Recruiting is the hardest task I have ever attempted professionally. And I’m no spring chicken and have had a decent amount of work experience in my lifetime. I was originally hired by Ridgefield One in 2010 in a Business Development capacity and landed the role of Recruiter temporarily, by default.
At first, I thought it was fun. I really enjoyed having stimulating conversations with individuals who discussed their work history, life experiences, and personal goals. There is great satisfaction trying to help people find work and at the same time satisfying clients’ much needed requirements. What I learned quickly is it is really difficult to make the match between the candidate and the client.
I’ve tackled other tough roles such selling pharmaceuticals in Brooklyn, working as a Business Development Manager (cold calling C-level executives – not easy!) for an online marketing company. No doubt, Sales is challenging, and certainly being a mother has not been a walk in the park either.
Recruiting is hard; there are so many variables and just a couple of constants. The constants are the individual’s core technical skills, and the variables are everything else.
Here’s the scenario – we get a job order – ready, set, go…… We start with the knowledge that there are other agencies have been called upon this task….move quickly! This should be very easy, there are people looking for work who have specific skills and companies who need them, all we need to do is make a match. The individual has the skills - client has a deadline - POOF! Match made!
Here’s the real story: First we need to find qualified individuals to submit to the client.
- Are they available?
- Are they qualified?
- Do you live close to the business location?
- Are you authorized to work in the US?
- Is their pay rate on target?
- Do they communicate well?
This check list the easy part, now comes the hard part….What the client is thinking - We should try to fill the job ourselves instead of paying a recruiter. Can we satisfy these requirements without hiring additional staff? Are we paying too much or not enough? Can we step away and solely rely on our recruiter to find someone? Now from the candidate’s perspective – Do I really need a recruiter’s help? Do I really want that job? Can I do that job well? Do I commute there? Should I hold out for a better opportunity? Then we have additional issues such as cultural and personality fit. It's as if all the stars must be aligned for the match to occur. The exception, when a project needs to be done. This is much easier. Here we simply find a qualified candidate with the proper skills to complete a job in a timely manner.
Here’s a scenario. John S. applied for a developer position via our Dice.com posting. We cleared all the points above, checked references and submitted him to our client. John passes the phone screen and gets the interview. We schedule the meeting and hope for the best. We’re thinking… John, Please research the company like we told you, please don’t forget the appointment or be late, and while you’re at it, please dress well! John does all this, but does he get the job? Not necessarily.
Don’t get me wrong, there are elements of recruiting that were very rewarding, but getting there is not easy. Recruiting is the same as selling, but very different than selling other professional services, financial, legal, or even spa services, for that matter. We’re dealing with people, with all our subjectivity, pre-conceived notions, quirkiness, and individual perspectives. In his blog, Miles Jennings poetically expresses his thoughts on the “art” of recruiting in his blog, “Why Recruiting Looks Easy”. He states, “A recruiter’s value can’t be found within the process of a single hire. It can’t be found in that space that sometimes spans twenty heartbeats between talking to a manager about a job to the identification of a possible talent.”
Ridgefield One recently hired a new Recruiter. The best hire yet. Kaitlin is intelligent, patient, persistent, hard working, and intuitive. I hope (and believe she does), that she has the stamina and “stick-with-it” attitude to make this a go and not get discouraged.
The attitudes and opinions expresses are those of one employee and not those necessarily of Ridgefield One as a whole nor its management.