Hiring great employees for your small business can be a difficult and time-consuming chore. That’s why many small-business owners opt to use an outside recruiting firm to search for, vet, and rank suitable candidates.
However, the quality of the applicants you get from a recruiter depends on the quality of the recruiter you select. Here are some simple, straightforward tips for selecting one who’ll best meet your needs.
1. Look for expertise. First and foremost, search for recruiters who specialize in — or at least have some degree of knowledge of — your industry. They’ll be able to “talk the talk” and will know the necessary qualifications of the position you aim to fill, so they’ll recognize the special needs of your company more quickly. Their expertise will allow them to deftly select the top candidates, including those with the most appropriate training and most relevant experience, from the rest.
2. Scrutinize the recruitment strategy. Before you hire a recruiter, ask for details about how he or she will seek suitable candidates for your open position. If the plan isn’t smart and savvy, look for another recruiter. How can you tell? High-quality recruiters scour the whole industry and any other relevant sectors for top candidates. They not only search their own and/or their company’s applicant databases for a wide range of candidates, but also talk to many different contacts, and regularly scan relevant social media.
3. Make sure your priorities match. While discussing your goals with potential recruiters, thoroughly quiz them to gauge how they’ll weigh the objective, subjective, and intangible factors that are important to you in making hiring decisions. You’ll want to choose a recruiter who gets what a “good fit” means at your company. Select someone who understands the cultural factors that will make the difference between just another average employee and an excellent one with whom you can forge a long-lasting relationship.
4. Value honesty. Too many recruiters try to fill positions by “selling” a candidate and an employer on each other’s assets. But truly savvy recruiters eschew salesmanship: They prefer to find a candidate who honestly fits the requirements of your available position and your company. Avoid recruiters who try to “grease the wheels” with hyperbole.
5. Check your “chemistry.” When all is said and done, what makes for a good recruiting experience is an in-depth, mutually respectful, trusting, interactive relationship between you and the recruiter. That’s why these four other factors should lead you only as far as considering one or more competent recruiters. Your final decision regarding which one to hire should be based on strong personal chemistry, too.