Wednesday, May 09, 2007

When is a Person a Valued Contract Recruiter?

As I am searching for my next opportunity to serve a company, I am reading online postings for “Contract Recruiter.” Some of them require one to two years experience and the ability to develop recruitment into a world class experience – and the compensation is $20 to $30 per hour.

Whom are they kidding? Are there other occupations where people have that unrealistic requirement of an inexperienced person? Why does it seem to happen in recruitment more than other occupations?

My guess is that in recruitment we do not do a good job selling our profession and defining what title is an entry level person and what is an experienced person. Therefore, when a temp firm hears a company say they are tired of paying contingent fees, they propose a contract recruiter at a relatively low rate (that they can sell). Hopefully they provide that inexperienced person with mentoring and support.

If not, the CEO or VP HR has a poor experience; and all contract recruiters fall into the “we tried that and it didn’t work.”

My suggestion is that Contract Recruiters should be people who have recruitment seasoning. We have been in the trenches for ten or more years and survived at least one recession. Since in our economy, recessions come along every eight to ten years that could be a reasonable requirement.

A Contract Recruiter needs to have enough experience that when a situation comes along that they haven’t seen before (and after 15 years of Contract Recruitment and an additional 11 years of Contingent Recruitment, I still experience new situations), they can respond creatively with better potential solutions for their client.

A seasoned Contract Recruiter has worked with different recruitment processes and applicant tracking systems; sold candidates on the idea of working for blue chip companies and emerging companies; understands the place for Internet Recruitment and Direct Sourcing; and cares for both his/her clients and their candidates.

A seasoned Contract Recruiter learns the client’s business and advises clients on candidates based on those business goals. Importantly, a seasoned Contract Recruiter considers themselves a member of the corporate team and works to ensure the team does well.

When a seasoned Contract Recruiter does all of those things, they are invited back when the client needs them. That is the measure of success.