Recruiting Intelligence: Improving Client-Vendor Partnership

ThinkstockPhotos-461037245In finding top talent for our clients, recruiters are often seen as merely a stepping stone in the supply chain rather than a critical source of market intelligence to aid clients in better shaping their needs and expectations.

Recruiting cycles are often wasted when recruiters are tasked with finding candidate profiles rigidly constructed by a company, based on undefined expectations and limited or out-of-date market data. But recruiters can be a valuable bridge between client expectations and market realities and should be used as a resource to ensure clients get the best outcome possible in the shortest amount of time.

There are many reasons companies create new job openings; almost all are driven by internal needs. Rarely, if ever, is consideration given to the market dynamics that will make it possible to find the right person for the new role.

Many times a client’s job description can read almost like a child’s Christmas wish list – listing anything and everything the hiring manager can think of, with limited regard to availability or cost of such an extensive ‘wish list.’ Often, job descriptions are written from a template HR has approved or it has been pulled from the internet and it does not give you an accurate depiction of what the role really is or of the ultimate value an ideal candidate will add.

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Like many pragmatic parents when looking at their children’s holiday list, it is the job of the recruiter to start the unpopular task of deciphering fantasy from reality while being ever-mindful of fulfilling the requirements of the position with the right person, because it is after all, his/her job as recruiter to deliver.

In order to do this effectively, recruiters should look to the following five considerations immediately to help begin discussions with the hiring manager about how to refine and clarify their needs.

  • Is this an existing role, replacement or backfill?
  • What business need drives the hire?
  • Who wrote the initial job description?
  • Does the job description outline specifically what the person hired will actually be doing?
  • Does it list more required and desired skills than what really will be performed day to day?

Equipped with these answers, recruiters can begin working to identify the right talent for the role. This is often the time when client desire conflicts with market realities and the recruiter must try with Herculean zeal to mold a candidate’s experience into a form closely resembling the client’s needs.

Those of us in the field know there is an absolute art to recruiting which enables us to draw out the experiences and skills relevant to the qualified candidates being submitted. Most candidates expect their resumes will boldly reflect some inherent demonstration of a skill or an experience not spelled out in the resume. But the fact is, a resume should never imply experience – and that is where an artful recruiter can help a candidate clearly articulate why they are a great fit for a role.

Recruiters must often act as intelligence agents – analyzing trends in the market to then deliver feedback to the client on the availability and/or cost of the people they are hoping to hire. Recruiters say, and clients hear all the time, this skill doesn’t exist or this salary is not in line with market expectations. But truly successful recruiters can come to their clients with data backing up what the market is showing .

A recruiter has access to real-time market intelligence from the employees and consultants working in the roles our clients are seeking to fill. This gives recruiters insight into the market pressures of supply versus demand and this can all be communicated back to clients to help them gain a better understanding of the market realities versus expectations.

This market intelligence can be summarized in a supply and demand snapshot from job boards providing such data, a write up by the recruiter about the conversations they have been having with candidates or via a meeting to discuss all the data sources and what it is telling the recruiter about the market realities.

As we know all too well, just because a client has a hiring need does not mean it is a realistic need and it is a recruiter’s job to bridge the gap between the desired role and what the market can provide at the time.

There is strong competition for top talent in the market and recruiters should all strive to understand the market drivers and guide both clients and job seekers based upon the information they are gathering on a daily basis.

If recruiters see themselves as “Order Takers,” merely here to take what is given to them and then go execute a search, they will miss a valuable opportunity to help drive our clients and candidates to better outcomes by bringing together both components of supply and demand.

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Matt Chamberlain
Matt Chamberlain is executive director, delivery/recruiting operations of Digital Intelligence Systems LLC (DISYS).

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One Response to “Recruiting Intelligence: Improving Client-Vendor Partnership”

  1. […] This article, written by DISYS Executive Director of Delivery and Recruiting Operations Matt Chamberlain, appears on ‘The Staffing Stream.’ Read the full article,‘Recruiting Intelligence: Improving Client-Vendor Partnership’ here. […]

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