Not Everyone is a Recruiter – Skills and Experience are a Must

20151120193252-business-team-working-laptop-executives-laptop-analyzing-planning-collaborating-designing-skillsA quick perusal of LinkedIn’s “10 Reasons You Should Become a Recruiter” leaves little to wonder at; fortune, freedom, and recognition are all promised to those seeking a career in recruitment. College graduates like the $60k starting wage, and 9-5ers from all sorts of fields are pulled in by the promise of family-accommodating flexibility.

“Far from mundane, [recruiting] is one of the most critical, exciting and central roles in business today” (LinkedIn).

“Earning potential is unlimited” (FPC National).

“Recruiters have a great deal of freedom over the ‘what and the when’ of their daily work” (ERE Media).

Who wouldn’t want to be a recruiter?

In all the excitement, however, we may have overlooked an important point of clarification.  New recruiters do not achieve greatness overnight, and some are simply not cut out for the job at all.  Experience, important in many fields, is crucial in this one; it is the secret to making a new recruiter great. And if you are a business looking to hire a professional recruiter, you want greatness.

Some level of crisis usually precedes a business’s search for a full-time or contract-based recruiter. Hiring is not going well. Maybe they are struggling to market their business to the right group of applicants, maybe they got lost in the wave of resumes they received after marketing, or maybe they’ve made regrettable hires in the past and are wary of repeating their mistake.

A professional recruiter should be a professional problem solver, not another failed attempt. So how can you ensure that your investment into a professional recruiter will be worth it?  Make sure that the recruiter you hire has the skills and experience necessary to get the job done. We want you to make the right hire; we want your business to succeed, so we’re giving you a run-down of the red flags we’ve seen in inexperienced recruiters followed by the qualities we think are most critical to look for in an effective recruiter.

The first red flag we see in newbie recruiters is a lack of understanding about the job itself. The beauty of a job without a boss is the freedom, but the danger of a job without a boss is that same freedom.  “Recruiting for Dummies” cannot replace the mentorship of a man or woman who has been in the game long enough to know how it needs to be played. Without the safeguard of a required training process, new recruiters must rely on trial and error to teach them the intricacies of the job.

And there can be lots of error. Effective recruiters have plans and strategies in place to make sure that excellent businesses find excellent candidates. Besides possibly having been contacted themselves as candidates by a recruiter at some point in their past, new recruiters often have no idea where to begin building the databases and connections that will be vital to any future success.

We recently heard of a situation where a global company hired a new recruiter to market and screen candidates. The hiring manager, having received no list of qualified candidates from his new recruiter for quite some time, asked what was causing the hold-up. The recruiter proceeded to hand over the entire stack of accumulated resumes to the hiring manager; he did not understand the expectations of a job in recruitment, much less how to go about implementing the proper techniques to produce a list of qualified candidates for the hiring manager to consider.  

Inexperience is not the only issue plaguing new recruiters. The pressure and excitement of closing on jobs can lead some novice recruiters into the more nefarious arenas of greed and dishonesty. Seasoned recruiters know that trust from businesses and candidates is essential to their own long-term success. The immediate gratification of a big paycheck is not worth the accompanying bad reputation, should the close have been made by cutting corners.

Maybe you’ve heard of the “bait and switch” technique employed by some dishonest recruiters. A recruiter finds a great candidate and uses him or her to market to several companies. The recruiter can then offer the candidate, not the job originally agreed upon, but the job that most benefits the recruiter. Trust has been lost.

Or perhaps you’ve heard horror stories from candidates who have been “stalked” by a greedy recruiter. The communication between the recruiter and the candidate, far from being open and professional, has become frantic and manipulative. The recruiter, desperate to secure the candidate, instead leaves the candidate feeling used and, again, distrustful.

What about on the business end of things? Jorg Stegemann’s Forbes’ article titled, “7 Things a Headhunter Won’t Tell You,” offered this confession: recruiters can be dishonest about their level of experience and understanding of the position you’re wanting filled. “Although we will gladly accept the assignment to search for a CIO,” Stegemann writes, “we might have no idea about what makes a good one.” How can a position be filled with the best-fitting candidate if the recruiter doesn’t have a good understanding of the position itself? Integrity is vital.

We don’t want you to hire a recruiter without the skills, experience, or character necessary to do the job well.  A great recruiter will be able to offer his or her expertise in screening resumes, sourcing, proper marketing, and candidate engagement. A great recruiter will have experience with similar companies and will be adept in delivering results tailored to your wishes.  A great recruiter will not have to resort to dishonesty, but will place high value on integrity and genuine communication.

A great recruiter is an asset to your company.

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