A Recruiting Mindset: Servant or Business Partner?

A Recruiting Mindset: Servant or Business Partner?
A Recruiting Mindset: Servant or Business Partner?

I’ve worked with a lot of recruiters of the years, broadly speaking I think we recruiter folk tend to fall into two categories: those of us who want to be liked by our hiring managers; and those of us who would rather be respected by our hiring managers.

Of course you can be both liked and respected by your hiring managers, but getting their respect is much more important and difficult than being liked.

Let me share with you a story; I once worked with a recruiter who was loved by his hiring managers, let’s call him Adam.

Whenever you asked one of hiring managers what they thought of Adam their response was the same every time “he’s great, he does everything we need him to do and he does it so quickly”.

Sounds like Adam is doing an awesome job for his hiring community right?

Not really, you see when you got under the skin of what was going on and had a look at the data you’d see a few things going on:

· Candidates were undergoing a four stage interview process, many dropping out before the final stage.

· More offers were being rejected than accepted

· We’d used a custom built technical assessment which on average took candidates around 10 hours to complete, it also meant hiring managers spent several hours scoring each assessment

· Too many roles were being left unfilled

· Agency spend was higher than it should have been

· Many contractors were being brought in to plug the gaps whilst permanent recruitment continued. The day rates were way higher than they needed to be

· Adam was working silly hours to keep up with the demand.

But the managers loved Adam, and Adam thought he was doing a great job because of the ‘relationship’ he had with those managers.

Of course the managers loved Adam, he did everything that was asked of him. The managers decided on the hiring process, they decided which agencies to use, they decided the entire hiring plan – Adam just administered it.

Adam added no value to the partnership, hell it wasn’t even a partnership. It was a master-servant relationship between Adam and his hiring managers. They certainly didn’t see him as peer, let alone respect him as a Recruiter or Talent Acquisition expert.

Adam had totally the wrong mindset, he worked for his managers rather than with them. Despite being the talent expert, he let his managers determine the best way to hire. He didn’t challenge, he didn’t make recommendations of alternative methods, he didn’t bring his expertise to the table.

To be a truly successful recruiter, to build great relationships with your managers and bring in the best talent for your business you need to change your mindset. Stop thinking of hiring managers as your customers, they’re not.

The business you work for is your customer, and it’s your job to work in partnership with hiring managers to bring in the best talent, in the best way for your business.


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