People are your foundation Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2007

In today’s tight employment market, a company’s greatest asset is its people. Utilizing a recruiting firm is one of the most cost-efficient ways for a company to find people worth investing in. Let’s face it: It is the people within an organization who contribute most to its success or failure. From the receptionist who creates a first impression to the accountant who saves the company thousands of dollars by finding an error in the books, every employee contributes to a corporation’s bottom line. Unfortunately, finding high-quality employees is not always easy.

Smart Business spoke with Ashley Theriot Creel of Delta Dallas to learn more about how a company can find a recruiting firm to which it can entrust its recruitment process and attract the A-level people it needs to remain competitive.

Why is hiring A-level people important to an organization?

I had the opportunity to listen to the CEO of the Container Store, Kip Tindell, whose company has been named the No. 1 place to work by Fortune magazine eight years in a row. He said it takes one good employee to complete the production of three below-average employees. Furthermore, one A player, or top performer, can produce what three good employees can. There’s no need for a company to hire talent that is average, at best, when it can maximize its budget to identify and attract the best talent in the market.

Are companies better off using external sources in the recruiting process?

Companies that rely exclusively on their internal HR departments to fill positions may find it counterproductive. HR staff members will spend much of their time writing job descriptions, posting them on their companies’ Web sites, perusing hundreds of resumes and attending job fairs. Keep in mind that they will be doing these things while attempting to manage core competencies in their organization. Each of these recruiting techniques draws on valuable HR money and time. Remember the saying, time is money and money is time? Why not use your resources to partner with a recruiting firm that spends all of its time and money on directly recruiting and delivering A players to its customers?

How does a company find a recruiting firm to partner with?

First, do your homework and be sure they do theirs! Be sure to choose a recruiting firm that is well established in your market. Are they affiliated with networking partners or organizations? Are you just another number or are you a client that they take the time to listen to? Be sure they take the time to do a thorough profile of your company. It is important to partner with a firm that takes the time to work alongside you throughout the process.

How does such a profile benefit a client?

A recruiting firm should ‘profile’ a company in order to find the most qualified candidate for a position. The profile should contain information such as the company’s culture and history, the job description, the hiring manager’s personality, team dynamics, salary, benefits and what makes a successful hire in that department. That information is then taken to the candidates, and matches are made by recruiting experts that are trained in recruiting and interviewing techniques. This process can help an organization identify employees who will fit in to its environment for years to come. In turn, if a company is considering partnering with a recruiting firm, it will want to profile the recruiting firm, as well. It is always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the firm you are partnering with, and establish what differentiates it from the rest.

What criteria should a client apply when seeking a search firm that can meet its specific requirements?

It is always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the firm’s history in the marketplace as well as its company story. Be sure you know as much as you can about its operational process and its recruiting processes. Ask about its testing, screening and interviewing techniques and learn about its business model. Better yet, go and see it for yourself. I invite my customers to come and meet our leadership team, to learn about our processes and get to know us as a company. When you see that the recruiters and the leadership are truly experts in their field, you can then begin to trust they will deliver the best of the best to your organization.

The time that is invested in building a partnership with a recruiting firm can save a company more time and money than it would have ever imagined.

ASHLEY THERIOT CREEL is vice president of sales with Delta Dallas. Reach her at or (972) 788-2300 x147.