You’ve crafted a detailed job description, received enough funding in the yearly budget to grow your team, and are ready to hit the ground running to start the hiring process.
Now, it’s time to find the perfect candidate.
But… where do you start?
With hundreds of online job boards, the hiring process can seem overwhelming even for the most seasoned HR professional.
There’s also the decision of whether to use the latest talent acquisition software – such as an applicant tracking system – or work with a recruiter to find qualified applicants.
Although new software might seem innovative and convenient, it still causes frustrations for both HR professionals and candidates that can make what should be an exciting matchmaking process turn into a major headache.
After all, a candidate’s first impression of your company shouldn’t be a lengthy application laced with technical difficulties.
Recruiters have been major players in the job market for decades, and despite the popularity of new tools and CRM systems, are the best asset for companies looking to grow their teams.
Here are five reasons why you should work with a recruiter during your hiring process.
#1: Recruiters Bring The People Aspect Back To Hiring
In April 2017, LinkedIn announced that it surpassed 500 million users. There’s a reason why the social networking site has risen in popularity: Today’s job market depends on creating long-term relationships with industry colleagues. LinkedIn made it easy for users to “like” an article posted by a thought leader and congratulate a former colleague on a recent promotion – and half a billion people have fully embraced it.
LinkedIn’s model is quite different from the realities of hiring software. Companies rely on applicant tracking systems to fill one position – and aren’t thinking about growing their future network. This means applicants have become accustomed to receiving a generic “we’ll keep your resume on file for future opportunities” email after getting rejected from a position. In the end, this leaves candidates frustrated and companies repeating the same short-term cycle once a new position opens.
Recruitment agencies, on the other hand, understand the importance of maintaining professional relationships. For example, Burchard & Associates has held strong as an accounting recruitment firm in the St. Louis area since 1990.
The fact is, applicant tracking software has taken the “people” aspect out of hiring. Tricky algorithms in software simply cannot detect the motivations, desires, and needs of candidates, all of which are critical pieces of information for HR professionals.
“First of all, there is no accurate screening process when using a hiring software,” Ronda Burchard, the general manager of Burchard & Associates, said. “The software is simply matching words on a job description to a resume.”
Cathey Haigh, Vice President of Accounting at Hussmann Corporation who has worked with Burchard and her team to fill open positions, attests to the fact that recruiters go above and beyond to find candidates who will be the best cultural fit for her company.
“That’s a benefit to us,” Haigh said. “I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to explain the type of person I’m looking for. I can send a job description and usually [Burchard & Associates is] going to come back with [someone who has] those skills in mind.”
Working with a recruiter also comes in handy for companies who have job openings on their radar but aren’t ready to officially post them on their website. By keeping in touch with the recruiting agency, HR professionals can work with recruiters to scope out potential candidates with particular skillsets.
The deep network simply can’t be matched by hiring software.
#2 Hiring Software Has Become Robotic, Which Makes It Difficult To Find Quality Candidates
A quick Google search for “applicant tracking system keywords” yields over two million results. Why? Today’s hiring software relies on tricky algorithms – and candidates know that, so they’re searching for ways to trick the system instead of highlighting relevant accomplishments.
Rather than focusing on how they helped lead a merger that brought in more growth or managed a team that increased profits, job applicants must spend their time ensuring that their resume lists the word “finance” multiple times if they’re applying for a financial role. Keywords such as “annual reports” and “verbal communication”? They must to be included, too. Thus, hiring managers are not privy to the whole picture.
Those aren’t the only guidelines. Resumes might not be tracked if they’re submitted as a PDF (which is commonly how documents are formatted) instead of a Word document. Other rules include listing correct titles and keeping headers and footers empty.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, relying on software leaves HR managers with a stack of resumes of unqualified candidates while applicants who did not follow a strict set of unofficial guidelines never get called for an interview.
This leads to delays in the hiring process, or worse, scheduling interviews with the wrong candidates and completely missing candidates that are immensely qualified.
Instead, an HR department could work with a recruiter firm to learn more about candidates on a personal level.
“Recruiters use hiring software as a tool,” Burchard said. “It’s like using a hammer to build a house: It takes much more than a hammer to get the job done. That’s the job of a good recruiter – to get the right match on the surface and then move to the hard ‘people’ part of the hiring process.”
#3: Relying On Software Is Still A Time Commitment
Hiring software may seem like it decreases the amount of time required to find and contact qualified applicants. However, it still creates a significant time strain for hiring managers and HR professionals.
Take this scenario: You’re looking to fill a senior accountant role in your company, so you post the opening through a software system. A week later, you receive 200 resumes. Although this might seem like good news, the work has just begun.
To find the perfect candidate, you search for resumes with quality terms, such as “accountant” and “QuickBooks.” Filtering through the software – before you’ve even glanced at a prospective hire’s list of accomplishments – is a time-consuming process, which explains why even though 75 percent of hiring managers use applicant tracking software, they still spend an average of 23.5 hours reviewing applicants.
This draining task inevitably lengthens the hiring process for both candidates and companies, with the average job taking over 29 days to fill. Delays cause companies to lose top talent to competing businesses and accumulate the cost of letting a vacant position stay open.
By working with a recruiter to review resumes and screen candidates, you can decrease the time it takes to fill positions and spend your time completing other tasks, such as preparing for interviews or onboarding new hires. In the end, only a handful of qualified candidates need to be interviewed before a hiring decision can be made.
#4: Recruiters Focus On Quality
Because of this major time commitment, talent managers merely skim over resumes. In fact, 43 percent of hiring managers admit that they spend less than a minute looking at each resume.
Although it might seem convenient to breeze through a stack of resumes, it’s easy to miss crucial details – such as a list of accomplishments or leadership positions – by not devoting enough time to each candidate.
Instead of blasting through a number of resumes and hoping for the best, recruiters only send companies its top-notch applicants who are qualified for the position. That way, you can spend more time reviewing a few applications and focus on who’s the best fit for the company.
“The more experience you need, the better quality of a candidate that you need, you’re more likely to find them through a recruiter than just through posting on the internet,” Haigh said.
#5: Recruiters Are Experts In Their Field
There’s a reason why trade publications and websites are so popular: People like to keep up with what’s going on in their industry.
Professional recruiters keep close tabs on the job market and can keep you in the loop on salary trends, unemployment numbers, and skills to look for in applicants.
Not a bad advantage to have over your competitors – and a valuable partner to have on your side.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.