3 Questions To Ask The Next Recruiter You Hire
How long have you been recruiting?
Recruiting is not the type of career that people dream of in grade school. More often than not, it is a role that people seem to stumble into. All too often, those same people stumble out of it after a few years. The career lifespan of a recruiter is not well documented, but after being in recruitment and the periphery for 20 years, I can make several generalizations.
Years 1- 3: Recruiters are learning the basic skills of sourcing, interviewing and presenting. Large organizations are a good place for new recruiters to begin their career because they will likely be taught (and internalize) a recruitment routine, taught how to measure the work they do and get rewarded for following a process towards a predictable outcome. Plus, in an enterprise they will deal with a large number of requisitions giving them a greater chance of making hires and being successful.
Year 4 – 5: Recruiters become burned out after repeating the process and long for a new career adventure. Wanderlust may encourage them to leave the recruitment industry entirely. Others pursue HR credentials, or roles within recruitment agencies or if they were already at an agency, go in-house for one of their agency clients.
Year 5+: Recruiters have their methods perfected and can run their desk efficiently. They also tend to have a mind for improving upon their existing skills and as a result, attend conferences as their schedules allow. If someone has been in a corporate role up to this point, the chance to freelance is difficult to ignore, especially when market conditions allow for it. Another course of action would be to join a boutique agency where they could morph into a more senior role where added responsibilities would include training less-tenured Recruiters.
Alternatively, it's entirely possible that after mastering recruitment, they pursue roles on the periphery of the recruiting industry. For example, talent acquisition, recruitment marketing or recruiting operations.
The length of time someone has been a recruiter speaks to their dedication and likely skill level but, not necessarily how proficient they are in hiring for a particular industry. For instance, if you were recruiting for a healthcare system, which candidate would likely be the better qualified?
- Candidate A: 7 years recruiting in a variety of fields.
- Candidate B: 7 years recruiting exclusively in Healthcare.
Am I insinuating that only recruiters with healthcare industry influence can be successful in recruiting hospital workers? No, not at all. I would suggest however, that Candidate A would have a steeper learning curve.
What are your hiring stats?
Recruiting is in essence a sales job and like sales, a recruiter’s success is validated by their recruitment metrics. And while there are several factors beyond a recruiter’s control, ultimately they should be able to answer questions like these:
- How many candidates did you talk to last year?
- How many of those candidates were interviewed by hiring managers?
- How many of those interviews became hires?
Essentially, you are trying to determine their recruitment ratio. For example…
10 Recruiter Interviews = 5 Hiring Manager Accepts = 3 Hiring Manager interviews = 1 Offer
Ideally, you want a recruiter who presents quality over quantity so, the number of candidates they submit are low. However, they tend to be interviewed by the hiring manager on a consistent basis thus increasing the potential for hires.
How many of your hires are made from referrals?
Metrics are a solid indicator of how good a recruiter is yet, it is not the defining metric. I’ve mentioned how recruitment is like sales and sales is ultimately about personal interactions with people. The best recruiters know how to manage their relationships with their clients and with the candidates they present. But how can you track whether or not a recruiter has this essential skill? The following questions may give insight:
- What percentage of your hires are from referrals?
- Name three hiring managers you’ve worked with and tell me about them. Detail your best and worst experiences with them.
A high percentage of hires by referrals is a great sign of interpersonal skills, especially if the placements were of executive and/or technical talent. It indicates that people who are likely to ignore recruiters made special notice of them and are willing to risk their professional reputation by sending them colleagues from their network. Naming multiple hiring managers and describing relationship nuances suggests that the interactions were not solely transactional. If they were wholly good relationships, I would not hold as much interest. What would grab my attention is when situations turned negative but were turned positive by wise choices. Make sense?
If I know how long someone has been recruiting, their hiring stats and their level of interpersonal skills then, I am confident that I can determine if they have a place in the company I am working for. The questions I posed are only one method of finding these things out. For example, here at Proactive Talent, one way we assess interpersonal skills is with Predictive Index.
The Predictive Index provides a behavioral assessment of candidates (and employees) that provides an overview of how an individual is likely to interact with people and their work. The tool looks at a combination of factors across motivations, communication and work styles, as well as behaviors to help hiring managers understand how well someone may navigate different situations in a given role. Additionally, the PI platform offers tools for leaders to take a more empathetic approach to coaching and developing the members of their team based on the outcomes of the assessment. To be noted, like any assessment, The Predictive Index shouldn’t be the sole piece of data collected when making hiring decisions. But with 60+ years of data and research behind the platform, the Predictive Index can help pull back the layers of a person’s natural behavioral tendencies in a deeper, more actionable way than a typical interview likely would produce.
Just FYI, if you want the Predictive Index assessment for free to try it out, click here. Of course, if you have any questions concerning these matters, please do reach out to us today. (Operators are standing by.)
No matter how you go about sorting through resumes and interviews, the basic info on recruiter evaluation outlined herein should go along ways towards helping you make the right hire.