By Steve Margalit, FPC Recruitment Training Consultant
What really goes on in a well-run professional recruiting practice? Most executives only see the finished product or hired candidate. In recruiting, just like an iceberg, only 10% is visible above the surface. The ‘magic’ really happens in the 90% you can’t see, taking place behind the scenes, or below the surface. The Executive Recruiter’s ultimate goal in this process is to provide the most talented candidates to the client company with the hope that a match is made and the candidate is hired. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly, here is a sampling of the steps taken by an Executive Recruiter throughout the hiring process…
It all starts by scheduling a call with the hiring manager and/or human resources to identify the key elements of the job including the ‘must haves’ and identifying the real ‘opportunity’ for the ideal candidate. A professional, specialized recruiter has the ability to make recommendations to the hiring team based on their extensive industry knowledge. If the recruiter has done things properly, they have developed a searchable database of ‘A’ players that they can query and segment to determine who they already know. These are OUR network of contacts, often passive candidates, not just LinkedIn or Monster search results which almost everyone has access to.
In this stage an executive recruiter does additional research on the industry and geographic location of the opportunity. They build a list of potential candidates to target at various competitor companies of the client. Now it’s time to roll up their sleeves and actually make the calls, and send the follow up emails. The sheer volume of outbound recruiting efforts is where the executive recruiter separates themselves from an internal corporate recruiter. It’s a critical differentiator which ensures that candidates who aren’t active in the marketplace are called about the opportunity. Candidates are qualified for experience, fit, and desire for the opportunity.
It is an exhaustive recruiting process to get to the candidates the executive recruiter presents to their client. To give you some perspective, FPC recruiters nationally present/place less than 5% of the resumes they take in. It’s a highly selective process identifying the 3-5 best resumes to present to the client. Most companies don’t realize we also keep the “wheels on the cart” of the interview process during scheduling snafus, long drawn out processes, and negative headlines. We schedule these on-site interviews, prepare the candidates, manage expectations of both parties and keep interest levels high throughout the process.
A recruiter is measured on their ability to make ends meet. It takes a very deft hand to manage candidates’ expectations and companies’ limitations. Utilizing the relationships built with both the candidate and the client, the executive recruiter has a unique insight and can identify financial, professional and personal issues that need to be resolved prior to the offer stage. Open dialogue and communication with the client can quickly resolve these issues and a strategy can be put in place to deliver an accepted offer. An experienced recruiter knows the job is not yet complete. The candidate needs to be coached on resignation, and must be ready to fend off a strong counteroffer from their current employer. This often requires lots of hand holding, it should not be taken lightly, and is not for the faint of heart. A misstep here and all of the hard work put in until this point in the process can be gone in an instant.
Recruiting, interviewing and hiring is not always a clean process; in fact it can get pretty ugly behind the scenes sometimes. Having an executive recruiter help the candidate and client cut down the noise and focus on the real priorities will reduce issues, lead to more excitement and most importantly result in a higher percentage of accepted offers. For more information, or to learn how we can help, feel free to reach out.
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