Are You Doing Recruitment Halfway?

I recently talked to a higher level candidate who has been job searching for months. He said the hardest and most frustrating part of the job search is trying to get that first conversation with the recruiter or HR. I speak with a lot of candidates who feel that if they are not working with a recruiter on their behalf, they are more than likely not getting that first conversation.

Are You Doing Recruitment Halfway?

He shared an example where he applied directly to an organization and received the generic “sorry you haven’t been selected” email. A couple of weeks later, a recruiter found him for the same role. He was honest and said he applied on his own to the company already. The recruiter presented him to the company, and the company said they had never seen his resume before, and they were very interested. How do you think this could leave a candidate feeling about your organization?

I’ve been on both sides of the table – working in corporate and agency recruitment.

I’ve been in corporate recruiting where we’ve had to reach out to an agency recruiter for assistance. However, we had a tight internal process and made sure all existing applications, methods, etc. had been used. Also, it’s okay to recognize that you don’t have the time it takes for specific searches. For some roles, depending on the level, region, etc. it’s better to partner with your recruiter right off the bat. The posting won’t sit out there as long, it will be better for your brand, the role won’t be open as long, etc.

I’m now working in agency recruitment and talent consulting where my clients do call me in a tizzy that there is an urgent role they need me to fill ASAP. I’ve experienced similar situations as the candidate I discussed at the beginning, where I’ve talked to candidates who had applied and never heard back. But once I helped them fix up their resume, presented them with a summary of why they are a good fit, etc, now they were being considered.

If you’re planning to keep recruitment in house

– Ensure your ATS system works. Test apply so you can see the candidate’s perspective. What types of resumes does your system like/not like? Are there instructions listed on the application page?

– Is someone reviewing the applications in the system in a timely manner and prioritizing the time it takes for exploratory calls to get to know the candidates better?

If you’re going to partner with a recruiter

– Actually partner with them! The more up-front you are in the kick off meeting about the role, the easier it is for them to devise the recruiting strategy and get it right for you the first time around.

– Remember your recruiter acts as an extension of your brand in the market and drums up interest. If you don’t provide the recruiter timely and specific feedback, that reflects on your company.

Are you recruiting halfway? I encourage you to look at your process and see what you can do to take control, own it and make it the most effective; whether that is keeping it in house or partnering with a recruiter!

“The best recruiters are the ones that have the ability to speak to the organization’s mission and vision while understanding the candidates and what gaps might be existing and how working here can fill those gaps.” -Jason Hopkins Ep 145 – Recruiting Metrics Drive Business Processes

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Reader Interactions


  1. debora says

    The article is very interesting and useful for the present scenarios. Recruiting is a relationship business. The sooner you get better at engaging candidates, the more success you’ll have.

    • Claire Petrie says

      Debora, thank you so much for your comment. I like your point- recruiting is about relationships. If neither you or your recruiter are prepared for the search, those relationships can suffer.


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