Recruiters are sometimes seen as selfish individuals with their eyes fixed firmly on potential commission payments and scant regard for the long-term welfare of their candidates.
Of course, you would expect me to refute this idea, and refute it I do, but, like it or not, we are here to provide a service to our clients and find the best candidates for our roles. This unfortunately sometimes means that there are always people out there whom we cannot always “help” as much as we would like.
This is a constant source of frustration and disappointment for our recruiters. As decent human beings, they would love to help everyone that they meet, but if they are not working on roles which are a suitable fit, other than offering some advice, there is not much that they can do.
This is the same for many jobs. There are aspects of the role that bring the satisfaction and the aspects of the role that bring in the money. Sometimes the two are related, but far from all the time.
This is why I am a firm believer in integrating volunteering into the workplace.
At LMA, we are currently working with the Economic Development Office of the City of London to set up a volunteering programme where all of our employees and Directors can spend a few (work) days every year giving back to people who truly need it. We are in the process of selecting the charities that we will be working with, but the idea is that we will work with the likes of underprivileged teenagers and the long-term unemployed to give them a leg up in their job search.
You could argue that it is not true volunteering as my team will be being paid their basic salaries for doing this, but it is still a sacrifice on their parts. A recruiter has to be 100% “on call” - a day out of the office means less potential to earn commission.
To their credit, they have all embraced the idea and are all hugely keen to start.
Volunteering has been proven to increase feelings of wellbeing and self-confidence. It adds a different dimension to someone’s identity and an extra sense of purpose in their lives. Using their skills and experience purely for the benefit of others is the ultimate way of paying it forward. Much as someone might buy a coffee for the next person who can’t afford it, I hope that my guys will be contributing to getting a few careers back on track.
When you are in a difficult place in life, sometimes a supportive hand around your shoulder is all you need.
As the owner of a business that exists to help people achieve their dreams, I am hugely excited about this initiative. There are so many people out there who have not had the opportunities of others. Hopefully, we can make that tiniest of differences in their lives. If it changes just one person’s future, it will be worth it.