I have been working in the Recruitment industry for more than 14 years now and I must say that I have already experienced all the major ups and downs in the industry. When I started as a Recruiter , I must admit that I was not fully aware of all the challenges of the business. I basically believed that the key for success was to deliver the candidate who listed on their CV all the details that my client was looking for. Many years have gone by since my first placement and I am now responsible for a Practice aimed at supplying candidates for the Life Sciences industry, on both IT and Non IT sides.
This responsibility allowed me to meet many counterparts and clients with whom I often discuss about the recruitment processes, our clients expectations and of course the expectations of our candidates, who I consider as my clients too.
One of the key question raised is how to find the best candidates on the market and of course the costs related to the recruitment process. Unfortunately many people forget that spending hours on the phone and selecting / interviewing the perfect candidate among a great number of applicants generate a tremendous cost for a recruiting agency.
One could argue that we simply have to sit on our desk and wait for the client to send us a requirement and work on it. The odds are big that we find a suitable candidate to perform the job within a few days. Of course for contracting this can apply in a great number of occasions. Nevertheless I believe that this behavior is too reactive. In my opinion this "wait and see" policy doesn't allow for us to find the ideal candidate.
I can remember a long discussion I had once with a client while talking about recruiting agencies, their processes and of course their prices. We discussed about hiring the best-talents to fit a particular responsibility. I raised the point that agencies should be given all recruitments opportunities in order to find the best people. Of course he replied that he wouldn't always need Recruitment agencies or headhunters to hire the best talent on the market.
I agreed and nevertheless pointed out a major difference a good recruiter would make. In my opinion it is basically the difference between the best talent in the market and the best talent on the market.
The best talents in the market are certainly the individuals that are not active searching for a job. Why? It has been my experience that to be wooed by a competitor is the expectation of the top talents. They did not get excited just because advertised jobs matches their skills and experience - they have to be strategically motivated and sold on that particular job opportunity.
So, if you are not using recruitment agencies or headhunters, then you are hiring the best talent from only the individuals that are actively looking for a new job. And, there is a significant difference in the caliber of talent when you compare the ones that are actively looking to the ones that are not actively looking for a new job.
Of course my statement raised a certain concern and I could see the big question mark on his head.
He used this opportunity to point out all the new recruitment apps available, the big job boards and the growing appeal of social media we can find on all the platforms. I confirmed that these tools have eased our life to quicker connect and get in touch with individuals and of course new potential talents.
But the main reason why proactive headhunting remains the most effective recruitment method is because as headhunters we recruit ahead of the need!
With the latter I mean that I am not waiting for a job to become open in order to start recruiting individuals to fill that job. I am recruiting the candidates for a job before that job becomes open. And the only way that is possible is if you are committed to building relationships from a recruitment perspective. But, you also have to be passionate about recruiting to be committed to it; and when you are committed you will live and breathe recruiting 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. A good recruiter will know who the most talented individuals are, they can identify the hardest workers from the slackers and therefore they also know the ones with the most potential.
They do the hardest part of recruiting for the client -which is developing relationships. A good recruiter will spend hours on the phone, interviewing and meeting candidates, just in order spot the potential of each individual. He will visit the candidates onsite, take time to clearly assess their expectations and of course find out the "hidden Asset" he will bring to the new employer/client.
All this process, if done professionally generates a cost. The cost paid to offer the best services for a client and therefore implies the reason why a client must pay a fee or a margin.
The economic value of hiring the best talents is more profit; because the employers that hire the best often win and retain more customers. Also, why not allow your competitors do the hiring and the training? You simply rely on recruiting agencies to find their best talent from your competitors after they are trained. Paying an agency fee will be a drop in the bucket compared to cost savings realized in salaries paid to average performers and profits generated from superior performances of the headhunted talent.
To finish my explanation, I simply mentioned the new trend followed by many organizations. A lot have recently invested in so-called "talent scout" units whose main task is to proactively look for the best candidate and sell their organizations and offer job opportunities to these individuals... May be a sign that my vision of the perfect recruitment process is right?
Senior Resource Consultant