Internal Recruiters Make
By Nick Corcodilos
In an increasingly
competitive business climate, companies are scrutinizing their HR
departments like never before. Internal recruiters need to take a
hard look at how effective they are at filling key positions, and
they need to get past the conventional recruiting methods that are
holding them back. From a headhunter's perspective, here are seven
mistakes internal recruiters make.
They don't recruit. Because
of the sheer volume of "resume flow", internal
recruiters don't identify and pursue the people they want.
Instead, they take what comes along. That is, they limit their
hires to the those people who "come to them". Corporate
recruiting has become a paper-shuffling, passive process.
Recruiters need to act more like headhunters. A company should
have two tiers of recruiters: those who handle applicants, and
those who actively pursue the top people in the field.
They rely too much on ads. The
best candidates are lost to headhunters and to employers who
leverage personal connections to attract them. Internal recruiters
need to spend less time on advertising so they can devote more
time to active, personal contact with people who can lead them to
They know too much about HR and too little about their industry. The
typical recruiter spends more time reading HR journals than trade
and professional publications that are read by the people they
want to recruit. Recruiters can develop a real edge by learning
more about their industry than about HR. It's important to
remember that HR is not an end in itself -- it's an interface to a
company's professional community. By developing expertise in their
industry, recruiters create a more effective interface.
They spend too much time sorting resumes. The typical
explanation for why HR recruiters have no time to recruit actively
is that they have too many resumes to sort. This very real problem
is solved easily: stop soliciting and accepting resumes. Instead,
solicit the right people through good
contacts, starting with people in the department you recruit
for. A recruiter who spends more than 20% of her time in the HR
office isn't recruiting. Get out there and get active in the
community you recruit from.
They let managers get away with murder. Managers hate
to recruit. But a manager's first job is to find and hire great
people. One of HR's missions should be to "put the recruiting
back in the manager's job". Move your desk out of the HR
office and into the department you recruit for. That's how you can
daily influence the hiring manager's recruiting activities.
They waste candidates' time. Good candidates don't have
time for applications, tests and screening interviews before they
talk with the hiring manager. All these preliminary hurdles have
become necessary because recruiters are processing unknown
candidates rather than recruiting people they know can do the job.
It's an insult to extend an invitation then to make the candidate
jump through hoops before he meets the manager. How to avoid this?
Do your homework about the candidate before you contact him. Yep:
this involves an entirely different recruiting approach. (See 2, 3
and 4 above, and see Respecting The
They let the Internet waste their time. Every day,
thousands of people submit resumes in response to job
postings on the Net -- for jobs they know nothing about. In
essence, they're sending you junk mail, and you're forced to sort
through all the garbage. Don't let the Net use you. Use it as a
research tool to help you learn about (and participate in) the
community you want to recruit from. Instead of running ads, spend
time on the sites and in the newsgroups
where your recruiting targets go -- and get to know them. Then you
can start recruiting the people you want, rather than processing
the people who come to you.
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