Choose a real SPECIALIST – Carefully check the Pedigree of your Recruiting Partner?

November 30, 2012

Just for fun one day when you have a moment run a search on Google or Yahoo or LinkedIn looking for RECRUITERS. I do this about once a month just so I stay in the know about what’s going on in the recruiting field. If you want to stay on top in your field in Recruiting, you got to know whose coming up in the ranks. What I found was really interesting..

Page upon page…Everyone is a Recruiter of one kind of another these days. It seems that everyone whose got five minutes of hiring experience is hanging out their shingle as a “Talent Acquitition Specialist” and with the internet at their fingertips, there is a huge push to market themselves irregarless their qualifications. And why shouldn’t they right? Got a skill, push it. But seriously, how does the consumer (companies seriously seeking to engage a search firm or individuals needing to engage a recruiter to represent them) of the Professional Services & Executive Search industry really sort out who are the best to represent them. How can business and job seekers really benefit from what Recruiters have to offer.

So, let’s start with the basics –  step one, Buyer Beware. There are (lower case) recruiters and then there are RECRUITERS…and boy the difference is like dragging yourself through the Sahara Desert as opposed to sitting poolside with a cool drink in hand. Experiences with Recruiters are like night and day. A fantastically successful interaction between a Supply Chain Director and his recruiter can result in a great result. That same recruiter/client combination would be a disaster for the CFO who wants to hire a sharp Business Analyst.  Why? Well it’s simple. Checking a recruiters credential carefully upfront at what areas they really excel at guarantees great result. It’s a well known fact that Recruiters who really get Marketing are absolutely not connected in Procurement & Supply Chain.

Here’s a tidbit about expectations.  Recruiters are not Outplacement specialists so expect support but to a point. This is how they earn a living and their job is to move and shake and get their network moving for the benefit of their base of clients and candidates and to make deals happen. A good and engaged Recruiter should however have the time to spend to build a good relationship so as to work towards achieving results. If you and the Recruiter don’t gel, move on quickly.  There are some very committed Recruiters in this industry who really care and are really good. Need extra support, join some groups. HAPPEN is a fantastic resource.

There are regrettably a number of colleagues in the business (and we all know one or two of them) who still operate in the old style – ’smashers and grabbers’. You know, what have you done for me lately types, don’t return calls or don’t communicate with you unless they can make an immediate buck. They are working a losing proposition but they do survive and they do have some good contacts just handle them with care. Certainly these people are not what to judge a terrific industry on.

PART-TIMERS, RECREATIONAL and STOP-GAP Recruiters make up a large part of the third party recruiting landscape these days. Well meaning, and by and large pretty well qualified at what they do, this group are pure generalists, Part-Time and Recreational Recruiters hang up their shingle as they pursue their real goals – An MBA, building a business as a life coach, or some other entrpreneurial venture. Called to action through their network, hobbyist recruiters don`t do recruiting often enough to be really good at it. They don`t really have the bench strength through their network to put companies and the really tough to find candidates together and to be of real long term value. Important to know who and what you are dealing with. Stop-Gap Recruiters are very good but they are here for a good time not a long time. Searching for their next corporate recruiter role, there are many terrific recruiters who between jobs, offer an excellent service to a small group of clients but it`s really important to know where their area of strength is to leverage off that appropriately.

Then there are the “Under One Yearers” who are eager and full of potential and promise. But let`s face it Recruiting is a really hard business to learn – its a business of hard knocks and you only get to be really good by putting in your time by cutting your teeth and watching and making mistakes. We all did it, it`s what made us the Recruiters we are today. But, anyone with less than a year under their belt had better be under the watchful eye of a well seasoned consultant. Better left to pure behind the scenes recruiting support, be absolutely sure to ask the Recruiter you about to hand over a piece of business to, how long have they been in Recruiting and what results have they accomplished for clients in the last three months. Do you know in all the years in the business, I have only been asked this a handful of times and that surprises me.

Know the pedigree of the Recruiter you are dealing with. Ask the tough questions upfront? Know this, there are great Recruiters with firms of questionable reputations and really shoddy recruiters in some very well respected firms. In the last few years some Search Firms have been moving away from being generalists where they have divisions for everything. Let’s face it, business leaders are more demanding than ever and the pressure is on for Recruiters to be highly skilled in a specific chosen vertical or two. No longer can Recruiters be all things to all people. That old model simply does NOT WORK.

Regularly we hear from companies who have chosen to partner with Us because their initial choice of search firm just didn’t met their needs.  Also, job seekers have simply had enough of dealing with Recruiters who simply don’t understand the field they are in. More and more companies come to Argentus as specialists in Supply Chain Management, Procurement & The Retail Sector because they have had enough of not being able to fill Category Manager or Purchasing Lead roles which have been open for two and three months. Why, because of two things. They initially wasted their time trying to fulfil requirements where the demand for talent is very high and the supply is low and they also often failed to use a Search firm which was specialised in Verticals with the expertise to reach the passive candidate market  needed to fill those niche requirements.

Be sure to do your homework and check out the recruiter you intend to deal with really carefully

Over and out

Bronwen

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