Staffing in the New
Economy is a costly proposition. To complicate matters more, recruiter
wanna-be’s and 3rd party hiring resources barrage many of us each
day. Making the right choices for your organization may mean sink
or success over time. Whether you hire a contract recruiter full-time
or use agencies “on contingency,” there are advantages and disadvantages.
If your organization
is in a high growth mode that you anticipate will last for six
months to a year, and you have little or no recruiting staff—get
yourself a dedicated recruiter. If you only have a few highly
specialized difficult-to-fill positions (i.e., very technical
or single one-of-a-kind requirements) go with a few carefully
selected contingency firms. When you get to the VP or “C-level”
jobs look for a well-respected retained search firm in your industry.
ways to get the most (support-wise and $-wise) from the first
Expensive On-Site Recruiters
My cohorts may hate me for telling
you this, but I firmly believe contract recruiters should work
on-site at least four days a week. To be truly effective they
must be physically located with their client group, NOT with human
resources. They should be given a space where they can talk openly
and freely about salaries, stock, the company, and potentially
other sensitive matters without disturbing surrounding workers
or creating potential internal equity issues.
They should provide you a full-range
of services, not just pulling resumes off job boards. This means
sourcing, screening (phone screening notes should accompany the
resume being sent to the hiring manager) interviewing, negotiating,
and closing the candidate. Sounds like a full sales cycle? It
is! If you get a good recruiter, their evaluation of the candidate’s
fit in the organization will be invaluable. When selecting a recruiter,
ask them to give examples of their behavioral interviewing techniques
and how they assess the technical skills and abilities of a candidate.
If they can’t articulate this, don’t hire them.
A huge advantage of on-site recruiters
is their ability to get to know upper management’s philosophy,
the corporate culture, and to have the opportunity to interact
daily with line managers. Be sure to make them part of the post
interview evaluation process and include them in staff meetings
if appropriate. Only in this way can they experience the team
interactions and better assess a potential candidate’s fit for
the environment and future success in the organization.
Make your recruiter more efficient
by giving them the tools they need to do the job: laptop (most
recruiters are workaholics and this ensures a “have-work, will-travel”
mentality), access to job boards and research, employee referral
programs, job fairs, etc.
But be careful. Don’t waste your
recruiting dollars having an expensive contractor setting up interviews,
attending unnecessary meetings, cranking out offer paperwork,
or standing at the copy machine. Hire a temp if you need to!
are extremely important in today’s marketplace. When selecting
a recruiter, ask for a story about their greatest close and one
about a special candidate they sourced. Make sure you give your
recruiters the recruiting ammo they need such as salary information,
stock incentive plans, insights into your competitors, why you
are better, and your organization’s long-term goals.
have a huge advantage in closing a candidate—particularly if they
are doing face-to-face interviews. Having an on-site full time
recruiter with high energy and dedication to your cause—one who
believes in what the company’s goals and vision are—can be an
People from these groups plague
everyone who hires people these days. If you are not careful,
you will find yourself with a three-page list of agency contracts,
endless phone calls, and a daily flood of useless email. My advice:
pick four to six good agencies and work closely with them. You
can identify those that are good by asking others who have tried
finding people in similar positions or try using them for a single
position. You may want to work with those that specialize in certain
areas: marketing, sales, accounting, or a specific technical area.
You may also look for those who specialize in your industry: health,
telecom, software, or others. Make sure you develop a good relationship
with the ones that produce. Tell other agencies that contact you
that you are not signing any new contracts, but will keep their
information on hand should the ones you are working with not be
of service. Heaven forbid you should piss one off and they make
it their goal in life to recruit YOUR employees away.
Here are some hints to make
your agencies add more value:
Make sure agency recruiters follow your policies
and procedures. Companies operate differently so don’t expect
them to know your policies.
Let agency recruiters know how you expect them
to work with you: for instance, “only email” or if calls are acceptable,
only a certain number a week.
Have them sign YOUR agreement not theirs; make
NO exceptions. These agreements should be standard, approved by
your attorney. Believe me your life will be easier.
All resumes should go through either your Human
Resources department or to the recruiter designated for the client
group the candidate is being presented for. No calls to hiring
Keep your website updated and steer the agency
to it for job openings instead of spending your valuable time
going over the requirements on the phone.
The agency should provide a full phone screening.
Make it clear what you expect. You should only see candidates
ready to move, NOT just resumes. By this I mean the agency should
have contacted the candidate, told them about the company, assured
the candidate is interested and available, gotten current and
expected salary information, and done a pre-screening against
the job requirements for skill match and for fit for the organization.
the candidate has been presented, YOU own their information not
the agency. Take the ball and run. Interviewing, reference checking,
negotiating, closing should all be done by your on-site staff
Let’s face it; no one recruiter
has access to all resumes no matter how many sources they have
or know how to use. But before you dismiss them altogether understand
that some agencies really do have an “in” with specific companies
and industries as well as have very strong databases of their
own. Many agencies are very hard working, successful, and can
be quite an asset. I personally advocate a combination of on-site
recruiters and agencies.
Sourcers: The New-Age Internet
If you have many internal resources
and are building up or subscribing to job boards, contact lists,
attendee lists, paper resumes from job fairs, or faxes no one
is looking at, consider getting a “sourcer,” especially in lieu
of hiring another recruiter. If good, they can do magic. Find
one with AIRS
training, if possible. They can free up your recruiter to do the
real sales side of the job and take full advantage of the money
you are already spending on these resources. Sourcers are the
factory worker of the future; their ability to “people-mine” is
The recruiting and staffing process
is a constantly changing and evolving occupation. There are many
choices of how to approach it and ideas on what works and what
doesn’t. One sure bet is that it is and must remain a well-oiled,
continuously moving machine. I hope I have given you some insight
on how to feed your recruiting monster!
has over 20 years experience in staffing, recruiting, and human
resource management. She has a significant record of accomplishment
recruiting in high-growth industries, managing entire staffing
processes, lowering cost-per-hire and strategic planning for long-term
staffing needs. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Editor
by way of disclosure: Young is responsible for bringing together
LiNE Zine’s Editor in Chief, who she worked with at PeopleSoft,
and LiNE Zine’s Webmaster. We are personally thankful for her
introduction and guidance in recruiting matters over the year.
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