All Job Recruiters Are Not Created Equal

Ginni Garner

My husband has been a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years. During many of our dinner conversations he tells me about his peers and the underwhelming work they have done representing a client. The topic arises because he has taken over a case where the previous attorney is failing to file on time, charging an outrageous amount of money and/or not helping the client work through the legal system to get a case settled with a (reasonably) positive outcome.

Like the legal business, not all recruiters and executive search consultants are created equal. It is often that I am called upon to "rescue" a search started by other search firms. Despite the abundance in recruiter training available, there are still job recruiters and executive search consultants that:
  • Do not have a defined candidate search process.
  • Use job boards and resume banks to find job candidates.
  • Don’t have the ability to convince top (happily-employed) talent to interview for a new position.
Researching and Recruiting the Right Job Candidates

I started in job recruiting in the early '90s. We spent many a day paging through large (and heavy) research directories to find names of job candidates to contact for a candidate search. The Internet has replaced this type of cumbersome "heavy lifting." Within 48 to 72 hours, any recruiter using the various online directories and Internet databases can find the names of targeted job candidates for recruiting. But many job recruiters seem to use that initial 48 to 72 hours placing ads and searching resume databases to find those job candidates who are looking for a new job versus being "happily" employed and productive.

Very few job recruiters seem to understand—let alone utilize—the process of deep research to find the best talent. What also seems lacking also seems to be the confident search consultant who possesses the psychological skills necessary for job recruiting reluctant and "happy" prospective job candidates in other companies.

Competency is on my mind this morning as I take over another candidate search from an underperforming recruiting job candidate search firm. Please don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the work. However, from a client’s point of view, he or she has lost time and money getting this search filled. Moreover, my "underwhelming" colleague is adding to the seeming negative reputation of the executive recruitment profession.

The Way to Recruit Top TalentFor Jobs

It is my feeling that time spent on the "lazy" job recruiter’s methodology can be transferred into identifying the best job candidates and recruiting the best talent—not just the talent that is available. Perhaps I would receive fewer "rescue" candidate searches, but I doubt it. Quality and process speak for themselves when it comes to recruitment.

First published on Human Resources IQ.