The past few months have been challenging for the staffing industry. LinkedIn has just announced its first layoff as companies reduce their Recruiter seat licenses, ATS vendors are reducing their teams and scaling back, HR tech vendors are cutting costs and rethinking their futures, live recruiting and sourcing conferences have been put on hold and staffing firms and RPOs are scrambling for more business as their PPE loans run dry.
On top of this we’re also seeing a trend towards a hiring manager do-it-yourself model basically bypassing the recruiter and sourcer entirely.
However, those recruiters who are true value-added partners to their hiring manager clients and trusted career advisors to their candidates are in high demand. While this is a positive, being successful under this model requires a new approach for recruiting top-tier people, especially outstanding diverse talent.
Win-Win Hiring: Hiring for the Anniversary Date, Not the Start Date
By benchmarking best practices we’ve been able to capture these ideas in our new “Recruiter of the Future” competency model. Here's a link to the model and to the recording of a recent webcast describing it.
The metric of success in this updated competency model isn’t jobs filled on time and at the lowest cost, but improving quality of hire and increasing job satisfaction on the first year anniversary date, not the start date. We refer to this idea as Win-Win Hiring.
A successful Win-Win Hiring outcome occurs after one year when the hiring manager fully agrees the new hire is an outstanding performer and the new employee is still highly satisfied with the job. The competency model describes the skills needed pre-hire to achieve more of these Win-Win Hiring outcomes post-hire.
Rethinking the Hiring Process of the Future
The fundamental change in this new model starts with a redesign of the recruiting process to resemble a modern-day integrated sales and marketing function. In this new approach, jobs first need to be defined as performance objectives not generic skills and competencies. This change opens the talent pool to everyone who can do this work. This is essential since the best and most diverse people tend to have a different mix of skills and experiences. (Here's the legal justification for this change.)
Next comes a proactive and laser-like focus on identifying a short list (10-20) of candidates who are not only fully capable of handling these performance objectives but who are also more likely to be open to explore a career move and accept a reasonable offer if one is made. This prequalified list of target prospects are considered possible semi-finalists for job. In this recruiting as a sales/marketing process, the sourcer and recruiter are combined and act as the sales development rep (SDR) contacting these people and converting them into actual semi-finalists. In sales, SDRs are the people who identify and make contact with potential clients, qualify them and get their interest in the product or service being sold, and then arranging for a more detailed discovery call.
Using LinkedIn in combination with basic Boolean, it doesn't take much training or effort to develop a shortlist of very talented prospects. However, it does take extraordinary skill and persistence by the recruiter and hiring manager working in partnership to contact and convert this small talent pool into 4-5 serious semi-finalists. Without going through all of the factors on the competency model, the following are the ones that are essential for implementing this type of integrated sales/marketing system for achieving more Win-Win Hiring outcomes.
Essential Recruiter Competencies Required to Achieve Diverse Win-Win Hiring Outcomes
Know the Job. To rank high on this factor recruiters must be able to properly answer this question when an outstanding prospect with multiple opportunities asks, “Can you tell me a little about the job and why it could represent a career move?” For a strong prospect to move forward the recruiter needs to be able to describe the major performance objectives of the role, the importance of the role, some detail about the hiring manager’s leadership style and how the company promotes diversity and inclusion.
Ensure Hiring Managers Make Accurate and Unbiased Decisions. In order to rank high on this factor, recruiters need to present detailed evidence of outstanding performance when presenting candidates to their hiring manager clients to prevent strong candidates, especially diverse candidates, from being excluded for biased reasons. This course has been designed to help recruiters and hiring managers remove bias from the decision-making process. It starts by preparing job descriptions that define success as a series of performance objectives, not a generic list of “must have” skills, competencies, academics and experiences that are too subjective and inherently biased.
Offer the Best Career Opportunity, not the Biggest Compensation Package. You’ll never have enough money in your budget to attract the strongest and most diverse talent on a consistent basis. However, if you do all of the above, you will be able to present your opening as the one offering the best career opportunity.
While ranking “Well Qualified” in the new model is important, it’s still not enough. Consistency and results are what matter, and if a recruiter can’t convince a hiring manager to follow the process at every step nothing will improve. Taking this course together might be the ideal solution. Surprising as it may seem, this could be the most important change of them all.