I was in Chicago over the weekend and I was having dinner with a group of friends, one of which is a lawyer. She said she gets contacted by recruiters every now and then. Well she actually said “head hunter” but I will save my opinion about that term for another day. Anyway, I got the vibe that she found recruiters annoying and didn’t really see the point of them. I am sure she is not the only one who feels that way, actually, there are many people I have contacted over my four months who I know feel that way and definitely let me know their opinion. While we didn’t really talk too deeply about it at the time, most of the conversation was about how cold it was and what the rest of the night would bring, it got me thinking about the importance of recruiters.
As mentioned before, I had really had no idea what recruiting was about when I joined Aegis. Honestly when I first started I thought they were middlemen for lazy HR people, but I have come to see all that we (yep, I am part of the group now!) do for both the company and the candidate.
In my opinion the biggest thing recruiters do is match the right person with the right position with the right company. We help bring people with jobs that they might not have known were available and vise-versa. As great as the internet is, it can also make things more difficult. A non-internet savvy job seeker might only look on certain sites or not know all the different ways to look for jobs or even know the companies to look at. There have been many times where I contacted a job seeker about a role I am working on in their area and they didn’t even know the company existed. Also, companies might not have their open jobs posted anywhere and they rely on recruiters to get the word out. There are also many companies who have openings for very niche roles, where you probably won’t find the ideal candidate on the job boards and doing a job posting online will get some people applying but most are nowhere near qualified for what the company is looking for. To find the right person, a recruiter will make a lot networking calls and cold calls, reach out to people in the industry, different groups and associations to find people who match what the company is looking for but might not be actively seeking a new job.
For example, I am working on an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) position with a company that wants someone with a pretty certain kind of background in mind, they are looking for someone from a certain type of industry background and with a certain type of degree (a little too picky if you ask me, but not my call. Just got to do what the client asks!). There was no one on the job boards, (Monster or CareerBuilder for those not in the knowhow! Yep, we have our lingo.) that was close to matching what the company wanted and when I posted the job, I did not get anyone applying that matched either, but I am pretty sure I got some decent Program Managers! Sorry, inside joke that probably only my coworker Jeff would laugh at. You better laugh at that Jeff. Anyway, it took two weeks of reaching out to different EHS professionals and just networking with them and contacting some Safety Associations to find two individuals who are pretty good matches (still waiting on feedback, so fingers crossed they like them!)
Another thing recruiters do is pass along information that can be easily left out of a resume or job description. In my short time doing this I have come across a wide variety of resumes, some good and some make you wonder if they wrote it after chugging a bottle of NyQuil. What recruiters can do is present a potential candidate in a way that a resume can’t. Recruiters know what the company and the hiring manager are looking for, we have the ability to pass along information about the candidate that directly relates to what they are looking for with more detailed examples then a resume can show. Also, we can help explain any gaps in work history or any short stints. Things that might not be appealing to HR managers and could easily rule out a candidate when they are looking at a bunch of resumes.
On the flip side, recruiters have the ability to pass information about job openings that is missing from some job descriptions. I have seen job descriptions so in-depth and confusing that I am pretty sure the hiring manager who wrote it wouldn’t apply to it and I have seen some that barely scratches the surface of what the job entails. I am working on a Plant Engineer position which has a one sentence position summary:
“Ensure manufacturing processes allow the production departments to achieve daily production schedules while enhancing productivity and product quality.”
While as informative as that is (Feel free to send me your resumes if you are qualified!), I am able give information on what is expected of the person in that role, about how hands on they want the individual and how they are looking for someone with more of an electrical background, plus any other qualifications the company is looking for. I have had the chance to talk to people in the company and I can give examples and scenarios of situations that the Plant Engineer will encounter. This way a candidate can know sooner if they are good fit and if the role matches what they are looking for.
There are a lot of other things that recruiters bring to the table, but I feel these are two of the more important things I have learned recruiters do for both the candidate and the company. The biggest issue I see with people who have a negative idea of recruiters, there are individuals out there that give us a bad name, but you will have that with any occupation. So, for all of you out there reading this, feel free to make any comments about your opinion of recruiters and what they do (recruiters and non-recruiters, the more the merrier!), I would love any and all feedback. Also, make sure to start following me on twitter @ronpoe1 I am getting better at tweeting more often.
Hope you enjoyed this!