Recruiter Location … How Important?

It’s a fact today that recruiters work remotely from their “clients,” — the hiring managers and candidates they represent — they spend most of their time on the Internet and the phone. They use tools, old and new, that enable them to speak and even see those with whom they work and they can conference multiple people together when needed. Every now and then they get on a plane or drive a car to meet someone face to face. Theirs is a life of collaboration, coordination, searching, selling, tracking people down, cajoling and more — mostly from afar.

With this in mind, recruiting managers must get creative about where and how they organize their teams. Some insist their recruiting team m
So what do you think — where should recruiters work? And what is your secret to managing your teams in that “place” you describe? What are the risks and the rewards that come with your approach? Is there only one answer? Or does it “depend”? And if so, what does it “depend” on?embers be housed in one place. There are lots of reasons — to be near the managers they support, to build esprit de corps  or to more effectively manage their efforts. Other recruiting managers believe that it doesn’t really matter where a recruiter resides as long as they have the skills and tools needed to find people in today’s electronic world and can stay in touch appropriately in order to effectively manage through the inevitable issues that arise in the recruiting game. All of these managers tend to be tethered to technology to monitor and manage their teams.

I invite recruiters, recruiting managers and supported hiring managers to join this discussion — all are impacted and your opinion is important!

Kay Colson

Kay Colson
Kay Colson is VP, service delivery, Texas Children's Hospital, Kinetix. She can be reached at kcolson (at) kinetixhr (dot) com.

Kay Colson

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24 Responses to “Recruiter Location … How Important?”

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  15. BPeters says:

    As any good consultant would say…”it depends.”  As we enter The Human Age, talent is more than ever before dictating how/when/where they want to work.  The technological revolution has obviously enabled recruiters to leverage technology as their primary tool for sourcing and screening candidates.  So adapting to this trend will be important if you’re interested in hiring and keeping quality recruiters.  As long as they have a computer, a phone and a desk, they can work.  Regardless of whether they are “remote” or part of a recruiting team in a centralized location, the key to success is accountability.  Making sure each recruiter knows exactly what is expected of them and how it will be measured is critical.  Then it just comes down to performance.  However, how your recruiting team is structured will dictate the most appropriate physical location for the recruiter.  If it’s a higher level, more experienced recruiter dealing with both hiring managers and clients, it shouldn’t matter where they are located.  If it is a junior recruiter, working with candidates only and working as part of a larger sourcing team, then being located in a centralized location may be preferable to promote teamwork, enable the free flow of verbal communication and to ensure their distractions are limited.  Again, regardless of what you decide, accountability is paramount.
    Bill Peters

  16. KayColson says:

    Managing remote recruiters isn’t diffcult … follow the “3 Sets” – Set clear expections, set egular communications events, set a strong customer focus example!.

  17. Cyarbrough says:

    I’ve been working in a virtual environments and managing virtual recruiting teams on and off for the past 15 years and it’s been a fantastic ride. I lot depends on the client and hiring the right team.
    The biggest challenge is to ensure that all team members feel a part of a single organization focused on a common set of goals, not just within my team, but within the overall Talent Acquisition organization.
    To help keep everyone updated with the most recent communication, we use a chat window in Skype open so we can quickly interact like we were sitting in the cube next to each other. We use Go-To-Meeting’s that are interactive and I have someone from my team conduct the meeting so they get exposure and recognition for the expertise they bring to the table.
    Accountability is  key…..use a project-planning tool around metrics.  It will help with managing a client SLA’s within a dispersed team. Everyone will have visibility around metrics, required actions, deliverables, and dependencies.

  18. fdonaldson says:

    Kay,  Good topic for discussion, but obviously there’s no single answer for all scenarios.  That said, my opinion from 20 years of search experience from both the agency side and the client side, is for the Recruiting Team to quickly build rapport with the client up front and on-site, and show progress as fast as possible.  This will instill the confidence that the Team and Manager know what they are doing, and will deliver.  Then the issue of remote versus on-site becomes moot; the client has faith the desired results will happen, and the Team can work where and when they like.  As we all know the bottom line is delivery.

  19. KayColson says:

     Laurie Harris Menner @chipholmes @Aurora Murdock Recuiter work ethic, manager preferences … how do you manage all these things to build a high performance recruiting team???

  20. LaurieMenner says:

    I think the answer depends on the client, the recruiter’s manager, and the recruiter.  I have seen some very successful virtual recruiting models.  As Chip mentions, this model allows for the freedom to obtain the best talent, regardless of location, cuts down on “unproductive” social time, and allows for flexible scheduling.  However, I have also witnessed the flip side.  Some clients are high touch and don’t respond well to phone, email, text, skype, etc.  They only respond to the recruiter, in their office, across the desk or a conference table.  Additionally,  some recruiting managers are not comfortable with managing a virtual team.  They don’t enjoy being tethered to technology.   And, finally, certain recruiters operate more effectively in a structured, office environment.  They work best when they are in close proximity to their hiring managers and teammates, when they get their social interaction, feedback, and intel on a daily basis at the water cooler.  As long as a recruiting manager understands their own style, as well as their client and the recruiter, they can make the right decision. 

  21. KayColson says:

    Tell us what you think – where should recruiters be domiciled?

    • Aurora Murdock says:

      I’ve been a virtual recruiter since 2006.  I think that as long as the recruiters reside in time zones that can be linked together for weekly team calls conducted by the recruiting manager, there shouldn’t be an issue.  This is under the assumption that the recruiter locations are also compatible with the locations of the client roles for which they are sourcing.  As long as the work ethic is there, virtual recruiter should be able to adapt to pretty much any schedule required by the recruiting manager and the client.

  22. chipholmes says:

    Kay, I understand at times it is helpful to organize recruiters in one location in order to manage effectively, leverage resources, and enhance training.  However, whenever possible I prefer to hire recruiters with no regard to a specific location.  This allows me to find the best available resource, with no limitations.  Also, from a productivity perspective, cutting down on water color conversations can be a good thing.  And finally, it is much easier for remote recruiters to work flexible hours.  They can engage in morning sourcing activities, take a break, and in the evening when those talented passive candidates they’ve recruited are available, they can give them a call.

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