Why You Need a Search Firm

Let’s face it.  It is a competitive market when it comes to top talent.  The key phrase is “top talent”.  Not the low hanging fruit that applies to every job post as a “qualified applicant”, but the superstar of their industry where their next opportunity is just a phone call away.  Many companies look up to their HR department for all their recruiting needs, but miss the bus when it comes to finding the cream of the crop.   From a headhunter's perspective, here are seven reasons why you may need a search firm.

Relying Solely On HR  HR does NOT recruit. Not because they don’t know how, but in many cases they do not have the time.  An internal recruiter can receive a massive amount of resumes from a single posting.  This alone limits the amount of time they can actually locate and recruit the best talent available versus attempting to locate the best candidate that applied.  Since time is limited, so are their resources, in return they may settle for a mediocre candidate within a stack of resumes, which in reality may not be the best candidate for your organization.  

Job Board Junkies If your organization is heavily relying on job boards you are missing the big picture.  Top performers are not spending hours on job boards or a company’s career portal filling out 14 of 14 pages of information that is clearly stated on their resumes.  And if they do fill out an application online, please believe an interview has already been confirmed, and they are just going through the “motions”.  Many leverage their personal and professional contacts.  They have a strategic exit plan in place, and the infamous job boards such as CareerBuilder & Monster are not high on their list of contacts.

Job Description Dependent  Internal recruiting personnel rely heavily on the job description as a tool to either engage or eliminate potential candidates.  Many are so limited to the job description that they cannot truly articulate the actual job functions.  In actuality, the job descriptions can be very vague and usual has a laundry list of “needs to have” in bullet point format.  Sticking strictly to a job description is not always idea, especially if the "must have" requirements cannot be explained why they are needed.

Too Administrative If your company is spending all day pushing paper (sorting resumes), when do they have time to recruit? If half of your recruiting efforts are spent sorting, filing, and interviewing candidates you are NOT going to hire you are wasting time & losing revenue.   Locating talent that will take your company to a different level is critical.  Your talent determines your company’s overall success and should not be treated as a commodity.

Absent From The Recruitment Process Recruiting should be team effort, not just an HR effort.  Managers should be actively involved at all times, not just during the selection process.  Managers should be proactive in locating top talent for their departments/teams.  There should be a meeting of the minds between the hiring manager and recruiter, so both parties have a clear picture of the ideal candidate. There should also be discussions on the best method of sourcing qualified candidates.

Merciless Interview Process Top performers don't have time to juggle multiple applications, tests and several phone screenings before they talk with someone that actually makes the hiring decision. Nor are passive candidates going to jeopardize their current place of employment to attend your 1 of 6 interviews that you have lined up. At the end of the day, be respectful of the candidates’ time.  The worst case scenario is to finally pinpoint a competitive candidate only to drive them away with a disorganized and lengthy process.

No Communication If you are still interviewing other applicants, say so.  If the position has been put on hold, communicate this to all parties involved, especially the candidates that you may want to reach out to at a later date.  This is among the leading reasons why candidates walk away. When potential candidates do not receive feedback it shows them a lack of interest and organization.  The candidatates' excitement for the position has been hindered and many have turned down offers that were extended at later dates because this main component was missing.


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