what’s best described as your ‘permission boundaries’. What decisions can you freely make and which need prior communication or even permission? Start small to avoid friction but then quickly build up as the relationship and trust grows.

Thirdly ‘adapt’ – this is the hardest but worth it in the end. Take complete responsibility for the relationship and adapt to their style. If the boss hates deskchats don’t pop by for them. If he/she hates mobiles ringing away, put it on silent. It’s minor stuff that can often build up on all sides and trust me, we all have irritating habits.

Finally address the difficult issues. If there are issues that are leading to real friction and misunderstandings that can lead to further bad judgements on ability or reduced respect, front them. You should find an ally or advisor your boss trusts to help with this if you cannot do it yourself. Also, do not try to address it all in one conversation but use the information you have to address those causing you the most annoyance.

My advice is to start your new role by devising a 90 day plan. Set out all the above before hand and include it as part of a strategy to make relationship, operational and business wins.

Focus your conversations on results. It removes all noise, has commitments from both parties and is not subjective. Let your boss know that you’re serious about making this role a real success and believe in the importance of getting the partnership right between the two of you. Don’t forget that you’re new and they could still be testing the water and finding out how to manage you. They will probably appreciate some feedback on that. Remember, this is a relationship and as such needs to work both ways.

Most offices need all different types of people, so it’s not unusual to find successful working partnerships based on complementary skills, but differing styles or personalities.

In most cases you have been through several interviews before you and they have decided to move forward with a job offer. Whilst finding out that a new boss isn’t going to be a good friend or giving constructive feedback on management styles might not have been what you were expecting, your main focus should be on all the professional challenges work sets you. If you can find a way to collaborate with your new boss you’ll probably find that you’re capable of achieving all the ambitions you set yourself when accepting it as well as adding another string to your bow along the way.

To view the original article please click here.

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