Recruiter Appreciation? That’s Crazy Talk!

William J. Wiggins Employee Development, employee experience, Hiring Managers, Recognition, Recruitment Marketing, Talent Acquisition, Talent Strategy

Every week in one meeting or another, I witnessed the systemic denigration of recruiting. If the issue was sales were not meeting their goals, it was recruiting’s fault. Customer satisfaction at an all-time low? Blame a recruiter. I believe a recruiter was once blamed for an intertropical convergence zone causing rain; and quite possibly global warming. Enough already!

Despite being essential to an organization’s business strategy, recruiting is not celebrated or recognized as a key-operating component. Unlike sales, finance, or customer service they are rarely acknowledged for meeting goals or praised for their creative/strategic prowess in hiring just the right talent to pull it all off. In my observation, most people don’t think about recruiting at all unless there is a staffing issue, or there is a critical gap creating the need for exceptional talent to meet the Company’s objectives. Often recruiters are scapegoated for ills for which they have no control. However, when engaged properly, a recruiter can be one of the organization’s most valuable resources.

• Partnering with hiring managers and leadership to determine current and future human capital requirements
• Maintaining a talent pool of candidates to enable the selection of the best talent for the organization.
• Evaluating and aligning the qualifications and skills of a candidate to a specific job.
• Strategically attracting and engaging the right talent to meet the overall organizational objectives.

Truth be told, high-performing recruiters are integral to a successful business strategy. They create awareness of your organization, drive interest, and set expectations of a candidate’s employment experience. Recruiters know the culture and the nuances of the organization and its hiring managers. They know how candidates are assessed for certain jobs and the dynamics of each team. Who better to enter into a strategic partnership for managing your Human Capital needs? Yet, while we make it standard operating procedure to acknowledge and incentivize other disciplines for a job well done, the glory for recruiters often ends with the acceptance of the offer letter.

Because the candidate experience begins with the recruiter. Candidates will often decide to commit or drop out of the application process based on their interaction with a recruiter, who is charged with extolling the virtues of the organization – which becomes much more difficult if they don’t feel valued or connected to the their leadership counterparts or hiring managers.

Prioritize training and development
Make sure your recruiters are trained on how to be consultants vs. serve an administrative function. Train them to be intimately familiar with your products, employer brand and your mission, vision and values. Support their attendance at industry conferences to ensure they are privy to the latest trends to spotlight heir expertise and inspire hiring managers to trust their recommendations.

Invest in the latest tools and technology
Give your recruiters the appropriate resources necessary to drive your business strategy to make sure they have tools and technology to make them innovative. It will not only make their jobs easier, but it can also make a positive impact on the candidate experience.

Offer rewards and recognition
From networking to attracting top talent, recruiting in many ways is similar to sales. When done properly a recruiter’s efforts will ultimately result in a high functioning workforce which is the foundation of a successful organization. While sales performance is synonymous with bonuses, incentives, and pink Cadillacs for the top sales performers…recruiting, not so much. Consider blazing the trail by offering, let’s say, retention incentives to recruiters based on the longevity or performance of their hires.

If growing your workforce is part of your business strategy, recruiting needs a seat at the table and to be treated as a vital business partner. These are only a few ideas to start the dialogue; but you get the idea. Give your recruiters the respect and appreciation they deserve. Start by taking time to understand what they do, how they do it, and how their efforts impact your business.

Make it a priority to cultivate the consultative and strategic expertise of your recruiters and spotlight the value they bring to your company. You may create an impact beyond the hiring experience.