Tips for developing a productive relationship with your recruiter
This is a highly competitive market. The Wall Street Journal last week published an article stating that although overall unemployment is 9% technology unemployment is only 4%. This means there are more open positions than there are people to fill them. As a hiring manager you are probably frustrated with not getting quality candidates in to interview – this is why. Getting your projects done is dependent on getting the right people on board after all. It’s time to work as a team with your recruiters – whether they are internal to your company or you have a third-party relationship. Here are some tips for creating a productive team:
1. Know what you are looking for. Take the time to develop a comprehensive profile of your ideal hire. This isn’t just a list of technical skills, but includes a description of the personal character you are looking for along with personality traits and examples of past experience that will help your recruiter focus on the right fit.
2. Conduct a kickoff meeting. Take time to have a personal dialogue with your recruiter – don’t just throw the description over the fence. Allow your recruiter time to ask questions about the technical qualifications and have them articulate their understanding of the personality you are looking for. By making sure you are both fishing in the same pond you’ll maximize your interviewing time and shorten your ‘time to fill.’
3. Define a strategy together. If you’ve had great experience finding good candidates from a user group or particular LinkedIn Group then give this important information to your recruiter. Ask the recruiter where they plan to spend their sourcing time and brainstorm together.
4. Screen resumes interactively. When you begin seeing resumes come across your desk for review make your feedback personally to the recruiter. Instead of a short sentence about why you don’t want to see the candidate – or worse a one word – “pass,” pick up the phone and talk with your recruiter about why you don’t see a fit and what is missing. The recruiter may have some additional insight that isn’t reflected in the resume. Additionally, this important view from your perspective will help the recruiter refine their search for a better match.
5. Rapid Response. One of the most frustrating parts of a recruiter’s job is getting a candidate excited about a position only to have the hiring manager fail to respond. Each day that goes by without feedback has negative consequences – the candidate’s interest wanes (the good ones are getting calls every day after all) and they will begin to question your validity and the recruiter’s sincerity. I know you’re busy, but if you really need to fill the position then make sure you have the appropriate time to invest in your search.
6. No Shopping. This isn’t WalMart – there isn’t an unlimited inventory of the ‘purple squirrels’ you are looking for. If you interview a qualified candidate based on the profile you’ve established then keep the process moving. If you don’t like the individual and can articulate why based on the profile you’ve communicated to the recruiter then let them know so they can close the loop with the candidate. Treating your candidates with this sort of respect may result in referrals to other qualified professionals.
7. Don’t play games with compensation. Find out what each candidate’s salary requirements are BEFORE you schedule an interview. This should include not only what they are asking for, but what they made in their last position. If you are not prepared to meet the salary requirements then don’t waste time interviewing them. Also, don’t lowball an offer to see what might happen – if by chance they take it – they will also take more from someone else – and you’ll be back to square one.
Hiring good technology talent is hard right now, but if you’ll work as a team with your recruiter you will find the Rock Star you’re looking for!
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