Recruitment is the process of attracting, screening, selecting, and onboarding the correct employee for your business. The stages of the recruitment process include:
- job analysis and developing some person specification;
- the sourcing of candidates by networking, advertising, and other search methods;
- matching candidates to job requirements and screening individuals using testing (skills or personality assessment);
- assessment of candidates' motivations and their fit with organizational requirements by interviewing and other assessment techniques.
The recruitment process also includes the making and finalizing of job offers and the induction of new employees.
A recruitment consultant is the intermediary between organizations wishing to recruit (the client) and the individual seeking a career move or temporary assignment (the candidate). It is primarily a sales role, with high rewards for impressive results.
Recruitment can be made easier if you follow these simple guidelines:
- Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters and executive search firms.
- Enable current staff members to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may successfully employ.
- Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they're not currently looking.
- Use professional association Web sites and magazines to advertise for professional staff
A recruitment agency provides clients with a short list of pre-interviewed, referenced candidates for vacant positions within the client's business. Many agencies will also run psychometric tests to assess a candidate's abilities, as well as testing relevant experience such as presentation skills or typing speeds. The agency may specialize in recruiting for a specific sector, such as IT, media or construction, or it may offer a wide selection of jobs. Agencies may also specialize in temporary or contract placements, or may find candidates full-time positions.
The recruitment market is relatively mature, and competition can be intense, particularly during times of economic uncertainty when businesses initiate freezes on recruitment.
The recruitment agency sector is comprised of general recruitment agencies and market specific recruitment agencies. General agencies specialize in placing candidates in secretarial and clerical positions, as well as engineering, technical, computer and junior positions. These agencies are likely to advertise vacancies in the press and will be contacted by people looking for work. Market specific employment agencies concentrate on senior positions. They will sometimes use advertisements in the press to fill placements but they will also contact potential candidates by letter and phone. Sub-sectors of the recruitment agency industry cover an extremely broad range: financial services, office, IT, industrial and executive, education, childcare, medical and dental, nurses and carers, media, legal, construction, logistics and catering. There is also a growing interest in agencies specializing in recruitment staff.
The employment services industry provides a variety of human resources services to businesses. These services include providing temporary workers to other businesses, helping employers locate suitable employees, and providing human resources services to clients.
The employment services industry has four distinct segments.
- Employment placement agencies list employment vacancies and place permanent employees.
- Temporary help services, also referred to as temporary recruitment agencies, provide employees, on a contract basis and for a limited time, to clients in need of workers to supplement their labor force.
- Executive search services, often referred to as headhunters, provide search, recruitment, and placement services for clients with specific executive and senior management needs.
- Professional employer organizations are engaged in providing human resources and human resources management services to staff client businesses. They also may share responsibility as a co-employer of workers to provide a cost-effective approach to the management and administration of the human resources functions of their clients.
Much of the recruitment agency business relies on cold calling and proactive selling strategies to build your client base. You will be required actively to seek new business and to follow up prospective clients tenaciously to attract new business.
You should invest in professionally designed stationery and leaflets to advertise your agency, and send these to potential clients along with details of any specialist work you do. Follow up any speculative mailshots with telephone calls to enquire about positions with potential clients.
You should consider advertising in local jobs papers and supplements, as this may attract candidates looking for agency work. The more candidates you register with your business, the more choice you will be able to offer to your clients. Also consider taking out an advertorial to highlight particular jobs you are currently recruiting for.
Joining a trade association would be advisable. As well as providing a listing in its member directory, these organisations offer a range of valuable services to members, such as legal advice, market information and opportunities to network.
Both businesses and candidates may use a business directory to look for a recruitment agency in their area. Register your service with both online and hard copy business directories.
Using a Recruitment Agency
A recruitment agency can help you to find the right person for a job in your business, removing much of the admin related to recruiting staff. For example, it will advertise the position, shortlist applications and perhaps even conduct initial interviews. This can be useful if you don't have the time or resources to carry out these tasks yourself.
