Home Magazine Article What To Consider When Hiring Recruiters

What To Consider When Hiring Recruiters

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I recently got a call from a company CEO whom I’d been reaching out to for over a year. We’d never done business together, but every so often I would reach out to offer my services, inform him of a special candidate or just check in to see how his business was coming along. Initially he would abruptly shut me down. “No thanks Rick. I’m well networked and I don’t pay fees or use recruiters.” Eventually our brief conversations became a tad more civil, but the results were the same.
Anyway, this time he called to retain me for a search. Once we got through with the particulars I asked what brought about the change of heart. He told me he was tired of poring over the dozens of unqualified resumes clogging up his inbox and that after nearly two months he wasn’t even close to finding a suitable hire.
1. Recruiters find the best “recruitable” candidates – not merely the “best available”. The difference between the two can be monumental. Recruitable candidates aren’t looking for work. They’re already in a similar role – possibly working for your closest competitor – and quite happy there. They won’t apply to job postings. They don’t have resumes posted on job boards. Is your hiring manager one who can 1) find these people, 2) call into your competitor and get them on the phone, and 3) sell them on the reasons they should walk away from a good thing for the relative uncertainty of a position with you? And by the way, the hiring manager still needs to do his or her job, so all the time and energy it takes to reach out to these people needs to be fit in to their already jam-packed is day.
2. Recruiters shorten the search process considerably. Yes, recruiters charge fees for their services (so do you, so get used to it), but how expensive is it for that position to be vacant? What critical aspect of your business is not getting done – or getting done incorrectly – every day the process drags on? There have been countless studies on this, and the general consensus is that in profitable companies an employee can generate 3 to 5 times their annual salary in value. So if you leave a $70,000 position open for just one additional month, that is $18,000 to $30,000 the company will never see again.
3. Recruiters are seen as trusted advisors and thus are less apt to lose the best candidates. Candidates open up to recruiters much more so than they do to hiring managers, and this creates a dialogue and sense of trust that tends to run much deeper. Since there’s generally only one “best” candidate for the position in question, who would you rather have brokering that deal – an inexperienced manager or someone who does this multiple times per day?
4. Recruiters are specialists – not generalists. Would you ask your family practice physician to perform heart surgery on you? Of course not! So why would you entrust a generalist to recruit key specialist roles in your company? I was recently working with a very large manufacturing firm, where the corporate policy necessitated I work through the Human Resources department. The individual I was working with had 73 positions he was looking to find – mostly on his own. Many of these positions had been vacant for several weeks and some even longer. He was working on everything from executive level finance to administration to business development. This was an impossible task, and I can guarantee they were most certainly not saving time or money. ***By the way, I found them someone they hired, and that process took a mere 3 ½ week’s from the beginning of the search until that persons first day on the job. Not sure where they’re at with the other 72 vacancies.
5. Recruiters guarantee their work! Most recruiters work on contingency, which means you only pay for a positive result (i.e. a new employee). Who else does that? Doctors? Nope. Lawyers? Heck no. How about bankers? Or stockbrokers? Or car dealers? No, no and no. No other professional group guarantees their work, especially when they have such little control over what you do to ensure the success of their placement. Most candidates leave because they don’t like the company or the direct supervisor. The recruiter has little to no control over those two contributing factors, yet they still guarantee their work. This means if you hire someone through a recruiter and for some reason that person doesn’t work out in a reasonable time the recruiter will find you someone else for no additional fee! Guess what? If you find someone on your own and they don’t work out you need to start from scratch!
I could go on and on, but I won’t. You get the idea. Sure, there are positions and situations that don’t warrant paying a fee, but there are others that, quite frankly, shouldn’t be hired any other way. Think about this the next time you need to add or upgrade your team.
By the way, I was able to line up three strong candidates for my new client, and three weeks later (the candidate had to give adequate notice) he had a rock star new employee.

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