Recently, I sat down with the hiring team at a major Houston company. The team expressed the same frustrations I’ve heard before: we’ve been through hundreds of resumes but can’t find anyone qualified within the industry, we keep running into non-compete issues and we needed to hire our new sales lead yesterday. They were facing the classic needle-in-a-haystack problem: by making the job requirements so restrictive, they’d effectively eliminated the entire talent pool. No wonder no one made the cut!
I told the team I could solve their problem, but they needed to trust me – really trust me.
I get it: when you’re on the frontlines of hiring at your company and feel like you’ve been through every resume 10 times, trusting a recruiter can be difficult. Will a recruiter just send you more of the same applicants who aren’t working or can they help you break through a hiring impasse? Effective recruiters do much more than simply “recruit.” We’re expert consultants who see the bigger picture. We look across industries to find talent who is uniquely qualified to succeed at your company.
Learning to trust your recruiter may not be an easy process, but it’s worth it. Here’s why:
Find your “needle in the haystack.” Yes, that perfect candidate does exist, but probably not where you’ve been looking. Before making any hiring recommendations to a company, I have a candid conversation with each candidate. During this conversation, I assess a candidate’s attitude and motivators. How have they succeeded in the past? How will their experiences apply to your company? What are they looking for in their next position? Candidates are much more honest with me than they are with hiring managers. That’s why I don’t waste your time with a long list of 50+ options – I only recommend a handful of exceptional candidates who I know will be the right fit.
Avoid non-compete agreement (NCA) problems. NCAs have proliferated in recent years, leaving hiring managers and would-be employees in a tricky spot. Is it worth taking the risk to hire a new employee when doing so could trigger legal action from their former employer? This is a major reason I recommend looking for new hires in other industries with transferrable skills. Doing so sidesteps the NCA problem without compromising talent quality.
Identify transferable skills. Candidates who don’t look great on paper can still turn out to be your best hire. For example, someone who worked in operations for 10 years can make a great salesperson because they intimately understand what they’re selling and the problems they’re solving. I look for candidates who have the back-end knowledge, the client-facing expertise and the motivation to succeed in sales. This combination often results in much better performance than simply hiring a competitor’s sales lead.
Avoid counter offers. After a lengthy recruitment process, you’ve offered your dream candidate the job – only to find out they were using your offer to leverage a better offer from their current employer. This is a scenario that doesn’t happen with a recruiter. We only connect you with candidates we know will be enthusiastic and passionate about your company from day one.
Sales hires can be tricky. In an industry that’s evolving rapidly, past performance is no guarantee for future success. When you trust a recruiter to bring you the right hire, you may not get the candidate you expect with the perfect sales record. Trust that we’re bringing you this candidate for a reason. I’m confident the results will energize your entire sales team.
What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to building trust with a recruiter?