If you’re a recruiter who sources candidates for temp or perm placement, then you’re probably used to getting bland, boring corporate procedure manuals on how to source candidates. Or you’re thrown to the wolves and expected to figure it all out, with minimal training, while you scrape by paycheck-to-paycheck trying to get your candidates placed.
This is not that.
Trust me, I’ll get to the point quickly and you’ll have a little fun learning how to source candidates that will make a hiring manager, like me, salivate and ultimately choose your candidates more often.
And if you’re on the job hunt pay attention to how this works behind the scenes so you can craft your resume and approach accordingly.
So here’s the deal.
Hiring managers aren’t just hiring managers. They have their day job. And hiring is a pain. We don’t like to do it. But it is a necessary evil.
In general, we suck at it.
And our in house recruiter is overloaded, and has so many other tasks to take care of, that they just can’t help us along much in the process.
Option 1: Direct Referral
So we often ask coworkers and our industry network who they know who might be good for the job. And if we find someone who is referred, we often do a quick interview, and if they can fog a mirror and not piss us off, we’ll hire them.
Because our planning sucks.
We don’t get to hire ahead of the need and get them onboarded smoothly and have them up to speed before the tsunami hits.
We have to wait until we have a screaming need (i.e. we’re doing two jobs ourselves).
Then we need someone now!
Option 2: The In-House Recruiter
So what happens when we can’t find a referral?
Then we dredge the bottom of our in house recruiter pool of cobwebby candidates who are out of work for a reason or are the industry retreads and job hoppers who are likely to stay in the role six months to a year before they’re on to their next bigger and better thing.
So if we hire one of them then we stave off the pain but often it comes back with a vengeance in a month or two.
Option 3: Recruiting/Staffing Firm
This is where you come in.
We don’t come to you unless we have to.
Because our bosses are cheap (no really they are).
They get so hung up on the bottom line that they can’t see they are costing the company money due to rehires and lost productivity from bad hires.
And they don’t really understand the recruiting process themselves so they just can’t understand the need for a recruiting/staffing company’s help.
They’re hung up on the sticker shock of a recruiting fee. But really, to avoid the horrible HR nightmare of letting go a bad hire (even in a right-to-work state, and especially in the center of the universe called California), it is often worth it.
But you must supply good candidates…
So here’s the deal. As a recruiting company, and you as the recruiter trying to find and supply candidates, you can’t just provide so-so candidates.
Because they won’t convert.
Yes, they may be someone the hiring manager uses as a comparison of who not to hire to make the others look better.
But you’re not doing the candidate any favors. Because if they’re not great, they won’t get the job anyway.
Why else do you need awesome candidates?
- COMPETITION: Because your company is often competing against other staffing companies for the same placement. And in that environment speed and quality wins.
- REPUTATION: Because if you supply so so candidates the hiring manager will start to assume you provide the same bad level of retread candidates that their in house recruiter or HR manager does. And then you can kiss future placements goodbye.
- YOUR CAREER AND THEIR JOB: Because if you submit bad candidates, and don’t get placements, the candidate loses, and you lose. You get paid on a commission basis to produce, right? And you want to progress in your career and make more money if you’re putting in the effort don’t you?
- GO-TO LIST: First you have your go-to list. Whether those contacts are those you’ve worked with in the industry, or candidates in your applicant tracking system (you are using that and ranking your candidates for future use, right?).
But often that list isn’t sufficient.
- OUT OF WORK: So you have the people on the street. Those who are out of work and looking. This is a motivated bunch (which is good because they are less likely to be salary sensitive when they’re bank balance is rapidly shrinking) but you need to be good at separating the good from the not so good. References (other than managers) can be a good way to check out a candidate.
So you hit the final group.
- HAPPY BUT LOOKING: The last group is the one you’re trying to coax out of a current role by selling them on a great opportunity. The key here is to know the job well to be able to effectively sell the candidate on checking out the opportunity. You’ll often be trolling LinkedIn looking for accomplished people where this would be an appropriate next step in their career.
Now I’m not going to tell you how to do your job.
The last group often is the hardest to convert.
But those are the people we hiring managers love.
They’re the 3-5 year contributor.
The one we can train and won’t leave for a couple grand more a year.
So that’s the deal.
We Want Quality Candidates
To wrap up, hiring managers want quality candidates. And you won’t get the call until we hiring managers have exhausted our own connections and internal recruiting sources.
But once you’re brought in, you often have a high probability of placement on your hands. Don’t squander the opportunity.
Your Friendly Hiring Manager (spilling his trade secrets to you)
P. S. Have a great candidate but their resume is old, tired, and unmemorable? Should you present it as is?
No way! Don’t damage your reputation.
Kick it back to them for rework. You have your professional reputation at stake as well as theirs. By presenting an underwhelming resume you’re not doing them any favors.
And if they don’t have the time or ability to improve it, point them in the direction of a good resume writer to knock it out for them. It would be well worth the few hundred dollars to give them a shot at landing that job.