Would you try and place an HR Director/Internal Recruiter Who Eliminates Recruiters?

I had to laugh today.  Gary Franklin's post "It's All About me" Job search 2011 hit the blogs.

He has done a great job eliminating the use of agencies, which of course is what a lot of companies want their internal recruiters and HR people to do.  So be it, a noble undertaking.

When i asked if he would use a thrid party agency to assist in his job search he indicated he would and asked if i had something to discuss with him.

 

Making what i thought was a somewhat funny, tongue in cheek response, i posted , "No i make it point not to represent candidates whose claim to fame is that they want to eliminate my industry."  Followed by a smiley.

 

Now Gary didn't like that or Paul's comment saying, "Sandra, you kill me."  (Paul gets a kick out of my sense of humor. ) So  Gary took both comments down and now is screening comments, which is certainly his right to do.  I just reponded with a post that may not make it through the screening process.  "It looks like i have been elminated."

 

Which brings me to the subject of this post.  Once upon a time an HR Director walked in my office sat down and said.  " I hate recruiters but i need a job, what have you got?"

 

Never having been approached for help in exactly that fashion i thought about it a minute then said,  "Well Jim, let's think about this a minute."  I represent a lot of companies who do like recruiters, why would i want to send you to one of my clients when i know that you are going to go in and sell yourself as the guy who can eliminate my client's need for me?"  "If they didn't want to use a recruiter I wouldn't have a listing for an HR Director would I?"  "But here's what i don't understand."  "If you hate recruiters and your goal in life is to eliminate the use of recruiters why are you in my office wanting my help to find a job?"

 

His response:  "Well i know you guys have contacts that i might not have."

 

Me:  "That's true, What if i called you and told you that i didn't like HR Directors but i wanted to do business with your company, what would you tell me?"

 

His response:  "I would tell you that i don't work with recruiters who don't like HR."

 

Me:  "That's what i would expect you to say so i think we are in agreement here."  "If i come up with any clients who want me to eliminate myself i will give you a call, thanks for stopping by."

 

I guess the headline, "It's All About Me" pretty well says it all.

 

I truly wish Gary the best in his search for a new position just as i did last year but still have to smile at an internal recruiter who puts it to a bunch of recruiters that he has eliminated 80% of agencies and is shooting for elimination of 90% before he looks for a new position.

I stand eliminated.  Networking is a great way to find a new position.

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I have heard it referred to as "Peeing in the punchbowl."  My mentor told me it was . . . . 'unwise'.

Sandra McCartt said:

Point well taken  Tom, and certainly with the caveat that "if you cut my throat, i'll cut you three feet lower and you'll sound like a candidate for the Vatican Choir."  I like it.

 

I had an HR Guy (that i had done business with) tell me that if i placed him it didn't mean he would list positions with me.  All i could think of to say was. "Why in the world would i think that if i helped you find a great job you would do business with me?"  He smiled and nodded like i had just agreed with him.

 

The last i heard he was somewhere in some dinky HR job in someplace called Fish Hook, Texas ..really the end of the line.  I guess all the other recruiters he spoke with agreed with him too.  He calls now and again asking if i have anything for him.  I just smile and nod.

It's my take that these characters are what make us appreciate the good HR and internal recruiters who know about the punchbowl and have enough sense not to eat yellow snow.
And believe me i know this is a two way street.  the only difference is that from what i have seen, TPR's are the first to acknowldege the slugs on our side of the fence and slap them around publically.

Well, this is interesting. The post confused me. What company fills 80% of the openings through third party recruiters? That's insane. 20% is a weird number. I believe that most companies only use recruiters if they can't fill the job themselves. Ten percent may be a more realistic number. Have you ever noticed that a lot of bloggers have a great deal to say about third party recruiting, yet know little about it? It's easy to tell who actually works a desk and makes a living as a recruiter.

Recruiters will never be eliminated. Never. The internet was supposed to eliminate third party recruiters. Hasn't happened. Now social networks are supposed to do the same thing. Never happen. It's easy to hire unemployed people. It's difficult to move someone out of a job they already have. It doesn't matter if we use the internet, networks, or smoke signals, as long as jobs become more complicated, and as long as technology continues to change at a rapid rate, there will be third party recruiters. The working passive candidate is not answering ads, reaching out on Facebook, or posting his resume on line. He is, just like he has been since the beginning of the profession, too busy working, or too high profile.

