Sunday, June 17, 2012

Post and Prey Recruitment – 3rd Party Recruiter Edition

Since 1981 as a 3rd party Recruiter (contingent and contract) and Recruiting Manager for a start up CLEC, I have seen our industry quickly evolve in our sourcing methods.  These are probably the greatest number of changes the recruitment industry has seen since its founding.

Within the 3rd party recruitment industry, there have always been professional recruiters who treat the industry as a profession.  There have also been people who were in the business for the perceived quick money – typically when they decide that consistent successful recruitment requires commitment and hard smart work, they leave.  Those are the people who send almost every resume they find with the right title to every company who may need a person with those skills.  Some recruiters call that practice “wallpapering”.

Anyone who has been in the industry for over 10 years generally can spot these short cutters fairly easily – “Why should I spend the time to phone screen someone when I can just forward their resume and get a fee because I got there first?” is a good way to discern the quick money recruiters.

There is a third group of recruiters who are beginners in our industry with the intent of becoming a professional recruiter.  They have the “long view”.  They realize the need to create a foundation and then build from that foundation.  These recruiters are sponges and try to learn everything they can from seasoned recruiters.

Many corporate and 3rd party recruiters use the Post and Pray Sourcing method.  In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, almost all of us would run ads in different newspapers.  Retained recruiters would run ads in the Wall Street Journal for executives.  Contingent recruiters would run ads in the Sunday paper, with some of them choosing the Craig’s List version – the weekly county newspaper.

The was a huge difference in execution after finding a candidate who appeared qualified for an opening(s) in the industry we recruited.  The professional recruiter would conduct a phone screen to learn more about the candidate and see if there were the right combination of skills and attributes.  If the mix was right, they would forward the resume to their client.  If not, and they liked the candidate, they would ask if they could stay in touch until the right position came along – in other words build a relationship with them and ask for references.

The short cutter simply forwarded the resume and hoped it would be “a hit” without any intention of building a relationship.

When it came to counter offer times whom do you feel would be more successful delivering the candidate – those who built relationships or those who did not?

Today’s equivalent of running ads in the newspaper is to post openings on job boards.  Then pray the right people respond.  This is the new version of “Post and Pray Recruitment”.  Fundamentally the same as the “old days” with the major difference that resumes fly around more quickly.

The very successful, seasoned third party recruiter is truly a hunter with a hunter’s focus and positive attitude.  These professionals will probably have favorite places to post (because an occasional blue bird does fly through the window).  However their focus is to create new business relationships with new clients (while giving their tried and true clients the best service possible).  At the same time, they work to increase the number of sharp candidates who will occasionally provide them with great referrals and eventually a successful introduction.

These are the people who employ “Post and Prey Recruitment”.  This is the new dynamic for successful recruiting and is a combination of the old recruitment fundamentals with the speed of technology.  It removes some of the time from the sourcing process to enable the wily recruitment sales professional to remain successful.  Post and Prey Recruitment is more fun because most candidates enjoy going home to say “someone tried to recruit me for a new position today.”  The new dynamic increases successful introductions and therefore increases income.