My asbestos suit is on and ready.

Thought I'd just throw this out. As a practitioner of executive search, I've always tried to understand the needs and objectives of my internal recruiting counterparts whenever I have to interface with them in the recruiting process. In the third party world, there always seems to be the goal of moving internal HR recruiters off to the side or just bypassing them, the thinking being that they slow down the process since they don't make final hiring decisions. As a consultant and trainer to the third party recruiting industry, I've noticed that nearly all the search firms I've encountered try to do this, sometimes even obsessing over it.

So I'm curious, if you are an internal recruiter, I really want to learn and understand more about your job, your value to the process, your goals.

Here's my question: What are the top three ways that internal recruiters add value to the recruiting and onboarding process?

Thanks in advance for your feedback,
Scott Love

www.GreatRecruiterTraining.com

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Ditto. And Ditto. I know great people on the inside and the outside. Unfortunately I've known some not so great folks on both the inside and outside. However, it seems like the not so great people (both internal and third party) are getting weeded out in this market. How's that for a silver lining?

Todd Kmiec

Valentino Martinez said:
The questions is interesting but would be more valid if it was stated as: "Shouldn't we get rid of ineffective recruiters--both internal and external?" Internal recruiters are effective when they facilitate the process of identifying, attracting and hiring quality, high potential individuals in concert with the hiring manager or hiring team. However, internal recruiters are ineffective when they block, slowdown or drop the ball in identifying, attracting and hiring quality, high potential candidates. Quality candidates can be overlooked or never submitted because the internal recruiter is protecting his or her turf.

External recruiters can be a great asset or a nightmare. They can help find ideal candidates, and even help attract and facilitate the hire of those candidates for a company. The no-nos relate to over badgering for updates; embellishing resume content and/or the candidate's true qualifications, and potential; pushing past HR to speak directly to the hiring manager; and the kill-switch is on when external recruiters can be linked to recruiting employees away from the very company they serve as an external recruiting resource.

So your question has value, but it is a bit one-sided because it supposes external recruiters are all that. And the fact is, it cuts both ways.

VBMG
As a recruiter since 1980 Scott poses a most provocative question. Without conjuring up ancient recruiting history the reality for me today is the only way I'm doing business with companies I'm working with is through their HR Internal Recruiter. Most of them have been on my 3rd Party side of the desk. They have ways of monitoring if you end run them via Internet as they can flag your emails uncovering if you send resumes directly to the HM. I've worked with some exceptional ones. Most are well meaning trying to do their job effectively getting quality candidates in front of the manager. Ones I work with are mostly responsive as they truly need people, value the exclusively passive candidates from their direct competitors I present to them they can't typically find on their own, and in turn have decent relationships with most.

A few are territorial or try to be intimidating likely insecure in their position or envious/loathing of 3rd Party Recruiters, aren't responsive, and all about them.

Would I rather speak with the Hiring Authorities directly? Sure. However, generally the more they need our (my) help, the more professional and friendly they tend to be. But I'm pretty fortunate to work with the ones I do.

Bill
Shouldn't we just get rid of internal recruiters?

YES
As a TPR for 10+ years working in the same field (Biotech/pharma/physicians) for all of that time, I agree wholeheartedly with Valentino's statement.
We would not have survived and thrived in the tough, "go get them/eat them world" of TPR if we were not very good. And very dedicated. We regard our clients' interests as paramount. We are a boutique executive search firm specializing in hard-to-fill placements. We are dedicated to finding the right person, not just any person. We give all our searches careful, custom–tailored attention. Our process provides better candidates, found faster, hired smarter, with less risk and executive hassle. We are determined that no other search firm or recruiter will outperform us, outsmart us or beat our value proposition.
We have conducted searches ranging from scientists and salespeople to senior management and CMOs with total compensation packages ranging from simple to complex, in amounts from $60,000 to $500,000. We have worked with clients and candidates in or from 56 nations on every continent. And we do not think - and act - as if we closed the doors/phones at 5PM. We have negotiated offers over Memorial day weekend, Friday nights after dinner and over Thanksgiving.
Our greatest successes have been working with innovative, cutting-edge, emerging companies and those llarger companies which seek to retain or regain that winning spirit. Our goal is to become your partner and align ourselves with your business in as many levels as possible by providing education, useful information and, of course, staffing expertise. This includes internal HR folks.
This should not be looked at as an either/or proposition. And good TPRs do not disappear after the deal is done but maintain close relationships still with those whom they placed. Sometimes these are the secret to keeping them happy and productive at their new company.


