The question behind the question
“How do you find your candidates?”
That comes up in literally every new client call I take. But it’s not even the real question. What they’re really asking:
“Are you just posting jobs and forwarding the responses and hoping I like one and then charging me a bunch of money?”
Why are they asking that? Because that’s been their experience with agencies in the past.
Resumes mills that spray and pray (prey?) CVs and invoices.
Maybe I’m naive. But I *think* this is becoming less of an issue in our industry. Just very slowly.
But for hiring companies, the sting of working with a bad recruiter lasts a long, long time.
Those of us with highly sophisticated sources and vetting processes…we’ll be answering that question for the rest of our careers.
The irony is the actual sources themselves are the least important aspects. Just having a LinkedIn Recruiter seat (or whatever tool you use) doesn’t mean you’re any good at all at using it. (Another key point you need to be good a explaining.)
It’s the processes that are important. Every ‘good’ firm will have variations on this. But before we kick off any search, we do an intake call.
Every. Single. Time. It covers:
👉Ideal Candidate Profile: Literally everything we need to know to pinpoint who is right fit. Not just the line items in the job description. But things like business problems solved, industry experience, interest alignments, previous success (and failure) indicators in the role…you get the picture. The real meat of it.
👉Interview Process: So good or no good? Uncovering (and advising) if candidate identification is even the main challenge or are there other blockers in the process. You’d be surprised. (Come to think of it no you wouldn’t.)
👉Your Message: We want to tell the *exact* same story our clients do. There should be zero misunderstanding up front on what the position, process, company, and opportunity is. Any misalignment is on us.
From there it’s off to the races. Explaining in granular detail the specific channels we use is like explaining how paint dries. Ultimately no one cares how the bacon is made.
I bring this up for 2 reasons:
1. Any question that gets asked this many times…I might as well just put it out in the world.
No, we’re not just posting jobs and sending you responses. Everything in headhunting.
2. If you’re evaluating firms and they talk about tools but not processes?
Red. Flag. 🚩🚩🚩