The two years I spent working at traditional recruiting firms was more than sufficient to expose me to some unfortunate experiences which trap both the employers and recruiters into a loop of confusion and frustration. Let me share an example.
Andrew is enlisting help from several recruiting firms as his company is looking to add key talent to the team. It has been a week since he received the first roster of executive search candidates from one of them, so he contacts that firm again for updates. Once he gets through, he hears that his company’s requirements are too challenging for the firm to find more candidates. He is asked to reconsider the names sent previously and make a decision from that list, even though they are not really the candidates Andrew’s company needs.
You can tell that firm is weighing the effort they must give to find Andrew the right executive search candidates against the fee they will get in return. After all, it takes a considerable amount of time and resources to search and develop a potential candidate before they can be presented to the company. The moment one of your recruiting firms decides that their gains are not worth the trouble of going beyond their (dated) database of candidates, you will likely hear the lines above about settling for the candidate already submitted. The frustration grows as you realize this fee-for-hire recruiting model does not incentivize finding the right person for your need.
Since many of us here at Reveal Global understand these “dirty little secrets” of traditional recruiting firms, I wanted to ask our leaders, including our CEO Marc Hutto, who has over 20 years of experience as a top talent finding corporate talent acquisition leader, what advice they would offer to a customer of a recruitment firm. Here are the key points I have to share with you:
Here are 5 recruitment tips and techniques you can combine to get those ever-desired passive candidates to respond to your outreach.
1) The Top Talent Candidates That You Want Are Actively Working
A poll conducted by LinkedIn asked 3,300 of its members if they are likely to see a job posting in an average year. A full 79% said they would never see the job posted. This means you are appealing to a number much smaller than the 21% remaining who might see your job posting.
And, if you are relying on traditional recruiting firms who “specializes” in a particular vertical, they are likely showing you candidates already submitted to other companies. So, you are now in competition over top talent candidates who represent a finite number of the people who are working in the targeted roles and not speaking to a traditional recruiting firm or watching for job postings. This can be particularly challenging for executive search roles.
The more specific skills a job requires, the more likely that these top talent people are in high demand, actively working for other companies, and with possibly decent incentives. That’s why your recruiting firms with their traditional sourcing and recruitment methods will not yield good results. Simply stated, “traditional methods” amounts to recruiters who work with people who have updated their resume recently and are open to hearing about new opportunities. As you understand the nature of the people you’re trying to recruit, it is only natural to conclude that you need a customized search strategy to reach your targets. You don’t need a recruiter, but rather a recruitment consultant.
2) Contingency Recruitment Emphasizes The Wrong Behaviors
For a moment, let’s consider a few key factors from a day-in-the-life of a traditional (fee-for-hire) recruiter. Their environment and culture are all about celebrating who billed the most during the past month, quarter, etc. The term “most placeable candidate” (MPC) is commonly used which almost productizes a human being.
Getting jobs filled and “butts in seats” are the focus.
What is NOT celebrated, rewarded, or recognized are the needs of the client’s business and whether that company will thrive as a result of the hire they just helped them to make. Also, not celebrated are the lives and livelihoods of the people hiring and being hired as a result of bringing these individuals together – and changing the course of one or more careers.
The relationships created are shallow and without consideration for the client company or the candidate’s values and culture.
With such inappropriate focal points, the recruiter is tempted to embellish the candidate’s credentials to the hiring manager and to embellish the opportunity to the candidate – just to make sure that fee is won. This climate also encourages what these firms refer to as “dry recruiting”. This means the recruiter approaches a candidate about an opportunity that does not exist just to get the candidate to update their resume so that they can market that person to companies that actually have a viable opening.
Again, all about the fees and how much you billed. There are many other tactics that give the entire recruitment industry a bad name such as “spray and pray”. Unsuspecting companies receive numerous resumes from a contingency recruiter in hopes that one will stick. At the same time, they have laid claim to the unsolicited resumes, praying that one of those individuals is hired and they can demand a fee.
Of course, the costs of all of this bad behavior to the client company are immense. The obvious implications here are the overall time involved, hiring someone who isn’t qualified for the role or a cultural fit – leading to a termination, the cost of replacing that person, and the worst impact is to the business operations.
Here’s the summary tip – if it feels transactional, a bit superficial, and like you need to keep your guard up, run away.
3) In a Fee-For-Hire System, Every Hiring Need Looks The Same
Let’s focus on two factors in these systems that sound good on the surface but, will bite you several times – “placement fee” and “specialized”.
You might think it sounds great to not pay anything until you hire someone but, that places all of the risk on the recruiting firms, and you will pay for that in fees that are excessive, the most readily-available candidates that the firm can get to you (versus the top talent in the market), and a hurry-up-and-hire sense of urgency which might lead to a failed hire. When a firm says they “specialize” in your industry or function, this sounds good since it seems they know your space as well as you do and all of the candidates you will want to interview. However, this also leads to that superficial and transactional feeling previously mentioned because it has to be all about keeping costs down for that firm.
Wouldn’t it be advantageous to have an expert recruitment consultant with a fresh perspective?
The very definition of customization is: “a modification made to something to suit a particular individual or task”. Just because those recruiting firms have helped numerous clients hire many engineers, accountants, whatever… doesn’t mean that their approach meets your needs. A fresh perspective means, let’s consider everything, start from the top, check under all of the rocks, make no assumptions, leveraging successful ideas for finding and engaging top talent in OTHER industries. We call this type of recruitment consultant, Purpose-Driven Recruitment™.
As an example of our specifically-tailored recruiting approach, there was a task where we had to hire more than 70 professionals in just three months. What sounds impossible was handled by using a strategically configured technology stack to smooth the recruitment process. You can check the full details of the case study at this link.
Another example is how we are currently assisting an executive search client entering new markets through an innovative strategy of unifying different vendors in the space. We use automated marketing approaches to campaign to these top talent candidates, which we develop further using customized microsite and professional videos.
Reveal Global answers the traditional contingency recruitment system with our Purpose-Driven Recruitment™ model. We pride ourselves on being a helpful talent acquisition and recruitment consultant partner in addition to a recruiting service provider. As we continuously learn about what hiring initiatives need these days, we use cutting-edge technology and build best practices to better assist our clients. We are also open to sharing the tricks and techniques. This is how we take our core value of trust and put it into action for the good of our clients.
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