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If you could wipe the slate clean and start your recruitment function again... where would you start...? (Part 2)

In my last post we looked at the importance of getting your careers site working, effective and looking good.  Although I didn’t really go into much detail, my focus was on the belief that the candidate needs to be at the centre of what is going on, not as you might expect your business, your hiring manager or indeed you.    So if we make the assumption that the careers site works, what’s next?

The key to any successful recruitment function must be the recruiter.  It might be old fashioned but I really do believe that a good recruiter can make or break a business, big and small.  And sorry when I mean recruiter I mean a person that delivers the service in your name, not theirs.  Recruiters that have an in house approach to candidate engagement and the quality of hire approach that is sadly still lacking in the agency market.

So is there a blueprint for the ideal recruiter?

In personality and approach I have seen many different styles.  In the main those that survive and do a good job are engaged and engaging, can juggle multiple requests from me, their candidates and ‘the business’.  They typically build up a hot spot of knowledge whether role based, location or vertical and over time become the go to person for all things recruitment related.  Use of the word partner is over used.  Some will genuinely become a partner, looking at broader topics such as retention, succession planning and employee engagement.  Others will be excellent vacancy filers, working their way through large volumes of candidates with compassion and professionalism. 

A tiny number will be Rod (two blog posts, two mentions for him!)

In my ideal scenario I would have recruiters that have the time to manage their candidate pools effectively.  Stripping out those that are right for a role today, those are right for the organisation but not yet and those that are not ready for anything at this stage.  This process needs to be fair, equitable and fast.   It also needs to be flexible, just because I reject a candidate today who does not have the right profile in skills, experience or sector shouldn’t exclude them form a future need , nor should it rule out some form of relationship, whatever that means.

I guess that depends on your viewpoint and what you actually want them to do.  I am on the far side of the admin/agency recruiter spectrum in that I like my recruiters to have a more proactive sales led approach to engaging with candidates than the passive, admin biased approach that may have been more prevalent in house teams of the past.

For me the ideal recruiter is sharp, quick to learn, engaging and gets a kick out of finding good people.  Age is not a barrier, at both ends of the scale, some of the best recruiters I know are very young but bring with them an attitude that says they want to succeed, do a good job and hire great people for your business.   More importantly they do this for a salary not a placement based commission and whilst many agency consultants would never dream that this approach works it does focus the mind on quality of hire not just filling the vacancy.

Good recruiters will do more for you.  They look for new ways of attracting candidates, take a pride in their profession and look for personal development opportunities.  They work long hours when they have to, fitting in around the candidate needs.  They stay up to date with what is going on in their market place, the trends, the movers, shakers and competitor challenges.  Above all they love your business, they show their love to candidates through professionalism and passion.

In an ideal world they are multilingual, and very mobile.  You can also afford to put them on a plane to see candidates and hiring managers on a regular basis.  Like or not, seeing sales people in the flesh helps you make better hiring decisions.  That they look the part, that they can engage with a humble recruiter and CEO alike.

My love of end to end recruiters those that source, assess, interview, recruit and engage on day one and beyond is well known but more and more I am starting to think I am in the minority.  A large number of talent acquisition teams have deconstructed the process, they have taken out sourcing, leaving that to cheaper, less experienced resource.  They have taken out any form of day one experience, making that self service. 

Is this the way to go?  For some roles it probably is.   Certainly those people you recruit over and over, more of a factory approach is appropriate, as long as the candidate experience still works.  What do you think?  What is the best way to form a team, recruiters and resources feeding in candidates?

More to follow add your comments below...

martin