You can often avoid time and trouble by using a recruitment agency to help you find new staff. Recruitment consultants can offer expertise and advice and speed up the process of finding candidates by starting to source them as soon as you brief them.
Recruitment agencies often specialize in particular types of work (for instance, secretarial, office work, industrial, call centre, IT or customer service) and may already have potential applicants registered on their books. Executive search organizations usually work in higher management or specialist fields, finding suitable candidates working in other businesses by direct approach, or via specialist advertising.
An agency will typically provide:
- Advice on the availability of skilled labor in your area / sector.
- Guidance in relation to acceptable wage rates.
- Guidance on employment regulations surrounding the recruitment and employment process and other legal considerations.
- Practical assistance in the identification of personnel requirements and the drawing up of job descriptions.
- Advertisement of vacancies in the most appropriate way to meet your needs including in the local press and on the Internet.
- Advice on Government / State / Federal incentives for the employment and training of unemployed people, if you are looking for candidates in this category.
- Place advertisements for you.
- Filter out unsuitable applicants.
Most recruitment agencies will also:
- Do the initial round of interviews, or conduct a practical skills assessment or aptitude test.
- Provide you with a shortlist, complete with CVs, of suitable candidates.
- Arrange appointments for your interview sessions with short-listed candidates.
- Deal with paperwork - for example, letters acknowledging receipt of applications, and rejection letters.
- Check references.
- Verify qualifications.
- Confirm the applicant's identity and whether or not they have the right to work in the country.
- Provide a rebate of fees if the candidate proves to be unsuitable, or undertake a further search.
Often the people you see will already have been interviewed by the agency before being recommended to you, as well as having had their suitability assessed and their references checked. This provides you with a good selection of candidates whose quality and suitability has already been established.
Some agencies will also be able to source experienced staff with good references for either permanent or temporary vacancies. If you are looking for temporary staff (such as a secretary or receptionist) to provide holiday or sickness cover for example, it may be worth approaching a recruitment agency for help in finding suitable staff.
Recruiting The Right People
An independent recruiter, recruiting agency or executive search firm is charged with tracking down excellent potential candidates for available job positions. Despite the fact that there are innumerable people seeking positions of employment, it often seems to a typical recruiting agency that qualified men and women are few and far between.
Here are some things that recruiting services, recruitment firms, or executive search firms should keep in mind when on the hunt for outstanding potential job candidates.
These ideas are equally applicable to companies undertaking their own search without the help of recruiting agency services. Indeed, the headaches associated with finding qualified personnel is magnified for a company undertaking its own recruitment efforts.
- Post an Ad on an Industry-specific Job Board. Oftentimes, a recruiter will take a scattershot approach to finding candidates that are worthy of consideration for an available position. They broadcast far and wide the fact that a certain position is open and available, in big city newspapers and on major Internet job boards. If a recruiting agency were more thoughtful about its recruitment efforts, it would realize the benefits of positing an announcement of an available position on an industry-specific Internet job board. By posting in a selective and admittedly limited manner, recruiters and recruitment firms would be reaching out precisely to the pool of people most likely to be qualified for an open position.
- Use Recruiters that Specialize in a Given Field As with advertising, choosing an effective recruiter might be just a matter of targeting, particularly for a managerial or executive position. These positions can be very hard for in-house personnel directors and human resource managers. While these people do have responsibility for hiring, the search for a new employee with skills beyond the norm for their company can best be targeted by a professional executive head hunter. The same can be said for specialized fields, such as accounting or information systems. In-house human resources staff might know all about pharmaceutical skill-sets required for a multitude of research and administration positions, but they might rarely have to deal with hiring staff to track money or to keep the computers functioning. That's when recruiting agency services specializing in IT or in accounting can come in handy.
- Develop an In-House Referral Program. In many instances, exiting staff members can help speed up the search for quality job candidates. Employees often have contacts elsewhere within the industry, some of which may be looking for a change of employment. By cultivating this internal resource, a personnel director can develop a wealth of ready information about prospective employees who might well serve the organization as valued employees.
