How do third-party recruiters survive in a "candidate rich" environment?

By: Judy Karasch


 People ask me, "How is business? It must be tough with so many people unemployed." Surprisingly, business is better than people think. As we talk with current and potential clients, we find that companies always need good employees. Businesses are finding it even more important to have top-notch employees in a challenging business climate. We hear business people share that it is important to be poised for the return of a more positive business climate. They are getting ready for the upturn. Are you ready?

While the unemployment is running at 5.8% nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics detailed data indicates that people with a college education have an unemployment rate of just 3.0%. While these statistics are not surprising, we don't hear the details in our everyday news.

As companies consider the use of outside assistance with their hiring needs, we need they consider whether it is a position that requires pro-active recruiting. It tends to be more difficult to find strong candidates for "niche-oriented" positions and sales positions. Many
companies are measuring the "lost opportunity" of having the hiring process move to a crawl or stop all together because they are unable to find the right person for the job. Increasingly, companies are realizing that "time is money," an axiom that counts when it comes to hiring staff and getting good people "up and running."

What is the role of the internet in this process? Certainly, the internet has given everyone unprecedented access to information. However, the benefit of technology has yet to be realized in the hiring process.

According to a recent edition of Human Resources Management Daily in a survey of 5,000 corporate recruiters and hiring managers, 92 percent said they were inundated with irrelevant responses from an online job posting. 71 percent indicated that a majority of the resumes they received did not match the job description.

Large companies can afford to purchase recruiting software that assists in eliminating some of this clutter. However, companies receive resumes from people who are actively searching for a new position..not those elusive "passive" candidates usually needed for a particular position.

Good recruiters will assist clients "fine-tune" qualifications for a position to ensure that the search is seeking the type of person the company really needs. Good questions need to be asked such, "Why is this position open?" and, "How do you measure a successful person in this position?" And so on. In the process of recruiting, recruiters will gain more information about the candidate than a normal hiring process.

Information is power, especially when it comes to recruiting the best employees. The trick is securing the right information.

Judy Karasch