Is recruiting Luck or Skill?

15 10 2010

I am constantly looking back at my successes in order to attempt to duplicate practices that work and eliminate those that don’t. Sometimes I look at the recruiting business as pure chance.

I spend a majority of my day tracking down candidates that are possibly qualified to find out that many of them are just off the mark, not interested in the position, or totally the wrong candidate. Then out of nowhere I find the perfect candidate who wants the job and is exactly what my client has asked for.

What I realize when looking at my past success and failure is that every placement I’ve made is a lucky situation for me. Something inevitably makes that candidate want another job. I’ve placed candidates that needed a new job because they had been unemployed for two years while taking care of an ill family member. I’ve placed candidates who have been told they are being laid off in 90 days. I’ve placed candidates who I’ve called one week after they were passed up for promotion at their annual review. All of these situations were by chance and lucky for me and my clients.

What is all comes down to though is Skill. I would have never spoken with any of the candidates that I’ve placed if it was not for taking the time to know my clients, their jobs, and my candidate’s situations. I would not have placed any of them if I didn’t put in the effort to conduct a search and continue to search after 90% of the candidates that I spoke with were not able to be considered for one reason or another.

In the case of my largest single placement to date I knew who the ideal candidate was within two days of searching. I called the candidate and established a relationship. He indicated that his employer was just purchased by a major competitor and, at his senior level, stood to gain a lot by staying for a while and cashing in on his stock options. There was no way that this candidate was going to leave and potentially give up significant earnings.

Well, I stuck with him and contacted him on a regular basis asking for referrals for the same position that I knew he was ideal for. He gave me a few but they were not the polished diamond that he was. Almost two months past and my client began getting frustrated because they couldn’t find the perfect candidate and time was closing to find the right candidate for their project.

In one of my follow ups to the ideal candidate he finally said, “Hey, is the position still open. I’d like to be considered if it is” The rest of the story is that he was interviewing within a week in person and received/accepted an offer a week later. It seemed like the easiest placement I’d ever made because it went so smoothly.

What recruiting comes down to is skill and persistence. You must be able to maintain relationships. It’s not so much luck and chance as is it skill. You must know when to back away from a candidate and when to keep following up. While luck will always have to fall in your direction, you have to know what you are looking for in order to find it.

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One response

17 12 2010
Selvaraj

Hello Dean,

Your article is wonderful,
I too came across these kind of situations.
Nice article, Good work. Keep it up.

Regards,
Selvaraj
selvad@symbiountech.com
770 408 0337

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