Complaining will do nothing but make your “time to fill” metric exceed the 58-63 day period that is currently the industry average to fill a requisition. I have sat through or led enough recruiting pipeline report meetings to learn when a recruiter is “getting after it” and when they are just making excuses.
Here are a few things to watch out for.
- They blame poor performance on the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is an easy one to complain about because most applicant tracking systems are not that good so why shouldn’t they use the ATS as the excuse for soft recruiting efforts?
- Lack of candidate flow. This is always an issue for tough to fill roles, and that is when they need to hit the phones, email pitches, LinkedIn and any other channel to reach out to people. They need to get after it. Recruiters can’t let the lack of candidate flow be a reason to feel sorry for themselves. Work harder and use some selling skills to entice people.
- Salary for the role is too low. Another easy excuse, but can they use facts and data to support their complaints? When I hear a recruiter complain that the salary range is too low to find quality candidates, I ask them for data and facts to back up their claim about a low salary range. Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong. The numbers will tell the truth.
- They don’t have enough time. I find this to be a common complaint amongst internal recruiters and they are probably right, but it’s not an excuse to complain. Just prioritize and focus on what’s important. Cut back on the company donuts and lunch and learn sessions. I’m all for a good lunch and learn, but if you don’t have enough time to bring in good candidates, you don’t have time for free food at the company’s expense.
- Lack of candidate feedback from the hiring manager. Still not an acceptable excuse. Hiring managers are busy doing their jobs and the last thing they have time for is to deal with a recruiter who complains. Recruiters should just do their job, own every piece of the recruiting process, and let their results do the talking. They can flood hiring managers with good people and talk with them in person (not slack or email) to ensure everyone is on the same page with the candidates they submit.
With a 3.6% unemployment rate recruiting people is hard and now is the time to step it up. Don’t have self-pity. Don’t let any recruiter fall into the trap of self-pity. It’s easy to make excuses, but it takes work to make things happen.
Work on making things happen.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.