Do It Yourself Recruiting

Ryan Thomson

Ryan Thomson

By Ryan Thomson, Executive Recruiter

When helping new clients on their hiring priorities, I encounter a common thread that some think recruiting fees are costly and somehow easy to earn. Recruiting fees are typically a percentage of the first year’s salary, and yes, that can amount to a large figure when hiring executives and top performers. During a recent webinar on Closing Candidates in a Hot Market, an attendee asked “Why should I use a recruiter, they seem expensive for a job I can do on my own.”

Ironically, “It’s not your job”.  All companies, besides search firms, have a unique mission and the management should be focused on the company’s business objectives. Each person is hired based on the business goals and their ability to accomplish them. Some larger companies bring the recruiting function in-house, and hire specialists to perform recruitment or use HR generalists to take on the recruiting tasks.  Many large companies do this because they recognize the same; that it isn’t “your job”.

Yes, you can “Do it Yourself”.  DIY is great for weekends puttering around your home, or even home renovation for the ambitious weekend handyman-warrior. But DIY has its limitations and risks. Anyone can write their own will or contracts, yet few people (except for lawyers) have the time and expertise or want to take on the liability and risk associated with the composition of legal contracts.  And while there is a plethora of medical information available online today, when a child is ill, most people don’t take the risk of a DIY diagnosis and treatment plan, they take him/her to the doctor.

Recruiting is a specialized field; dedicated professionals build entire careers around it. It takes more than writing a job description and positing it on Monster to hire a talented professional. Even in this day of a gazillion job boards and the hype around social media, the recruiting process is complex and requires much thought and skill. A DIY-er might copy a real estate contract, but … Are they up on the latest real estate laws? Do they know the reputable inspectors or how to find them? What do they understand about the title insurance and financing aspects of a purchase? Do they know the prices of the latest sales and special concessions or circumstances that contributed to the deals? What are the liabilities they take on without even realizing it?

The reality is that bulk of any recruiting effort goes way beyond posting a job description and waiting for the phone calls to pour in. Great recruiting is the result of developing and working specialized professional networks, and knowing how to identify and seek out the right talent for a specific opportunity within a specific company. Search professionals will not only spend a lot of time contacting potential candidates, seeking to extend their network by directly reaching out to folks for referrals, they will additionally take the time to learn everything about the company they are working with; what makes them unique, attractive, and culturally strong. The recruiter then screens and qualifies each likely candidate, gaining an understanding of their credentials and experience, skills and abilities, management style, salary history, motivation, and personality-fit with the hiring company and team.  They will do this process many times over and only send the viable candidates that match the company fit.  A hiring manager may only see a few candidates from a recruiter, but that recruiter has most likely sorted and interviewed dozens in the process.

As the best person for the job isn’t necessarily seeking a job, it can take great finesse and communication skills to connect with this person. Recruiters sell the company and the opportunity from the get-go. External recruiters work with a large variety of companies, so they don’t need to work for a company they don’t believe in. When they pitch an opportunity, they do because it is a win-win situation; a win for the company, a win for the candidate that they’ve identified as being the best match, and ultimately a win for the recruiting team.

When salary negotiations come into play, as they usually do, the recruiter can educate all parties about the numbers and trends for their industry and location. Recruiters study the job market and speak with hiring companies and employed professionals constantly. They have honed their corporate matchmaking skills, and ability to really understanding the client’s and the candidate’s needs, desires and abilities. They’ve developed mediation, negotiation, and communication skills that help parties achieve mutually winning solutions, save time and money by eliminating drawn out engagements, and spend their days ensuring that this is the right hire.

So when it comes time to embark on a recruiting effort for the next CTO, Account Executive, Product Lead, or Engineer think about what it takes to do your job and think about what it takes to do the job of a recruiter.  By doing what we do best, we’ll no doubt help you be the best at your job.  Leave the DIY for this weekend at home!


About the author:

Ryan Thomson is an Executive Recruiter in the Clean Tech Recruitment Division at Redfish Technology. Ryan applies his technical electronics and building background to green tech and alternative energy recruiting. He is enthusiastic and dedicated to finding a great fit between promising clean tech employers and talented candidate.

Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.