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.
Hello, Stacy, and welcome to today’s podcast.
Stacy: Hello, I’m glad to be here today.
Sharita: This is the second in a series of podcasts about how and why recruiters work with organizations to fill their open positions. Previously, we discussed the reasons why companies use recruiters. This week, we’ll be talking about the specific value that recruiters provide. Is that right?
Stacy: That’s right. Before we get to that, though, I want to address the topic of making sure that you choose the right recruiting firm for your organization. There are plenty of good reasons to use a recruiting firm, but if you work with the wrong one, it can be counterproductive.
Sharita: So you’re saying there are recruiting firms out there that don’t really know what they’re doing?
Stacy: The recruiting industry is like any other industry. Some recruiters are better than others, and in some cases, they’re much better. So I’d like to clearly define what constitutes a REAL recruiting firm and what does not.
A real recruiting firm partners with companies. They make a commitment to help build them up and achieve grow through the identification, recruiting, and hiring of exceptional candidates that become top-performing employees.
A firm that is not a REAL recruiting firm does not make a commitment with a long-term vision in mind. Instead, its recruiters focus more on the short term, “throwing resumes,” so to speak, in an effort to “see what sticks.”
Sharita: It seems as though there’s a difference in terms of priorities between the two firms that you’re describing.
Stacy: That’s absolutely right. The central difference between these two types of firms is that the real recruiting firm is primarily concerned with filling the position with the best candidate possible first and the recruiting fee second.
The other firm is concerned primarily with the recruiting fee first and filling the position with the best candidate possible second . . . if at all. There are five things that a real recruiting firm will NOT do.
First, it will not present candidates that are not qualified in terms of skills, experience, or both.
Second, it will not present candidates without a proven track record of success.
Third, it will not present candidates that would not be a good fit within the organization, culture or otherwise.
Fourth, it will not attempt to make a candidate look better than they actually are in the hopes of filling the position more quickly.
Fifth, it will not “throw” resumes at a company without meticulously screening the candidates to make sure that they are definitely a fit for the position.
Sharita: It sounds like companies should be careful about which recruiting firms they choose to work with. What’s most important when it comes to selecting a recruiting firm?
Stacy: As an employer, you definitely want to work with a recruiting firm that has a lot of experience in your industry. This will improve your chances of getting the types of candidates you want. That’s because the recruiter will understand the candidates’ language, they’ll understand their accomplishments, and they’ll see through their exaggerations.
Working with a recruiter with experience in your industry also saves time. That’s because they’ll be better able to understand your job description and what’s important to your particular situation. They will also have a better knowledge of where to start looking or where not to look for qualified candidates.
Sharita: So the value that a recruiting firm brings to the hiring process starts with having experience within a company’s industry. How else is that value defined?
Stacy: The value that recruiters bring to the hiring process can be broken down into three main categories.
The first category is the knowledge that they have. The second category is the opportunities that they create. And the third category involves the skills and abilities that they possess.
Sharita: What’s involved in the first category, the knowledge that recruiters have?
Stacy: There are a lot of things that recruiters are knowledgeable about, and that knowledge is very valuable to employers.
First of all, they have knowledge of the top candidates in the marketplace. Specifically, they know who these candidates are, and they probably already have relationships with them. As we’ve discussed before, the first step in hiring top talent is being able to identify top talent.
Second, recruiters have knowledge of the conditions of the job market, including current trends and emerging trends. An example would be a candidates’ market like the one we’re experiencing right now and that we talked about earlier. Recruiters have knowledge of what to do and how to handle specific market conditions, and they can use that knowledge to educate and guide their clients.
Third, recruiters have knowledge of what companies are doing within the industry. This is especially valuable for organizations that want to know what’s happening with their competitors. Companies do everything they can to grow and gain more market share. Since recruiters are “in the trenches” every day, they have knowledge of this sort of information.
Sharita: This also goes back to something we talked about earlier, that company officials and hiring authorities simply don’t have enough time to devote to tracking down this type of information. Is that correct?
Stacy: That’s right, and I have an example that illustrates this. I recently spoke with a company official, and during the course of our conversation, I realized that I knew more than he did. I knew more about what was happening not only with his competition, but also about what was happening within his own company! In addition, one of his competitors had just been purchased, and he was not even aware of it. I was also aware of other competitors in his employer’s space that he was not.
Sharita: What’s about the second category, the opportunities that recruiters create?
Recruiters are on the phone all the time, every day, talking to job seekers, candidates, and other professionals within their industry. We’re talking about hundreds of phone calls and conversations every single week. Those are calls that result in opportunities—opportunities for organizations to hire top-level talent and opportunities for job seekers and passive candidates to find a better employment situation. Once again, these are opportunities that company officials do not have time to create. As a result, they put a value on what recruiters are able to do, and that’s yet another reason why they work with them to fill positions.
I have another example that illustrates all of this. I recently made a placement in three business days. At least, it appeared to be only three business days, but there was much more to the story.
On Thursday, I reached out to the candidate. On Friday, the candidate had a face-to-face interview that involved air travel to another city halfway across the United States. (Yes, my client made that happen directly after the phone interview. After the phone interview, my candidate was on a plane. I don’t even think he had time to go home to get a bag.) On Friday, he interviewed. By Monday, he had an offer, which he accepted. On Tuesday, he resigned from his current position.
My client asked me if that was the fastest placement I had ever made. The fact of the matter was that looks were deceiving.
That’s because the placement actually started years ago when I first met the candidate. Our relationship continued to develop over a number of years, where we talked numerous times about his career and his career goals. I knew his experience, and I knew his goals.
So when my client hired me to fill the opening, I knew who to speak with about it. My client may have had the perception that it was an easy placement. While I’m happy that my client was nimble enough to move quickly, I didn’t just meet that candidate. We’ve had years of history together discussing his career, the industry in which I work, his experience, and his goals.
So all of those phone calls and conversations helped to create an opportunity, and when the time was right, everything happened very quickly. Without all of those conversations, that opportunity might not have existed and quite possibly, nothing would have happened.
Sharita: How about the third category, the skills and abilities that recruiters possess?
Stacy: While a recruiters’ knowledge and the opportunities they create help them to identify top candidates who are willing to make a move, it’s their skills that are really their most valuable component. And a recruiter’s main skill is their ability to recruit, plain and simple.
And that ability is evident all the way through the hiring process. They recruit when they approach the best candidates and convince them to at least consider their client’s opportunity. They recruit when they convince candidates to enter the hiring process and schedule a face-to-face interview. They recruit when the offer is made because when you’re talking about top candidates, there is no guarantee that they’re automatically going to accept it. And they continue to recruit even after a candidate accepts the offer of employment.
Sharita: They do? Why is that? Wouldn’t that be the time to stop recruiting?
Stacy: You would think so, but after a candidate accepts an offer and before they officially start their employment is when they’re most vulnerable. That’s because they could receive an offer from another company or they could receive a counter-offer from their current employer.
Sharita: So it really is all about selling, as you’ve mentioned before? Selling not just the opportunity, but also selling the organization and the candidate’s future there?
Stacy: That’s right. You should never stop recruiting and you should never stop selling throughout the hiring process. Nobody does this better than a recruiter. It’s their profession. They do it day in and day out, and that’s a large part of the value they offer to organizations and they bring to the hiring process.
If you want to recruit the best candidates in the market, regardless of where they are and whether or not they’re looking for a new job, working with a recruiter is the best way to do it.
Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.
Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!