These Days, Recruiters Are Worth the Money


These Days, Recruiters Are Worth the Money

By Vanessa Merit Nornberg 

When it comes to sourcing the right interview candidates, I've never been keen 
to use recruiters. But I recently changed my mind.

My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super 
training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it. 

But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready 
to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even 
get the screening process started.

Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates--
I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential 
applicants--it always takes me a long time to 
find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.

I've tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like, to 
smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to 
local university boards where 
I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow 
crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months 
to find the right kind of hire in the past. 
So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the 
new year, I was not optimistic. 

For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured 
they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right 
people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. 
They're also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my 
job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name 
of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. 
I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening 
would cost me nothing. 

The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated 
because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring 
process, and by my calculations, 
when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times 
as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only 
charge me if she found someone 
I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back 
to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself 
"nothing ventured, nothing gained."

The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six 
by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire--all in a month. 
The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, 
and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from 
than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight 
the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked 
why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, 
she said "because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting 
via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion."

If most people these days are thinking like my new hire, the recruiters will 
clearly have the best selection of candidates every time. Looks like I've got 
an essential new hiring strategy.

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