Sharita: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help organizations acquire top talent, while helping professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about why organizations work with recruiters to hire top talent. Hello, Stacy, thank you for joining us.
Stacy: Hello, I’m glad to be here today.
Sharita: We’ve discussed why organizations work with recruiters during previous podcasts, but those podcasts were primarily for job seekers. Today’s podcast is directed toward employers, is that correct?
Stacy: Yes, it is. We’re going to go into more detail with this topic. In fact, it’s the first in a series of podcasts about recruiters and the organizations that hire them. There is a lot of information to discuss, and I want to make sure that we don’t miss anything.
Sharita: That certainly makes sense. Okay, where do we start this discussion?
Stacy: Well, we’re actually going to piggy-back off a previous podcast, one titled, “Everything You Need to Know About a Candidates’ Market.” In that podcast, we talked about the difference between active job seekers and passive candidates. To recap, I’m going to explain that again today.
An active job seeker is somebody who is actively looking for a new job. Passive candidates, on the other hand, aren’t even officially pursuing a new opportunity. There are a few reasons for this.
First, they’re basically happy where they’re working now, although they would make a strategic move for the right opportunity. Second, They’re too busy at their current position to actually conduct an active job search. And third, They don’t want to risk the confidentiality of their search being breached at any point in the process.
What’s important to remember, though, is that passive candidates will consider a new employment opportunity IF that opportunity is better than the one they have now.
Sharita: If I remember correctly, the hiring process of many companies is geared more toward the active job seeker than the passive candidate.
Stacy: That’s right, and that becomes a big problem for them. It’s like the difference between hunting and gathering. In essence, these companies are tying to “gather” the best candidates instead of trying to “hunt” them. In this case, there are three reasons why hunting is better than gathering.
First, as we’ve mentioned, the majority of top talent is not actively looking for a new job. They’re employed and they’re very busy. That means simply finding them requires a proactive approach, and the way to find them is to hunt them.
Second, top talent MUST be recruited. Even if you find these candidates, in most cases they must be convinced to consider your opportunity. You have to instill interest in them and convince them that your opportunity is the next big step in their career.
Third, you can’t “gather” talent from your competition. If the best talent in the industry includes people who are working at your competitors, do you expect them to just come knocking on your door? More than likely, they will not.
Sharita: So using an online job advertisement is a form of “gathering”?
Stacy: Yes, it is, and top passive candidates do not typically respond to job ads, mainly because they’re not even looking at them. As I’ve said, while that approach will get some applications, it’s not an effective way to identify the best candidates.
According to a 2016 report by CareerBuilder, 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications. They quit due to the length or complexity of those applications. Think for a second about how crazy that is.
Employers, in an effort to make the application process as detailed as they can to identify the best candidates, are actually screening candidates out. And with a job ad, it’s impossible to identify the best candidates in the marketplace, anyway. All a job ad does is identify the best candidates who have answered the job ad. And if 60% of them are quitting in the middle of filling out the application, that means the ad is only identifying the best candidates of the 40% who actually finished the application.
Sharita: I’m beginning to see why organizations work with recruiters.
Stacy: That’s right, and right now I’m going to present the two main reasons why organizations work with recruiters. These are two simple reasons, but after 20 years in the business, I can say with absolute certainty that they are valid.
Organizations use recruiters to fill their open positions because they need those recruiters to do two things.
First, they need the recruiters to identify the best candidates in the marketplace.
Second, they need the recruiters to recruit those candidates.
Sharita: That makes perfect sense. To hire the best candidates, you have to know who those candidates are. And only posting job ads doesn’t get the job done.
Stacy: That’s right. As we just discussed, job ads only identify the best candidates who responded to the job ad. And according to CareerBuilder, job ads may even be less effective than that!
Sharita: But don’t organizations have personnel in charge of hiring new employees? Aren’t they responsible for these tasks?
Stacy: They do, but the problem is that this personnel isn’t only in charge of hiring new employees. They have a lot of other responsibilities, and as a result, they can’t devote all of their time and energy to hiring.
In other words, they don’t have the time to “hunt” candidates. They usually only have time enough to “gather” candidates, and as we discussed, that is not the best approach to hiring. It’s definitely not the approach that results in hiring the very best candidates.
Sharita: So organizations turn to recruiters because they don’t have the time and resources to “hunt” the best candidates.
Stacy: That’s the primary reason. Recruiters work in the “trenches” day in and day out. They talk with candidates all day, every day. They know who the top candidates are in the industry. They’ve worked with many of them, and they have relationships with them. As a result, they can identify top candidates more easily than their clients and they can entice those candidates to consider their clients’ job opportunities.
Identifying top candidates and recruiting those candidates is what recruiters do, and they do it all the time. By and large, company officials who are in charge of hiring have many other duties they have to complete. They lack the time and resources necessary to find and hire top talent. That’s why they turn to recruiters.
Sharita: I imagine how long the position remains open is also an important factor. Is that also a consideration in companies’ decision to work with a recruiter?
Stacy: Yes, that is also a consideration. The longer a position remains open, the more money it costs a company. This is especially the case for an important, upper-level position. If a company has such an opening, and it takes longer than four to six weeks to fill it, then that company can be in a lot of trouble.
I’ve had organizations contact me after having an important position open for not just weeks, but months. They tell me they’ve had trouble finding the right candidate and they want my help. Most of the time, I know somebody who would be a prime candidate for the position and I help the company fill it quickly. If the company had just come to me in the first place, they would have saved a lot of time and they would have hired the candidate they wanted a whole lot sooner.
Sharita: Are there any special situations in which organizations prefer to use recruiters?
Stacy: Yes, there are. As a general rule, the more important the position, the more likely a company is to use a recruiter for the search. That’s because the company is not able to afford hiring the wrong person and they can’t afford leaving the position open for a long period of time.
Of course, companies can’t afford to hire the wrong person for any open position they have. But when we’re talking about higher-level, executive positions, the company has less of a margin for error. And when the company has less of a margin for error, they’re more likely to use a recruiter to help fill the position and reduce the chances there will be any error at all.
Sharita: That also makes sense. Are they are other special situations or circumstances?
Stacy: There are a couple, and both of them are tied to confidentiality. The first is when an organization is attempting to replace an under-performing employee. Obviously, they can’t just try to fill the position with a simple job advertisement. More than likely, the employee will get wind of what’s happening.
The second situation is when a company is attempting to fill one or more positions “under the radar.” One of the most common reasons for this is when the company doesn’t want their competition to know what they’re doing. I have an example of just this kind of search.
There was a major company within my industry who wanted to build a sales force, but they didn’t want their competitors to know what they were doing. So they hired our search firm to build a nationwide sales force for them. We had to secretly recruit these individuals. These positions were not posted anywhere, and they could only be found by working with a recruiter. In this instance, they could only be found by working with our recruiting firm.
Sharita: It seems as though confidentiality is a major reason that organizations use recruiters.
Stacy: It is. That’s because it’s not just about finding and recruiting the right people, it’s also about HOW you find and recruit those people. This illustrates the value that recruiters offer to companies and that they bring to the hiring process. We’re going to discuss the value that recruiters bring more in this series of podcasts. There is a lot of value in working with recruiters to fill your most important positions, and that’s why organizations choose that avenue for hiring time and time again.
Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.
Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!