Blog: Is it time to hire a recruiter?

Is it time to hire a recruiter?

How many hats are you wearing? Most HR professionals are juggling multiple tasks, and finding it difficult to get everything done. A recruiter has one area of focus... recruiting. As they search for the right candidate, they must be skilled and organized. Their job involves managing a multitude of contacts, skill sets, job orders, candidates, applicants, recruiting sources, interview notes, and social media content. So, at some point you'll be asking... is it time to hire a recruiter?

Recruiting Options: internal vs. external. There are basically 2 types of recruiters. One recruiter works on behalf of a company, usually within an HR department. This recruiter will be paid a salary, and will focus on recruiting for one company. The other type of recruiter works for an independent company (typically referred to as a staffing or recruiting firm). The 'independent' recruiter is working on behalf of a client company who hires him/her to search, screen and interview potential direct hire candidates. Since these relationships are fee paid arrangements, the recruiter is paid a bonus for successfully placing the right candidate. These recruiters may work for multiple companies, but usually have an area of expertise i.e. finance, technical, or engineering etc.

Considering the costs and risks of internal hiring

There are many opinions and research conducted on how you calculate the total direct and indirect costs of making a poor hiring selection. For example, if you hire a Project Manager at $100,000 (annual salary package) the total cost for an incorrect selection could easily run into tens of thousands of dollars. How is this amount calculated? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Direct employee costs: payroll, taxes, benefits, training etc.
  • The hours spent by everyone involved in the hiring, training, and managing this candidate
  • The opportunity cost of not focusing on core business activities
  • The cost of time lost – tangible and indirect effects on other business initiatives etc?
  • Potential morale issues within teams/departments
  • Lost productivity during period of rehiring
  • Reduced output during re-training the next new hire
  • Any direct or indirect costs attributed to the poor hire's decisions while in the role
  • Increased internal pressure to 'get it right next time'
  • Company brand can be affected if poor hiring decisions happen repeatedly
  • Hiring a recruitment expert can give peace of mind and limit the potential risks associated with any hiring process. How? Most recruiting firms will guarantee their work. Plus, you allow someone else to shoulder the burden, while still maintaining control of the hiring process.

    Search Techniques

    An independent recruiter has a number of sources to help them locate potential candidates. Their most valuable asset is a database of networked candidates that is sorted by job discipline, skills, salary requirements and myriad of other search parameters. The independent recruiter also has access to both passive and active job seekers. Relationships are made with qualified candidates and key source referrals that help to locate qualified candidates.

    Pre-Screening and Interviewing Candidates

    The independent recruiter will take the time to source and locate qualified candidates. They will conduct a customized interview based on questions relevant to the job opening, and the expectations of their client. If a thorough pre-screen is conducted, the recruiter will discover whether or not the candidate has the right skill set, and the right employment history to be considered. Top recruiters will also be screening for the intangibles i.e. company culture considerations, career accomplishments, and examples of work initiatives. As you consider outsourcing a particular recruiting project, consider this... the time and costs connected with pre-screening and interviewing candidates is usually absorbed by the staffing/recruiting firm; so, you, the client company only pay a fee IF a placement is made.

    Responsiveness to Client Company

    An independent recruiter can focus immediately on the hiring requirement, and then spend quality time to ensure they are attracting and vetting the best pool of candidates to submit for consideration. The ability to identify, source, attract and validate candidates usually takes a fraction of the time it would take for the client company. Also, they are better able to maintain regular dialogue with the candidate pool to ensure their ongoing interest.

    As you consider your options, keep in mind that most recruiting firms are able to customize a project so that it works within your company's framework. Meaning, you can outsource part or all of the recruiting and hiring responsibilities.

    --Recruitment agencies exist to provide a service. The ongoing success of an independent recruiter depends on the ability of the recruiter to offer advice and insight, to reduce risks associated with any recruiting exercise, and to ultimately provide you with a shortlist of talented candidates you would not otherwise have known about. The value proposition of the recruiter is to provide a cost effective service that delivers a superior outcome; therefore, freeing up you and your people to focus on what they do best.

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