Here is the situation… Your Web Analytics Manager position has been open for two months and Suzie in HR is not sending the candidates that you need. Apparently these people don’t respond to ads on Monster and Linkedin.
You call Suzie and say, “Suzie, this is not working. Why don’t you call some recruiting firms for help. There are not a lot of these candidates on the market… it looks like we are going to have to pay a recruiting fee.”
There are two paths that Suzie can take. Path #1 is the right path (leads to success). Path #2 is wrong and stupid and the moral of this story will ultimately be that Suzie needs to stop taking Path #2.
Here is how Path #2 usually plays out: Suzie calls a bunch of the search firms that litter her inbox with spam and a handful that she has worked with in the past. She decides that she will cast a wide net and has faith in her superior resume screening ability to find the right candidates from all of these firms.
Here is what happens: Suzie casts her net wide by engaging 5 recruiting firms with various areas of expertise… some of them even understand the position.
Within 2 or 3 days candidates start telling the recruiters from these 5 firms that they already spoke to another recruiting firm about this position. The 5 firms realize that they are chasing their tails and everyone stops.
Now the market has been littered with half-started conversations and nobody is working on the search… except maybe 1 or 2 firms that are desperate for jobs and will work on anything…
A few weeks go by and Suzie doesn’t have the candidates that she needs. So what does she do? Sign up 5 more search firms! More search firms = more resumes right?!?
If Suzie had gone straight to Path #1 all of this could have been avoided.
Path #1 involves Suzie and/or the hiring manager RESEARCHING the best recruiting firm in the country for this niche. They should have INVESTED time into PARTNERING with this firm to give them all of the information and support that they need to be successful. The hiring manager should have offered herself for quick, ongoing feedback and discussion.
What Suzie does not realize is that there might only be a handful (often 5-10) of candidates in her local market that fit 75% of the qualifications for her job. Why would you sign up 5 firms to find 5-10 people?
The best recruiting firm in the country will allocate appropriate resources, leverage their network and find the 2-3 candidates with the right skills, experience, motivation and fit factors. If these candidates don’t exist, they will give valuable feedback on how to rethink the qualifications. Everyone kicks a goal.