Recruiting IS a Service - Here's Why
What do recruiters actually DO, anyway?
I answered this in last week's AMA Friday - you can check out the video here -
So while the general idea of this week's episode is that recruiters are NOT in the business of finding people jobs, it also created some questions. Several folks expressed some disbelief, confusion, and a couple people outright disagreed that recruiting is indeed a SERVICE. Here, in my not so humble opinion, is exactly WHAT it is that recruiters provide. Enjoy!
Ok then - we have a position to fill! This is where it all begins - the initial contact with the hiring team. We often refer to as an intake meeting, or something similar. Regardless of what you call it, this is the time to set some serious expectations and get LOTS of information on what exactly it is the new hire will be doing. A recruiter is not an order taker. Let me say that again for the people in the back. A RECRUITER IS NOT AN ORDER TAKER. If your hiring manager wants to hand you a job description, waves you away and tells you "I'll know it when I see it" that is NOT a partner, you are NOT providing a service, and I am really really sorry about how much you're fixing to hate your job. This should be a DISCUSSION (maybe multiple discussions) to fully vet what exactly is the business problem we're trying to solve and what kind of talent we think we need to solve it. This is not a one way conversation - recruiters should also be setting expectations with hiring managers and guiding next steps/future meetings all the way through onboarding the new hire. Recruiters and hiring managers should be meeting regularly to discuss status, what's working (or not), and keep each other informed of any new updates, changes, or challenges.
Right! We have what we need to execute a search. Next steps can vary widely - maybe we post a really great targeted job ad (Katrina Kibben of Three Ears Media is your girl if you need help here!). Maybe you search your database (if you're not, what's wrong with you?). Maybe you do some deep web boolean magic. You're probably doing all of the above. This would also be the stage where you are vetting / presenting qualified and INTERESTED prospects to your hiring managers. Clear feedback is crucial. If managers are saying NO find out WHY. It's possible you missed something in the intake meeting. Perhaps something has changed and the hiring manager didn't loop you in. Test and test again that you are actually searching for the right kind of person and asking the best possible questions during your screening. EVERYONE will thank you for not wasting their time.
3. Interview Process
If you're really lucky, you've got schedulers and coordinators who can manage calendars. I hate this part because I SUCK at it. I can barely manage my own calendar. However, it's my job to be a coach throughout the process. I make sure my candidates have a thorough understanding what they're interviewing for and what we expect. I spend as much time with my candidates as they need and do my best to always be available for check ins or questions. Read more about interview prep HERE - it's that important.
Yes, sadly this will be closing the loop with candidates who aren't getting an offer. I hate this part. I hate hate hate it with every fiber of my body. But, it's a necessary evil and important part of the process. Done decently well, these candidates will maybe take your call the next time there's a role they might want to hear about. Then there's the FUN closing! You guessed it, making an offer. My absolute FAVORITE part of the job.
5. Offer Negotiation
Sure, this could be part of closing, but it's so complex I'm giving it it's very own step. There's usually a lot of back and forth here, and it starts way back when we're first working on a strategy with the hiring teams (what can we afford to pay / what level are we thinking of hiring at, etc) AND kicking off with candidates (what would it take for you to say yes). These are rarely one time conversations. It's usually an ongoing discussion that drives closer and closer to the "magic number" with every step. Don't even get me started on competing offers and the mental gymnastics we go through trying to anticipate everything that could get in the way of the win.
Hey... you made an offer, it was accepted, and your work here is done! Right? RIGHT? Sad to say, no. It's most definitely not. While MOST candidates will follow through with their "yes", there are always risks here. This is often when buyer's remorse can set in. Staying close to your candidates (and keeping your hiring managers close to them too!!) is CRITICAL. In an ever tightening labor market counter offers are more common and looking better all the time. If you're not keeping your candidates and new hires as excited and engaged as they were when signing their letter, you're missing a seriously important step.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list or complete description of everything related to the service (YES IT'S A SERVICE) of recruiting, hopefully it gives a bit more insight into this crazy industry.Most recruiters are doing this 10, 15, or 50 times over (ok 50 is a stretch - you can read what I really think about req loads for more on that). Not every position is created equal, and so the level of service provided can vary. Anything surprising on this list? What would you add?