What made you decide to go out on your own?
All through my recruiting career, I have worked in two situations. One where there was a business development manager or employer between myself and the client or where I had direct access to the client. 100% of the time, having direct access to the client resulted in better communication, better candidates, better relationships, better results overall.
Whenever there was a “middleman,” it was like playing telephone. There was never enough information, miscommunications were frequent, data going back and forth took forever to receive, and I heard a whole lot of “let’s just get them a resume.” Not only did I feel like that was doing my clients a disservice to throw an “Accounting Manager” at them (that’s not a job description!), but how do I describe a job to a candidate with little to no information? I am doing them a disservice as well; which then perpetuates the recruiter stereotype, which I am not.
I always pushed my coworkers for as much info as possible in those situations and may have stepped on toes along the way. However, I did what I felt I needed to do for my candidates and clients.
I just realized how much more successful I was when I had the direct connection with the client and how much I loved recruiting that way. Being able to couple that with the consultative approach to talent acquisition that startups require along with getting to have my Golden Retriever as my new coworker – makes this my ideal job!
Why am I not getting many applicants/qualified applicants to my job postings?
Most likely because you don’t have a strong Employer Brand! Notice I didn’t say you don’t have AN Employer Brand. One of my favorite sayings is – “Brand or be Branded."
Candidates are out there talking about you whether you like it or not and whether you are putting anything out there or not. For as many people as we have here, the Silicon Valley is small. Candidates in our market know each other, are very good at doing their research before they apply, before interviewing and before they join a start-up.
Take a look at what your candidates are seeing. Do a quick Google search on your company name, look through your social media pages (are they up to date, do they accurately represent what it is like to work here). Do an audit on your application process (how long does the application take, are you asking for repetitive information). Check out your careers page (does it say anything about the team, benefits, growth, advancement, cool projects or is it just a list of open jobs).
Employer Branding is a continuous, ongoing process to present your company as a desirable employer. If you aren’t getting the applicants are you hoping for, your brand needs a refresh, or you want to get your Employer Branding going but have no idea where to start, reach out and let’s chat!
Isn’t Talent Acquisition the same thing as Recruiting?
Not quite. Recruiting is a part of Talent Acquisition. Talent Aquisition is strategic and focused on the long-term while Recruiting is about filling vacancies. Talent Acquisition works to continually attract employees to your startups. It’s an ongoing process of networking and relationship building with candidates at the top of their field and encompasses things like your Employer Brand.
There is no one size fits all blueprint for Talent Acquisition, but generally, you first want to look at your overall strategic vision and develop an understanding of future workplace needs. Create and execute your Employer Branding, source, and screen pipeline talent all while implementing the proper technology for tracking future talent, metrics, and interviews.
WON'T I GET MORE CANDIDATES IF I USE MORE RECRUITERS?
It may get you more, but do you want more candidates, or do you want the right candidates? When you give a job out to multiple recruiters/agencies at once, they are all going to get you the people who are available the fastest. You are forcing them into a competition for a commission, not into looking out for your best interest. Instead, you want to give a recruiting partner the proper time to really dig into their network, look at your competitors, source and persuade passive candidates, and deeply screen numerous candidates to find the ones that are the right fit for you.
Why do we need to have a long conversation and meet in-person?
Because I am not like other recruiters you have worked with in the past. I don’t have interviews for the sake of meeting weekly metrics that my employer has set. I interview people because I believe they have a strong background that my clients could benefit from either now or in the future.
Our initial phone conversation consists of a high-level overview of your background as well as details about your career goals (and detail about the client and position if we are discussing one in particular). I never want to put you into a role that doesn’t match what you are looking for.
My job is to get to know you. The only way I can do that is by listening to you tell your story. Your recruiter needs to understand what you’re looking for. If they don’t, they will be unable to advocate on your behalf with potential employers. If, after our initial conversation, there is a mutual interest in moving forward on an open role, we will set up an in-person meeting. During that one-hour discussion, we talk more in-depth about the client’s position and your experience as it relates to the role. Candidates and Startups are both my clients and deserve (and are given) the utmost attention.