- Search Resumes Posted on Job Boards In addition to advertising on an industry specific job board, a diligent personnel director or recruiting agency will want to take the time to search and consider resumes that have been posted on job boards. Often, a person pounding the pavement looking for employment may not have the time to take in and review all of the various available positions that have been posted on a every job board. This is even more true if a given prospect is a highly sought-after candidate, who might be still busy in a current position of responsibility.
- Use a Directory of Recruiters. Because there are so many different type of recruiters in business it can often be difficult for in-house human resources staff to pinpoint the recruiter that will be best able to meet the needs of a given employee recruitment campaign. But there are resources available, such as directories of recruiters. y using a professional directory, in-house human resources staff will be able to identify the most appropriate resources for their company and for the recruiting task at hand. Even recruitment firms can benefit from such a recruiters directory to seek help in a specialized field they don't often work with.
- Do not Rush the Process. Finally, while it is an overused saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In the same vein, 99 times out of 100 there is no need to rush the process of seeking, identifying and hiring a new employee, particularly an executive level employee. A personnel director should take his or her time to identify, screen, interview and hire the best candidate. Throughout this process, a human resources manager or specialist will rely on the services and support tools identified in this article.
In the long run the best possible candidate for a given position will end up being hired, and the company will benefit from the best possible employees.
Getting Your Resume Read
Even the most qualified candidates with the strongest qualifications sometimes get bypassed by recruiters when they are looking to fill an open position. Why is this? Don’t recruiters want to interview and hire and the best of the best?
The answer to this question is, of course, yes! Recruiters are reviewing the resumes of submitted candidates to determine which individuals appear, on paper, to be a potential match for the position. But considering that a recruiter may get dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for a single job opening, there is little time to carefully dig through each individual resume to see if a candidate has the “special something” the employer is seeking.
As disappointing as this fact is for many job seekers, most recruiters will decide the fate of your resume in less than 15 seconds. If a recruiter cannot match your qualifications to that of the open position in that time frame, your resume is headed to the “File for Future Reference” stack, otherwise known as the Black Hole of Resumes. This means that you need to sell yourself very quickly and capture the recruiter’s attention from the start.
So what do you need to do to stand out in the crowd? First off, your resume needs to be results-oriented and concise, and quickly summarize your qualifications for the target position. Grab the reader's attention with strong selling points at the very top of your resume on why your accomplishments, skills, and experience match the position you are seeking. Doing research on the company at which you are applying and the specific open position will provide you with the information you need to ensure you are focusing in on the right skill areas.
The next step is to demonstrate the value you will contribute to the company. Recruiters are going to be looking for ways in which you will you be an asset to the company. An easy way to ensure that your resume gets a more through review is to specifically address this topic in a summary of qualifications at the top of your resume. Don’t leave it up recruiter to deduce how (and if) you will be an asset – tell them directly!
Finally, with so many incoming resumes for a single position, recruiters are eager to reject and screen out individuals down to a more manageable level. Any little mistake or error of judgment may be enough to disqualify you before your qualification summary is even reviewed.
To ensure that your resume is even more than just a cursory glance, avoid the following top recruiter pet peeves:
- Spelling errors and typos
- Poor grammar / Failure to use proper English
- Missing or inaccurate contact information
- Missing or inaccurate dates of employment
- Poor or distracting resume formatting
- Use of unusual resume paper such as bright colors or patterned paper. Scented paper is also a no-no.
- Position accomplishments read more like a company-developed formal job description than an outline of your skills, key outcomes, and results. Recruiters don’t want to know what your employer says someone in your position should be doing – they want to know what you actually do!
- Long, tedious resumes – more than 1 page for new graduates or inexperienced professional, more than 2-3 pages for experienced professionals
- Grossly unqualified candidates
And last, but not least:
- Inclusion of personal information that is unrelated to the job. Recruiters don’t want to know about your family life, your religion, your extracurricular activities, your weight and height, or anything else that does not directly qualify you for the position. Never attach your picture to your resume!
A Great Business was planned that way!
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