You’ve probably figured out by now that your organization could benefit from the knowledge, expertise and connections of an industry specific executive search firm. But you may not be ready to partner with a recruitment firm because of negative information you’ve heard over the years. So let’s tackle the eight most common myths, debunk them, and explain what can happen to your company if you don’t consider adjusting your recruitment strategy.
Executive recruiters don’t just surf the internet, post ads or go to LinkedIn or Craigslist to find key employee talent. They have relationships with thousands of candidates, both active and non-active job seekers, which they develop over years of networking in your specific industry.
It’s a fact that job boards and/or online advertising will not reach the best candidates in the marketplace – only those looking to make a job change. As for LinkedIn – this is not the solution for most job searches. Yes, there are millions of business professionals around the world who post a profile on Linked in, however, a recent survey on social media and recruiting concludes that only 35% of potential job seekers post a profile on LinkedIn. (What about the other 65% of the workforce?) Furthermore, most profiles are incomplete and don’t provide a significant amount of information about a candidate’s relevant background. Relying solely on these resources means you are guaranteed to miss out on top talent!
Au contraire! Recruiters are the experts who know the ins and outs of your industry employment market. As employment specialists, their job is to know where the top talent is and to make sure your company has the opportunity to evaluate these individuals. A good recruiting firm stakes its reputation and integrity on finding someone better than their client could have found themselves.
“In-house human resources, no matter how effective, view the marketplace through an imperfect or misrepresentative prism and tunnel vision is their occupational hazard. Just as physicians are cautioned against treating their own family, so too is it folly for an in-house HR professional to believe he or she has an undistorted and unbiased picture of the employment landscape. They are vulnerable to the pressures of internal politics and cultural dimensions which do not hinder the outsider,” explains a Fordyce Letter article.
A job description cannot “sell” your position and is not the best way to entice a candidate to seek a job at your organization. In fact, most job descriptions are written to screen candidates OUT – not to entice “A” players to apply for your job opening.
Furthermore, a ‘passive’ candidate (someone who is not actively looking for a new job), won’t even be reading your job description. However, a good recruiter has an extensive network and can help persuade top tier talent to consider your opening. Rely solely on a job description to bring in potential candidates, and you will absolutely miss out on better options that a recruiter can locate for you to consider.
While it can be tempting to be the ‘good guy’ and help out friends who need a job, it’s a terrible strategy for building the best possible workforce. Top talent for your business is generally not the guy that lives down the street or the one your spouse plays tennis with on the weekend. Top talent is generally employed, bringing in customers and revenue, running a department, or managing an operation for another organization. A recruiter with expertise in your industry can help you define the skills your business needs, identity the top candidates and attract the employee that will move your company’s strategy forward.
Every company culture is unique and each role within a company has nuances. Executives who hire understand that people have personalities, skills and experiences that will be better suited for one company culture over another. For example, an employer might be looking for a manager who would excel in a highly entrepreneurial environment need helps weeding out a manager who is better suited to an organization with significant resources and defined processes.
For a typical executive search, the recruiter will develop a list of possible candidates, maybe as many as one hundred people or more. Each will be assessed against the position requirements, experience and the cultural fit with your company. After several telephone calls and outreach emails, the long list is narrowed down to a short list of candidates who will undergo an intensive interviewing process by the search firm. At the end of the process your company will be presented with a slate of 3-4, highly qualified candidates.
Do you have the time or expertise in your organization to follow this extensive process? Likely the answer is no. A professional recruiter is your ally in finding the best possible candidate for your position.
High unemployment numbers do NOT mean that the best candidate for your position is currently unemployed or that he or she will answer a job ad. ‘B’ and ‘C’ players are easy to find – however, the best candidates – the ‘A’ players – stay employed or find a job quickly if they decide to make a move. Regardless of the economy, great talent is hard to come by. Should you come across a highly qualified candidate, that person should be hired instead of putting the candidate ‘on hold’ while you engage in a lengthy decision process.
Think the cost of hiring someone is just the cost of the ad or internet postings? Well, think again. Consider the salary and benefits of any in-house recruiting or human resource staff plus the time of other managers involved in recruiting and interviewing. The time that your employees spend trying to find the right new hire, is time not being spent on activities that generate profits and growth for the company.
Furthermore, what if all that activity results in a bad hire? Experts estimate that the ‘cost’ of a failed hire to the company is at least four times the employee’s annual compensation. Smart executives learned long ago that the fee paid to a recruiter is a shrewd strategic investment. And that’s because the “best” is far different from the “best available.”
Let’s define these two types of search firms. Contingency-based firms are paid only if the candidate that they present is hired. They usually deal with lower-level positions. They often present lots of job candidates that are not an ideal match for your needs. A contingent search means that when the recruiter gets bored, frustrated or tired of searching for your ideal employee, he can simply quit because he has ‘no skin in the game.’
Conversely, a retained search firm works with you until the search process has been successfully finished, however long that takes, and however many candidates the firm has to present to you. A retained executive search firm makes your search a priority and follows a proactive recruitment process. In contrast to contingency-based firms, they are likely to be more selective about whom they present to a company, and they usually make more of an effort to match an individual to a particular opening.
Read 5 Factors to Look for in a Recruiting Firm