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The Black and White Nature of the Staffing Industry

Life is generally not black and white, in most areas of life and in most businesses there are many “shades” of grey (some say 50 … but that is another blog)!

I read a good article from Howard Adamsky yesterday about recruiting.  One of his comments was about the binary nature of recruiting, which got me thinking.  He is absolutely right … you either (i) fill a job or (ii) you don’t, and at the end of the day that is how our clients judge us!

It is a good reminder to those who work in our industry … that if you are not delivering then you are failing!  You can be the nicest person in the world; you can put in lots of hours; you can talk to lots of people; you can do lots of interviews; you can even submit lots of people; (and you should be ALL of those things) … BUT if you are not getting closes, then you are doing something wrong!

Most good staffing companies have their own process … but they will be similar.  They expect their recruiters to understand orders, to use the company tools & process to find potential candidates for those orders; to follow the company quality processes (interviews, reference checks, background checks etc); to negotiate market rates with the contractor; and to submit the best candidates either to the client or the account manager (who submits to the client).

When recruiters are having difficulty it is often because of some common mistakes …

  • not getting on the phone (relying on email/social media is not going to get consistent good results) ;

  • not understanding the order enough;

  • not finding the right people (throwing spaghetti);

  • spending time with the wrong people;

  • spend tons of time reading resumes (rather than picking up the phone);

  • spend tons of time on external tools (LinkedIn etc);

  • not negotiating market rates;

  • not building relationships with a strong candidate pool that matches the kind of people their clients look for!

When recruiters get a little desperate they cut corners …

  • submit candidates that not been properly screened (worse submit candidates that have a poor track record);

  • submit the same candidates again and again … even though they keep NOT getting the jobs;

  • mass emails out to people based on “buzzwords”;

The recruiters are only part of the equation because in the staffing industry account managers(sales people) need to bring value to the equation too!

  • good salespeople will have strong relationships with their hiring managers;

  • they will bring good, well qualified orders back to the recruiting team;

  • they will understand what the client actually needs and will work with their recruiters to make sure they too understand, and that the people submitted are a good fit;

  • they will help the recruiters to “sell” the job to candidates;

  • they will keep the sense of urgency around the order, and keep everyone “in the loop”;

  • they will be able to submit candidates in the way the hiring managers want to see them … making it easy for their client to make a decision.

Our industry IS binary, we are measured on success … if you are not closing business then you are not doing your job.  That is not cause to panic, but it IS cause to understand what you might be doing wrong and to fix it!

The value we bring to our clients is that we find them (a) the right people (quality fit), (b) at the right time and (c) for the right price!  If we don’t do it, someone else will!  That accountability is present at (a) the staffing company level, (b) the management level AND (c) at the individual account manager & recruiter level!

Who said it is not a black and white world?