Episode #58 – The Critical Difference Between Recruiters and LinkedIn

The Critical Difference Between Recruiters and LinkedIn

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 in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations acquire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary Professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about the difference between recruiters and LinkedIn when it comes to hiring. Welcome, Stacy. Thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Sharita. I’m glad to be here today.

Sharita: Stacy, you’ve been a recruiter for more than two decades. You’ve seen a lot of changes in the profession during that time, haven’t you?

Stacy: I certainly have. I’m one of the few people who have worked with an actual fax machine!

Sharita: So when you started as a recruiter, social media, including LinkedIn, wasn’t even around?

Stacy: That’s right. In fact, the Internet was just starting to be used on a widespread basis. Even email was relatively new. So I’ve witnessed the beginning of social media and watched it grow. It’s had more and more of an impact over the years, including within the employment marketplace in terms of hiring.

Sharita: Is it true that employers use both LinkedIn and recruiters in their efforts to hire?

Stacy: Yes, it is. Some employers use one or the other and some use both. However, I’ll be so bold as to say that the results you receive from each are not the same.

Sharita: What do you mean by that?

Stacy: Well, let me say first that LinkedIn is a great tool. It serves many different purposes for people in the employment marketplace, including both employers and professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

I think everybody would agree that there is a LOT of information located within LinkedIn. However, there is also a LOT of information located within a phone book. And in some instances, especially in the world of hiring, just having a lot of information will only take you so far.

Sharita: Can you elaborate on that?

Stacy: I certainly can. Let’s use the phone book analogy again. More often than not, you can find what you want in a phone book, but it takes some time. In many cases, it takes longer than you thought it was going to take. Sometimes it can be a frustrating process.

The same holds true for LinkedIn. As an employer, there’s a chance that you can find what you want on LinkedIn. There’s also a chance that you might not. But even if you find what you’re looking for, it could take longer than you thought it would. That can be a problem in terms of hiring because time is of the essence.

Sharita: Right, we’ve talked about this before. The longer a hiring process lasts, the more an organization has to spend in terms of money and resources during that process.

Stacy: Correct. Now let’s talk about recruiters for a minute. Recruiters are also a source of information. However, the information that they possess is different. It can be classified as “intel.” This is an abbreviation of the word “intelligence,” and it’s often used within a military context.

Sharita: So what would you say is the difference between information and “intel.”

Stacy: “Intel” is not just information; it is specific information that’s very relevant to a given situation. The fact that it’s specific is what makes it so valuable. That’s because it allows you to take action quickly, which saves time. To put it another way, “intel” is the information that a person wants the most and that they want in the quickest way possible.

Sharita: That’s why the word is used a lot in a military context?

Stacy: That’s right. Within that context, having to wait for important and relevant information can have disastrous consequences.

Sharita: Going back to LinkedIn, can you provide an example of what you mean?

Stacy: Absolutely. Let’s say that you want to fill a critical, high-level Veterinary job or Animal Health job by finding candidates on LinkedIn. As I mentioned before, more than likely, you’re going to find plenty of information. That information could include the names of professionals, their job titles, and their employment history, among other things. However, there is some information that you won’t be able to uncover.

Sharita: What information would that be?

Stacy: For starters, you won’t know which professionals are happy or unhappy in their current position. You won’t know which ones are happy or unhappy with their employer. You won’t know which ones are more likely to make a move and which ones aren’t. And you won’t know what exactly it would take to convince those candidates who would make a move to make a move.

Sharita: You could try to find out that information, though, right?

Stacy: That’s right. But how much more time will that take? Having to comb through scores of candidates could slow down the process, and even then there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.

Sharita: I see what you mean. How do recruiters differ in this regard?

Stacy: Recruiters talk with hundreds of people every month. Not only that, but they also talk with all kinds of different people. These include job seekers, candidates, employees, managers, and hiring authorities. It’s through all of these conversations that they accumulate more than just information. They gather important “intel” about a lot of things.

Referring back to my previous example, they know which candidates are happy in their current position and they know which candidates are unhappy. They know which ones are likely to make a move, and more importantly, they know what it would take to convince them to make that move. That’s extremely valuable information for an employer, since company officials have a salary range in mind for their potential new hire.

However, recruiters have “intel” on employers, as well.

Sharita: They do? What kind of “intel” do they have concerning employers?

Stacy: For one thing, they know which organizations in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are in the process of hiring. They also know the organizations for which candidates are the most interested in working. To take it even a step further, recruiters also know what professionals think of their employers and what the company culture is like at various organizations.

This is just a short list of the type of “intel” that recruiters possess, and this information changes all the time. Since recruiters talk with so many people, they’re able to keep up with these changes, pretty much in real time. That’s more difficult for employers. Even if hiring managers are able to acquire information, that information could be outdated soon after they acquire it.

Sharita: Stacy, I imagine with as much experience as you have in the profession, you’ve seen plenty of examples that illustrate the value of “intel.”

Stacy: I certainly have. In fact, I once made a placement in three business days. On Thursday, I reached out to a candidate. On Friday, the candidate had a face-to-face interview that involved air travel to another city halfway across the United States. On Friday, the candidate interviewed with my client. By Monday, he had an offer, which he accepted. And on Tuesday, he resigned from his current position.

The hiring manager was amazed. They asked if it was the fastest placement I had ever made. It was certainly one of the fastest, but what the hiring manager didn’t realize is that I had accumulated “intel” about the candidate over the course of many years.

When my client hired me to fill the opening, I knew who to speak with about it. That’s because the candidate and I had years of history together discussing his career, the animal health industry in which I work, his experience, and his goals. That’s “intel,” and I put it to use to solve my client’s hiring problem in a matter of days. Without my “intel,” it would have taken longer than just days to hire an appropriate candidate. In fact, it might have taken a LOT longer.

And I have many stories just like this one from over the years. I’ve been able to help my clients not only find high-quality candidates, but also the right candidates at the right time. That’s what “intel” does. It’s information that allows you to take immediate action. It allows you to take the right action at the right time for the optimal result.

Sharita: So in the example that you just gave, if it was a race between you and LinkedIn to find the best candidate in the shortest amount of time, it would have been no contest.

Stacy: That’s one way of looking at it. And once again, I have to say that LinkedIn is an excellent social media site and a great tool. It offers plenty of benefits for almost everyone. However, when it comes to a deeper level of information, when it comes to “intel,” it falls short in an area where recruiters can provide a tremendous amount of value.

Sharita: Stacy, thanks so much for all of this great information today and for talking about the difference between LinkedIn and recruiters.

Stacy: Thank you, Sharita. I look forward to our next podcast!