As a long time recruiter, I sometimes get this asked this question, “when should I use a recruiting firm?”. So here you go.
It’s simple. Even the best recruiter can only juggle so many balls. For a typical recruiter, anything over twenty to twenty-five open reqs is the tipping point (assuming each req has one headcount). Anything over twenty-five and things get messed up and flat out forgotten. Keep in mind that the number open reqs a recruiter can manage varies from industry to industry. Executive Recruiters, for example, can handle three searches and on the other end of the spectrum, high volume recruiters (call centers, labor, etc) can handle fifty plus reqs.
I can hear recruiters and talent acquisition managers laughing at my last statement. It’s not uncommon for recruiters to carry a fifty plus req load. And that is why it takes so darn long to hire great people. It also tends to burn out recruiters. It’s not uncommon for recruiters to carry a fifty plus req load. And that is why it takes so darn long to hire great people. It also tends to burn out recruiters.
Tip for Hiring Managers: If you are not getting really good resumes from your recruiter in the first 3 weeks of you opening your position; it’s going to take longer than 3 months before you make an offer. ( Assuming your headcount is officially approved and your req is live in the system)
For Internal talent acquisition teams to be “efficient” and to do more with less, they must be able to be jacks of all trades and usually masters of none. Think of a general practitioner vs. a specialist. It’s a tough ask to expect a recruiter for your company to an expert in every part of your business. Headhunters typically specialize in a niche. By focusing on one or two industries headhunters can go deep and become experts. This is why some outside recruiters can tap into networks of people that your in-house team can’t.
Hopefully, you had an intake meeting (phone, video, in-person) with your recruiter when you opened up your position. This is your chance to educate your recruiter. If you are lucky, you have a sharp recruiter who is a quick learner and motivated to learn a new specialization.
Tip for Hiring Managers/ Specialization – If you get more than three resumes from your recruiter that are way off base, you are in trouble. Same goes for multiple phone interviews with certain candidates. Time to talk to a specialized recruiter.
Note to the reader. I own a recruiting firm, and yes, I write this blog in hopes of earning your business. This blog post is truly an attempt to educate hiring managers like you so you can have a positive experience using recruiting services.
Please let me know what you think.