5 Ways To Get The Best Return On Your Recruiting Investment

If your search for talent is taking way too long, or you’re not seeing potential candidates who seem almost too good to be true – as if they were designed for your company – it may be your fault. Now, I don’t like to point fingers, but I do like to be honest and direct.

In employer-recruiter relationships, there’s a lot that can go wrong on both ends, but today you’re going to learn how to optimize the search on your end and get the best return on your recruiting investment. This will virtually guarantee that top performers wind up on your team.

Ready for some real talk?Let’s get into it:

1. Do your research. The biggest error we see employers make is failing to research several search firms to find the best fit for them. You might assume all search firms are similar, but most are actually highly specialized.Before jumping in to a relationship, make sure you research and interview multiple firms until you find one who specializes in the exact functional skill-set you are hiring for and truly understands your needs.

Get specific and look at their track record to see how they align with your hiring goals. Have they recruited talent that you would love to hire? Do they work with similar companies? These are great signs they’re an ideal fit for you.

2. Arm your search firm…with information, that is. Once you’ve done your research and interviewed several potential firms, it’s time to make a decision. After you’ve chosen the firm best for you, meet with your new recruiter and give them as much information on your company and hiring goals as possible.When it comes to finding great talent, it’s crucial that your search firm masters your organization’s selling points so they can leverage them to attract top performers.

Many executive recruiters are very visual people, so it’s a great idea to give them a tour of your offices, live or via FaceTime or Skype. Most search firms don’t travel for contingency work, so if they’re not local to you, a virtual tour is a great option. Getting a visual idea of your company and where you work helps recruiters get excited to represent you.

If your recruiter isn’t excited about your organization and the role(s) you’re hiring for, there’s no way they’ll be able to hook passive A-players who aren’t necessarily looking for a new job.

3. Show them who you are. When you’re forming a relationship with a search firm, it’s important to share your philosophy, core values, and goals. Include lots of details, unique aspects and fun perks of working for your organization. The recruiter needs more than just the cliff notes to optimize your search. What makes you special and unique? Why should top talent want to leave their jobs they are excelling in to come work for you?

It’s important to take the time to share this information and get to know your recruiter on a personal level as well. After all, they’re representing you and your company and you want them to bring you talent who fit your culture and work style.

If your recruiter doesn’t have specific, deep insight into who you are, it’s difficult for them to play matchmaker. The best recruiters will want to take the time to get to know you and your company, what excites you, and even what you like to do outside the office, as an individual and with your team.Having all this information gives them ammo to showcase you and attract driven talent with similar professional and personal interests. This is key to maintaining and cultivating your company’s culture.

4. Engage and retain. If a search firm is working on a contingency basis, they’re essentially gambling with their time, which is not an ideal relationship if you have a critical or urgent hiring need. For this reason, it’s best to put your search firm on retainer if you’re dedicated to finding the best talent.The top recruiters are very strategic with taking on contingency work and limit the amount they’ll commit to. Typically, they dedicate the first 4-6 hours of a workday to retainer clients, and reserve the last 2-3 hours for exploration with potential new clients.On average, the best recruiters spend 2-3 hours per day on each of their retainer projects until they fill the position(s), and do not take on more than three retained projects at a time. This gives them the appropriate amount of resources (including time) to dedicate themselves 100% to each search.

When you hire a search firm, you’re essentially buying their time away from contingency work, so they can focus on screening and comparing hundreds of people before you even see the first qualified candidate. This ensures you only see the best of the best, and saves you hours of time. The process is time consuming, which is why often the most effective hiring managers with critical needs choose to work with a search firm, and retain them.

When recruiters are working on a contingency basis it becomes more of a race. With contingency, you’re getting the best AVAILABLE talent, whereas with a retainer agreement you’re getting the BEST talent, period.

5. Feedback. To get the best talent to join your organization, you need to give your recruiter specific, timely feedback. Clients who aren’t afraid to give consistent, detailed critiques make it possible for their recruiter to tweak and tailor their search as needed. This eliminates wasted time and ensures you get the best talent, fast.

Employers who provide their search firms with timely feedback are also ranked as a higher priority because it tells the recruiter that their search is important to them and they’re invested in efficiently finding top performers.There’s hours of work that goes on behind the scenes before you ever see a potential candidate in your inbox. If you take a week or longer to respond and schedule an interview, that tells the recruiter that your search is not a top priority for you, and therefore shouldn’t be a top priority for them.

Recruiters prioritize clients who respond to potential hire recommendations within 24-48 hours. Feedback within 24-48 hours of an interview is also expected, if you want your firm to put you at the top of their list.

Have you been forgetting to do any of these five steps? If so, which one(s)?What’s your plan to implement these five tips so you can get the best return on your recruiting investment?

Comment below and tell me! I can’t wait to hear from you.

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