Steve Jobs is generally known for creating fantastic things. So, as usual, Steve pretty much said it best: “Recruiting usually requires more than you alone can do, so I’ve found that collaborative recruiting and having a culture that recruits the “A” players is the best way.” It’s that simple.
As with any solid process, successful recruiting requires ongoing interaction and communication. It’s easy for recruiters to become too “busy” and metrics-focused to connect with the business, but it’s imperative to keep the channels of communication open between the company and the search firm.
So, it’s the responsibility of both parties to keep one another apprised of what’s going on. If a recruiter understands the future of the company, changes in business strategy, human capital trends, press coverage and PR trends, and cultural shifts or observations, that recruiter can help the company address these issues in ways the company may not traditionally expect.
It could be ascertaining people the company will need down the road, or it could be identifying training, talent development, or coaching resources for the client. This hasn’t always been the case. Recruiting has evolved over the past couple decades from a reactive function tasked with filling immediate needs to a proactive one where companies strategize on and forecast their talent requirements to move their businesses forward.
And companies don’t need to go at it alone. The best recruiters and search firms are those that help their clients align talent acquisition with overall corporate objectives. A recruiter’s job is to help the company get the right people in the right place at the right time. The variables in this equation can change with circumstance, but this is the end goal.
From a candidate perspective, the only way to know the best potential people for the position is to get to know the candidates and their motivations. What gets them excited? What’s their situation, and would this opportunity have a positive or a negative effect on that? Why did they get into this business in the first place?
Today, people can build, maintain, and expand relationships faster and easier than ever before. So, it’s easy to think that algorithms and analytics can magically create best-fit matches. Discerning the sound from the noise becomes important to serious candidates, and it’s incumbent on recruiters to help by understanding that talent acquisition is not a means to an end, but an ongoing process that should result in a positive experience for both companies and clients.
Systems help. But recruiting is, and always will be, about people. Clients are people, candidates are people. And people operate better working with people they have grown to trust. The relationships recruiters and companies build with candidates are essential for creating mutually beneficial opportunities.
If you’re a company hiring a person, you want to hear that a candidate truly finds the opportunity relevant, interesting, and challenging. Otherwise, you run the very real risk of a person lacking appropriate engagement if they come on board.
If you’re a candidate, and you’re on the phone with a recruiter, you want to know that there’s a clear connection between what you’ve done and what you could be doing, why it’s a great fit for you individually, and what the opportunity for growth is for you. You want to know that the recruiter "gets” you, that they actually care about you, and that there’s a good reason you’re speaking with them about that particular prospective path in life. You always want the benefits and drawbacks shown, and never want to be sold anything – not a job, not a person, not anything.
Exceptional companies realize the value of exceptional people, and they are working harder than ever to attract, hire, and retain top performers. We’re lucky to work with companies that truly believe that constant communication and teamwork is worth the effort, to get these exceptional people. We hope this is the case with you, too.
About the author: Sam Wholley is a Principal at Riviera Partners. He leverages a diverse background of managerial, operational, advisory and technical roles to build the retained search practice at Riviera.