Talent Acquisition

Recruitment: It’s Not Speed Dating

This is one of my favourite topics. I believe this is what will differentiate the winners from the losers in recruitment. In the end, a recruiter is as good as the number of candidates that she or he can close.

That is it.

So what recruiters are going to need in the next 3 years, is the ability to architect the deal. Something I feel we as an industry lost in the boom era.

I use the word ‘architect’ because it suggests designing, building, creating, managing. And these are the complex and subtle skills you will need to thrive going forward.

In recent years recruiters did no placement process architecture. What 90% of recruiters did, and still do, is pure introduction. That’s all we did. We were like organisers of a speed dating night. Throwing loosely compatible people together in an artificial environment for a short time and hoping they would fall in love!

That won’t do any more.

Those recruiters who understand that the human touch is still our primary tool in making a hire work, are those who will be most successful.

So how do we get better at ‘Placement Architecture’? There are three components to building strong hiring process, and these are skills you are going to need:

  1. Take the time required – Recruitment is a series of discrete human interactions, and great recruiters will manage, control, and influence the outcome of each of those interactions to maximise success.
  2. Listen better than ever before – Uncovering, questioning, and understanding are sadly undervalued recruiter skills that we need to hire and coach back into our business. Most recruiters do none of this. They act on the client’s word as if it is the true gospel, or they tell clients what to do without asking questions first. It sounds counter-intuitive, but great recruiters will purposely be “slow to understand”.
  3. Question everything – The biggest cause of placements falling through is people making assumptions. Recruiters taking what they are told at face value. Ask for the “why and how” of everything that does not ring true, and don’t stop asking until you get an answer.

The good news is that the role of the recruiter, per se, is not under threat from technology or anything else. But the bad news is that the days of the dinosaur recruiter, unwilling to adapt, are well and truly numbered.

RELATED: Why Being a Recruiter Rocks!

By Greg Savage

Greg Savage is a sought-after speaker and presenter, as well as consultant and advisor to the industry. He has founded several highly successful recruitment companies and worked in recruitment all over the world. To contact Greg please email: