Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Corporate Recruiters Wish They Knew

 I recently read an article on Recruiter.com (See Related Article) about taking the leap from corporate recruiting into agency recruiting, and the first thought that came to mind was, ‘yeah leap is an understatement’.
 I am one of those brave souls who decided to take the plunge into the agency world, and I have to admit I was plunging into dark waters – I didn’t know what I was getting myself into!  I thought, ‘I have been in recruiting for seven years – I can handle this’.  I was in for the roller-coaster ride of my life!  It has been hands down the most challenging job I have ever had - emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  But, it has also been the most rewarding, creative, and thrilling experience.  I firmly believe every recruiter needs to experience the agency recruiter role at some point in their career.  It is essential in so many ways, and even in the short amount of time I have been with CRG, I have learned more than I have in my entire seven years in corporate. 
As I am learning how to navigate through this business, I keep hearing myself say the same thing over and over again: “If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently”.  I was always cordial and thankful for the vendors I worked with while I was a corporate recruiter, but knowing what I know now, I would definitely have treated the relationship very differently.  So here’s some advice to all the corporate recruiters out there who are currently working with or thinking about working with agencies: 

1.       Pick 2 or 3 firms max to work with.  I would not have employed the services of 20 different firms, rather focused all my energy and attention to developing strong relationships with only 2 or 3 trusted firms.  Knowing there are 20 other firms working on a job order knocks that job order down a couple levels automatically. 

2.       Feedback, feedback, feedback!  Anything is better than nothing.  As a corporate recruiter, half the battle is trying to get a hold of the hiring managers for feedback and updates, but let the agency recruiter know that.  We would rather hear, ‘I don’t have any updates’, than nothing at all.  I was slammed with millions of emails, and I admit, the ones from the agencies would be pushed to the bottom of the priority totem pole, especially if I didn’t have any updates.  But just a quick one line email is critical to the agency recruiter.

3.       Help us help you!  Information is golden.  If I could go back, I would have taken the time to really discuss the hiring manager’s needs with the agency recruiter.  The hardest part of being an agency recruiter is trying to find qualified candidates in a very short time frame with only two or three pieces of information. We play the guessing game half the time, which in essence wastes time.  If we have all the information from the get-go, then we can be most effective in the least amount of time.

4.       We are not your enemy!  Unfortunately, agencies have a bad reputation, but we are not all slimy used car salesmen.  We would like to be viewed as your partner providing you a valuable service.  Our main goal is to assist you and make your life easier.  As a corporate recruiter in a large organization, I was bogged down with so many applications and additional administrative tasks all day, I simply didn’t have the time to creatively source and network like agency recruiters do.  Towards the end, I was so thankful the agencies were sending me candidates, because it made me look good!  I was getting the positions filled, and at the end of the day, that’s what counts.  We are just another resource that you can utilize.

Ali Kairies, Director of Recruiting

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