“Understanding Recruiting Dynamics” –  Essays on Professional Recruiting Synergy

“Every life is a journey, and everyone has a story to tell”……Celestine McMullen Allen

Recruiting practices and dynamics have changed a lot over the years. Now, the recruiting world is mired with data, keywords, and metrics.  How stressful is that.  And of course, other factors include recruiters not understanding the “roles” they are hiring for and applicants not understanding what they are looking for in terms of their career aspirations.

I have been recruiting professionally for a long time, both corporate and agency.    With each hire that I have made, or with any candidate that I have interviewed, it was important for me to establish a personal connection with the candidate to ensure that their credentials, background, personality, and inherent skills were suited for the needs of the client and/or the organizations that I supported.

So, from the old school days, I had this stack of resumes that had arrived via snail mail.  Eventually, they arrived via email.  Eventually to the plethora of online recruiting sites that were key word based.  Of late, recruiting has become algorithmically savvy which predicts the viability of opportunities of candidates for consideration.  I used “people gut” and an understanding “eye” to make good placements for my clients and/or organizations that I supported.  Very effective, might I say.

So as we have added other tiers to this process, we started affecting the recruiting process even more. Unfortunately, some of these tiers are ineffective in a lot of instances.  Factors of consideration include the world of metrics and recruiting effectiveness that is counter to mutual needs of the organization and the individual.  These added layers entail a lack of definition of what an organization truly needs in their strategic world, business criteria that is ill-defined, lack of synergy, and little or no support to the employees who works  for you day-to day or whom will  and want to work for you.  These metrics also force counter-productivity and affects the quality of candidates that are hired.  I am not suggesting that this data is not important.  I am merely suggesting that they add a layer of disconnect with the applicant.  I am also suggesting that some of these activities takes away from building a great applicant pipeline and from establishing a good rapport with viable candidates.

Upon conducting research to validate statistics relative to this topic, I sourced several articles that suggest the following:

  •  Research indicates that talent acquisition professionals will have higher recruiting budgets, but they also will have higher volumes.  The higher budgets are necessary because they are now faced with recruiting in social professional networks, internet job boards, and company career websites.  And measure they must to be able to get a decent return on their investment.  So with more dollars being spent, their recruiting world evolves around time to fill.  Disconnect begins here and creates a quandary and a source of angst between the applicant and the recruiter.
  •  Quality of hire is another valuable recruiting stat, but given the current climate, this measure suffers the most.  Unfortunately, recruiters, and their efforts are also affected.  They too, are trapped in the mire of meeting the needs of the applicant and the financial goals of the organizations that they support.  There is a caveat – the applicant needs to understand what is important to them in terms of career path and goals, and what type of organization suits them so that they can flourish professionally.   Recruiters need to understand the roles, the job, the organizational culture, and other relevant information that ensures a “good fit”.

So as to not put the cart before the horse, we do need to examine some basics that need to be in place before this myriad of expectations can be obtained and or understood.

  •  Connecting with the Applicant– How do you and your organization connect with candidates?  I contend that just as you are a human being contacting a potential candidate to fill a vacancy, there is the same amount of energy that the “applicant” puts in to being deemed a viable candidate.    Recruiting scenarios are lop-sided these days.  Yes, recruiters may have access to jobs that may or may not be available – also called contingent opportunities.  But the outreach and ensuing dialogue is, and/or can be with a one-sided perspective of what the process should be about.  Recruiting venues are not supportive of the process.  Technology, as good as it is, takes humanity out of the process.  Placements and filling offers is the game.  Trust me, applicants are feeling the pain, more than we may realize and creating a divide that goes deep.  The bottom line is although they solicit our help, there is a level of distrust that is brewing that will be hard to bridge unless some changes are made.
  •  Understanding The Skill Set of Candidates – A good recruiter …..No, let’s not start here yet.  An applicant should understand what their inherent gifts are and the path that they should be on to fulfill their professional dreams.  I chose to start here, because ultimately, one can be sold “peanuts” even if they are allergic to them.  This may be an extreme analogy, but the bottom line, bad career choices can work against you personally, professionally, and physically.    It is incumbent that one understands their personal strengths and “fit” for whatever opportunity that they pursue.

From the recruiting perspective, how adept are you in terms of understanding the roles that you are recruiting for.  You have a job description (probably outdated), you have discussions with the hiring managers, you have conversations with the hiring organization about their needs, and oops, “a” candidate is available.  When you review the credentials of candidate, what are you looking for?  Are you reviewing the job requisition against the job description and hope that the key words match?  Do you thoroughly review prior job history and discern whether there are transferrable skills available that are suited for the opportunity for the client?  Do you consider or understand inherent skills of the applicant to ensure that the applicant fits the environment?  Another important consideration – are you pursuing a candidate just to meet your personal organizational metrics of “time to fill” or other organizational metrics that do not fit with the needs of the applicant?  And in terms of looking at the entire picture, when is one considered a quality hire – one month, six months, one year, or more?  This question raises issues relative to how employees are effectively evaluated; another question for another post.  Every role is not process specific but may rely upon other organizational factors for viable determinants of success.

  •  Understanding the needs of the role/and or organization – We have briefly talked about the needs of the individual and obstacles facing recruiters in today’s work environment.  What barriers and obstacles have been put in place with the organization that prevent these first two considerations from melding together?

With this series, I usually like to discuss concepts in trinity.  But, corporate responsibility in the disconnect can  encompass several themes that are better fit for subsequent posts which will include organizational culture, organizational effectiveness, performance management, and employee engagement.  Here are some stats that are worthy of consideration:

Survey results indicated that young professionals value…..

  •  Excellent compensation and benefits
  • A strong career path
  • Good work/life balance
  • Challenging work
  • Strong employee development opportunities

Comparatively, in the same survey the measures indicated that what was most important include :

  • Valuing good relationships with colleagues
  • Good relationships with supervisors
  • Job security
  • Supporting companies that value employee contributions

And this is just one segment of the workplace, but probably one that is most sought after currently.

And if there be a trinity with this series, it will be in these closing thoughts for this post and thoughts for consideration for subsequent posts.

  •  Employees need to embrace and understand their “total person” as they make career decisions, navigate career options, and continually discern their path.
  •  Recruiters should be more diligent about embracing the “total person” into the recruiting process and strive to make those “warm and fuzzy” placements that work for the individual, the recruiter, and the organization.
  •  Organizations should embrace a more humanistic approach to how employees are recruited, expectations, provide full organizational disclosure, support, accountability, as the individuals and humans that they are, which supports their ability to thrive and be effective.

(The statistics addressed here are specifically from data compiled and summarized by The 4th Annual Report of 2015 Global Recruiting Trends. This report was authored by Sam Gager, Rachel Bowley, Ester Cruz, and Ryan Batty, LinkedIn Talent Solutions Professionals.  The report is based on a survey that was conducted with 4,125 recruiting decision makers in 31 countries.)

Celestine McMullen Allen

Vision Qwest Solutions


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