Wednesday was my one year anniversary as a Corporate Recruiter for Zones. Oddly enough, it was also the day I filled my 120th position. That’s a lot of interviews. Of course this includes internal transfers and promotions I helped facilitate, some easier than others (that’s still a lot of interviews). Here’s some of what I’ve learned –
Recruiting is (still) a sales job. Just because I’m not working on commission anymore doesn’t mean I don’t have to sell the heck out of my opportunities. I’m sure there are internals working for big fancy companies with all sorts of name recognition that have Java Developers beating down their door to work there. Not this girl. I still have to sell them once I source them. It’s not always easy, but it makes the thrill of the hire that much sweeter.
Recruiting is NOT HR. A lot of the complaints headhunters have about internal recruiters could probably be solved if internal recruiters weren’t often HR Generalists pretending to recruit. How many of you, when working with a new client, bother to ask the internal recruiter “what other duties do you have besides recruiting?” If they’re facilitating new hire orientation, signing people up for benefits, or anything HR related, that’s probably not a good sign.
“Former” Agency Recruiter doesn’t equal “Failed”. I know this is true in some cases, but I only know a few (none at my current company). As a TPR I also used to cringe at those famous last words - "You know, I used to run a desk JUST LIKE YOU..." In reality, the agency recruiters I personally know that scream the loudest about “failed” agency recruiters mucking up the process from the inside are the ones who have tried and failed to move to the corporate side. That failed agency recruiter making your life miserable is probably just an HR person in disguise (see above).
Job boards aren’t dead. One of my best hires came from a desperate, last minute Monster search. This is the guy who not only causes other directors to call me and say “can I have one of those?” but has also become one of my best hiring managers (responsive, realistic, just all around awesome guy). And yes, I found him on a job board.
Quality rules. I’ve heard it said that corporate recruiters are so busy and have so many positions to fill they just hire people who the ATS says are a match. Oh if only… Just like an agency recruiter I am only as good as my last hire, and my clients expect to only see the best and most qualified candidates.
Good Agency Recruiters are worth every penny. Here’s how I view my agencies – they help me look good. My favorite agency has four contractors working currently on four different teams. That means there are four of my hiring managers who not only trust me to fill their positions, but trust me to bring in extra help when we need it. My agency partners are a valued resource in addition to my own recruiting efforts. It’s a win/win/win.
For now, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. In fact - my greatest fear is that someday my time at Zones will come to an end, and I’ll find myself in a place where the rumors are true – corporate recruiters really ARE idiots and roadblocks. Until then, I’ll focus on filling my next 120 positions.
Bill, I'm hoisting a glass of Cupcake in your general direction as I type this my friend!
Congratulations on your one year anniversary, I appreciate your insight having been on both sides of the recruitment process!
Great job. I imagine that it takes a lot of juggling and organizational skills to keep everything on track.
Do you have a Service Level Agreement, whether formal or informal, between you and your internal clients?
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Daren - great question, and yes we do have a "Recruitment Service Level Agreement" that I hand out when I meet with a new hiring manager. It's just a one page Word document that puts a visual around expectations. We've broken it down into 5 categories - Requisition Creation, Sourcing Strategy, Interviewing Candidates, Offer Process and On-Boarding. No one signs anything, it's really just a tool to refer back to if anyone is not holding up their end (including me). In each of the 5 areas it lays out exactly who (me, the recruiting coordinator or the HM) is responsible for what, as well as a timeline (SVP approves req in 24-48 hours, I'm responsible for weekly updates, and so on).
Amy- does your company have a standard "buy in" policy on candidates? Meaning is there a minimum standard that has to be reached by all interviewers? Or do they need a "thumbs up" from all?
Bill - luckily there's no hard and fast rule around that... it varies from group to group. IT (sadly) tends to operate that way which makes it tough. In marketing for example - had one hire that a C level person was on the fence about but left it to the discretion of the rest of the team. The two key stakeholders liked the candidate, the hire was made and so far so good.
To be honest that would drive me completely nuts. I'm glad my HMs are trained better lol.
It doesn't matter whether your job is internal or external, you still have the talents to fill those vacancies. Well Done and congratulation!