10 things you can do today to become a better Recruiter for your company

I have been in recruiting for 30 years and hope a few suggestions can make your life easier.  Think about this:  Do your hiring managers run screaming when they see you coming? Do they pray for death each time you drop another 50 or 60 resumes on their desk? Does the team you support break down into deep shuddering sobs each time you have been chosen to fill their openings?  Does this sound like your life in corporate America? If not, you must be doing something right. But for those of you struggling, I have a few tips which I think can help.

  1. Be absolutely sure you really understand the hiring priorities of the organization you represent. Do this by asking the hiring manager the following question, using these exact words: “What are your current priorities in terms of filling these positions?” Take notes and repeat back to the hiring manager what you think was said. Then race forward and put resources into trying to fill the highest priority positions first, the less important positions second, and the least important positions last. (Beware of the hiring manager who says they are all top priority. That may be true, but some positions are always more important than others, so press for clear priorities.)
  2. Present fewer candidates on open requisitions, and be certain the ones you do present are magnificent candidates who clearly fit the position profile. Sadly, most hiring managers think that more resumes are indicative of something good. That’s flawed thinking. It can only be rectified by presenting a select number of the very best candidates. Throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping that some sticks is not good recruiting and does nothing for your credibility within the organization. But by presenting fewer but better candidates, you will impress your manager with a great hire and that’s far more effective than dropping twenty resumes a day on their desks for them to review. Remember, in the case of resumes, less is more.
  3. Work with the powers-that-be to create a highly visible, creative, easy-to-understand employee referral program. Be sure that your employee referral program rewards not just hires, but all activities that lead to a hire, such as presenting resumes.
  4. Be sure that you support, foster, and champion the notion that hiring managers always hire the best person for the job. Talent is omnipotent, and hiring the best candidate is a rule that should never be compromised – not for the boss’ daughter, someone’s brother-in-law.
  5. Build relationships and get close to the people you recruit for. Learn what it is that hiring managers are really looking for in new employees. Position profiles and core competencies are a good start, but they are only the beginning. There is so much more. How many times have you had the “perfect” candidate rejected? It can be quite debilitating: you found the candidate you were instructed to find and that person was rejected. But talk with the team. Review their notes and their assessment of the candidate and look for areas you might have missed. If there is no solid reasoning behind the rejection, it’s time to meet with that hiring manager behind closed doors and see what they really want.  You will be respected for this action, and you will begin to understand what the agenda really is all about.
  6. Develop metrics to measure success and failure in different recruiting methodologies. Never worry about failures! The very act of identifying and eliminating them alone is a major success. Measure such things as source of hire, cost of acquisition, time to fill or anything else that might be important to your organization. Even if this is new to you, begin to track the numbers monthly and a pattern will emerge. Put more resources into what works and eliminate what does not. Simple as it sounds, this is a best practice. And employing best practices is a good thing.
  7. Be aggressive in identifying, attracting, and hiring the best candidates for your organization. Passive recruiting does not get the job done. Using only advertising (tons of resumes), job boards (lots of work with questionable ROI), or Internet postings (tons of resumes again) will probably not get you to the head of the class. Recruiting is a “take no prisoners” occupation. Don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers or step on some toes. You are there to bring in the best, and that can be a bit messy at times. You will be remembered and recognized by the hires for which you were responsible, so do what you can to make them great.
  8. Recruiting Agencies can be your friend.  Recruiting Agencies are there to make you look good. Most companies have a recruiting budget and there may be times to consider using an agency to fill urgent positions, or source someone in a geographically tough market.  Agencies can source people that will not be in your talent pool and finding the Top Talent is critical – not just the best of the talent you can find.  Recruitment companies generally specialize in sourcing candidates not found on the internet.  They can actually call your competitors and talk to someone doing the exact job you are trying to fill and present your opportunity.  There is always a replacement guarantee which helps if the manager makes the wrong hiring decision.  Recruiting agencies can be very cost effective as you only pay for results – not efforts.  Contingency agencies only charge a fee if you hire somebody from them and if they don’t work out they find another person for free.Patrice & Associates Recruiting Specialists
  9. Grow your influence throughout your organization. The primary source of power for recruiters within the organization comes through influence. Many recruiters see this circumstance as unfavorable, but it is actually quite good! Anyone can tell a subordinate what to do. Most times, if the subordinate is not on board with the directive, he will not carry it out in the first place. However, if you can form relationships with key managers and become a trusted advisor to them, you can work together to identify and attract the very best talent out there and be as instrumental in building a great organization as any other person who is employed by the company. I think that’s a good deal of power. Besides, being part of building a great organization is a very solid accomplishment.
  10. Manage the candidate care aspect of the interviewing process. Everything from the first contact and the correct greeting to a time for lunch and a warm goodbye is critical to how candidates will remember their experience visiting your organization. Be fully prepared for each interview, and treat every candidate with courtesy, respect and good manners. Lead by example, and coach others in this most important undertaking

There are many other things you can do to make yourself a better recruiter who is more valuable to the organization you represent.  It’s important to remember staffing is the #1 problem of most companies in today’s rate of low unemployment.  Your job is critical and you should use every resource available to be successful.

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