Today’s guest blogger is James Seidel with James Seidel & Associates located in Kelowna, BC, Canada. JSA is an owner-operated firm with clients across western Canada. The firm primarily places candidates in I/T, engineering, and sales. James is a former I/T Trading Group Chair and is currently serving on NPA’s Board of Directors .
There we have it. A shiny new job description is drawn up by the department head and handed to the HR manager. This one is pretty straightforward, lots of keywords and technical jargon to make the internet searching a breeze. It is confidently handed to the in-house recruiting staff (all experts on the latest social media search tools), complete with a guarantee of three or four candidates within a couple of weeks. After all, with four recruiters and a manager, we’ve got our own in-house search firm – with no fees to pay any more!! Gosh, this has become easy and cheap…
But wait. Do we really have an in-house search firm? What exactly does an agency have that we don’t and how could they possibly still be thriving in these days of easy searching?
Competition. The best agencies and recruiters have been doing this a long time – against all the other best recruiters. They remember when Monster and its dozens of imitators were deemed to level the playing field and the death knell was rang for the recruiters. Good recruiters adapted, adopted, and continued to thrive. Now we have Linked In and the other social media tools. Do agencies use them? Of course. These tools have been brought into the process since the very beginning (remember, when cash money is at stake there is innovation and hard work grinding ferociously in the background in any open market). Running an ad and sending in-mails will get you some candidates…or at least it should. But does it get you the top 2 or 3 people in the market, interested in your job, at your salary level, and ready to go…that happens to coincide with when you need them? Probably not. Are your internal recruiters on the phone a MINIMUM of five hours a day, talking with candidates at your competitors and getting referrals to the ones you really need…or are they sending in-mails and managing ad responses? Do they have a database of thousands of interviewed candidates in your space that they start with…BEFORE they begin the hit-and-miss process of social media networking?
Competition. When you ask that recruiting team if they are certain these candidates are the best out there, how do you know? What happens if you ask if you can call a contingency search firm – just to check. After all, it costs nothing unless you hire someone. Finding a candidate to fill a vacancy is often not that hard. Finding a candidate that someone is willing to pay money upfront for is a completely different thing (ask anyone in the search business). Does your team welcome the competition? Agencies sure do – a good recruiter will often suggest a client feel free to call another agency; it reassures the client that the market has been properly scoured. An agency should be eager to show that the candidates from the competition don’t cut it. What happens when you ask your in-house agency if they would mind a little competition??