"Recruitment is a cut throat industry" - misconception or reality?

There is a popular opinion of the recruitment sector as being cut-throat. Consultants who would sell their own mother for a fee, working for businesses that despise their competitors and would stop at nothing to get one over on the competition. They would then crow about it in the pub on Friday and on a proud testimonial on LinkedIn. Two things that I would immediately say back to this;

1 – This preconception is not one that is mirrored in other professional sectors. There is competition but it runs parallel to respect and ethics. Competitors will meet several times a year at institute events, networking and across social media

2 – Many recruitment consultants do display some of these behaviours, but it is becoming a dated misconception


Like every recruitment business, we have an aim to secure a pool of clients and candidates who respect us, value our work and have strong personal relationships. Unlike everyone, our first aim is to make sure nobody thinks badly of us and this includes other recruitment businesses.

Recruiting collaboratively with “competitors” has been a rewarding experience for us in the first five months of our business – we have benefitted from general business advice, candidate searches, referrals and building a brand. I was discussing how we work collaboratively yesterday with a client, a “competitor” and my colleagues and we thought that the concept would surprise most people, so we thought we would share some details;


  • There are 18 other recruitment businesses across Yorkshire and a further 15 across the UK who are our “competitor friends” – businesses we have been in regular contact with to mutually support each other
  • Our partners have supported on 7 searches lead by competitor friends to introduce potential candidates from our network to their assignments
  • We have invited support from our competitor friends on a number of our searches. We have just confirmed 5 interviews on one national search where we found 2, another firm suggested 2 and another firm the last 1.
  • At every possible opportunity we will share relevant adverts and LinkedIn posts from other recruiters, promoting their opportunities to our network
  • We will only work on assignments where we can deliver an excellent service and a positive result. We have successfully referred work in engineering. IT, international, legal and banking to other businesses. We do not benefit financially but we get the better prize – trust and respect from our clients.
  • A number of other recruitment businesses helped and advised us in setting up Pratap Partnership on many aspects from which CRM to use, banking, insurance, contracts to branding and long-term plans. I have been privileged to return this favour with 4 individuals already


Most recruiters go the extra mile when they are recommended by a third party and working collaboratively improves the standards across our industry. We work in a market that is very disparate at the moment and no one business has a dominant position in any sector. Healthy competition is good for everyone but it does not need to escalate to fierce rivalry!

We love what we do in our business. Recruitment is a strong and vibrant sector with some amazing people operating in it.

Standards, performance and perceptions will all improve where we all work together and we want to be the champions of that.


Nik Pratap,Managing Partner – 14th August 2019