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 discussing using a job board vs. using a recruiter. Stacy, thank you for joining us.
Stacy: Hello, I’m glad to be here today.
Sharita: Now Stacy, there are two sides to this issue, is that correct? The employer side and the job seeker side?
Stacy: Yes, that’s correct, and today we’ll be discussing the employer side of things. Obviously, both employers and job seekers use online job advertisements. In addition, both employers and job seekers use recruiters. Today, we’ll take a look at what employers can expect when they use both online job ads and recruiters, specifically the difference in the results that they receive.
Sharita: I know that we’ve touched upon this subject briefly in previous podcasts. And I also know that when we discuss hiring, the starting point that you like to use is the hiring of the best candidates in the marketplace.
Stacy: That’s absolutely right. From my perspective, if you’re going to spend valuable time, energy, and effort to hire people, then you should definitely try to hire the best candidates. Talent is what makes a true difference within organizations, and the companies that have the best talent are the ones that become industry leaders. When you have A-level talent across the board, that’s when you take more market share, expand your reach, and generate more productivity and more profit.
Sharita: With all of that in mind, what would you say is the #1 problem with organizations using online job advertisements as their main strategy for finding candidates to fill their open positions?
Stacy: The #1 problem is that those organizations are not going to have a chance to hire the best candidates for their positions.
Sharita: And why is that?
Stacy: Because the top candidates are not even looking at job ads!
Once again, we are in the midst of a candidates’ market. That means a couple of things. First, it means that the best candidates are likely employed. Not only that, but they’re probably being treated very well by their current employer. That employer is paying them well and keeping them happy and engaged in their work. As a result, those candidates are not looking for a new job or to make a move.
However, that does not mean they wouldn’t make a move under the right circumstances.
Sharita: What are those circumstances, exactly?
Stacy: Those circumstances are if a new opportunity is better than the job they already have. Even though these professionals are not looking for a new job, they’re still considered candidates. That’s because the majority of them would consider making a move if the opportunity was clearly better than the one they already have. Top performers are forward-thinking people by nature. They’re always on the lookout for the next step in their careers, even if they’re not actively seeking it at the moment.
Sharita: So an online job advertisement is not going to work with them because they’re not even looking at online job ads.
Stacy: That’s right. And there are two reasons why they’re not. First, they don’t have the desire to conduct an active job search, which we’ve just discussed. Second, they don’t have the time. As a top performer, they’re extremely busy. Even if they had the desire to conduct a search, chances are slim that they would find a particular employer’s online job ad.
I recently received a call from a sales representative I placed with one of our best clients. He is the #1 sales rep in their entire company. My client hired me to recruit a top rep away from another organization, and that’s what I did.
He was a top rep at his previous company, and now he’s the #1 rep working for my client. The fact of the matter is that my client would not have gained access to this person on their own. They needed somebody to reach out to him on their behalf to convince him to consider a better opportunity.
People like this sales rep do NOT apply to job advertisements, and this story helps to illustrate the difference between using online job ads and using a recruiter.
Sharita: But I imagine there’s another problem with online job advertisements from the employer side of things. First of all, not everybody who sees an ad actually applies for the job.
Stacy: Yes, even if a job seeker sees the ad and they’re qualified for the job, that doesn’t mean they’ll actually apply for it. But it even goes beyond that.
Sharita: How so?
Stacy: According to a 2016 study by CareerBuilder, 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications. The reason they quit is the length and the complexity of those applications.
Employers, in an effort to make the application process as detailed as they can to identify the best candidates, are actually screening candidates out as a direct result of that process. And remember that chances are good that these job seekers do not represent the very best candidates.
So not only are employers missing out on the best candidates by relying solely on online job ads, but they’re only gaining access to roughly 40% of the job seekers who start filling out the application. That’s because the other 60% quit in the middle of the process, and the employers never know who those people are or even that they were interested in the position.
Sharita: It seems that when it comes to identifying the best candidates in the marketplace, it’s nearly impossible for online job ads to be effective.
Stacy: Well, it’s not just identifying the best candidates, either. It’s also a matter of convincing those candidates to consider the employment opportunity. Remember, just because the job exists doesn’t mean that candidates will automatically be interested in it. Candidates, especially top candidates, have options and in some cases, they have a lot of options. One of those options is that they can simply stay with their current employer. For some of these candidates, that is a very viable option.
Sharita: So in order to hire the best candidates, you have to convince them that your employment opportunity is their best option?
Stacy: That’s right. You have to convince them that your employment opportunity is better than the one they have right now and that it’s the best move for their career.
Sharita: And that’s what separates online job advertisements from recruiters?
Stacy: Not only do recruiters know who the top candidates are within the industry, but they can present an employment opportunity, convince candidates to consider it, and ultimately convince them to enter the hiring process.
Sharita: How is that recruiters know who the top candidate are, but hiring managers do not?
Stacy: A successful recruiter who has been in the profession for any length of time has spoken with these candidates and even worked with them in the past. Through these conversations, they’ve learned what is important to these candidates, including what job or opportunity would convince them to make a move. This is information that can be extremely valuable at the right time.
I’ve told this story before in one of our podcasts, but it’s worth repeating. Earlier this year, I made a placement in three days, but there was more to the situation than meets the eye.
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. 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. I didn’t just cold call the candidate about my client’s opportunity. The candidate knew who I was. We’d had years of history together discussing his career and his goals.
It took time, energy, and effort, but that’s what a recruiter brings to the hiring process that an online job advertisement can’t bring. A job ad is limited in what it can do. It’s not a human being, and it’s not capable of building relationships and gaining the trust of another person.
Sharita: One of the arguments I’ve heard in favor of online job ads is that they are less costly than hiring a recruiter. What are your thoughts about that?
Stacy: I have a couple of thoughts about it. First, as they say, you get what you pay for. As we’ve discussed, online job ads rarely, if ever, result in sourcing the best candidates. Not only that, but not everybody who starts to apply through an online ad actually completes the application.
Second, the more important the position, the more difficult it is to fill it through an online job ad. That’s because the more important the positon, the higher the caliber of candidate that’s needed. I’ve talked with countless hiring managers down through the years who have told me they advertised their position online for months with no success in finding a suitable candidate. They also told me that they spent thousands of dollars on those job ads and were no closer to finding somebody than when they started. In addition, since the position was open for so long, their organization lost revenue in the form of productivity. Trying to use online ads actually cost them money in two different ways!
These hiring managers came to me after dealing with online ads and they asked me to help them fill their positions. If they had just come to me first, they would have saved a lot of money in the long run and they would have filled the positions more quickly.
The more important the search and the higher caliber of the candidate needed, the more that a recruiter can help and the less that a job ad can.
Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today.
Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast.