Not so long ago recruiting from a corporate perspective involved little more than posting job descriptions in classified advertisements and milking friends and employees for leads. The problem with this scenario tends to be obvious – friends and employees have limited connections and classified ads were a hope and prayer that the most qualified person in the world for your job happened to be randomly reading the Sunday help wanted section of your newspaper. Unfortunately, many companies still function that way.
With the advent of resume mills like Monster and Hotjobs, it became easier to find prospects with possible skills matching job needs, but the problem was now too much data and broader candidate visibility. Many companies for the first time had access to the same pool of prospective employees. Along with this access came increased competitiveness in hiring. Companies ended up turning to agencies for help and that assistance came with hearty costs. Agencies at least (hopefully) had screening processes in place and in most cases had some direct contact with candidates and could help sell them on specific opportunities. Because of the lucrative nature of this model, the recruiting field became awash with aggressive sales tacticians bent on filling client’s needs quickly and at great expense. Recruiting was seen as a fast way to easy money and for a time it was. Real recruiting gave way to word-matching and mad resume dashes to a client’s e-mail inbox. The result, again, was an inefficient way of recruiting. Sadly, some companies still use this as their model.
So how can a small company – or any company for that matter – find the best employees for their critical needs without breaking the bank? One simple option is the use of an in-house recruiter, either as a contractor or full-time hire. A good corporate recruiter with a cache of experience, wisdom and proven processes can be the key to hiring success. The argument goes that a full-time recruiter’s headcount is a drain on resources because once all hiring is completed the need for the recruiter disappears. This is somewhat true. The first people laid off at Amazon.com during the dot-com bubble burst were recruiters. Google cut many recruiters from their global staff in the most recent economic downturn. But, transversely, the first people hired back are recruiters (both Amazon and Google are aggressively hiring recruiters at the moment). It is a natural cycle. Ideally, a company will continue to grow and the need for recruiting remains constant. But don’t let future uncertainties dissuade you from hiring a recruiter today. Trust me, any professional recruiter with years of experience understands and prepares for the rise and fall of corporate hiring.
Simple math shows that a solid on-site recruiter should replace or at least greatly offset the need – and expense – for agency involvement (this is not a dismissal of recruiting firms, just a fact of life). The staff recruiter should be able to actively source and manage resume and candidate flow into the company, build a hiring plan and job descriptions in consultation with hiring teams, manage an interview calendar and schedules, provide interview training, professionally pitch the organization to candidates, determine market values for given skills and candidates, build on-going pipelines for open requisitions, be a consultant to the hiring team, facilitate a great candidate experience, manage agency relationships if necessary and most importantly be able to close a chosen candidate turning the prospect into an employee. All of these activities relieve existing staff of much responsibility thus allowing them to focus on other relevant needs of the company.
It’s been said that for every hour a recruiter works on-site, two hours are returned to the company in the form of time savings for other employees. That alone is a solid ROI. Consider or re-consider the option of a contract or FTE recruiter when facing your employment challenges. Sometimes an on-site staffing expert is the quickest and most cost effective way of gaining an edge in the hiring market place.