I’ve been a little obsessed with eBay lately. I’ve been finding random things around the house to sell and exchanging my profits for fabulous shoes (those of you who met me at #CIPD14 may have realised my passion for heels, no matter how painful!). Whats not to like! One of our Directors is leaving. To cut a long story short I’ve been trying to find a nice new dress to wear to the leaving party. I finally found a designer dress on eBay that looked great. It was a dark blue number. I ordered it and was pleased when it arrived. I told my colleagues I had my outfit sorted. However, I had neglected to try it on. When I got round to that last, final, vital step, I discovered it was totally wrong. It should have been perfect. It was the right brand, the right size, the right colour. The seller had a 100% feedback rating. It was a nice enough dress but it just wasn’t “me” at all. It wasn’t special. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Plus I couldn’t send it back because it came from a private seller. Thankfully it was a pretty cheap resolution for me to just buy another dress, learn from it and move on. Not so with recruitment. Obviously a much more important (and much more expensive) decision than choosing something to wear, a yet lots of us are following something resembling the same process. We expect so much based on what is likely to be a highly embellished description. References are completed very factually and therefore minimally. No wonder we’re often disappointed. Headhunting has fallen out of favour, mainly due to concerns about equality and cost. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s much more expensive than buying a second outfit to put a recruitment mistake right. And equality? What about those hard working, talented employees who feel incredibly uncomfortable “selling” themselves via a CV or application form. The systems we have put in place are an administrative burden. They force non experts to take second rate information on face value in the name of fairness. There’s a lot to be said of the truly skilled headhunting specialist. They’re the Personal Shopper of the recruitment World. They’ll quickly find you something that fits your requirements perfectly. Who doesn’t want that?