Every business needs to select the right people for the job. Success or failure is often determined by having the right people on the team. In fact, many experts advise getting the right people before determining the right strategy. After all, the best strategy is going to depend on the skills of your employees. In our hiring post, we discussed the hiring process. In this post, we will discuss specific advantages to outsourcing your hiring process to a recruiting agency.
Finding that “Right” Employee
What makes an employee “right?” What makes them fit well with your organization? If experts advise getting the right people on board before deciding on a strategy, then skills must be secondary to something else. What is that something else? Here are some possibilities:
- Honesty and integrity (will not commit fraud)
- Punctuality (and low absenteeism)
- A strong work ethic (actually works while on the clock)
- Self-motivated (does not need constant encouragement)
- Self-starter (gets going without being asked)
- Teamwork skills (does not free-ride on the rest of a team)
- Good communication (polite, concise, and mentally quick)
These are all character traits that apply universally in any employment situation. An employee with these traits is likely to give you their best effort no matter what their skills are. When you hire, you don’t want to spend time sifting through a bunch of applicants without these key traits. This is where a recruiting agency can help.
How a Recruiting Agency Helps
Recruitment agencies specialize in finding employees for you who will approach their work with self-motivation and integrity. Good agencies will look for key character traits first before looking at skills, exercising the “find the right people” principle in hiring. They have the time and resources to advertise the job in more targeted ways, such as at college career fairs, through diversity support groups, and through professional guilds. This strategy helps to limit applicants down to those who are truly qualified for the position, while also meeting Equal Employment Opportunity and affirmative action guidelines.
As an example, suppose you need to hire two web designers and are short on Latinos for your equal employment status. You contract with an HR firm—we’ll say for the sake of argument—to find some good applicants for you. We will post your position on AuthenticJobs.com, which targets web developers specifically; and Latpro.com, which targets Latino professionals specifically. Once we’ve gathered a sufficient number of applicants, we’ll look at their work history and start screening for success rates. We’ll screen out those who simply list their job descriptions and focus on those who report tangible results. Then we’ll do a round of interviews and check some references. Finally, we’ll send you a small batch of ideal applicants for a final interview.
For your company to do this in-house, it would require a lot of time, effort, and connections. You will need the expertise of full-time human resources personnel with lots of free time and few distractions. Also, you may need to pay fees to applicable job posting lists. A recruitment firm already has access to specialty job posting lists and has the time to travel to career fairs. Recruiters are not sidetracked by employee discipline or firing issues, so they can dedicate their whole attention and focus to finding that right person. For that reason, you can get a better quality result in less time from a recruitment firm than from your own HR managers.
Recruiting a good executive is a particularly challenging task. An executive defines your corporate culture. Executives can make a huge difference on productivity, creativity, employee satisfaction, and many other factors. When hiring an executive, you definitely need to know what results the candidate has produced in previous positions—and you want to know long-term results, not just immediate ones. You also want to know how the candidate’s previous subordinates viewed him or her—with respect? with admiration? How?
Will the executive get along well with your governing board? That is another big concern. If the executive does not fit the board’s culture—or worse, has a different vision for the company than the board—the business will see some serious problems down the line. Also, what is the executive’s leadership style? How do they handle stress? How do they react when they are questioned? There are a multitude of concerns about performance and interpersonal concerns you should ask.
These questions are all best handled by a third-party recruitment agency. These questions are deep and penetrating and tend to put a candidate on their guard. If your company asks them, it may affect how the executive behaves on the first day of the job. On the other hand, if we ask them, the executive we hire will approach your company with fewer preconceptions. It will be a fresh start.
Compensation is another concern. Executives typically negotiate for large compensation packages, so you want a recruiting agency that will compromise without bending unnecessarily. They may ask for large salaries or they may want big bonuses at the end of the year. You, on the other hand, probably would prefer to give them large stock options instead of large bonuses. Bonuses encourage short-term gains while stock options are only valuable after long-term growth. A recruiting agency can negotiate for a compensation package that remains in your favor while still enticing the best executive candidates available to accept the position.
Hopefully, you have now seen the value of having an exterior recruiting agency handle your hiring—and your executive hiring in particular. The best way to get started upon choosing a firm like is to sit down with them and define your hiring strategy? What do you look for? What do you want your company culture to be like? What traits do you value most in an employee? What is the ideal balance between order and creativity in your organization? These questions set the tone for the recruiting agency to hire your employees by.
With a strategy in place, you simply need to provide job descriptions for open positions and let the recruiting agency do the work. They will post, screen, interview, and hire the best of the best. You need only participate in final applicant reviews, final interviews, and employee training. The rest is taken care of, leaving you with more time to focus on growing your business and achieving success.