A Note to Hiring Managers – Good Recruitment Housekeeping for the Business

Ralph's Dastardly Dream Team

I was in the Pub the other day with an ex-colleague and, as we were talking, the inevitable topic of work came up. They said everything was going well, but that they were struggling to recruit for their team.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, the recruitment team are not providing me with any candidates”.

With a knowing nod I said, “So, I guess your top 3 fell through in that case, too bad”.

They looked at me with a pause. I could see they were thinking What do you mean, isn’t that recruitment’s job?

Here is a thought:

We meet people every day, we read articles/blogs about our industry and go to events. If you meet someone who you think would be an interesting prospect to work with, then would it not make sense to begin dialogue with them and cultivate a professional relationship?

For example, I usually have three people on a list that I would like to hire at any given moment. These are individuals that I share articles with, I have a very good idea of where in their life cycle they are, and I am very familiar with what experience they have. How did we meet? Well, one was through Twitter, the other at a conference and the last one interviewed with us but they got away.

If I could convince any one of these three contacts to enter into the recruitment process, I could hire them in good conscience knowing that they would excel in our team and exceed our expectations. I wonder how many positions would get filled with greater efficiency, and less aggravation from a line manager point of view, if this way of thinking was part of day to day activities. I mean, let’s be honest, who knows your industry better than you do? Who can sell your team better than you?

Perhaps this simple activity is too hard to adopt in a busy schedule, or the “it’s not my problem, it’s recruitment’s problem” is too easy to adopt. Either way, I would be disappointed if my 3 contacts turned me down, but at least I would have 3 profiles that I can use as an example to consult with my recruitment team.

And if one of them did get hired, I would most likely be very satisfied with the new addition to the team.

Letting Recruiters And Sourcers Play To Their Strengths

Ralph MeyerWe have a guest blogger for you today! Ralph Meyer, one of the few sourcers I’ve met that are not expected to “one day grow up and become a real recruiter”, gives us the first in a series of posts from his view at an organisation that sees the value of sourcing as a separate discipline. 

I was having a discussion with Katharine not too long ago, we were discussing a few of the things that I was working on and she kindly asked if I could share some of my thoughts and practices that we have adopted. How could I refuse?

So, here it goes, at the current organisation that I work we have split the recruitment function into 2 main elements; Sourcing and Recruitment.

We recognised that recruiters are talented relationship managers that build trust and confidence in their client groups. Whereas the sourcers differ in skill set; they are more transactional, technical, agile and information hungry.

How does our model work?

Well first step, we operate a direct sourcing model where we approach candidates directly in the market that are of interest to us. I would say about 40% of our hires are generated through this method.

Recruiters still operate the same as in any scenario, they source, have conversations, meet with stakeholders etc…..but the main point is they stay fairly rigid in terms of the business units that they cover. This provides the business unit with a designated contact within recruitment that the stakeholders know and trust.

The sourcers however are more agile in nature; their work load is prioritised according to business needs and is a mixture of difficult to fill roles vs. aging vacancies. They support the recruiters (but don’t report to) in building pipelines etc. The benefits of this have been phenomenal.

Currently we are experiencing:

  • Record low agency usage,
  • Great stakeholder engagement; happy stakeholder’s means happy recruiters.
  • Buy in from other parts of the business that require information that the sourcing function have access to.
  • A Truly agile model where resource can be flexibly allocated to ensure recruitment spikes are dampened; without compromising on stakeholder relationships.
  • Comps and Bens are keen to use some of the sourcer information to assess how well placed we are in the market in terms of you remuneration packages.
  • Quality of hires are going up; contributing to retention and performance of staff.

What is a Sourcer?

Typically within organisations the sourcing position is seen as a training role where you learn how to recruit and then move on to a recruiter’s role. In my opinion this is something that will need to change within the industry as a whole. The reason for this is the Time and Complexity factor.

Recruitment and the recruiter’s roles have become more complex, and this is evident by using things Linkedin, advertising roles, job boards, social media, managing internal ATS systems, headhunting and still finding time to do the relationship piece. This in the future will just not be a viable model as it takes a lot of time and specialties to master any of these.

This is what sourcers do, and they enjoy it. They are familiar with Google Analytics, market mapping, Twitter, LinkedIn and social media. They are creative in discovering different ways of sourcing that untrained users are not used to. This skill set requires constant reflection, tweaking and improvement to ensure that you are on top of you game.

In addition to this, sourcers start to spot trends in the employment market before they are released to the press or are common knowledge. So, if departments are being made redundant at a competitor, the business intelligence department is usually very keen to hear this news.

Sourcers also have to wear a branding and marketing hat; how does you company differ from all the others? What materials do you use? How do you get people to buy into your brand as an employer? This is something that is actively dealt with as part of the day to day for a sourcer.

What does the future of in-house recruitment look like?

I don’t think the model will evolve that much as the essence of the task is a simple one – find and hire good candidates. However, the volume of work that is included in attaining this is on the increase as there are more sources of candidates, direct sourcing is on the rise and organisations will need to really think how are they going to plan their attraction strategies in the war for talent. This is where the model will perhaps shift to more of a attraction model and information.

Any thoughts are welcome.