The opportunity for an employer to engage direct with an enormous range of potential hires is more prevalent than at any other time. Social media has changed the rules of the game. So why engage a recruiter?
When I first started out in recruitment (here we go I hear you say, it’s going to be one of those “back in the day”stories) we pursued candidate exclusivity as if our lives depended on it. The only thing to differentiate us was the quality of candidate we represented. It was our only asset. We were better than the competition for one reason and one reason only, we had better candidates.
Candidate exclusivity is impossible today. We might like to think it’s not. Lets be honest with ourselves. If a candidate gets an email from a job site they have subscribed to with a job being handled by another recruiter, they love the look of it and apply, who are we to think we can stop that. Frankly it is right that we are unable to. As the employer you are not missing out instructing only one recruiter.
So how do you differentiate as the employer? Recruiters will all claim to do it better, faster and with greater reach, that they have access to the widest database of possible candidates. That argument falls flat in 2010. We all have access to the widest range of possible candidates, it’s called the world-wide web. They are out there on Linkedin and Facebook. The best way to differentiate a recruiter is on the strength and reach of their network. You can see it for yourself. The value to you of that recruiter is in their ability to manage that network, to cut through the noise that is the world-wide web and to deliver to you the talent you need to realise your business plan.
Pick a recruiter who is more interested in listening than speaking, whom you can trust (accepting that is something that must be earned, give the recruiter chance to earn it). The Recruiter is the first point of call to a prospective candidate and therefore is representative of your employer brand. Brief them fully and extensively. Treat them as if they were one of your own employees. Invite them in to your business, show them around, introduce them to key people, show them where the job is based, who the candidate will be working with. Don’t just send a job description and person specification out to a list of recruiters in your contact directory. Recruitment is personal, it is not a transaction. Don’t treat it as such. Invest in it, give of your time if you want great results.
Briefing multi – agencies is a bad idea for all. A candidate will go to at least 2 or 3 agencies. We all have access to the same pool of candidates. Pick one recruiter, brief them fully, give them the time to do their job and make sure they do it. If they don’t, clearly you have a choice. However the minute you make recruitment a multi agency scenario you remove the focus on quality from the process and make speed of delivery the key driver for the recruiter. This is a false economy. You are opening yourself up to an inbox deluge that will keep you busy for days. The recruiters wont be doing the pre – screening, you will.
Recruiters are competitive by nature and under pressure to get results. Nobody wants to miss out. So rather than being rigorous in selection the opposite occurs. They don’t want to risk leaving a candidate out based on their judgement for fear that a competitor will put them in, resulting in inbox deluge. You are left with the impression that there is little accountability and responsibility amongst recruiters. You are right, but you created the game that is being played out. Fear is driving he outcome, not quality.
Pick a partner, someone who takes in interest in your business. Pick someone who has researched your company, taken the time trouble and effort to understand your business, your people, your culture, values, products and services and vision for the future. Pick someone you feel you can trust, trust them and let them get on with the job. Reward them handsomely if they deliver. Sure be commercial, but you get what you pay for. Why wouldn’t you reward a recruiter well if they continue to provide the talent you need to succeed in your business? It shouldn’t be about price. Talent is not a commodity.
We all have a basic need to be loved. Recruiters are no different. We want to earn your love, we want to please, to meet your expectations. We know we have to earn the right. Give us the chance to earn and you will reap the rewards.