For small businesses without a dedicated onsite recruiter, outsourcing your recruiting is not only a smart idea, but a lot more cost-effective and time-efficient than trying to do it yourself. Furthermore, you can get the help of someone who does this for a living, has a much broader network, and the time to get it done while you focus on your real job 🙂
Outsourcing can mean many things, from enlisting the assistance of a retained search, AKA RPO, recruiter (like moi) who can manage the recruitment from start to finish, all the way to a staffing agency style recruiter who provide candidates and you do the rest. It all depends on how much help you need and what level of skillset you are looking for in your recruiter.
Remember, recruiters come in all shapes and sizes and skills – don’t rely on the agency’s name to assume competence. Some tips when selecting a recruiter include:
Get to know the recruiter one-on-one – meet with him/her/them, and make sure there’s a connection. You gotta be able to trust ’em – this is hiring, after all. This is important.
Check out their LinkedIn profile and look for a strong network and excellent recommendations (or ask for them). What do clients have to say about them? What about candidates? (Remember, you want someone who candidates think the world of as well – that’s how strong networks are built).
Ideally, you want your recruiter to have spent time as a corporate recruiter, not just working for staffing agencies. Corporate versus staffing agency recruiters have two very different roles: agency recruiters are essentially selling candidates to a client (often with internal metrics they have to meet). Those with corporate recruiting backgrounds have worked as part of an HR team and have been in the trenches with hiring managers. If you’re asking someone to be your recruiter-for-hire, you need someone who’s worked with internal hiring teams and can recommend processes that are both efficient and effective. Ideally? See if you can find someone who’s worked in both sectors – the corporate chops give the holistic level of experience, and the agency background often give a serious ambition to get the job filled quickly.
Find out what their time-to-fill average is for similar roles. My time-to-fill over the past two years in both my corporate recruiting and retained search independent recruiting roles in the tech industry (both technical and non-technical roles) has stayed at an average of 28 days, which for non-industry folks indicates the number of days from when the position is posted until an offer is accepted. I’ve filled roles in as little as one week (if you’re curious, my longest time-to-fill was 75 days, attributed to being asked to start a recruitment around Thanksgiving, when candidates fall off the radar like you wouldn’t believe.).
Make sure they understand your culture. Be honest about not just what’s cool about your company, but where your challenges are as an organization. Explain what your benefits are like and provide the recruiter with a real perspective of the role and the kind of work they’ll get to do (not just qualifications). The clearer you are, the clearer they’ll be.
Whew! Lots to think about, I know. But here’s the deal: do you want to focus on recruiting, or growing your business? Just like you’d bring in an accountant to do your books, bringing in an experienced recruiter to lead your hiring process can not only speed things up, but often transform the way you look at hiring.
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” ~ Jim Collins