The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Recruiting
A lot of our new clients come from organizations burned by bad recruiters. It seems there are more terrible recruiters than ever.
In any commission-based industry, there will always be those trying to make a quick-dollar without the skills to back it up. While that does describe a large portion of recruiters, I think for many it’s a learned behavior --- caused by those who hate the behavior the most! Corporations and hiring authorities. Sorry Hiring Managers!
I have watched many well-trained, competent recruiters derail over the years and start flinging resumes. What causes the recruiter psychosis to disintegrate?
1) Multiple search firms on 1 requisition. Hear me out here. Even the best recruiters turn into resume-flingers when quantity becomes more important than quality. Give 1 recruiting firm 5 days exclusive. Let them sift out the C-players for the A-Players. Let them work with prospects to explore the role, re-write their resume, etc. If they underperform (or don’t provide market research), move on quickly.
2) Demand your search firms qualify & bullet all relevant attributes (technical fit, cultural fit, salary, etc). Don’t let firms be rewarded for a resume without value. This devalues the search firm industry. Fire those firms.
3) Treat your search firm as a business partner. They are out in the field calling your prospects. Crummy recruiters make your business look crummy. Good recruiters sell your culture, the products, the vision and strategy. Bad recruiters pitch a job.
4) Have HR do an entrance-interview with your new hires. Ask them in detail about their experience with their search firm. Did that firm represent them well? Treat them fairly? Call them promptly? Provide feedback? How did they enjoy the experience? You pay enough money to these firms that you should have every employee impressed when they walk in your doors on Day 1 of Work.
The lack of respect for search professionals has become so diluted by the underperformers. But many of these bad recruiters are products of their environment. They’re one of 4 search firms, working a job they know nothing about, and just doing what they can do try to survive.
I’m not saying its okay.
But --- if everyone simply stepped up their game, the weak recruiters would be irrelevant and gone and the strongest companies and executive search partners could thrive together.