What to Look for When Hiring Recruiters

QUESTION: How do I know when to hire a recruiter and what should I look for?  – Stephanie, Phoenix, AZ

ANSWER: Several times a year I hold a 2-day boot camp that goes over this in great detail, but I can try to give you that answer in five minutes or less.

For those of you who have been around me long enough to know that my model for hiring is not what most of us were taught because I failed at it miserably.  I bring people on as search associates where I train them in the role of recruiting first.  I do not know what your motivation is, but if you want to hire a recruiter and you have the cash flow, I would hire two.  It only takes 10% or 15% longer to train two people than it does one, and if it is your desk in the firm, Stephanie, I would have them work on your stuff.  If not, I would have them work with established recruiters in your office under a very tight accountability structure and very tight parameters.

First, I would train them the art of recruiting, candidate development, how to find and identify passive candidates.  You pay them a smaller commission, 5% on 10% and a base salary.

What do you look for?  The people that worked best for me were people that when I interviewed them I could uncover areas in their background where they worked somewhat independently of very tight management and leadership even though I had very strict accountability structures in place with my people.  I wanted to uncover whether their passionate desire was to have control over their own income.

I remember asking one person and I was not convinced.  The person was going to have to leave a pretty hefty salary to come for my really low crappy salary, plus the commission, so I asked, ‘Why would you leave all that?  That is already guaranteed’.  He looked at me and his face got a little red.  I will never forget it.  Absolutely true story.

He said, “Last year I worked my ass off Mike and you know what I got?  I got a 3% raise.  The guy next to me who is a total slacker, guess what he got.  Yea, 3%.  I am not staying there.”

He was fantastic.  Those are a couple quick things I can give you in a moment.

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