Today’s job market is wide open, giving recruiters an unprecedented shot at success—not just financially, but in terms of the impact they can have on people’s lives.
But getting people excited about a career in recruiting can be a challenge. And once you hire recruiters: how do you keep them engaged in your agency?
During the 2022 SIA Executive Forum North America, a panel of industry experts sat down to answer this and related questions. Panelists included:
- Robin Mee, President & Founder, MeeDerby
- Kate Goss, Managing Director, PrideOne
- Kersten Buck, VP Global Strategy & Solutions, SIA
- Adam Conrad, CXO, Great Recruiters
Below are some key takeaways from their panel, titled Recruiting & Training Recruiters, Salespeople, & Staff.
1. Successful agencies empower their recruiters
While recruiters are responsible for much of their own success, agencies have a responsibility to provide the environment, culture, and tools that empower that success.
In today’s candidate-centric market, that’s easier said than done. Successful recruiters have to go the extra mile to win and retain top talent:
- Create exceptional experiences that serve the candidates’ needs
- Build talent communities that provide value to the candidate
- Provide the engine for candidates and clients to share their great experiences with their own networks—showing that you live your values rather than just telling it
If you empower your recruiters to attract & retain talent—then leverage that talent to build a referral engine—then you’re going to have an easier time convincing them to stick around.
2. Find out why people stick around
Before the Great Resignation (or Reshuffle, or whatever we’re calling it now), people often took jobs because they were a good default or fallback option. Now, people are choosier about where they work.
Overall, this is a positive development. After all, you want recruiters and salespeople who are passionate about what they do—because that means they’ll do better work for you.
But it also means that you have to be more proactive about getting recruiters to come onboard. This means asking some important questions:
- Do we have a pulse on why people love working here?
- What kind of agency are we? What are our core values?
- Do we care more about the bottom line, or the mission we achieve in the world?
- How important is diversity, equity, & inclusion to us as a company?
To that end, our CXO conducted an informal LinkedIn poll about why people stay and leave their recruiting jobs:
Now, these are general insights. The reasons why your people will stay or leave your agency are going to be specific to you.
That’s why it’s important to dive into what these reasons are. Then, follow through on them.
3. Measure success of recruiter interactions
Culture isn’t just about what you say. It’s about what you do. So if you want to have any measure of control over your culture, you have to measure it.
There are a number of factors that are outside you or your recruiters’ control. You can’t control submittals, interviews, or placements. But the quality of the interaction with your agency is completely within your control.
Your recruiters can take steps to make those interactions great. And with the right tools, you can measure them, identify potential issues, and fix them in real-time before they become problems.
4. Fully integrate offshore recruiters into the team
As offshore recruiters become more popular among recruiting agencies, it’s important to remember that they’re part of your team. They’re not just a light switch that you can flip on and flip off when you aren’t “getting results.”
The best success with offshore recruiters comes when they’re tightly integrated with your full-time staff—when they’re fully part of the team. As you build and support your offshore recruiters, they’ll deliver success and value to your agency.
5. When hiring, think outside the box
If you ask a five-year-old what they want to be when they grow up, you probably won’t hear “recruiter.”
Many great recruiters didn’t seek out this career path, but almost stumbled into it. That’s why it’s important to look outside the box when hiring recruiters. There are plenty of people who would be great in a recruiting role, they just haven’t considered it.
For example, many agencies find success recruiting teachers to their firms. There’s also the benefit of recruiting from within a particular industry—hiring engineers to be engineering recruiters, for instance—because they not only have the networks, but also a pretty solid idea of what to look for in a candidate.