Mary Anne Hebert said:
I love your spin and I totally agree.

Valentino Martinez said:
The questions is interesting but would be more valid if it was stated as: "Shouldn't we get rid of ineffective recruiters--both internal and
external?" Internal recruiters are effective when they facilitate the
process of identifying, attracting and hiring quality, high potential
individuals in concert with the hiring manager or hiring team. However,
internal recruiters are ineffective when they block, slowdown or drop
the ball in identifying, attracting and hiring quality, high potential
candidates. Quality candidates can be overlooked or never submitted
because the internal recruiter is protecting his or her turf.

External recruiters can be a great asset or a nightmare. They can help
find ideal candidates, and even help attract and facilitate the hire of
those candidates for a company. The no-nos relate to over badgering for
updates; embellishing resume content and/or the candidate's true
qualifications, and potential; pushing past HR to speak directly to the
hiring manager; and the kill-switch is on when external recruiters can
be linked to recruiting employees away from the very company they serve
as an external recruiting resource.

So your question has value, but it cuts both ways.

VB Martinez Group
The bottom line for us 3rd Party Recruiters is to uncover and present superior candidates to a company's internal Recruiter outcompeting them. The Internal recruiter is obviously ideally hired to find top candidates without using a 3rd Party explaining why there's often antipathy between internal and external recruiters potentially raising the question to the company as to which recruiter is more indispensible to its efforts?

The answer is usually tied to the quality of the internal Recruiter's ability and/or whether the company's employment needs are more driven by quality or cost. Does the company want the best talent, or the best talent absent a 3rd Party fee? If it's cost they won't consider 3rd Party candidates.

Best working relationships I have with internal Recruiters is when they're having trouble filling a job or have multiple jobs they need help filling. Otherwise, it's usually adversarial as 3rd Parties will threaten the cost justification of having an internal.

I know in my field passive candidates are in demand. The candidates I find aren't on any social networks nor have up to date resumes. They're working 60+ hours a week still in the office or getting home after 8 PM. Unless there's a special circumstance I'd find it difficult to believe an internal Recruiter could find these people on their own. I'm speaking with them at 9, even 10 PM nightly or early morning.

Bill
I can see why TPR's want to get rid of internal recruiters.. but do companies.

If a company has hired a decent internal recruiter, who can fill the majority of its needs (for a salary!) then why in world wouldn't they do it?

If TPRs aren't bringing any more to the table than a "I have a HUGE database" and I network extensively in your market, and I advertise on all the job boards, then quite frankly why would a company want to pay $10-15K a placement?

As with everything else in the world at the moment business is all about value for money.... if you aren't providing it as an internal resource or TPR then you are going to be out of a job or out of business.

Dan
Having worked both sides, I would agree with those who say: we need to get rid of ineffective recruiters from both sides.
Those TPRs that do not like the Corporate Recruiter function are greedy :). They want to make sure that a Hiring Manager is going to pick up the phone and call them, whatever their need is, whether it is an "easy" hire, or a difficult search.

A corporate recruiter's "job" is to help manage the hiring process within the company, whether they are handling a requisition from beginning to end - without the involvement of a third party recruiter - or whether they are there to actually explain to the hiring manager that they will need to work with a third part recruiter for *that particular search*

When working with a third party recruiter, my job, as a corporate recruiter, is to ensure that the process is going smoothly - and yes, often, I was the TPRs advocate, ensuring the hiring manager is accessible, and returning their calls, quickly and promptly. I often discussed the search with the third party recruiter, explained who our competitors were, and any information that will help them in targeting their search to our needs.

Those are just a few examples of what a corporate recruiter does, and how they actually *help* a third party recruiter with their search.

My pet peeve? an HR type individual, disguised as a recruiter :)

For all those of you third party recruiters who want to *get rid* of all corporate recruiters, hopefully, one day, you'll encounter a brilliant internal recruiter like me :)
As an internal recruiter I bring value that external recruiting cannot in multiple ways:

First, I think the best value I bring is having an vested interest in the organization's success. Yes, external recruiters have one in that if they don't ensure the company's success they will lose a client. Still that is not the same as being an employee, which is a more interdependent relationship. If you lose a client you have others (hopefully) but if I lose my job what have I got?

