Developing “Vision” in Recruiting

visionWhat is the trademark of a successful staffing professional? Understanding client needs and being able to deliver qualified candidates in a timely manner. Simple enough, but as we all know this business can be quite complicated when it comes to actually executing on those concepts.

Let’s take a look at some of the keys to making placements as a recruiter:

  1. Fundamentals skills: Boolean search, effective voicemails, creating quality postings, etc.
  2. Level of motivation and overall work ethic.
  3. Knowing exactly what you are looking for – the “vision”.

The first two points are fairly straightforward and covered extensively. The third might seem like common sense, but from my experience training and managing more than 50 recruiters over the past eight years I have observed this to be an ongoing gap in many staffing organizations.

So how do you help your recruiters to develop a ‘vision’ of exactly what your client is looking for?

Fundamentals that many firms utilize are to include recruiters in the requirement qualification process whenever possible and to use requirement forms to ensure that all pertinent information is gathered.  Both of those are great best practices but I would like to take things a couple of steps further.

Here are five additional ways to ensure that your recruiting staff has a clear vision:

  • Establish Standards. If you work with the same customer on an ongoing basis it is helpful to put parameters in place with regard to things like acceptable commute range, rate mark-up, or other general guidelines. Make sure that the framework can be quantified by using specifics such as “no commute longer than 60 minutes on MapQuest”.
  • Building Keywords into Descriptions. Giving a recruiter a simple Boolean search or some keywords can help to ensure that they ‘hit the ground running’ when a job is assigned to them.
  • Researching Hires. A quick search using the company and job title on LinkedIn or the Job Boards will show you individuals who are current or former employees of your client. If you look at the prior experience of those individuals it can provide clarity for your search.
  • Understanding Skill Sets. If a recruiter has not previously worked on a particular type of role they may not understand the position.  For this I would go to a search engine (Google, etc.) or an experienced colleague; this is also a great time to look for keywords or qualifying questions.
  • Defining the Why. One of the things that I always look at when working with a client is how I can position their opportunities in the market. What would make someone want to work for that firm? It is crucial to understand this information so that you can ‘sell’ the opportunity when recruiting.

If possible it is always beneficial to have a brief meeting to discuss each requirement when it is assigned to the recruiter; this will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the recruiter starts off on the right track. This is especially important when supporting VMS/MSP clients as it is typically a race to see who can get to the qualified candidates first.

Implementing some or all of the best practices listed above will ensure that your recruiting staff is as efficient as possible. A few minutes of research or a brief meeting can save hours of wasted time, especially when working with entry-level recruiters.

Don’t let your recruiters spend time calling candidates without a clear vision.

Tom Mutaffis
Tom Mutaffis is field director, delivery, for KForce.

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