How to hire a recruiter. Look for MacGyverisms by Newton Software
How to Hire a Recruiter. Look for Macgyverisms.January 8, 2013 By Joel PassenIt came up again last week, one of my favorite things to pontificate about: how tohire a good recruiter. This time, I was sitting in a meeting with a team that isplanning to revamp their recruiting program this year. We spent hoursbrainstorming and talking about recruiting strategies that promote accountability,visibility and all of those other ‘ilities’ that look good on a white board. Then thequestion came up, who’s going to actually fill these jobs? Smack. Just like that,Groundhog’s day. And so started the same conversation that I have been havingfor my entire professional career.When I start meetings, I often introduce myself as a recovering recruiter. Tosome extent, I’m still a recruiter. Recruiting is a big part of my professionalDNA. Over the years, I’ve hired and trained dozens of recruiters (agency andcorporate). In 2010, I shared my insights on what attributes you should look forwhen hiring a recruiter. I’ve even published an interview guide andcompetency matrix on this blog.
The basis of my formula for hiring successful recruiters was created over 10years ago when I was running a high-end, technical recruiting agency in SiliconValley. Back then, I hired an industrial psychologist to develop a selectionmethodology for choosing recruiters with the greatest likelihood to succeed (afterlots of failures of course). The psychologist created benchmarks and apsychometric assessment to distill the quintessential traits that make recruiterstop performers. Here are the attributes that we used to test for:Self-ConfidenceFlexibilityFocusThis year, as I once again reflect on how to hire a recruiter, there is an attributethat I’ve added to the list: resourcefulness. I still firmly believe that self-confidence, flexibility, and focus are excellent measurable qualities that bestpredict the potential success of a professional recruiter. But, given the ways thatrecruiting has moved to the web in the past decade, in 2013 a recruiter truly hasto be like MacGyver, consummately resourceful. As such, a major asset of anyrecruiter today should be the practical application of some technical knowledgeand the inventive use of common items – like job boards, resumesdatabases, applicant tracking systems, Microsoft Office, Google docs, etc.With the proliferation of available data on the internet, recruiting is no longerabout keeping a private database. Especially as an internal recruiter, you don’tget by anymore with who you know. It’s about staying organized, collaboratingwith your stakeholders and being able to capture and document all of yourwork. to collaborate and to show your work. Today, recruiting is about being ableto process lots of data efficiently and effectively. This means that modernrecruiters have to be at the very least familiar with tools that help manage timeand information as effectively as possible.Resourcefulness naturally requires some intellectual curiosity. Recruiters have toconstantly look for ways to automate or streamline iterative but necessary tasks.To be successful at any profession, one needs to stay up on the latest trends andtools. This has never been so true for recruiters. It seems like every week there’sa new recruiting tool or new productivity tool on the market. Having a generalawareness of what’s out there and how these new tools work is critical to besuccessful as a recruiter in any field.So this year when you’re looking to add to your recruiting team remember to lookfor the must-have attributes in your candidates: self-confidence, flexibility, focusAND resourcefulness. Ask interview questions that prompt candidates to sharetheir technical aptitude and their clever tricks managing their time and lots of
data. Find out their recruiting equivalents of duct tape and a Swiss Army knife.What are their “Macgyverisms”?What critical attributes do you look for when you interview recruiters? About Joel PassenJoel is the Head of Marketing at Newton Software, a technology company thatdesigns applicant tracking software for small and medium-sized employers. Joelhas been involved with the intersection of technology and recruiting his entirecareer. Follow Joel: Google+, Twitter,