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Beyond Recruiter Excellence – Part 2: Business Add-ons

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Recruiters who go above and beyond what is required of them are not necessarily doing all that they can do. I have already mentioned several professional aspects of the human resources realm which can offer enhanced abilities to a recruiter and allow going beyond excellence. Very few practitioners in the field are isolated to the industry of recruiting. Corporate recruiters participate as a member of a team moving their organization toward mutual goals and objectives. The company mission and culture influences the direction the recruiters must march. Agency recruiters, even if specialized into an area of technical expertise, work with a variety of situations involving politics, bureaucracy, and exclusionary candidate firewalls which make it difficult to navigate without crafting a unique roadmap tailored to the business of their clients.

Striving for excellence should be the challenge of every recruiter. But is that all? Probably not. The implication here is that excellent recruiters can go beyond excellence by improving their knowledge and getting in touch with their business side to hone those skills. Recruiting does not happen without the business. Here are some aspects to consider for taking recruiting skills to the next level:

Products and Processes – In any company, recruiters must sell the company’s products along with the company. Knowing the product line is paramount to knowing how to sell the company to prospective employees. Processes that are essential to the success of the company must be understood to keep recruitment ticking. For example, in technology or R&D environments, the recruiter must have at least peripheral knowledge of the mindset of those involved in these processes. What is the pipeline from inspiration to production and what are the pitfalls? Savvy candidates will ask about the business objectives and goals and the recruiter who is going beyond excellence won’t have to pass the ball off to a techy to answer.

Company Branding – This is a double-edged sword. The reputation of the company has a direct impact on recruitment and the recruitment process can impact the company brand. The recruiter who goes beyond excellence will understand business reversals and have an explanation when questions arise. Anticipating the unasked question with a satisfactory answer doesn’t require psychic ability or magic, but it does require an in-depth knowledge of media coverage…both positive and negative. The best way for corporate recruiters to influence the brand is by cultivating a positive candidate experience. Not all candidates will be happy, especially if they don’t get the job, but preventing this from sliding into nastiness and reprisals is part of the skill required. Third-party recruiters are also partners in this endeavor to preserve the company image of their clients, so in this capacity they must know their objectives and uncover the hidden desires of their candidates. You might say that it is a marriage of the recruiter’s personal brand with the company’s brand for the mutual benefit of both.

Financial Acumen – A recruiter can reach excellence and still be oblivious to the bottom line. Going beyond excellence means having a deeper understanding about the concepts and practices that make things tick in a capitalistic environment. Job seekers are following stock trends, profits and forecasts for the companies they are targeting for employment. They often form opinions about a company and the sought-after position that may or may not be true. Recruiters who go the extra mile will acquire equal knowledge, not only to have a ready answer to questions but to anticipate questions and volunteer pertinent information. Corporate recruiters who don’t know yesterday’s closing price on the stock market may still be excellent recruiters, but how much better could they be if they were totally immersed in one of the primary reasons that companies exist…to make money. In order to go beyond excellence, learn to read a balance sheet and understand what any change in direction means.

Stakeholder Management – Execution of the recruitment processes involves management of any number of key stakeholders.  Completion of an excellent recruiting campaign which gives the hiring manager the necessary talent to do the job is really only part of the total picture. Going beyond excellence means identifying and analyzing the needs of all stakeholders in the job. Only when it is determined what the needs, interests and influences of all interested parties really are can the problems of loose ends be tied up. The true extraordinary recruiter will attempt to satisfy every need, but will prioritize them in order to minimize any repercussions. To go beyond excellence in recruiting means to present candidates that will go beyond excellence in their craft as well in order to satisfy more than just the need to solve immediate problems.

Metrics – Knowing what to measure and when is not intuitive.  Average recruiters can appear to be excellent recruiters by cooking the books to give management a “better” report card of time-to-hire or cost-per-hire numbers. Excellent recruiters can work within imposed guidelines and create efficiencies to maximize the process. Going beyond excellence means knowing what is important even if nobody is looking. Often there are textbook calculations mandated that overstate certain facets of recruiting and really only have minimal impact. Recognizing that there are measurements without benchmarks, going beyond excellence forms realistic yardsticks and self-driven targets. Understanding environmentally what impacts the process, measuring it and effecting immediate change produces extraordinary results.

It is important to summarize by stating again that these points are never required for excellence. In most cases, management does not challenge recruiters to exceed their goals. The measure of a recruiter who is going beyond excellence is self motivated and driven to success because they want to…not because they have to.

Beyond Recruiting Excellence



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