How Not to Work with External Recruiters

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Happy New Year!

I’m starting off the New Year by taking a huge risk writing this article, because I have many friends and associates who are working as recruitment and executive search specialists.

However this article isn’t about them.

If you are a HR Professional or a Hiring Manager, this article is for YOU.

As HR Professionals and Hiring Managers, do you approach external recruiters for your recruitment needs? When you have a position to fill, do you pick up the phone and call your recruitment or executive search contact?

First, let me state upfront that there is nothing wrong with contracting the services of a recruitment or an executive search specialist to help you with the placement of a position.

When engaged correctly, external recruiters and executive search specialist can help bring a lot of value to your recruitment, selection and hiring process.

However it becomes a problem when you become way too reliant and dependent on them.

There is a subtle but contrasting difference between working with the external recruiters and executive search specialists as partners versus viewing them as an outsourced engagement. Working with an external recruiter or an executive search specialist should be viewed and handled as a partnership, and not as an outsourcing engagement.

Before you call your recruitment specialist the next time you have a position to fill, first ask yourself these questions:

1. How well do I know and understand the position I’m trying to fill?

All successful placements, whether done internally or through an external executive search firm, first begins with a deep understanding and knowledge of the position to be filled.

It is not simply coming up with a Job Description that you scrap together haphazardly and passing it on to the recruiter or executive search specialist, hoping that the external recruiter will do most of the search, interviewing and selection for you.

Only you – the HR professional and the hiring manager – know and understand what is really required for the new hire to be successful. Only you know and understand the culture within your organisation.

You as the Hiring Manager or the HR Professional need to thoroughly understand what you are looking for in the candidate. You need to thoroughly understand what is required for the new hire to be successful in their role.

If you are expecting the external recruiters to do all or most of the interviewing, assessment and selection for you, then you are likely engaging them for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

If you are expecting the external recruiters to do all or most of the interviewing, assessment and selection for you, then you are likely engaging them for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

 

2. Who will do most of the interviewing and selection?

It is important to ask yourself if you will be doing most of the interviewing and selection or will you be depending and relying on the external recruiters and executive search specialists to do most of the interviewing and selection for you.

No one understands the culture of your organisation better than you do and what it takes to be successful in the position.

If you are thinking of “outsourcing??? most of the interviewing and selection to the external recruiters and executive search specialist, then it is likely that you are engaging the external recruiters for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

If you are thinking of “outsourcing??? most of the interviewing and selection to the external recruiters and executive search specialist, then it is likely that you are engaging the external recruiters for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

3. Who should take responsibility if the new hire turns out to be a poor fit?

Today, many executive search firms and recruitment agencies have a “warranty??? clause built into their contracts. Thus if a new hire doesn’t work out and leaves within the first 6 months on the job, the recruitment agency or the executive search firm will find a replacement candidate for you at no additional cost.

The question is: who should shoulder the responsibility if the new hire does not work out?

Should it be the external recruitment firm or should it be you – the hiring manager?

Fact is, it is always easier and more convenient to push blame to someone else – especially if the other party is an external contractor.

However the responsibility should ultimately sit squarely on your shoulders. After everything is said and done, you – the hiring manager – is still the Gatekeeper for who you hire into your organisation – not the external recruiters.

And if you feel the external recruiter should take full responsibility for the poor fit, then it is likely you are engaging the external recruiters for all the wrong reasons.

 


 If you feel the external recruiter should take full responsibility for the poor fit, then it is likely you are engaging the external recruiters for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

 

4. Am I using the services of the recruitment specialist out of convenience?

No time? Too busy? Or you feel that the interviewing, selection and hiring process is just a waste of your precious time?

Hiring is a contact sport. In order for you to be able to assess, identify and select the right people for your organisation, you as the hiring manager will need to be the one doing most of the interviewing, assessment and selection – not the external recruiters.

At the end of the day, when everything else is said and done, it is you who will have to live with and manage the new hire – not the external recruiter.

If you are engaging an external recruiter out of convenience, then it is likely that you are engaging them for all the wrong reasons.

 


 If you are engaging an external recruiter out of convenience, then it is likely that you are engaging them for all the wrong reasons.

 


 

So before you pick up the phone to call your friendly neighborhood recruiter the next time, ask yourself the above questions. And if you can honestly and comfortably state that you are engaging the external recruiter for all the right reasons, then by all means go ahead to engage them, and they will likely bring you a whole lot of value in identifying and selecting the right people for your organisation.

 


“The pointers you give are helpful and improved the quality of hires that I have.??? ~ HR Manager, Cambridge Industrial Trust Management

 

Get tips on how to :

  • hire the right people every time,
  • avoid costly mistakes most interviewers make,
  • improve the quality of your hires,
  • maximise employee engagement levels,
  • lead and manage your employees to peak performance,
  • minimise attrition rate,

and so much more…

 

PLUS: Receive a free sample chapter on How to Craft Effective Interview Questions from my yet-to-be-released book How to Hire the Right People Every Time: The Executive’s Guide to Getting It Right

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January 6, 2015

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