You may think having your staff tapped up by recruitment consultants is annoying but it’s actually doing the industry a lot of good

Kane Wagstaff

It usually starts with an excessively assertive or over friendly introduction followed by the infamous line “is it a convenient time to talk”. This might just be the most frequently asked question reverberating across the London consultancy market right now. Unfortunately the line isn’t usually being delivered by a courteous client or project partner but from a clandestine source - the marmite of our industry - the recruitment consultant.

I used to worry about it and its effect on my staff but my stance has mellowed significantly over recent years. Mobiles, emails, messaging and social media have blown the doors wide open so any efforts to control unwelcome courting of staff is futile. Indeed there should be no need to worry if you are doing a good job as a manager and valuing and nurturing your people appropriately.

Recruitment consultants are forcing the market to value its key assets (its people) in a more refined manner

Admittedly the attention can at times be a distraction but in all honesty it’s a drop in the ocean compared with the instant digital dialogue that occurs between friends, family and interest groups throughout a typical working day. I’m not even going to go into the dating side of things (the singletons in the team have discovered something called Tinder - enough said!)

In truth you should probably be worried if your staff aren’t getting tapped up as it suggests they aren’t well regarded in the market or have zero profile. The same applies to you and I.

For all their bad press, recruitment consultants are actually forcing the market to value its key assets (its people) in a more refined manner - pay bands are dead and meritocracy rules.

As my wife often reminds me “it’s good to be kept on your toes”.

Kane Wagstaff is head of cost management at Jones Lang LaSalle