Friday, March 23, 2012

Job Search: Matchmaking is not paper-based

I just go crazy when I read blog posts like Seven Reasons Why IT Recruiters Instantly Reject Resumes.  I’ve seen so many of these types of articles the past two years.   With a scolding tone up front in the mix, they are written by (what sounds like) weary recruiters complaining about how candidates resumes are making their life difficult and getting in the way of their payday.  

This latest post is littered with pandering prose:

If a company is going to pay a recruiter a significant retainer fee, they expect a perfect match…

If candidate is in medical software development and the job is in financial development - the recruiter will not be calling...

Any good recruiter can find a candidate with that current familiarity…

Companies are not paying recruiters to help candidates transfer their skills from one field to another…

Although these statements are based in truths (you never want to give anyone a reason to reject your resume) – it is just looking at the problem the wrong way and it diminishes the extreme value that top staffing professionals provide the customer and the candidates.  

Even in tighter job markets like today – talented talent-finders remain as busy as ever.

Analog solution in a digital world

It’s no all about the resume.  Here’s 7 of my own points on the subject.

  1. Let’s get something straight up front: Companies are not paying a “significant retainer fee” to someone to sift through a pile of resumes.  For that skillset – they get an intern.  I can search Linked In, too.
  2. The most successful recruiters I have employed are relationship based for the long-term.  They maintain these relationships from job-to-job (town to town, up down the dial) with people.  They get to know both the hiring manager and candidates very well.  It’s those relationships (and not a bullet in a resume) that allows them to make the perfect match. 
  3. Recruiters know their market.  They know which companies are hiring for what kinds of skills and who and where people that can do it are (or want to be).   If I need a UEX maven with Dreamweaver experience  – I know who to call today that knows where one is.
  4. Successful recruiters rarely have carpal tunnel.  More time at Starbucks and less time in their cube or on the “interwebs” is how they roll.  They are constantly networking with candidates and hiring mangers alike (attending user groups, professionals association meetings, or breakfast meetups).  It’s all about eye-balling people more than resumes.
  5. Good recruiters are creative and do not stick to absolutes.  They often (with great success) match companies and candidates that may not seem a fit on paper to one another.  We know culture/team fit can be as (if not more) important than some industry/technical experience (obviously to a certain point).  Numerous times – I’ve interviewed and hired candidates based on the recruiters recommendation that I “must meet Jill – she’s a perfect fit for your team”.
  6. As with any service business,  if you are focused solely on cost - and not value to all sides of the transaction - you’ve already lost.    Even when I have worked at companies that had internal recruiters and had policies against “agency fees”, I still have employed outside recruiters for key positions if needed.  I say it all the time to staffing pros I work with:  find me the right person, and I will make the case to get the fee.  Finding the right people fast is a such a competitive edge that the ROI is an easy sell.
  7. Top recruiters value both candidates and companies.  Why?  Well today’s hiring manager is tomorrow’s candidate and visa-versa.  If my candidate experience with you feels shopping at Walmart, I’m probably not going to employ you to find candidates for me (and worse yet – your candidates will not refer future hiring managers and candidates your way). 


Anonymous said...

As Tech Recruiters, we have to start somewhere. The bottom line is our job is to go over 1,000s of resumes and pick the best ones to call and evaluate before doing technical testing / evaluating and presenting those candidates to our clients. Our job is not to waste clients' time and get them the best 4-5 candidates to interview and decide to hire (that is why we are hired in the first place - to get top notch candidates in fast).

Thomas Copenhaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas Copenhaver said...

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate comments.

You raise/illustrate some good points. First - I'm lockstep with you. The end-result of presenting 3-5 qualified and screened candidates to the hiring manger is the value.

Also - some roles and requisitions (I need 25 Java developers in 2 weeks) necessitate more of a cattle call approach (need to cast a wider net). Thanks for adding that point to the conversation.

Rebecca Hartstrom said...

Yes I think I also must agree with you on this one. Some recruiters just don't know how difficult it is to be a job seeker in this times. There are just lots of people out there who are looking for jobs right now which must be why they think that their jobs - recruiters - are difficult. I just wish every job seeker out there right now a good luck and hope they find the right job for them without having to deal with too much pressure from recruiters.

Thomas Copenhaver said...

Rebecca: Thanks. I love your comment. Everyone trying to help everyone is how we make this work.

Rebecca Hartstrom said...

Thanks Thomas! So true. Especially in this state of the economy and so many jobs made redundant.