When a key position in your company needs to be filled, do you know how to work with a direct-hire recruiter to fill that position quickly and with the right person?
“Direct-hire recruiters need to know not only a laundry list of the job descriptions but also background information on the company, the department and the corporate culture, in order for the positions to not just be filled but be filled by the right employees,” says Ruth McCurdy, Vice President of Corporate Connections for Talent Tree, a staffing company based in Houston.
Smart Business spoke with McCurdy about techniques businesses can use to work more efficiently with direct-hire recruiters so they are better equipped to find the right person for the job.
What are some of the mistakes businesses make when working with direct-hire recruiters?
The problem is that often the only information given is the skills and experience needed for the job. Not much insight is given to the recruiter about the company. Many CEOs or business owners tend to look at a recruiter’s job as a transaction rather than a relationship. In order for the recruiter to bring the right person to a company, the business owner needs to spend time with the search consultant and talk to him or her about the company, its values, missions, culture and goals. This information goes a long way when the consultant is attempting to fill a vacancy.
It is even better if the direct-hire consultant talks to more than one person in the company for a complete picture. Introduce the consultant to the hiring manager and the supervisor of the department, as well.
How does this kind of legwork help the company?
Despite the high unemployment rate, it is still difficult to find great employees, particularly in specific fields. Often a key position can take months to fill. Many times, CEOs and business owners don’t realize the true cost of vacancy.
Once a CEO or business owner of the company realizes that vacancy of key positions results in loss of revenue for the company, it is a great ‘aha!’ moment and the employment process is suddenly not relegated to just the HR department. One book I recommend CEOs and business owners read on this topic is ‘The Workforce Scorecard,’ by Mark A. Huselid and Brian E. Becker, which focuses on the importance of managing human capital.
A key position that remains open will affect the overall profitability of the company. Key positions can be in the sales department, but it varies depending on the company. For example, in a chemical company the key positions are scientists; for manufacturing, it’s usually engineers; and for pharmaceutical companies, it would be research and development employees. Candidates to fill these positions are often difficult to find, so learning how to work effectively with direct-hire recruiters is very important.
What are some tips for effectively working with direct-hire recruiters to fill these key positions?
- Be open about the position, the reporting relationships and why the job is open. The more the candidate knows about the position, the better.
- Realize that details about salary and job description alone are not enough to get the right candidate in for an interview. The candidate is interested in the big picture. Let the direct-hire recruiter know about the company’s values, goals and culture.
- Have the recruiter talk to employees who can tell positive stories about working for the company. Take these stories, or testimonials, and put them on your Web site for potential employees to read.
- Ask the recruiter to take a look at your company’s Web site and ask for suggestions to ‘brand’ the employment aspect of your business. Businesses spend so much time branding products and services but very little time branding their company to attract good employees.
- Develop a partnership with your direct-hire consultant. Don’t think of executive recruiters as a ‘quick fix’ to a pressing problem you are having at the moment in filling a key position.
Remember that you need to be constantly thinking about positions that need to be filled. If your direct-hire recruiter knows your company and understands what you are looking for in a candidate, filling positions will happen much quicker and more successfully.