Business Recruiter or Postmaster?

Hiring is exciting, challenging and plays a significant role in an organization’s growth. In my mind, it is one of the most complex and interesting aspect of people practices. After all, the talent pool is finite and almost everyone is vying for the same set of people. To be able to attract right talent is something that needs great capabilities and thinking.

A recruiter’s role is one of great responsibility, power and definitely not an easy one to play. Like Spiderman’s uncle said – ‘With great powers come great responsibilities’… The recruiter has the power to decide who is worthy to explore opportunities with the company and who is not.

Yet, most senior leaders would rate hiring the right talent as one of their top challenges. In an HBR article, ‘The Gap Between What Leaders Want and What Recruiter Deliver’, Sue Marks highlights twelve factors with “delivering quality hires” consistently as the highest challenge for leaders. The article – https://hbr.org/2016/02/the-gap-between-what-leaders-want-and-what-recruiters-deliver

The market is dynamic and changes so rapidly that recruitment teams need to work as a business function and not just one that gets a job description, matches key words, find resumes and presents to the hiring manager. This entails a larger understanding of how the business works, what the critical success factors are and besides skills (technical or functional) what makes a person succeed in a job – the cultural factors or the behaviors.

A recruiter’s role is similar to one in sales. You need to know what you are selling, how you will solve the customer’s problem and why should the customer engage with you.

So, how does one transition into a Business Recruiter:

Understand the business: It is critical for a recruiter to understand the business that they are hiring for. This is knowing the overall business – what the company does, how it makes money, what impacts its operations, who the competitors are and what the dynamics of the business are. It is also about understanding each role and what the outcomes expected from those roles

Understand the culture: They say hire for attitude. Recruiters should be able to identify what type of people will work and who will not. A lot of attrition issues can be brought down if the right people are hired upfront

Create a great experience: End of the day, it is all about experience. Interviewing is not about the job, it is about the people. Is the candidate (customer) enjoying the experience of dealing with the recruiter. Is a feeling of being welcomed and wanted created? It is also about creating a great experience for the stakeholders – the hiring manager and the interviewers

Saying No: Recruiters should be able to say ‘No’. Many times hiring managers may want to go ahead and get someone due to time and revenue pressures. The recruiter is the final custodian of the quality of hire and should be able to make the right decision with the ability to push back and not buckle under pressure

Communicate: This one is all about keeping people informed and closing the loop out

Focus on sourcing: I think this is the heart of great recruitment practices and somehow not enough time and energy goes into it. This is the ability to spend quality time to find the right person for the job. It needs thinking and the ability to connect the dots…

To be the best in today’s highly competitive talent war, recruiters have to be business focused and thereby become ‘Business Recruiters’ and not ‘Postmasters’ where they map job descriptions to profiles. Something to think about…