As a professional recruiter, this is a question I often get. I’m going to answer it and give you some food for thought. But first things first – let’s be clear on the definition of a recruiter. A quick Google search will lead you to the business dictionary’s definition of a recruiter as “an individual who works to fill job openings in businesses or organizations.” However, according to the Association of Professional Recruiters Canada, professional recruiters have more to offer beyond trying to match job seekers with open positions. They have the knowledge and skills required to reduce recruitment costs, lower the risk of erroneous hiring decisions and avoid needless litigation. In short, a professional recruiter can save you time and money.
Many people think that because they know the job and went through the interview process once or twice before that they can recruit. We, recruiters, beg to differ. There’s a lot more to successfully recruiting than just dusting off the job description, placing an ad and meeting a few candidates. Effective recruitment matters because ultimately your organization can only be as good as the people that make it. As James C. Collins put it in his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, “Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.” Getting the right people requires method and skills, it means having a solid recruitment strategy and implementation plan.
Before starting any recruitment process, you need to ask yourself a few questions? For example, if you are recruiting for an existing position, now is a good time to reassess it. What are the duties and responsibilities? Do you need the position in its existing form? How does the position contribute to your organization’s goals? Does it require special skills and education? How about the personality requirements? Doing a thorough assessment early will allow you to be clear on the type of position and person you require. An experienced recruiter will ask the right questions so you end up with a precise job description and compensation package, a well-formulated job ad and position marketing strategy, and a fitting matrix to select the right candidate.
Beyond the job itself, how well do you actually know your organization? You may wonder why that matters, but having a clear understanding of the impact of its structure, culture and values will also help you recruit the best candidate. Successfully filling a position means more than just getting someone to do the job. Experience, education and drive are not enough. How will the individual fit within the organization? Are their values in alignment with yours? Would you hire a vegetarian to sell meat? Probably not! Is your organizational structure optimized to reach your goals and help your employees meet or excel their objectives? Again, a professional recruiter can help you take stock of your organization’s features and screen potential candidates with these features in mind.
Why do I need a recruiter when I already have a human resources department? That’s another question people often ask me. Well, the real question should be – is our human resources team well versed in recruitment? Not all human resources departments are created equal. There are many diverse disciplines within human resources, although they all contribute to people management. It’s kind of like carpenters and bricklayers; they each contribute to the construction of a house but bring different skill sets. Internal human resources professionals often focus on the management of employees once they have been hired, such as management of their benefits, training, discipline, promotions and more. Recruitment professionals focus on all the aspects that have to be aligned to ensure your satisfaction and that of the new recruit for a positive long-term relationship. We bring expertise in the design of the right position to meet operational objectives, the offer of fair rewards for the position, the delivery of pointed interviews to efficiently identify potential recruits, and finally the selection and attraction of the best candidate.
As CEO of Essence Recruitment, I believe in “hiring slow” – that means taking the time necessary to understand your organization and its existing workforce. It is about establishing a partnership to contribute to your organization’s overall success. So, next time you think you need to hire for a new or existing position, think professional recruiter first.
CEO, Essence Recruitment