Improving Internal Hiring: Relationship Recruiting

It’s ironic that the staffing industry that is so proficient at placing people in jobs has difficulty with its own internal hiring.

Many firms, especially the small and midsize staffing agencies, don’t have a dedicated staff to hire. I know several large firms that just have a skeletal group of recruiters, responsible for internal hiring. It comes down to the fact that we as an industry often don’t have a strategic or ongoing (internal)  recruiting plan.

I am going to help you  improve your internal hiring efforts. And that’s where relationship recruiting comes in. This will help you build a dynamic candidate community to replace your reliance on job boards.

Relationship recruiting is a strategic process that utilizes a professional network to attract talent. It’s like having an internal LinkedIn program specific to your firm. Start by utilizing an executive search model, with your company as the client.  Hire a talent acquisition lead, or team, depending on your size.  Empower them to develop the program, make decisions, have access to internal decision makers, to influence and drive process quickly.

Next create your recruiting brand. Have your internal talent acquisition team get involved within your target industry.  Think creatively.  What will give your firm the biggest bang for the best visibility?  Maybe it is getting involved in the right professional associations.  Have your folks attend and maybe even present, at conferences. They should become subject matter experts.  Then, write articles, and blog posts. Let your company name be seen online at the right spots.  Build your online community and  work social media.  Become the “go to” resource within your space.  Build referral networks. Attract candidates to come to you for information, and eventually they will come to fill  your (internal) jobs.

Then Invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS). Hiring usually happens at the branch level. Branches need to be able to capture all candidate activity and resumes, make notes on all contact and maybe even record email communication.  Create great job descriptions, posted on your company website and use them to blast out specific jobs to target candidates both in your database and through social media.  Keep in touch with your candidate community by sending content rich white papers, newsletters, press releases, and holiday greetings. The right ATS will encourage seamless team communication and have built in reporting features.

Of course, technology is just one aspect of this.  Don’t forget that all of this hinges on an relationship.  Most relationships are based on an open and honest verbal communication.  In our world, that means talking on the phone and meeting in person.  Recruiters talk to lots of people everyday, screening many candidates, interviewing the ones who are qualified and interested. Often times, people call us to talk. They are not necessarily looking for jobs.  They shoot the breeze give and get information. This is the start of the relationship. The best recruiters maintain these relationships over many years.

By doing all of the above, you will be creating that people line that will ensure you quality candidates for your firm.  At the very least, start by posting your internal jobs.  Make the jobs look good, make them something that people will want to respond to.

As you begin the process, you will change the dynamic of your recruiting organization and the quality of your candidate population, which should increase the hiring of top talent. Fifty percent of Mee Derby’s placements come from relationship recruiting.

My next post will talk about how we find the other 50 percent.


Robin Mee

Robin Mee
Robin Mee | President | Mee Derby | 301-263-2663x11 | 202-438-3171 cell | 866-822-8003 fax l l Connect with me at Mee Derby is a leading executive search firm specializing in placing professionals in Staffing, Professional Services and Workforce Solutions.

Robin Mee

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One Response to “Improving Internal Hiring: Relationship Recruiting”

  1. Attracting talent is always difficult. I love the concept that you talk about – relationship recruiting. Filling any position will present its own challenges, but a good staffing agency can go a long way.

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