The Modern-Day Recruiter (Part One)
While this is one just one recruiter’s perspective, I suspect we can all agree that the demands and expectations of the modern-day recruiter extend far beyond posting and praying. On a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis we work on learning how to fully leverage the technology available to us. Meanwhile, on a parallel path, we spend focused time and attention engaging with and understanding the needs of targeted talent for critical openings in today’s candidate-centric marketplace. Given the fluid nature of both technology and talent availability, there are several influences that shape the modern-day recruiter. I’d like to cover some of them over my next three columns
To begin, let’s look at just how complex the combination of required skills and experience expected in today’s modern-day recruiter has become, along with the world in which they work today.
How would you finish the following sentence? The modern-day recruiter is a ___________.
- Research Scientist
- Industrial Psychologist
- Investigative Journalist
- Consultative Salesperson
- All of the Above
All of these are great descriptors of the capability and skills possessed by the modern-day recruiter.
The tools available for the modern-day recruiter are only as good as the skill set and capability of the user. High demand-low talent availability job openings require a skilled practitioner executing a disciplined, methodical approach to identify, source, attract and land the desired talent. The seven steps of the “scientific method” (an observation, research, hypothesis, test hypothesis, record data, draw conclusions, replicate) can, and should be, applied to all critical searches.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg Theory, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, Social Style Theory and Myers Briggs Theory are but a few of the industrial/organizational psychology tools the modern-day recruiter intuitively utilizes in his or her job.
Much like a journalist who deeply investigates a single topic, the modern-day recruiter has the skills, asks the right questions, spends the time required to gain an in-depth understanding of their organization. They also delve into the requirements of a role, the hiring manager’s needs and the critical-value-proposition components for targeted candidates.
Building relationships with targeted talent communities, matching hiring manager and prospective candidates on multiple levels (competency/culture fit), speaking to and “selling” against stated value-proposition matches — all of these represent a “day in the life” of the modern-day recruiter.
If we’re on top of our game in our space, we project strength in all four of these areas.
Let’s face it: We are multi-talented super heroes!
The World the Modern-Day Recruiter Lives In
With a less-than 4 percent unemployment rate, we’re in a highly candidate-centric market. According to a recent (2018) Gartner article, a significant majority (90 percent) of CHROs say that competition for critical talent will increase over the next 12 months. In a global market place where some countries have skill shortages as high as 81 percent, talented candidates (particularly those with highly specialized skills) are in very high demand and have numerous options.
The U.S. economy is adding thousands of jobs (312,000 in December alone). The macro- and micro-economic factors at play currently have made the task at hand for the modern-day recruiter more onerous than ever.
Today, it’s not unusual to get downstream in a selection process with high-demand candidates and find yourself in a competitive-offer situation with multiple other prospective employers.
Progressive employers, having realized the impact of talent scarcity, are becoming much more focused on talent-retention strategies and employee experience. All of this combines to make the recruiter’s role both increasingly difficult and critical to the success of their organizations.
Every opening the modern-day recruiter is assigned represents a problem to be solved with a corresponding talent solution. Even the most skilled modern-day recruiter can’t predict with 100-percent accuracy where they’re going to find the right talent. They can’t predict the specific personal-value-proposition challenges they’ll face with the selected finalist candidates, or what specific pieces of information and tools in their toolbox they’ll use to close the deal. A highly effective modern-day recruiter is challenged every day to leverage creativity-driven right-brain thinking while also tapping into the deductive logic of left-brain thinking. All of this is exacerbated by the lack of predictability each search assignment will bring.
It takes talent, and lots of practice, to be a highly effective modern-day recruiter. In his 2016 LinkedIn article, How to Become a World Class Recruiter, Glen Cathey said it best: “If you seek to become a world-class source or recruiter, you will need to deliberately practice each and every step of the sourcing and recruiting life cycle A LOT, with a specific intent on improving your performance at every step.”
The modern-day recruiter has to be passionate, highly skilled, fast and nimble all at the same time. Much like a highly talented basketball player running “all out” down court, reading the defense, pivoting left, finding the open teammate and delivering that perfect pass for the assist, modern-day recruiters may not always get the hero recognition they deserve. Yet they’re often behind the talent that does!
Circle back here next month for Part Two of the Modern-Day Recruiter—where we’ll dive into the current state of the recruitment-technology race and its best uses and expectations.