Critical Recruiting Take-Aways and CHANGE
Posted Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
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What is your recruiting strategy and process? How do you and your organization approach acquiring new meaningful talent to help grow your organization and reach objectives?

Yes, strategy and process – not merely posting a position description, running an ad or delegating the responsibility to a non-stakeholder. Just because that happens frequently, it doesn’t make it a strategy and a process.

My perspective comes from several decades as a direct revenue producer being frequently contacted by recruiters as well as several roles working as a functional recruiter, first for a global firm, followed by a local, family owned recruiting firm before founding Boxwood.

Many hiring managers, CEOs and business leaders mistakenly view recruiters as being interchangeable. All recruiting models are not the same.

Recruiting models include:

The employer’s internal recruiter

  • Usually reports into the HR department
  • Responsible for HR and general recruiting issues

The headhunter or staffing firm

  • Paid a commission, only when their candidate is hired, based upon a percentage of what the new hire is paid
  • Successful when very actively submitting resumes for open postings
  • Unable to invest significant time with hiring managers or with candidates due to the contingent business model
  • Very popular with many employers who can use multiple headhunters for the same job opening

The retained or executive recruiter

  • Hired by employer as a dedicated resource, but usually paid based upon a percentage of what the new hire is paid
  • Capable of taking a deep dive with qualified candidates
  • Regarded by many employer’s as expensive and sometimes overpriced

The Consulting recruiter

  • New model, departure from the traditional business approach and sometimes hard for employer’s to grasp
  • Fixed fee, flat fee
  • Serves as a true consultant to the employer


LinkedIn’s marketing department would like for businesses to see them as a recruiting model. While LinkedIn is the most well known, there are numerous automated recruiting options.

However, all of them are missing the true human interaction needed for best practice recruiting. In my view, the automated options will always serve as a recruiting tool, not a recruiting model.

With a wide field of recruiting models how does the CEO, hiring manager or business leader select the best? There are a few key take-aways to consider.

  • Take-away # 1

Recruiting and hiring is a service-oriented event. It is unlikely that the global recruiting firm who serves the Fortune 500 companies is in a position to deliver the same level of recruiting service and attention to a $20 million company. Smaller businesses can get lost in the big company shuffle. Think about the size of your business and does it fit within the scope of the recruiting firm who may be serving you?

  • Take-away # 2

As a service-oriented event, who is the recruiting and hiring really serving? Yes, of course the employer is being served by acquiring critically needed talent. Just as importantly and frequently overlooked, the talent is being served. Businesses grow with the right talent. Attracting the right talent means devoting attention with a strong, consistent and credible message to qualified candidates. Then, it means a strong, consistent and credible follow-through with qualified candidates during the entire recruiting process.

What are the needs that your business has to address with growth in mind?

  • Take-away # 3

An outward facing recruiting or hiring event is a direct reflection on your business. With the result of a single hire, numerous candidates have been in consideration. All of these candidates are potential “banner carriers” for your business. If the candidate is an ideal fit, you want to follow all of the right steps to drive their interest in your business and ultimately hire them. This reassures the top talent that they are making the right decision to want to join your business. That same candidate in the future MAY have the ability to make future critical business connections, while not necessarily being an otherwise ideal fit. They may not be hired by your business but could end up working for a partner business or a competitor. If your business does not see them as an ideal fit, as a “non-candidate”, they may know a better suited candidate to recommend

  • Take-away # 4

Every business is seeking efficiency and short cuts, whenever possible. If your business hires the right talent, but the process takes a little longer, within six months, will anyone care? However, if you make the wrong hire by going too fast with shortcuts, repairing the damage of a bad hire will likely take longer than six months AND you are returning to square one. While the “express lane” of short cuts sounds appealing, best practice recruiting is better served investing the time in order to get it right.

  • Take-away # 5

With amazing technological advancements, the recruiting sector has more available tools than ever. Our plug and play, express lane, get-it-done-yesterday world lets you order your pizza from a smart phone and have it delivered in minutes. Acquiring talent requires an investment of time and resources and a commitment to get it right but will pay dividends. Technology recruiting tools are best used when they enhance direct human interactions not replace human interactions.

Changing requires change

As a CEO, business leader or hiring manager, your business is making an investment in acquiring talent to solve an important business problem for your business. How much of the hiring process are you personally involved in? Have you evaluated your current hiring process from the perspective of the candidate? Do you have a first-hand understanding of what your recruiter is saying to qualified candidates and how your business is being represented? Would you enjoy being a candidate and going through your company’s current hiring process? Are you focused on attracting the top talent or are you relying on shortcuts?

In my experience, many CEO’s, business leaders and hiring managers continue to rely on the same recruiting model because “that’s the way they have always done it”.

What got your business to this point may not be what it will take to get your business to the next level of growth.

Businesses are challenged daily to interpret and respond to changes in their marketplace. With having the right talent in your organization critical to the success of your business’s growth, has your business thought about and changed the approach to recruiting in order to grow to the next level?

Are you thinking about where your business has been or are you thinking about where your business is going? Are the constant changes in business today your path to growth?

Does your business have the right recruiting model for growth today and tomorrow?

What are you doing to embrace CHANGE?