14 things smart recruiters do
When starting a new search for a client, one of the first things we do is schedule a meeting to learn the key drivers. These are the top five to six hard skills/experiences that are most important to our clients to see in the candidates we present. For most of our customers, we can pretty much count on getting information such as the following listed below, (we used a Director of Operations example):
Client’s top 6 hard skills and experiences.
- Bachelor’s degree in business, or related field
- 7-10 years of manufacturing experience in client’s industry
- Multi-plant leadership expertise
- Management experience of teams over 200 people
- Budgetary management over $20 Million
- Development of other managers (to include overall performance management)
Then we add in the big three soft skills that every client wants in a candidate. This shows that we have listened to our client, and that we value bringing top quality candidates to the table. These are candidates that not only have the hard skills for technical competencies as listed above, but also have the skills to interact with the team and excel within the role.
- Organizational skills/time management. Candidates that possess these skills are results-oriented and can demonstrate their expertise with past work experience in multiple roles.
- Problem solving skills. Almost all of our clients ask for us to bring candidates to them that bring them solutions rather than just identifying issues. In other words, it is great to have the technical expertise, but just as important to be able to apply it in new and challenging situations in a positive manner.
- Communication skills. Can the candidate express himself well both verbally and in written presentations? And of course – the candidate must have the ability to play well and get along with others. Lack of this ability is a showstopper.
Additional recruiter parameters:
Candidates have to have thought through the following four non-monetary prime motivators. Smart recruiters start exploring these areas with candidates from the beginning.
- Quality of Life. They will be happier in this new role than they are right now.
- They believe they will be good at this new job. The best candidates can articulate why they can do this job with a healthy amount of confidence (not to be confused with boasting or being annoyingly egotistical). As an illustration – they know they can do this job because it is very similar to what they have been doing; their last part of their career has been getting them ready for this next step, etc.
- Advancement. They see how this job is advancing their career.
- Location. They like the geography of the new company. The drive is short, or the area of the city is perfect for their commute.
- The last piece of the puzzle is always the money. As I like to quote from the 1996 Jerry Maguire film, “show me the money!”.
- Does the price tag the candidate puts on themselves truly match what the client is easily willing to pay? This is something we check in with candidates from day one. Frequently, we have candidates that don’t understand this. Here’s the deal. Good recruiters pride themselves on delivering what the client asks. As you might imagine, we can’t ask every client to up their salary range because we have a great candidate. Number one, we would go out of business. Number two, we wouldn’t have done our job by conducting the search within the agreed-upon budget. Most hiring managers have departmental and divisional budgets they need to follow, and part of our role is to help them stay on budget.
- Ultimately, we just don’t want to waste anyone’s time – our candidate’s, client’s, or candidly ours, if the dollars aren’t going to be right for the candidate. It is always better to find out sooner than later. So smart recruiters will ask top candidates early in the process if the salary the company is offering meets their targeted expectations. And if for some reason the answer is no, then we politely part ways on this search, but keep those great candidates in our applicant tracking system for a more appropriate opportunity!
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