Shipping & Freight Jobs

Poaching your staff

Let’s face it, the recruitment industry has a bad name. You only need to go on LinkedIn and within a scroll or two, there are posts slating recruiters for one reason or the other. Some fair, and some not.

I get it – I know many recruitment agencies operate a highly competitive sales environment, heavily based on KPIs & sales calls targets. Many of the recruitment consultants in these agencies are young graduates trying to make as much commission as possible in 12 months before they go travelling the world, so do not care about the company they are recruiting for or the candidates they are placing. They just want to get a bum on a seat for at lest 3 months and cash their commission cheque (okay, no one uses cheques anymore, but you get what I’m saying).

So, to get a bum on a seat, what do they do? The answer simply, anything and everything they can. This will include and not limited to, looking at your staff list on the meet the team or contact us page on your website, going on LinkedIn to get names of your employees & even more devious tactics I’m sure. They will then contact them albeit via LinkedIn, social media or even call your office and ask to be put through to them, pretending they are chasing a delivery!

Once they’ve got your member of staff onboard & tell them how they could be earning much more money and they have been personally asked to headhunt only them by the company as they’ve heard great things and all the other bullshit – they go to work and place that person with a competitor of yours.

Then, not only that – they know you are going to be replacing them, so guess what you get a well-timed sales call or email, with a perfect replacement candidate – what timing!

Result, double bubble for the consultant and recruitment tactics that tarnish the recruitment industry even more. The end result, we find even more hiring managers not being able to fully trust us because we are guilty by association.

So, in this blog I wanted to explain a little more about how we work. Firstly, we are not and never have been head-hunters, nor will we ever be. There is certainly a place for head-hunters and they do a remarkable job when done right. If your company needs a new CEO or Managing Director, the candidates at the top of their game are not going to be applying to adverts, so this is when a well networked and pro-active head-hunter’s skills come in to play and they can justify their very high fees.

So SDW? All our candidates come from our job adverts, marketing & word of mouth / recommendations. All of the candidates that we work with make contact with us first, we do not approach them. There is no underhand tactics to get them to engage with us. Hopefully the logistics industry knows we are here, what we do and how good we are at it, so that when they find themselves looking for a new job, for whatever reason that maybe, they will contact SDW.

Plus of course we utilise all the leading job boards, so we have alerts sent to us on all new candidates that have registered with them and we get sent their CVs. Plus, we can search their databases for newly registered candidates. To get to this point a job seeker would have needed to updated their CV, register with that job board & be actively applying for jobs on that particular site – so fully motivated to find a new role.

Sometimes, even at this point it can prove very awkward for us. We could have originally placed the candidate a couple of years back, or we could be working with their manager recruiting for another role. At this point we are very often trying to address their reason for leaving and encouraging them to discuss this with their manager to see if any particular issues can be resolved.

It is certainly not in our interest to place a candidate whose motivation is just to earn more money, so when we place them with a client where they have secured a £2K increase, they hand their notice in, only to receive a counter offer of an extra £2.5K and end up staying. When we place candidates, we like to feel we are truly changing their lives by helping them advance their careers.

However, we are a business and our job is to place candidates in new roles. We just do it in an honest & transparent way. I fully understand how it can leave a bitter taste if we have placed a member of your staff with another company, and then you have to come to us to recruit a replacement – I really do get it. But be assured that the candidate we have placed came to us, with no encouragement or contact from us, apart from our general marketing to all on social media & various platforms, plus of course our job board database access.

Plus, please do understand if at this point we do not work with them & place them, one of our competitors will – many of whom operate at I’ve stated above.

I’ve mentioned in the past (many times I know!), none of the guys here are from a recruitment background and there is certainly no heavy sales or call targets. The team at SDW are rewarded by doing a good ethical job and for ensuring that both our clients and candidates are happy. We would never jeopardise a relationship with either, for a quick placement or financial gain.

So, in summary, when you work with SDW you are working with a specialist recruiter to the shipping & logistics industry who is ethical, transparent & honest. Whose business model is based on the opposite that is not quire right within the recruitment industry.

Plus beware, it’s not just recruiters trying to poach your staff – I have had a couple of conversations this year already with clients who have advised that a couple of freight forwarders have took it upon themselves to look up their employees on LinkedIn or Facebook and approaching them & enticing them away – naughty.

All the best,

Steve Wyeth – Director & Founder of SDW