I recently was involved in a conference call with a prospective
client who was asking me whether I would be available to come speak to
their office meeting about how the staff could work closer with
corporate HR professionals. I got off the call and began to look back to
the time in my career when I was in the external recruiter’s seat and
what was important to me to establish that relationship.
So for what it is worth, here are my thoughts.
- The Toyota Production System talks to us about GEMBA.
It is a Japanese term for go and see. I fully realize that we are in
tough economic times but it is worth the investment to take the time to
go and see the client’s operations. Meet face to face with both HR and
the hiring managers. This is not a sales call this is a listening call.
Find out exactly what their want and needs are. When I worked as a full
time recruiter I had approached a Fortune 1000 corporation who loathed
working with recruiters totally. I asked for a 30 minute meeting and
went to his offices and met with HR and we talked about the Voice of the
Customer as to what his wants and desires were. By listening to that
conversation I became the only recruiter he would work with.
recruiting profession does not have the greatest reputation out in the
marketplace and one of the reasons is a lack of ethics. Respect that the
client is paying your bills and treat them accordingly. Once again when
I was working int he field, I was the VP of a firm and with the
blessings of the President of the firm I sat down with the outplacement
director of one of the largest Certified Public Accounting firms in the
world and arranged that we would receive the name of all the staff that
were not going to be offered partner as long as we did not poach the
current staff from their clients. Went back to the office and explained
this to an office meeting. Within a half-hour one of the banks did
exactly what we said we would not do. The President of the firms comment
when informed of the actions was that if you had any business ethics
you did not belong working for the firm. We lost a source of good
talent, a good client and a loss of reputation in the marketplace.
has a responsibility to their organization to find the right person for
the right job at the right time and in the right place. As a recruiter
you have the ability to assist in this goal by not weeding out talent
for arbitrary reasons. Several years ago a recruiter posted on the
Internet that she would not refer someone to a client who had grey
hair.AH I HAVE BEEN GREY SINCE AGE 19. Nothing like implied age
discrimination.While I know you want that check you also have the
responsibility to let your client know when they are planning on taking
action which might be deemed illegal.
- HR has the
responsibility to make it clear to recruiters what the skills are that
are required for the positions but also need to make sure the recruiter
understands the culture of the organization. A recent survey said that
hiring managers are more likely to hire for culture fit rather than
skill fit. One survey went so far as to say that they would more likely
hire someone they could be friends with over whether the could do the
- In #3 above we talked about the role HR has to play
within the organization, but you have an equally important role and that
is you nee to remind your client that unless someone truly misses the
bona-fide occupational qualifications rule, the goal is no to rule them
out but rather to rule them in. I fully realize that you want that check
but that does not mean that you should tolerate actions which may be
illegal. You have a vast readily available talent pool at your disposal,
don’t rule out those who are in a position due to no fault of their
- HR needs to be sure that the position that they are
recruiting for actually exists. It is unfair to the candidates, the
hiring managers, the organization the recruiter and your organizational
reputation be referring individuals to organizations for no
reason.Likewise recruiters should not as a rule pitch candidates to HR
or a hiring manager on the hope that there is a job available.
do not know how you work individually, but i never stockpiled resumes.
Each and every search assignment was conducted as a clean slate. I
referred to those who were in my Rolodex but I never used them as the
sole source of candidates. I also did not rule people out because of the
status of their employment.
- I have a business partner, Tony
Alessandra, who suggests the way to success is through consultative
selling. In order to add the value to the relationship the goal is for
you and HR to work as equal partners in the process.Both of you will
come out of it with a win-win situation.