Why do I need a recruiter?

In the recruiting industry we sometimes meet clients who ask why they should hire a recruiter.  They ask, “I already have an HR department, isn’t that one of the things they are there for?”  This is a valid question, and some of the answers may surprise you!

Let’s start with the basic job definition of a recruiter:  A recruiter is a person or firm that a company engages to help it fill a vacancy.  That seems pretty straightforward.  Many people think that recruiting only entails posting a job opening in the appropriate places, waiting for the resumes to pour in, picking the best couple of candidates, bringing them in for an interview, and hiring the best match.  Viola! Done!  Unfortunately, that’s not the whole story.  

Okay, back to your question:  isn’t it the HR person’s job to find the candidate?  Typically, HR personnel are not trained in recruiting and have multiple responsibilities within the company.  These responsibilities can include dispute resolution, coordinating training, advising on compensation issues, handling benefit issues and many more.  Ask any HR person you know, and he or she will tell you that the responsibilities described above are at least a full time job.  If you ask your HR person to help you find you a new employee, you are adding one more thing to an already full plate.  As a result, your request might not get the attention it deserves. The HR person will typically do what was described in the second paragraph to find a candidate and not much else.  This can easily lead to the next challenge:  a bad hire.

A bad hire will cost the company not only the compensation and benefits the company pays the candidate, as well as the time and effort to recruit and hire him or her, but the bad hire can also cost the company in various other ways, including time lost from current projects, goodwill issues with clients and in the worst cases a severance package paid to the bad candidate.  In addition, the HR person has wasted time finding the candidate.

As you can easily see, following the “quick” path internally is not always the best answer.

So what does a recruiter do differently?

The first thing a qualified recruiter will do is sit down with you to understand your needs and the job description you have developed for the position.  The recruiter will work with you to clarify, for both yourself and the recruiter, the characteristics of the ideal candidate.   The recruiter will also work with you to make sure you fully understand the cost of the new hire. 

Let’s take a closer look using the example of a senior level graphic designer.   The average pay for this position, according to the ExhibitRecruiter/Exhibitor Magazine annual survey, is just over $55,000 a year.  The ACTUAL cost of this position is, in reality, quite a bit more.  Including vacation, sick days, health and other insurance and the employer’s share of taxes, this position typically costs the company between $10,000 and $20,000 more than the stated salary.  Adding in the time to identify, hire and train the new employee, that candidate will, when all is said and done, cost the company between $70,000 and $80,000.

By choosing an industry-specific recruiting firm that has a good track record and solid referrals, you can be sure that you and the recruiter understand the costs of the new hire, as well as the qualifications the candidates need to have.  As a result, you will have someone who can get the job done quickly and efficiently.  The recruiter will meet with each candidate, either on the phone or in person, to pre-screen the candidate - - the recruiter working to identify candidates who are the most qualified and the closest to your ideal candidate.  The recruiter will then submit a number of candidates to you.

At this point, the recruiter will seek your feedback, and you can choose to interview some or all of the candidates presented.  Alternatively, you can use these candidates to work with the recruiter to identify even more precisely the skills and characteristics you are looking for.  The process continues:  the recruiter continues to send potential candidates to you until you identify the right one.  While this is going on the only time your company spends is the time it takes to review resumes and interview candidates.  By working with the recruiter, you are only seeing candidates who possess the skills you need; you are not, as so often happens in this Internet age, flooded with resumes from unqualified candidates.

When you DO hire a candidate after working with a recruiter, that recruiter often offers a guarantee to protect you against spending your money on a bad hire.

As you can see enlisting the help of a qualified recruiter can help save time and money in a number of different ways, helping you find the right candidate for your open position quickly and efficiently.


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