@ Barb, i don't think he meant that they filled 80% of openings through agencies.  He was touting that he had reduced the use of agencies to fill positions by 80% and was working on eliminating the remaining 20% of agency fills.  The catch 22 in that model is that in order to eliminate agency fills a company has to hire internals either contract or perm so when these folks blow the horn about how they got rid of all the TPRs they never include the increase in perm payroll cost or contract payroll it took to eliminate agencies.  Somebody has to do the recruiting so the real deal is to compare the increase in payroll and benefit cost to hire internals who will be a constant as opposed to using a TPR for selected and hard to fill positions.  There are so many metrics involved in the equation.  This has long been a debate not only in recruiting but in all areas of cost control.  Is it better to hire internal legals than it is to use an outside firm for corporate work?  The only answer is , It all depends.

 

The same thing applies in recruiting, engineering etc. etc.  Since a minimally competant internal recruiter should be making 70K plus benefits at aprox 25% of salary so rough estimate of 100K cost a year , then throw in cost of office space, technology, job boards, advertising  etc., it depends on how many positions need to be filled and at what level.  Is it more cost effective to use a TPR with years of experience, no benefit expense, no other costs that put butts in chairs or provide phones and technology.  It depends on the individual company situation.  And what do you do with the internal recruiter if business slows or recruiting slows.

 

The smart money in my opinion says you do both.  Savy companies don't load themselves up with 5 internal recruiters at 100K a year total package and think they have saved money because they aren't paying fees.  Somebody actually ran the numbers.  They use a couple of very good internals and keep their good TPRs in the loop for the hard to fill and or specific searches.  If recruiting slows the company doesn't have to layoff anybody.

The same think applies to legal.  Everybody knows one gets a more experienced attorney externally for a fee than you can get by hiring an attorney full time on staff for the same amount spent on an outside billing rate as opposed to hiring the experienced guy to come on staff.  Consulting engineers are expensive but for the long haul their expertise is normally stronger than the staff guys for projects that require specific expertise.

 

Seriously, let's do the math and really prove up if anybody saved the company any money by eliminating TPR's.  It may look good on the surface but so did the LaBrea tar pits until something fell in them.

 

@Bill That is a hoot.  I think i might start the interviews with those candidates by asking them if they taste like chicken .  I would suspect that most of the candidates you will find understand how to use TPR's if they are doing a top job.  The ones i work for who know how to get a job done ask me to connect with their hiring managers, keep them in the loop and do my job while they put their internals on the fills for positions that are high volume fills.

Your client is obviously not looking for an HR Director who will eliminate you or they wouldn't be calling you...I think.

I'd make damn sure that i found one who is user friendly to the person who helps him/her advance their career.  Even if they can't use a TPR in the future most appreciate a good TPR and will refer their colleagues  and candidates to you if they have good sense.  It's called professional networking.

Sorry, I couldn't stay on topic. Yes, I would place someone who wanted to eliminate recruiters. Imagine how easy he would be to place! There are plenty of companies who continue to avoid recruiters. They try anyway. Win, win situation.  He'll be happy trying to eliminate the profession, the client who hires him will be happy because they don't know what recruiting is anyway, and I'll be happy with my check.

Barb's comment is so right on that i am going to repost it.  Not to worry if you are a younger TPR just getting started or have only been in the business for the last 2 to 5 years (maybe even longer).  Barb is absolutely correct.  Those of us who have been around since tennis balls were square have heard about how we were going to be eliminated since they newspapers quit using little monks to type set with a mallet.  Find the person they need and ignore all the "sky is falling" noise and you will be writing this kind of thing long after Barb and i have moved on to the big recruiting office in the sky or are trying to find a fourth for bridge in the nether regions.  Recruiters being what they are, we shouldn't have too hard a time setting up several tables of bridge and finding an air conditioner.

 

IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF BARB GOLDMAN

"Recruiters will never be eliminated. Never. The internet was supposed to eliminate third party recruiters. Hasn't happened. Now social networks are supposed to do the same thing. Never happen. It's easy to hire unemployed people. It's difficult to move someone out of a job they already have. It doesn't matter if we use the internet, networks, or smoke signals, as long as jobs become more complicated, and as long as technology continues to change at a rapid rate, there will be third party recruiters. The working passive candidate is not answering ads, reaching out on Facebook, or posting his resume on line. He is, just like he has been since the beginning of the profession, too busy working, or too high profile"

LOL, Good point Barb.  Maybe there is a new desk to be created.  "We place people who want to eliminate us, you only pay us once and we go away."  Then we could just recruit from all those companies and move them around like Chinese Checkers.  A one shot deal with hundreds of companies makes for a lot of fees.

Barbara Goldman said:
Sorry, I couldn't stay on topic. Yes, I would place someone who wanted to eliminate recruiters. Imagine how easy he would be to place! There are plenty of companies who continue to avoid recruiters. They try anyway. Win, win situation.  He'll be happy trying to eliminate the profession, the client who hires him will be happy because they don't know what recruiting is anyway, and I'll be happy with my check.

Thanks for the clarity about the math. 

