Gishan Abeyratne

"Building" your career

How difficult is it to find a good, reliable, and trustworthy builder?

For several months now, my partner and I have been looking for someone to replace our conservatory roof. By all accounts it’s not a big job, just 5 sheets of polycarbonate to be fitted and then lead flashed. According to a friend of mine who is in the trade, it’s a two-day job at worst. Unfortunately, he is unavailable for the job otherwise the following melodramatic rant would be entirely pointless save for the comparison it allows.

By way of background, Natasha bought the house in November 2020 and I moved in over the summer. Since buying the house, Natasha has been renovating it herself and has done an amazing job, with some help from me since February of this year. At this point it is worth noting that I am not in the least bit helpful when it comes to DIY, I consider changing a lightbulb an achievement. I recently put up some shelves and I was genuinely disappointed that I didn’t get a medal for my efforts. Natasha and her family however are experienced in home improvements so I’m not that much of a hinderance; the only limitations seem to be roofing which neither of us have any experience or confidence in. This is not an issue for me, I would rather pay someone else to do the job anyway, but the chance to do so is proving near impossible.

We have had three quotes so far, ranging from very affordable and suspiciously cheap to astronomical and might as well just buy another house. However, every time we respond and ask for them to confirm a start date, we are met with radio silence. Honestly, I am close to binging YouTube videos on how to do it and then just hoping I don’t somehow set anything on fire – I have experience here, having accidentally set myself on fire on more than one occasion (a story for another day…).

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, it got me thinking about the question; how difficult is it to find a good, reliable, and trustworthy recruiter?

I’ve been a legal recruiter for the better part of nine years now. I’ve worked with 1000+ lawyers from all over the UK and from all over the world in that time, assisting people move to single office regional firms and to major internationals from all sorts of backgrounds. I believe the most important lesson I have learned throughout my career is that no two candidates are the same, and equally no two recruiters are the same, but ultimately we all have the same goal – to ensure that you make the right move that will take your career in an upward trajectory and effectively bring you (the candidate) greater satisfaction.

I often speak to candidates at the mid-point of their job search, when they have explored options either directly or through other recruiters, and in these scenarios the most common problem we come across is a lack of communication. The candidates are left in a position where they have made applications, but they don’t know the outcome of those applications, as much as several weeks later. This is frustrating, and it also leaves the candidate in a state of relative unknown.

I’m fairly confident that every contractor I have contacted about my conservatory roof has no interest in taking on the job, but I want to know for sure so I am not wasting my time and that I can direct my efforts elsewhere.

One could assume after several weeks without news that the outcome of the application is not positive, but why assume when you could know for sure? All it takes is a simple phone call or an email, one way or another, and then everyone knows what they’re dealing with.

Effective communication is a fundamental element of conducting respectful and mutually beneficial professional relationships. As a recruiter I cannot promise you that the job you want is available, but I can promise that I will keep you fully informed throughout the process, whether it’s good news or bad, I won’t leave you wondering.

I only wish the community of roofing specialists in Birmingham would take the same approach.

For quality recruitment advice call or email me - for everythign else building-wise, best to leave me out - gishan@thinklegalrecruitment.com

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