A few years ago I was interviewing for a recruiter position when I was asked:
“What innovative things have you done to find candidates?”
I smiled and politely answered, “I try to kill werewolves.”
My point was simple: Recruiters and their employers are constantly on the lookout for a silver bullet that will magically end the monster madness associated with finding the right candidate for a critical needs position, in a timely fashion, under budgetary constraints.
I maintained then as I do now that a highly skilled and experienced recruiter is the closest remedy for that challenge. Technical innovations, while helpful in identifying prospects, will never solve the problem. A good, experienced recruiter is the silver bullet.
Even with the advent of social networks, job boards, tweets, on-line affinity groups and forums, somebody has to source, screen and vet a prospect and qualify them for a position. The problem today is the unwieldy amount of resume-type data available for review. Time was a recruiter tracked down candidates through pro-active research and phone calls. Now the struggle is digging a qualified candidate out of a mire of data muck shoveled in from countless sources. Candidates, too, are inundated with digital overtures that are routed to spam folders without so much as a peek. I was recently recruited via email for a scrub nurse position – I have no medical background – but was a perfect “word match” determined by some boolean search tool and approached with little human intervention. This automated reliance just feeds the monster, alienates candidates and compromises the hiring experience. All the recruiting investment and technical innovation goes to waste at this point.
So, how can a company succeed and compete effectively for new employees? The ageless secret solution to taming the recruiting beast really is the same as it has always been – invest in a good recruiter who can build and maintain process. Hire a recruiter who has a myriad of real world business experience and proven successes. Hire a recruiter who can communicate clearly, efficiently and honesty in writing and who isn’t afraid of the phone. Hire a recruiter who is not dependent or content with simply mining an inbox for possible candidates from data feeds. Hire a recruiter who is a consultant to his employer and to the candidate. If a company does that, they will have found the secret weapon to recruiting woes…a werewolf killer.
Oh, and by the way, I was offered the job for which I was interviewing because of my “creative answers”.