Finding a recruitment partner to help you find top-notch employees gives you a number of benefits: saves time, protects your company’s privacy, gives you access to a better pool of candidates, and allows you to tap into a network of professionals who don’t use career sites or job boards.
Partnering with the right recruiting firm to match the needs of your organization is the first step in building a solid team to fuel a more productive and profitable business. Identifying and working with an experienced recruiter is the quickest way to find the best available talent in the market.
- choose a recruiter who has experience placing the kind of people you are interested in hiring
- understand that most recruiters work on a contingency basis
- be as clear as possible about the kind of professional you are looking for
- ask an experienced recruiter's opinion about a reasonable salary to offer a candidate based on his or her experience and background
- act with a sense of urgency and give feedback to the recruiter as you're interviewing the candidates
- adopt the attitude that the recruiter is trying to do something to you rather than for you
- think that a career website can do what a live recruiter can do
- dictate to a recruiter exactly how the process should go
- leave the recruiter out of the salary negotiation
When you contact a firm, ask to speak to their most experienced recruiter in your field or discipline. You will discover quickly which ones know what they're doing and which ones don't. A 22-year-old who started last week is less likely to be as effective as a more experienced recruiter.
Unless you need to pay a retainer – an amount of money paid to ensure commitment on the part of the recruiter – most firms charge 25-30 percent of the first year’s salary. They don't get paid unless they successfully find a candidate that you hire. Most contingency recruiters with 10 years or more experience can produce the same quality of candidate that a retained search firm can. And given that the fee is contingent on success, they are highly motivated.
Communicate the experience and background you require with as much detail as possible. Provide the basic, foundational needs and avoid demands that may not be necessary. For instance, don’t require a degree when the job doesn’t call for it. A candidate with a degree doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher caliber employee. While preferring a degree or an MBA might be wise, stick with the absolutes.
Do ask an experienced recruiter's opinion about a reasonable salary to offer a candidate based on his or her experience and background
A good recruiter knows the market cold and can tell you how close your requirements are relative to the pay offer. Follow their lead. If they know what they're doing, they can provide a number of quality candidates within the salary range. Remember, they are working with you, not simply as advisors. Their attitude should be: “I'm here to help you get what you want.”
Do act with a sense of urgency and give feedback to the recruiter as you're interviewing the candidates
The quickest way to have your opportunity become low priority for a recruiter is to fail to communicate on a consistent basis. Keep them informed about the changes that might go on in your organization and the kind of person you might be seeking.
As with any of your business dealings, an adversarial or distrustful attitude while working with a recruiter only ensures failure. Understand that the recruiter is working for you, not against, and is trying to find top tier talent that fits into your corporate culture.
Some companies believe that all they have to do is post a job listing on one of the big career websites and get the same results as with a recruiter. Too often, these sites waste your money, time and resources – and you end up with candidates who are not quite right for your needs.
If you restrict your recruiter by telling him or her what strategy to take or insist that they follow some constricting process, like loading your company's talent management software with resumes, don’t expect them to take you on as a client. Asking them how best to proceed and then following their direction will ensure success.
Many excellent candidates turn down great opportunities because of misunderstandings. Recruiters earn their fee by managing the process for both sides of the desk. An experienced recruiter knows the pitfalls of the recruiting process and can keep mistakes from happening. When hiring authorities try to go it alone, without including the recruiter in each step of the process, they risk losing quality candidates.
You’re not simply looking for a recruiting firm, but a partner who can forge a long-lasting relationship. The best of the best know the industry and market, demonstrate a history of sourcing targeted talent, and consistently provide feedback and updates on searches and trends. Executed well, this partnership can be a win-win-win for you, the recruiter and the individuals you hire.