What Happens When Your Recruiting Net Gets TOO BIG! 

What Happens When Your Recruiting Net Gets TOO BIG! 

by Sara Bennett | August 20, 2020

0 Author-Jeanne, Blog, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS

 
When I first started learning the art and science of recruiting I was taught to cast a “big net” – start with a large pool of possible candidates and then whittle them down to that select group of “quality few”.  The logic was that the larger your net, the more candidates you could attract into your pool of candidate wannabes, the better your chances of hiring that “just right” candidate.

For its time, this was a reasonable piece of advice.  But in today’s world where googlization reigns and large numbers of candidates show up in inboxes in groups of 50 not 1 or 2,  the need for a “large recruiting net” has gone away, replaced by the need for a much more targeted, client specific approach to finding that “just right” fit.

While a good recruiter is always assessing the quality of their “candidate pools”, today’s recruiting priorities are all about finding, vetting and ultimately delivering the right candidates to busy hiring managers.  Today’s recruiters have that “it only takes one” mindset which is all about delivering the right talent while saving their customer’s time.   When a customer comes to PACE for recruiting services, they know they can rely on us to find that “just right” candidate without having to spend the time or the hassle creating that big recruiting net.

Even though our focus as recruiters has shifted ,we still meet those “first time” clients who come to us after contacting several other agencies and with the request that we  send them “even more” resumes (or actual live candidates).  These are hiring managers who at some level continue to believe the stories of old – that somehow the right candidate will miraculously present themselves “if only” the list of candidate possibilities was big enough.

Unfortunately  what happens in reality is often the opposite of these hiring managers  assume.  Rather than being motivated by competition, the most successful staffing agencies will be making calculated decisions about how much (or little) time to put into a search for candidates when they know their chances of making a placement is slim to none.  While they may not turn down the order, they may assign these “fire drill” orders to their newest, least experienced recruiters who might be willing to get involved in a process that is more about “getting their first” rather than fine tuning a candidate profile and going thru the time consuming steps of locating that “just right” fit.

Experienced recruiters also know that even with the best of intents a really good candidate will often  get lost in the shuffle of a client whose recruiting net has become too large.  Let’s face it if there are 7 candidates in play, all from different agencies, any one agency only has a 14% chance of getting their candidate noticed, let alone selected.  The client will have spent 15-20 hours looking at candidates when that number could be cut in half if not a third had they focused on quality of candidate right out of the gate.

The same math applies to candidates but impacts them differently.   A really strong candidate who uncovers that they are “just one of many” will be turned off, preferring that employer who they believe has “hand picked them to be that just right fit.” So much for the great candidate experience.

Hiring managers who insist on a large number of candidates produced by a very wide recruiting net often have issues of their own, getting tired and confused from seeing so many resumes, talking to so many candidates.  In fact one of the main reasons hiring managers claim is responsible for their hiring mistakes, is that they simply get tired and end up making a hiring decision just to end the process, “get back to work.”  And because a hiring process with lots of candidates tends to take too long, favored candidates often get and accept competitive offers, causing the whole process to begin again.  Not good.

Another issue is that when a hiring process is built around seeing a large number of candidates in a limited amount of time, it almost always leaves out candidates who  aren’t actually looking for a job but if appropriately approached might in fact be that “just right fit”.  The reality is that most contingent search firms will not spend the time sourcing passive, “hard to recruit” candidates if they know their chances of “success” are not that great. The client is left to choose from only those candidates who are unemployed or otherwise immediately available – not always your best candidate pool.

No question, professional recruiting just like professional anything, takes expertise, time and commitment.   If you treat any staffing agency as a necessary evil, a just like everyone commodity, rather than as a valued business partner, you’re likely not getting the best your staffing agency has to offer.

Our advice?  For you to do more with less, and to make sure your company has a ready access into the right pipeline’s of candidates, start building an exclusive relationship with a select number of recruiting agencies (who regularly recruit in the job categories you look for staff) and their individual recruiters.   Invite them to become an external but important part of your staffing team.

The right partnership will help you develop a direct pipeline into large pools of valuable talent.  Your staffing agency should become an extra pair of eyes and ears that is always in the market, always on the look out for people who can make a contribution to your mission and your team. Even when you find yourself staffing up a large team of interim employees for a project or shift in business strategy, turn to your staffing partner first to help you organize the process in ways that will keep you focused on the quality of your interim team, not just how quickly warm bodies can be delivered.

The irony is that by building and strengthening your relationships with the right staffing agencies, your recruiting net actually does become wider, but WITHOUT all the hassle of sifting thru 100’s of candidates in order to focus on the critical few.  Your staffing agency does that on your behalf – daily.  The right partnership will enable you to do more with less, a business mandate that we expect will be around for quite some time.

 

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.

A  4-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.

PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.

To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees,  contact our Partner Services and Solutions team at 425-637-3312, e mail us at partnerservices@pacestaffing.com or visit our website at www.pacestaffing.com/employers.


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