With the unemployment rate near 17-year lows, employers nationwide are recognizing the increased importance of expanding resources towards recruiting and talent acquisition. Long gone are the days where you could post a position on virtually any job board and receive a pool of candidates all highly qualified, ready and willing to work for your organization.
Many employers are addressing this issue by beefing up their internal staff with a variety of talent acquisition, recruiting and human resource professionals. This strategy has helped expand the qualified candidate pool and remove the burden of responsibility squarely from the hiring manager’s shoulders. But because companies are now building their own team of internal recruiting professionals, many organizations now believe that the services of outside recruiting firms are no longer needed. This is a common misconception as organizations can still benefit from developing strategic partnerships with outside recruiting firms.
So just what are the benefits of partnering with an outside recruiter?
A Very Particular Set of Skills
In a quote from the movie Taken, Liam Neeson’s character finally connects by phone with his daughter’s kidnappers and memorably says, “If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it.” While recruiters may not be former intelligence agents, they are exceptionally good at finding people with qualifications that require certain skill sets.
Every organization is different but chances are, there are key roles, positions and industry-specific knowledge that is critical to maintaining operations and growing the business. Technology companies need programmers and software developers while manufacturing companies need tradesmen and engineers. And every organization needs a combination accountants, sales representatives, marketing managers, IT staff, human resource professionals and C-suite executives. With a little research, you can find recruiting companies out there that specialize in positions like these. These niche recruiters are well-known for maintaining a pool of qualified candidates, all with a very particular set of skills.
Increased Diversity and Inclusion
Promoting diversity is often a legal requirement for employers but more importantly, there is a business case for increased diversity and inclusion within an organization that is commonly overlooked. Building an organization of people with diverse skills, experiences and backgrounds can unlock new ways of thinking and ideas that lead to revenue. Beyond that, the brand opportunity is significant for companies that promote workplace diversity and inclusion.
To help ensure workplace diversity and inclusion is achieved, many employers are partnering with third party organizations to help identify, recruit and hire a variety of jobseekers from diverse backgrounds. Developing a large talent pipeline of diverse candidates isn’t as easy as it sounds as many applicants will not disclosure the very thing that makes them a diverse candidate (ex – an individual with a hidden disability does not disclose this in the application process for fear of being stigmatized). To help solve this problem, employers can seek out strategic recruiting partnerships with organizations who have already developed unique relationships within these diverse segments of society.
Time is of the Essence
When an employee puts in their notice to leave an organization, it can often wreak immediate havoc on the department and disrupt operations. While employers would love to be proactive with talent acquisition, many organizations delay hiring efforts until there is a problem. What the organizations find is that it often takes months to fill a role when starting from scratch. Smart companies understand that by having a pool of qualified candidates at the ready should a need exist, they can better maintain focus on their core business and be less reactive when an unexpected resignation occurs. A good recruiter can help save a company a significant amount of time and money by maintaining a full pipeline of qualified jobseekers.
Selling the Candidate on Your Brand
Whether employers like it or not, hiring and recruiting is just as much of a sales function as it is a human resources function. And for a variety of reasons, some companies do not have the brand power required to draw interest from candidates as a potential employer of choice. Some organizations are smaller and less established and for others, perhaps the candidate had a negative experience with the company. Whatever the reason, outside recruiting firms work to positively shape an employer’s brand story and help candidates come to see the benefits of an organization in a way that their internal staff can’t convey. Think about it this way – if you are searching for restaurant recommendations, are you more likely to trust the opinions of the actual restaurant or those from a known acquaintance? Referrals hold power over self-promotion.
Navigating the Hiring Process
How many of you have applied for a position only to be very frustrated by the length of the application process? With the invent of online quizzes to screen applicants, spending hours upon hours completing an application can instantly create a negative thought about the employer. Even after the application process, candidates are often subjected to multiple rounds of interviews that sometimes seem to drag on endlessly. This creates candidate/applicant frustration. Working with an outside recruiting firm can help alleviate some of this frustration as the candidate maintains a steady line of communication with the recruiter who can in-turn, assure and help the candidate maintain patience with the process.
Small Teams, Many Hats
We hear about the big name, publicly-traded companies all the time in the media but while those organizations receive much attention, they represent less than 1% of all employers. Most companies do not have the luxury of hiring a team of talent acquisition professionals. In fact, many don’t even have a human resources manager! Those individuals at a company who are responsible for identifying qualified candidates, often wear multiple hats and they just can’t afford to spend that many hours recruiting and hiring for new employees. A recruiting company can do wonders for an organization like this, giving back the precious time those hiring managers need to focus on the core business.
Low Candidate Flow
It should go without saying, but if an employer isn’t getting enough qualified candidates for posted positions, it may be time they partner with a third party to help increase candidate flow. In a tight labor market where a single job posting is competing with thousands of other positions, talented jobseekers hold all the cards. It’s now more critical than ever that organizations standout as an employer of choice. It may seem frustrating to have a limited number of applicants but luckily there are plenty of outside recruiting firms out there ready to help employers solve this problem.
Finding a Needle in a Haystack
Thirty years ago, if you were posting for a job, your options were fairly limited as to how you could gain exposure for your position. With the internet though came the online job board and since then, the number of job boards has steadily increased with thousands of frequently visited sites now available today. While numerous of job boards exist, jobseekers are only going to search through a small handful of their favorite websites. And on the employer’s side, it’s just not possible to list a position on every site out there. The perfect candidate for a company could be looking for the exact role that company needs to fill but never find that opening simply because of the sheer number of sites available to look for jobs. As an alternative to this dilemma, employers can gain an edge by partnering with an outside recruiting firm that is skilled at pinpointing and identifying specific candidates that fit the company’s needs.
Knowledge of Local Markets
The world has become a global economy and employers are increasingly operating in locations and territories across multiple states, regions and countries. And because of advances in technology, remote, work from home arrangements are becoming a regular occurrence. It’s well known that employers often find prospective candidates by tapping into personal connections and networks but is that practical for a position that’s in a completely different geographic region? Connections are very important but they only go so far. If a company is struggling to hire staff for a particular location, it can be advantageous for them to seek out a recruiting partner with direct knowledge of the market.
Like anything else in business, recruiting and hiring is a skill left to highly qualified specialists. While some of this work can be done internally, the business case remains for organizations to partner with outside recruiting firms to address specific hiring needs.