May 9, 2024

Top 4 Things In Selecting A Recruiting Partner


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Yay another list, thanks James.

Top 4 Things In Selecting A Recruiting Partner

1. Pick someone you trust. Duh.

Trust actually means two things: vibes and expertise. Gotta have both.

I don’t have to tell you the recruiting industry doesn’t have the greatest historic reputation. Hard sell, transactional, rise-and-grind companies make up a large chunk of the industry. Those environments cause their recruiters to cut corners any way they can. Your vibe meter should clue you into when you’re talking to cheesy, canned response recruiters.

Expertise is the other key. How well do they know the domain? Have they demonstrated success with both skills (what candidates do) and industries (what your company does)?

2. It’s not the Rolodex they got. It’s the Rolodex they can build.

A funny thing happened over the last 2 decades: literally everyone is online. Searchable and reachable.

The value of “proprietary” (God I hate that word) databases dropped like a rock. Personal relationships still hold incredible value, but just because you know someone, it doesn’t mean they’re looking to switch jobs right now.

“Knowing a guy” doesn’t fill a job. Having good relationships is table stakes, not a selling point.

The best recruiters know how to build new relationships quickly. Target new people, engage with them, build trust, articulate your value, build interest in your opening. Rinse and repeat. A lot of recruiters cannot do this.

3. Ask what the agency needs from you. Not just how they find people.

Most of what you need to know to fill a role is not in the job description. Understanding the ideal candidate profile is critical, and that requires a deep dive into your mind. What made past hires successful, why other hires didn’t work, what sorts of business (or technical) problems/solutions someone needs experience with, what other industries are a good match, etc.

Skill matching is a tiny part of the job. A recruiter who doesn’t require much from you isn’t going far beyond that.

4. You get what you pay for.

Look, I’m not saying simply paying more will solve your hiring problems. But when things look too good to be true, it’s because they are.

When you’re evaluating firms, the low cost and no-commitment options are typically the ones who can’t do points 1-3 above.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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