Second, I bring intimate knowledge of my company and it's culture so that I can assess candidates in relation to that. I see the day-to-day functions and don't have to depend on what others tell me in order to help a manager decide if a candidate is a good fit for us or the candidate decide if we are a good fit for them.I can give realistic job previews like, "I know you have 10 years ICU experience but joining our team will be like your first year in the hospital. You will work harder than you currently do for a little less money at first. Are you ready to commit to that for 12 months before you see the flexibility & income that the job offers?" How much knowledge does an external person bring based on their own experience?

Third, as a small to mid-size company it doesn't make economic sense otherwise. My entire annual salary & benefits is paid for in 4-5 hires compared to what an outside recruiter costs. This means with our growth rate and below market turnover, I am saving an amount equal to that in any given year. What value would an external recruiter provide that would justify 2x the costs?

Fourth, I carry additional duties that someone else would have to cover. I work with our marketing team on branding to align recruiting and client messages. I pre-screen all applicants (about 2 hours total for an RN) before they waste a manager's time. I also act as a resource on a variety of human capital issues with various leaders. (BTW - I am not the final word in hiring but I do have a large say in hiring and I definitely do in firing.) Other than recruiting what portions of my job (e.g., workforce planning) would you cover for the money?

In short, if I did nothing else but recruiting I would still pay my salary in direct savings over external recruiters. When you figure in other soft costs like direct labor savings by managers focusing on managing their areas then the value is even greater. All this combined with more knowledge and a vested interests makes internal recruiting a better fit...at least for our organization.
What are the top three ways that internal recruiters add value to the recruiting and onboarding process? I cannot speak for other companies, but at the company I work for:

-I designed, developed and implemented our recruiting and onboarding process. A 3rd party recruiter would do him or herself an extreme disservice in trying to circumvent me, although some have tried. they no longer work with us, and here is the best part-our hiring managers made the decision to end the relationships, not me. As a caveat, I did spend the first 9 years of my career on the staffing side, so I do run our recruiting dept. a little differently than others might.

-Culture: no matter how many site visits, bagel drops, or lunches a TPR makes, they will never be able to get the true feel of the inner workings of a company as an internal recruiter will.

-Objectivity: Since I'm not being compensated per placement anymore, the pressure of "selling" my candidate isn't there anymore. If my candidate is the best one, then hire that person. If the TPR candidate is the best one, then hire that person. If the referral from our team lead is the best candidate, then hire that person. My duty and obligation lies to the company I work for. As a TPR, you have that same responsibility to your company. TPR's have to walk a fine line between selling a candidate who might be marginal and doing what is best for their client that I as an internal recruiter don't have to walk.

The real answer to your post is this: TPR's need to do a greater degree of due diligence in identifying potential clients, the players inside of a company, and what the strategy for account penetration should be. Not every internal recruiter is a gatekeeper, just like not every external recruiter is pushy. But in today's marketplace, many more internal recruiters are a part of the decision making process than ever before, and our staffing brothers and sisters need to adjust for that.
How is this answer anything but helpless? Come on! We're professionals here. You can certainly do better than this! Right?
talenthunter said:
Shouldn't we just get rid of internal recruiters?

YES
I am not an internal recruiter, and only occasionally an external one, I have been a TPR and my major issue with the whole internal recruiter thing is based on metrics.

Is Cost per Hire really the best way to measure and isn't the calculation a lot more complex.

I'll use hiring a salesperson (because that is what I understand) as an example.
Cost per hire = N
Cost to On board = O
Cost of poor onboard = P
Cost of Coaching= C
Cost of Lost Production (failure to meet target)= F (Gross Profit)
Target = T (Gross Profit)
Amount over Target = A (Gross Profit)
Real Cost per hire in 1st year =R

So R= (T+A)-(N+O+P+C+F)

As an example N=5000;O=1000;P=5000;F=150000;T=300000;A=0
R= 300000-161000 = - 139000

Wheras effective evaluative recruitment would produce something like

N=20000;O=6000;;T=300000;A=60000

R= -333700

In other words a negative cost of just under 200000

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