Originally Posted on HR Gazette
Using tech recruiters to fill tech positions is common in the startup world, but getting the value you expect isn’t. You’ve likely been told about the proprietary vaults of candidates you can’t access. Or you’ve been promised high-quality hires without any indication of a repeatable data-driven process behind the claim. Or you’ve been left high-and-dry after paying a recruiter for a new hire who ends up quitting months later.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can improve your experience with tech recruiters by understanding these three truths:
You may not need a recruiter to fill every position.
In fact, you may not need one to fill most of your positions. Therefore, this is something not every recruiter is willing to admit. However, the truth is that a recruiter is most valuable when one or more of the following attributes are present:
- the position is hard to fill
- the position needs to be filled fast
- the position is critical and needs a high-performing A-player
- the candidate pool is low (like data analysis and data mining jobs)
You have access to as many candidates as the recruiter does.
Decades back, recruiters had proprietary lists of top talent among certain industries in different locations at their finger tips. These lists were painstakingly curated and not available to everyone. However, that’s no longer true. With LinkedIn and other similar tools, you have access to all the candidates you’ll ever need without the help of a recruiter. The value of a recruiter has changed from merely finding candidates to things like identifying A-players with sophisticated data and analytics, convincing passive candidates to give you a chance, and creating a pipeline process that places retention as the priority.
Yes, you can hold a recruiter accountable for retention!
Employee turnover is a huge problem for startups. The idea that attrition shouldn’t be a concern for a recruiter is false. Don’t fall for it. Ask your recruiter, “How are you going to share accountability for keeping this recruit on board for more than a year?” If they baulk at the suggestion that their relationship with you or their compensation be tied to retention, walk away. Lastly, recruiting partners that are mastering the latest data, analytics and AI designed for retention can guarantee it and share responsibility by offering long-term payment plans to back it up.
The bottom line is this: there should be no mystery or magic behind how your tech recruiter does his or her job. If your recruiter can’t answer questions on the areas above, they’re likely pulling the wool over your eyes. It’s important to fully understand why, how, and with what accountability your recruiting partner intends on fulling his or her responsibilities.