By Brian Pho
Working with a manufacturing recruiter (headhunter) can be an asset to your business. I have met many business owners and department heads who are absolutely scared of recruiters. Most of them had a bad experience with a recruiter in the past makesing them apprehensive or hesitant to work with a new recruiter.
The recruitment industry is large and due to the lack of capital for recruiters to get introduced into the industry, business owners can easily get 'burned' if the recruiter is not a good fit. We are thought of as people pushers and paper generators who charge enormous fees for the amount of work we do. I've heard the following complaints from many business owners:
- Recruiters don't screen candidates well enough.
- Why use a recruiter when I can post on a free job board and get the same qualified candidates.
Since there is no standardization in the recruitment industry, recruiters use their own style and business approach when working with business owners. Good recruiters specialize in certain niche industries. What Makes a Good Recruiter?
I strongly believe good recruiters act as HR partners to a manufacturing facility. They spend the time to meet and understand the client's unique requirements and then follow through with a substantial search to source out candidates and bring their specific qualifications to the decision maker.
These qualifications always go beyond the 'resume' which we all know can be fabricated. It also requires the recruiters to 'meet' the candidate in person to fully understand their background and to observe personality, behaviors and actions.
A good recruiter can determine a candidate's strengths and weaknesses and effectively present them to the client as a preliminary screening. Good recruiters understand hiring key personnel for a facility is a long recruitment life cycle. Sometimes the recruitment cycle can take weeks, while others can take months, depending on the level of the position. Recruiters respect the client's time and understand it is difficult to get key decision makers in a room together. We can push a bit, but there is always a delicate balance between being considered annoying or being appreciated as useful.
We also act as negotiators or agents between the client and the candidate. With every job search assignment there is always sensitive information passed to the recruiter by the client or the candidate. For a client, it could be the reasons why a search is active, specific qualities they are looking for, which may or nay not be listed in a job description, or the search can be classified as confidential.
For a candidate, it could be issues regarding compensation, salary/bonuses and reasons for leaving. These are touchy and at times uncomfortable subjects to talk about during a first meeting when a candidate meets a client. A good recruiter will solidify these facts and keep the confidentiality high between the two parties. Depending on the client, we can offer suggestions to smooth over sensitive issues.
Good recruiters understand the client's market! Often business owners ask recruiters to take passive candidates from their competition. Sometimes taking from the competition can work out. I have found that often the potential candidate doesn't really understand the client's culture, work environment and hierarchical structure making the recruiter's knowledge of the client and his/her situation a valuable tool for success. Sometimes recruiters can advise on the right candidate to be hired even though that candidate is coming a 'little' bit from outside their own industry.
Overall, using a recruiter as an intermediary can be a time-saving and beneficial insight into the hiring process. We have the ability to understand a variety of industry segments and work with people in order to find that 'perfect fit' for the organization. We have an understanding of your industry, current market trends and have a good idea of who's available and who isn't. Often categorizing and identifying the right individual can be a difficult process but generally it is rewarding to both the candidate and the client.