I know one thing, the candidates that we place would never confide in an inside recruiter. Candidates still lie to TPRs, however; our relationship with the candidate is much closer. Anyone who would confide a weakness to the company recruiter during the interview process is an idiot.

People are complicated. Offers are turned down for every reason in the book. An experienced TPR will not only know the candidate, spouse, and/or extended family, the TPR knows how to handle the fear of change, and the emotional stress of economic risk. It's not just about finding a person to interview for the job. It's about actually filling the job with the person you want, not the second choice. 

This is an exciting time for recruiters. The opportunities are incredible now. We are far along enough in the recession that everyone is fed up. Fed up with working longer hours, taking pay cuts, and playing along. People are ready to move. Also, there are a lot of openings that haven't been filled since January. The pressure to fill key spots is creating opportunity.

They will never get rid of us.

 

 

Sandra McCartt said:

@ Barb, i don't think he meant that they filled 80% of openings through agencies.  He was touting that he had reduced the use of agencies to fill positions by 80% and was working on eliminating the remaining 20% of agency fills.  The catch 22 in that model is that in order to eliminate agency fills a company has to hire internals either contract or perm so when these folks blow the horn about how they got rid of all the TPRs they never include the increase in perm payroll cost or contract payroll it took to eliminate agencies.  Somebody has to do the recruiting so the real deal is to compare the increase in payroll and benefit cost to hire internals who will be a constant as opposed to using a TPR for selected and hard to fill positions.  There are so many metrics involved in the equation.  This has long been a debate not only in recruiting but in all areas of cost control.  Is it better to hire internal legals than it is to use an outside firm for corporate work?  The only answer is , It all depends.

 

The same thing applies in recruiting, engineering etc. etc.  Since a minimally competant internal recruiter should be making 70K plus benefits at aprox 25% of salary so rough estimate of 100K cost a year , then throw in cost of office space, technology, job boards, advertising  etc., it depends on how many positions need to be filled and at what level.  Is it more cost effective to use a TPR with years of experience, no benefit expense, no other costs that put butts in chairs or provide phones and technology.  It depends on the individual company situation.  And what do you do with the internal recruiter if business slows or recruiting slows.

 

The smart money in my opinion says you do both.  Savy companies don't load themselves up with 5 internal recruiters at 100K a year total package and think they have saved money because they aren't paying fees.  Somebody actually ran the numbers.  They use a couple of very good internals and keep their good TPRs in the loop for the hard to fill and or specific searches.  If recruiting slows the company doesn't have to layoff anybody.

The same think applies to legal.  Everybody knows one gets a more experienced attorney externally for a fee than you can get by hiring an attorney full time on staff for the same amount spent on an outside billing rate as opposed to hiring the experienced guy to come on staff.  Consulting engineers are expensive but for the long haul their expertise is normally stronger than the staff guys for projects that require specific expertise.

 

Seriously, let's do the math and really prove up if anybody saved the company any money by eliminating TPR's.  It may look good on the surface but so did the LaBrea tar pits until something fell in them.

 

@Bill That is a hoot.  I think i might start the interviews with those candidates by asking them if they taste like chicken .  I would suspect that most of the candidates you will find understand how to use TPR's if they are doing a top job.  The ones i work for who know how to get a job done ask me to connect with their hiring managers, keep them in the loop and do my job while they put their internals on the fills for positions that are high volume fills.

Your client is obviously not looking for an HR Director who will eliminate you or they wouldn't be calling you...I think.

I'd make damn sure that i found one who is user friendly to the person who helps him/her advance their career.  Even if they can't use a TPR in the future most appreciate a good TPR and will refer their colleagues  and candidates to you if they have good sense.  It's called professional networking.

@ Barb i agree with your take on the market.  I am getting a full court press on positions that companies have been messing around with for months.  Also the "fear of change" is a consuming factor with candidates right now more than i have seen in years.  Coming out of the past few years, top candidates are being extremely thoughtful in their decision process.  It's going to be a wild second half of the year from what i am seeing.  Take a deep seat and "mark em out" it's going to be a fast 8 seond ride and no room for mistakes.

 

@Bill, I doubt that much worries you.  :)  When you pack your lunch don't forget the kool-aid.  I love that stuff.

We were all just giving him a hard time after the smart ass comments about "was it the math or the English" and the "It's all about me".  Some of that "only doing my job" stuff reminds me a lot of "I was only following orders".

 

Please God no more cat videos.  We did that last Friday.  If i don't go to work and come up with some candidates i am going to be giving one of those speeches about how tight the market is to a business owner who is coming in for interviews next Tuesday.  As of now my candidate list consists of ziltch.  It's going to be a long weekend.  Sometimes i'd rather be lucky than good.  Come on luck.

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