Isn’t Hiring Easy: We’re Recruiters Not Miracle Workers

That’s the question I get asked a lot these days. Mostly from non-recruiting and non-HR types who are frustrated with their companies current hiring practices. “Recruiting and hiring isn’t tough,” they say. “It’s difficult because you guys (meaning recruiters) are making it that way.”

U.S. Job Economy Impacts Recruiters Time to Hire

U.S. based companies are taking 25 percent more time to make a hire. This number is at an all time high. Companies are taking longer to fill open positions at their organizations. The length of time to hire is at its peak since 2001. Companies with more than 5,000 employees are taking in excess of 58 days. That is absolutely crazy.

Hiring is challenging, and there are a number of factors that are making it so complex. The September unemployment rate is at 5.9%. October 2009 we peaked at our highest rate which was 10.0%.  In just a few short years the jobs landscape has changed started first with the number of available and eager job seekers who are actively looking for work. While unemployment rates are decreasing, salaries have not increased to meet the current job demand. Hence the reason why habitual job hoppers are making more money up to 50% more than your steady Eddie counterparts.

Why Recruiting & Hiring is Not Easy

Hiring is hard because the best employees who have a varied skill set are also the most expensive. Recruiting is not easy. They don’t wait around for employers to increase their salaries or give them more responsibilities. They go out there and make change happen. Outside of economic factors hiring at your company is taking forever because of these for things.

  • You’re Cheap. Or your boss is. The job salary requirements are not aligned with the current market conditions and yet you (the boss) keep telling recruiters to go out there and find more candidates. The best ones are in short supply. We’re recruiters not miracle workers.
  • There is Lots of Hoop Jumping. Your current hiring processes require for 5 in person interviews with 4 different candidates in addition to posting your job listing on the company career site for 30 days. That’s before you are able to extend a job offer. Trying to coordinate with the schedules of all those interviews in addition to working within the means of your candidate schedule is probably bogging your hiring process down making it slow. As in slooooow motion slow.
  • You’re Not Aggressively Sourcing Candidates. Maybe in the old days, you posted a job on your favorite job board and the candidates flooded to you. This isn’t always a guarantee which is why sourcing allows recruiters to find, locate and engage with potential passive candidates either through an established talent network or using internet or phone sourcing methods where we seek out the best candidates to fit your roles. Post and pray recruiting is no longer a sure thing. Let’s re-evaluate our current recruiting and hiring strategies to better compete in this new candidate centric marketplace.
  • The Job Requirements Keep Changing. Great recruiters ask lots of questions and work directly with the hiring manager to understand the needs of the role. We then seek out and search for the best candidates that fit the expectations that have discussed. Sometimes hiring managers change the requirements mid stream which creates a process bottleneck. As I mention I’m not a miracle worker. I’m also not a mind reader. Your changing job requirements are keeping me for finding great candidates.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if the current market and economic conditions continue, it’s a candidate’s market now and into the year 2015. If we as organizations want to improve our speed to hire, we need to quit throwing our recruiters under the bus. We need to step back, reflect and evaluate our own current processes, strategies, benefits and salary packages. Because at present the time to hire is 58.1 days but if the market continues, I see it expanding to 70 and even 90 days.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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