Though, I would still label myself as "early career" being that I graduated college less than 10-years ago, I have had the unique perspective of having been on both sides of the fence when it comes to recruiting. I began my career in Human Resources and Corporate Communications working with a national insurance carrier and then moved into a HR Generalist role with a medical device manufacturer. And now, I work full-time with a recruiting firm in the healthcare industry. Having experienced both in-house and external recruiting has given me better insight and understanding when working with clients.
Finding a qualified candidate as soon as possible is important to both parties. However, to the recruiter, it is our #1 priority to not only send as many top qualified candidates, but to do as quickly as possible. After all, placing candidates is how we make money. I know all too well that the day in the life of an HR professional is unpredictable and sometimes reviewing resumes gets pushed down the list of priorities. It happens. That said, feedback helps recruiters gauge their search which gets positions filled quicker, scratching an item off everyone’s to-do list. It does not need to be a long drawn out explanation, just let us know we’re headed in the right direction.
Establish a timeframe for feedback that is reasonable for both parties, so everyone is accountable. Feedback to the recruiter in 48-business hours of resume submissions, for example. Recruiters can also request to work directly with the hiring manager which can help eliminate the middleman and potentially reduce turnaround time.
Both the recruiter and the company want to ensure candidates have a positive experience during the interview process, whether they are hired in the end or not. A good experience reflects on company branding and can also impact the relationship the recruiter has with the candidate. A positive experience mirrors how the company, and the hiring manager, treats its employees which could influence accepting an offer.
Don’t leave candidates in the dark. Both the hiring team and the recruiter are responsible for communicating promptly and clearly with candidates. Make sure candidates have all of the necessary information in order to be most successful: who to ask for, who they will be speaking with, where to park, if they need to bring ID, etc. Post interview, let candidates know when they should expect to hear feedback or when a decision is expected to be made. A long drawn out process runs the risk of losing candidates due to other offers. Scheduling weekly or bi-weekly check ins between the hiring team and recruiters helps everyone stay on the same page and ensures updates are relayed to candidates in a respectful timeframe.
Lack of Candidates
Sometimes the candidate pool can seem more like a puddle. In some cases, finding qualified candidates is difficult and could be for a multitude of reasons. Location, a niche market or a lengthy list of requirements are just some examples that can significantly narrow down the search – and on top of that, not all of those candidates will be open to new opportunities or looking to make a move.
Recruiters are out there every day having conversations with candidates at all levels in the industry. We’re getting all the “deets” from salary, PTO, commissions and bonus, perks – you name it. All of these things can make a company, or an offer, more attractive and can assist in staying competitive in the market. Of course, each position is budgeted within a salary range, recruiters understand that. If recruiters are sending in candidates with the right experience, but higher salary range, it's an opportunity to have an honest conversation and discuss how to move forward. Sign-on bonuses, accepting less experience, deciphering between ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves,’ relocation assistance, additional PTO, telecommuting, are a few things recruiters may propose to help find the right person. It's not that the right person doesn’t exist, it may just take longer to find them.
I am so appreciative of the opportunities that I have had in my short career. I have been able to experience recruiting from all perspectives, understand issues that can arise on either side of the equation and strategies to move past them. Whether you are working with an internal recruiter, external recruiter, hiring manager or HR Professional, all parties have the same goal to fill an open position. The road to finding the right person may be long or turned in different directions, but staying on the same path will keep the process running smoothly. Keep the lines of communication open, set expectations and be honest with your struggles to establish a positive working relationship now and for the future.