All Recruiters are Not Created Equal

Shaun Enders

After 16 years in recruiting, I must say that every day adds a new challenge.

It’s probably why I stay so engaged.

I love dealing with so many outstanding companies and earning a spot as a trusted resource and adviser to a company’s hiring strategies.

Isaac Newton said it best with, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

It seems that many professionals are not as aware as they could be of the difference between a highly trained and competent recruiter and the average recruiter. With that, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss the various styles of recruiting professionals and the varying degrees of competency.

You see, on the surface, recruiting seems like a relatively simple, straightforward process. You find a job that needs to be filled and you match a candidate for the position.

For many recruiters, this is exactly the process.

These are the recruiters that discount their fees in a race to the bottom for margin. It’s a losing strategy for all parties involved and continues to lower the bar in our own profession, but it’s tough to blame these recruiters because I genuinely believe they do not know any better.

The truth is they do not possess the skills required to raise the bar and they undervalue their very existence because they fail to observe what clients truly want and need. Often they are attempting to find a candidate for today with zero strategy on the fit for tomorrow.

Do companies want resumes when they have an open job requisition? Of course they do.

Do they also want to be competitive and better understand how their brand can compete for top talent? Absolutely!

When they make an offer to their ideal candidate, they want to be sure that person is excited and prepared to say yes to an offer and if the response is no, they don’t want to be blindsided with this news.

Worse yet? Not truly understanding why the candidate turned down their offer.

Now a one-dimensional recruiter can offer more resumes. Any half-trained recruiter with limited technology and a phone can find a bunch of resumes and send them over.

A multi-dimensional recruiter can offer all of the above and more. Better yet, you will develop a long standing relationship with a multi-dimensional recruiter who will understand your demands and needs for years to come.

It’s a privilege for all parties when this happens.

For candidates searching for a new opportunity, things really heat up as you begin to truly experience on a more intimate level how proficient and gifted your recruiter is at their craft.

I believe a recruiter should have a solid understanding of four major components to be an effective recruiter: Marketing, Sales, Public Relations and Psychology. These four areas draw direct parallels while working with business professionals within a job search.

A great recruiter should know how to gain your trust and bring the best out of you (Psychology), while making sure they anticipate any potential pitfalls observed by potential suitors (PR) and develop a proper/strategic campaign to draw attention to your background (Marketing), while possessing the resilience to hear several no’s until they find the company that is ready to move on your background (Sales).

You see, whether you are a company hiring a recruiting firm to assist with your hiring needs or a candidate looking for a new job, you should know that there are ways to interview a potential recruiter.

For companies, price matters and I understand this as a business owner. Be careful of discount recruiters willing to offer free conversions for their temporary placements or suspiciously low direct hire fees.

Finding great talent is difficult to do and keeping great talent on your bench is even harder.

Believing that all recruiters are created equal can be a costly mistake and like any industry, the discounters will come and go…but the great will remain. For candidates, I understand you want/need a new job opportunity.

Before moving forward on the position, know that you have the right to ask the recruiter some basic questions. How well does he/she know their client? How will they help prepare you in the event you are called for an interview? How many candidates have they previously placed with the hiring managers? What is their strategy on how they will market your background?

I think you will be very interested to hear the responses you receive.

I challenge you in the job market to think longer term and look for the best representation of you or your company, not just any representation.

When it comes down to it, human capital should never be just a transaction.

About the Author

Shaun Enders is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Transition Staffing Group located in San Diego. Shaun is extremely passionate about recruiting and developing others to bring out the best version of themselves.