Search Launch Preparation: Know Your Recruiting Course Layout

Playing under sunny skies in Palm Desert at Marriott Shadow Ridge helped me realize that well managed recruiting is very much like playing tournament level golf. You don’t simply tee off by launching your recruiting campaigns with one powerful swing of a Big Bertha club. You instead first build a clear understanding of the recruiting course you are playing; reflect on prior games your firm played under conditions similar to the present; and then select the appropriate clubs to advance your recruiting activities. Your search launch preparation needs this kind of diligence to lead you to a successful hire.

Having teed off, professional golfers are highly successful positioning their ball in the center of the fairway, ensuring that their subsequent shot will not be in the rough, trees, sand traps, or requiring drops, with a penalty for landing in water hazards.

Before launching a successful search, we as recruiters must clearly define the searched position and understanding the whys of the skills, knowledge, education, talents and attitude that will make for a great hire. This ensures that after our recruiting campaign tees off, all presented candidates land clearly on the fairway.

Select Your Search Launch Sourcing Club

Some companies believe that a recruiting launch consists of posting their new opening on their website, or on a job posting site and then waiting for something to happen.

What usually happens is (admit it) you generally receive candidates ill-suited for your position. Yes, you may get a few candidates that somewhat fit with your needs. But why limit your hires to candidates actively seeking a change in company, instead of going after passive candidates that are in your market space, with talents that likely match your needs?

There’s a reason why the job boards typically indicate you should expect to plan to post your positions for three or more months before the right candidate comes knocking. It’s a low yield solution, comparable to teeing off your recruiting campaign with a sand wedge.

What other clubs do you have in your candidate sourcing bag to aggressively launch your recruiting campaign to a hire?
Here’s a few options available:

Monster Fairway Wood/Retained Search: Going for the longest distance in the shortest time. This uses a retained search by an experienced, relentless recruiting headhunter, seeking, contacting, screening and presenting highly qualified candidates within 30 days from search launch.  Targeted candidates likely had no intention of leaving their current position. Swift feedback from the hiring manager on each candidate presented, rapidly refines the search criteria, yielding one to several excellent candidates from which to hire. Your firm’s aggressive engineering milestones attainment is never questioned, or threatened.

5 Iron/In-House Contract or Full-Time Headhunter Recruiter: Next closest in speed to hire, but at times, given the nature of their work, companies expect high candidate sourcing volume & multiple hires, compromising the time and effort devoted to particularly challenging hires.

7 or 9 Iron/Exclusive Assignment Contingent Recruiter: Experienced in placing candidates in a technical field. By making the assignment exclusive, they are more comfortable in assigning time and effort to place a candidate, beyond two weeks to thirty days. They will however not guarantee they will find a candidate for you & will limit their effort on a difficult search.

7 or 9 Iron/In-House Recruiting Specialist: Next longest distance, having some headhunting experience, but may lack extensive industry technical knowledge, due in part to limited recruiting experience and work co-mingled with other HR related administrative duties.

Lob Wedge/Contingent Recruiters: Supplemental sources that may produce some candidates over a very short period, but lacking any exclusivity in a search, there is little incentive to make a major commitment of time and effort to find a candidate. Why? Their time investment can be quickly lost by an in-house sourced hire, competing contingency hire, or sudden closure of a position by the firm, due to budget cuts, or changes to staff planning strategies. After their pool of readily available candidates runs dry, so does the effort to fill your position. Getting recruiting for free means that you’re willing to receive no qualified candidates for as long as this strategy is being used.

Understand that recruiting acquisition cost is not based exclusively on the recruiter’s fee. Suffice to say that a delayed technical engineering hire costs more, due to lost profit margin on deferred product releases, exposure to a competing rival firm’s ability to capture larger market share, or a demoralized staff contemplating leaving, due to delayed critical hires impeding real progress on completing a new product.

What Score Do You Want for 2017?

2017 has handed you a clean recruiting scorecard. Make each of your job search launches count and know where you are trying to aim for follow-up shots, getting a qualified candidate hired rapidly.

It’s time to tee up for your next search!

Closing Quote:

“Ask yourself how many shots you would have saved if you never lost your temper, never got down on yourself, always developed a strategy before you hit, and always played within your own capabilities.”
Jack Nicklaus
18 Career Majors Champion