Are You Cynical of Recruiters?

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In the last year, both job seekers and employers have come to face completely unprecedented challenges. Industry closures necessitated layoffs which led thousands of Canadians to begin new job searches. At the same time, many Canadians that retained employment became extremely reluctant to change jobs. 

The result? A very challenging recruitment landscape. Many companies posting for new jobs were flooded with sub-optimal resumes while the candidates they really wanted wouldn’t even discuss new opportunities.

In my experience, this reality has manifested in client concerns. Have these new conditions changed the efficacy of recruitment? Not necessarily, but there are a few extra steps companies can take to optimize the process in light of our new normal. 

New Expectations in Recruitment

Some of my clients have expressed a concern that, in the recruitment process, they may find fewer qualified candidates. Some clients are even considering running recruitment internally. This is related to both the very saturated job-seeking market and the reluctance of qualified candidates to move.

While this is a real—if remote—risk in every hiring process, when using a recruiter there are a few important steps that businesses should take to optimize the recruitment process in this turbulent period. 

The reason that many recruitment processes may not go smoothly comes down to a misalignment of expectations. It’s more important than ever to take time to understand the recruitment process and to create internal processes that complement the efforts of the recruiter. Without a cohesive plan, recruitment can be difficult and disappointing, not only for both the recruiter and the hiring company, but for candidates as well.

Today, as the recruitment landscape looks very different than it did pre-pandemic in early 2020, it’s important to collaborate early—and often—with a recruitment agency to ensure a smooth process and a beneficial relationship which can be maintained for years.

When to Use a Recruiter

The first important decision to make is whether using a recruiter is actually beneficial for a company’s specific hiring needs. If a company needs to quickly staff an administrative team, using a recruiter may not be the right choice. 

Recruitment companies like Goldbeck require a longer lead time because the team doesn’t simply sift through resumes on Indeed—Goldbeck recruitment is a process of hand selecting high quality candidates that may not even be looking for new work. This is how the team is able to guarantee a good fit. 

Staffing agencies, by comparison, often rely on databases of resumes kept on file to quickly place candidates in general roles that only require limited industry-specific knowledge, skills, or experience.

In-house HR teams can also run recruitment. But any HR team will tell you: unless they can make recruitment their sole responsibility and dedicate all of their time to the task, it’s going to be a very difficult—if not impossible—job. This is especially true for highly skilled positions, as candidates are a hot commodity in this competitive market.

As such, hiring a recruiter is almost always an excellent decision for companies looking to staff skilled mid- to high-level positions. After all, in-house HR teams are highly skilled, but may not possess the expertise and resources to run successful recruitment. At a firm like Goldbeck, hand selecting the best candidates is what this team has been specializing in for more than twenty years. 

Each of these three options use fundamentally different processes and will produce fundamentally different results. 

Finding the Right Recruiter

Another important aspect of aligning recruitment expectations is selecting the right recruiter for the job. Prospective companies looking to recruit should first consider their own needs, then their internal processes and resources to support recruitment, and lastly, the specialties and track records of a given recruiter. 

Not all recruiters offer the same services. If a company needs help creating a job description, they should specifically seek a recruiter that offers assistance in crafting those materials; the job description is the recruitment bible, so you want to get it right! 

As well, a company should be aware of what the recruiter will need from their internal HR to support the process. At Goldbeck, the team will hand select high quality candidates, but the client’s internal HR team must be able to assist with evaluating those interviewees, providing timely and thorough feedback to the Goldbeck team, and ultimately making the final decision on who to hire. 

Lastly, a company should contract with a recruiter that has a track record of success in their industry and in the calibre of roles they’re seeking to fill. Prospective clients should visit a recruiter’s website to read about the recruitment team, their specific expertise and successes, and to see the roles currently posted. 

When each of these points operates like a well oiled machine, the client-recruiter relationship is more likely to be a successful one that may last for decades. 

Preparing For the Future

We all know that making predictions is a fool’s errand—especially in times like these. But we also know that an incredible 49% of Canadians are planning on leaving their jobs, and soon.1 

As companies begin to hire again, it’s best to bring on a recruiter early in workforce planning. Creating an ongoing relationship with a recruiter will make it easier to fill multiple roles and to address potential gaps in your workforce for the coming years. 

When candidates begin to re-enter the job market, it will be important to move quickly to find a company’s “Purple Unicorn,”—recruiter speak for “dream candidate”—and the best way to expedite the process is by aligning expectations between the company and the recruiter. 

As a unified team with clear expectations, the recruitment process will be fast, straightforward, and fruitful. 

Citations
1 “49% of Canadians Are Considering Quitting Their Job – Here’s Why.” Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.hcamag.com/ca/news/general/49-of-canadians-are-considering-quitting-their-job-heres-why/236894.
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Judy Slutsky

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