How to Know When It's Time to Surrender

Attracting, procuring, and retaining top talent is difficult right now.  Really hard, even in tough economies.  When employees leave for another position, to go off on their own, personal reasons or retirement, the process to fill that vacancy can be daunting.  The added stress and workload of the void doesn't help matters.

Human Resources is often the best ally, but they can also be overwhelmed with benefits issues, employee relations, and many, many other projects.  Some companies don't have a human resources professional on staff, let alone a whole department.  This is when partnering with a recruiter may be the best option.

Recruiters should be thought of as the designated hitter of your team.  Since they live and breathe talent acquisition, they have an ability to deliver only the best candidates to the companies they work with.  Recruiters find the golden needles in the haystack.  That is not all.

How can a recruiter add value to hiring managers and human resources professionals? 

  • Recruiters can make the application process more human by performing the initial assessment, pre-interview prep and post-interview debriefing for candidate. 
  • As an "outsider", they provide unbiased advice and guidance, especially in terms of strategies to attract the difficult, hard to find, passive candidates.
  • Most of all they educate.  Recruiters can help companies perfect their hiring process through feedback from candidates that interviewed with the company. 

Make sure you vet the recruiters as to what EXACTLY, SPECIFICALLY, and PRECISELY they will do on your behalf to attract talent.  Some firms only send resumes off job boards or LinkedIn. Some have aggressive search processes where they uncover talent that is not actively looking.  Ask them what their talent acquisition strategy is.  If a great process is important to you don't just hire a recruiter because they agree to a low fee.  Next, you should be comfortable that their process, along with their experience will yield a portfolio of outstanding talent.

Asking for help is a great step in winning the war for talent, especially as the job market changes.  When the decision is made to partner with a recruiter, it is important to make certain it is a person or firm that understands the needs, goals and culture of the company.  This can feel like courting a new employee.  In the end, finding the right person to help with talent acquisition will benefit the company overall.

If attracting, hiring and procuring top talent is proving to be more difficult than anticipated, it might be time to wave the white flag and bring in reinforcements.  Now I know this article may appear self-serving.  We offer this advice whether you would choose to work with us or screen any other firm out there.

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