Since we started offering Contract Recruiting On Demand within our areas of expertise we have been speaking with clients and colleagues about their experiences. There seem to be several keys to a successful contract recruiting engagement that stand out. In no particular order they are:
- Don’t hire a generalist. When you interview your contract recruiter make sure she understands the fundamentals about the functions and the business that she will be recruiting for. You should ask:
- What are some of the common roles that you see in this area?
- What do those people do? How do they spend their day?
- What tools do they use?
- What are their keys to success?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- What does the talent marketplace look like for these people?
- Where would you look for them? Name some possible source companies and areas within those companies.
- What is motivating/attractive to these people? Possible career paths for them?
If your contract recruiter isn’t fluent in the basics, they are not going to be effective at sourcing, screening and selling your jobs in the marketplace.
- They should be on-demand… meaning that their time to contribution should be as close to zero as possible and their time after contribution should be zero. A lot of companies seem to start contract recruiters too soon and hold onto them too long, which gets expensive and partially defeats the purpose.
- You should not be paying fees. If you are paying a contract recruiter, that person should not hire a search firm and simply manage the process. That makes no sense. Your contract recruiter should be able to fill your roles.
- Over-communicate. Tough searches require strong communication in all directions. Timely, detailed feedback is essential for the recruiter to be able to rapidly iterate the recruiting plan.
- Hire what you need. You may not need a high-end executive search consultant. They can be expensive… even as contractors. You might not even need a full life cycle recruiter.
Sometimes it is helpful to break the recruiting process down into components and supplement your in-house team with one or more: sourcing, screening, scheduling, and closing.