By Michael Foy, President of Publishing Search Solutions
On occasion, when I’m approached by a new client for help in filling a challenging staff vacancy, it occurs to me that they’ve had different experiences with Executive Recruitment. They may not know what to expect or how I work with them to ensure the need is filled. There are those that assume that I’ll merely funnel resumes, that they’ll be completely divorced from the process and others that think its best to outsource all communications through Human Resources. To be sure I work with HR to facilitate the process and can partner with them to land a great prospect but invariably the best results occur when the hiring manager is involved. Only they have the intimate knowledge of who will work out best in any given role and thus its their timely feedback that ensures a successful search. So what’s the best way to tap a recruiter’s skills? Let’s talk.
An experienced full service recruiter doesn’t funnel resumes or people to the hiring company, he or she attracts and qualifies talent and presents only those that fit the need. When the process works best the recruiter and hiring manager(s) huddle after each possibility is presented to determine what’s strong about a candidate and what’s weak. Once candidates are judged promising by the hiring managers the recruiter will continue to build interest in those prospects for the hirer’s company and position.
There are three phases of a talent search.
The first is the Research Phase where the ideal profile is discussed with the hiring managers. With that information I’ll determine what segment of the talent pool to target. The initial list can be as many as 50 people.
The second phase is by far the most time consuming. It’s the Phone Campaign. This is where I call the people on the list, qualify them as candidates or network to others they know that could fit the position. The original list of 50 can oftentimes swell to 150 during this time. Upon identifying the first promising prospect I’ll seek feedback from the hiring manager and either set up an interview or adjust the search if the prospect doesn’t fit the hiring manager’s perception of the need.
The third phase, or Landing the Candidate, is where I continue to advocate for the client through the interview process with the prospect. This includes checking references and ensuring that the prospect is receptive to an offer in the end.
So when I originally talk with hiring managers about filling a vacancy its not about people as much as it’s about the process to find the best people. In large part I’m requesting their input throughout the talent search so I can best help them. In that kind of relationship it’s a near certainty that the vacancy will be filled with the person best able to succeed. At the end of the day success is measured by making a match between candidate and client that excites both parties. And that’s what makes my job fun.