It’s NOT All in a Name When You Are Recruiting

It’s true. In fact there is an interesting perception that because you’re big, you are better. Everyone wants to work for you.  Who wouldn’t want to work at Google, Amazon, and Apple?  Apparently there are a few.  How can I back up this statement?  Well, in my best Jim Carrey voice “LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING!!”

The reason I know this is that ALL these companies have recruiters, ALL of them.  Now why would that be? They have a great brand, everyone knows who they are. Why do you need recruiters? You need them to get the people. Although they know of you, they are:

1)      Afraid of the machine

2)      Wary of the process

3)      Been burnt before

4)      They just aren’t that in to you

We are the agents of the company we work for. We are RECRUITERS. The very definition of recruit is “someone who supplies members or employees”.  Having a big name may be part of the picture but relying on it is silly. We need to, yes I am going there, SELL our company to the candidate.  I know there will be multiple postings on recruiting is not sales etc. but get over it. It just is. I know that a stellar candidate is going to be chased after by Google and Microsoft.  Both great companies so who wins?  IMO the company with the better recruiter does.  I know, I know, there are many variables but at the end of the day the recruiter is the final voice the candidate hears and trusts. If you were doing it right, you were closing them from the very beginning.

I don’t recruit for a large company.  I recruit for a medium sized Government contractor in DC.  I recruit for some of the most difficult to find, capture, and retain talent in the world.  These folks are Cyber and IT and all have clearances.  There are a lot of “Big Boys” here Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, etc.  They all have a brand. They are all well known.  I compete against their recruiters with 10 times the budget that we have and guess what? I beat out the big companies almost every time when it comes down to winning the talent. Why?  I SELL my company with all that I have to get these folks. My method is simple. I know what they do. I listen to what they want. I make the match.  I presell the opportunity and am listening to them all the way through the process. I don’t rely on a “Big Boy” reputation with the arrogance that they MUST want to work for my company because blah blah blah.

This rant is really for my brothers and sisters in the corporate world and was not written to chastise you or your company. In fact a few folks, Amy Ala, Cathy Anderson, and Will Thompson are some of the most passionate and talented recruiters I know. They work for large very well-known companies and they use that to their advantage. They never take it for granted and neither should you. No matter who you recruit for do it with passion. Do it with honesty and credibility. The candidate will know it. #truestory 

Views: 510

Comment by Matt Charney on June 13, 2014 at 2:43pm

This post is great, Derek. Think you pretty much nailed it - and your shout outs to the peeps who make recruiting actually kinda bad ass sometimes - and the kinda bad ass way those peeps actually recruit. Appreciate your perspective as always, and can't wait to catch up next week at #Talent42!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 13, 2014 at 2:54pm

if only you could see me.... standing at my desk, starting the slow clap, sniffing back the tears....

My job is HARDER sometimes because of our brand. I have to constantly bust preconceived notions about who we are and what we do.Plus, I'm usually in hot and heavy competition with those "other" well known companies.

I love you man.

Comment by Derdiver on June 13, 2014 at 2:58pm

@Amy @Matt - thanks for the kind words. I look forward to breaking bread with you both at #talent42 next week. 

Comment by Will Thomson on June 13, 2014 at 3:11pm

Thanks Derek for the shout out!  I think you said it best- "I know what they do. I listen to what they want. I make the match".  That is why you are a great recruiter.  Big company or not..  As Amy said though, sometimes it can be harder when you have a big company name.  

Comment by Pete Radloff on June 13, 2014 at 3:35pm

First Derek - awesomeness as usual. I've been at both large big brand companies and smaller nimble orgs.  The big brand comes with it's own headaches (I've seen how much funding you guys just got, you're valued at 6 gazillion bucks, cant you get me 25k more?). It's about the recruiter. BUT, it's also about the hiring manager selling the opportunity. 

One of the first questions I ask in intake meetings is "Sell me the role, as if I were the candidate". If they can't, then I know we're up sh*ts creek. If they can't sell me, how will they sell a hot candidate? So it's critical that they know that they have to sell it, as well as how to sell it. 

Brilliant piece. 

Comment by Derdiver on June 13, 2014 at 4:08pm
Great point Pete. I've worked with some of the big boys out there as well. You are spot on with the managers selling as well. I feel another post coming soon...
Comment by Keith Halperin on June 16, 2014 at 10:11pm

A good one, Derdriver!



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