Can our Recruiter Really Do That?

By: Chris Young

The qualified labor "gene pool" is clearly getting pretty shallow. All indications are that it will continue to get worse. Right now It's as good as it will ever be, and that's a scary thing to say the least.

With the labor market tightening up, the harsh reality is that there are a finite number of qualified people available for any given job. And everyone wants to hire them.

As the labor pool tightens, it presents a dilemma: how does an organization ensure they will have a good shot at attracting qualified talent?

The answer for many has been to use recruitment or employment agencies. While these types of organizations perform a valuable service, many aren't disclosing the fact that they are recruiting for your competition as well.

Recently the subject of recruitment agencies came up at a conference break. There were several banking organizations represented there and one representative mentioned, "Even though we are working with XYZ Staffing (a national organization), it is still difficult to get the people we need." I noticed a surprised look on the faces of other attendees. It turns out they were also using the same employment agency for their recruiting needs.

Over the next several days and meetings, I came to realize that many banks in the area were depending on the very same employment agency and not one knew their competitors were doing so as well.

Perhaps I am old fashioned but this is just plain wrong. If I were one of the banking clients, there would be one big question that would strike my mind: how do I know that I am getting the best and most qualified applicants? If there are ten banking clients and five "best" applicants, who gets the best five? Furthermore... Why wasn't I made aware of this practice in the first place?

Is there a lottery system to who gets the "best" applicants?

Would it be a function of how much I am paying?

How well I am liked by the employment agency?

Can I trust my employment agency?

Please don't get me wrong... I am not trying to say, "Don't use employment agencies." What I am saying there must be full disclosure. If I am retaining the services of a professional service firm and they are providing that very same service to my competitor across the street, I have a right to know that.

I am also saying that if you want complete control of your hiring process, then use the tools the employment agencies use and find your own high performance candidates.

Key thoughts to protect yourself...

- Ask your employment agency if they are hiring similar positions to yours in the same geographic market and in particular are they assisting any direct competitors.

- Ask how they determine where the best candidates go. In other words, who gets the "first look" at the candidate?

- Ask what you can do to be moved up to get a "first look" at prime candidates.

- Ask if they have a "Gold" or "Platinum" plan that enables you a first look at prime candidates.

- Ask if you are getting another competitors' "rejects" - people that didn't "work out" for them but are now being referred to your organization to see if they "work out"

Other employment strategies that can help you work around employment agencies...

- Become an employer of choice. Find out what your employees want out of their working relationship and provide it.

- Check out any free job posting information resources that are available online. Many states have postings of resumes online via a "Job Service". Believe it or not.... Many staffing agencies tap these free resources in their quest for good talent. Why "play the lottery" with already slim pickings via a staffing agency when you can tap these listings for free already?

- Use to understand what exactly is needed in the position to ensure you are hiring the right person in the first place. A poor hire decision will cost you in terms of employee retention, morale and productivity.

- Use a to identify the proper behaviors, values, and personal attributes of the candidate match this information to the job benchmark. Again.... The single biggest challenge we see to employee retention, morale, and productivity is a poor hiring decision.

- Birds of a feather flock together. This strategy can work wonders but can also backfire dramatically. Your best team members probably have friends or acquaintances that are similar to them in behaviors and values. Encourage them to share the names of those they feel would make a good contribution. Where this can backfire is if they refer people who don't work out. This puts you in an extremely awkward position. What to do? Use a powerful personality profile like ours to compare the candidate's behaviors, values, and personal attributes to the job benchmark. By doing so, you dramatically reduce the risk of making a poor hiring decision you will regret later.

The labor market is getting thinner and it won't get better any time soon. The ultimate employee selection and retention strategy is you need to take control of your hiring strategy. By job benchmarking and using our powerful personality profile instrument, you will be able to not only improve your employee selection, but also reduce your turnover by minimizing your poor hiring decisions. This strategy will be much more effective than using an employment recruiting agency that doesn't have your hiring needs as their sole focus.

Your bottom line requires this focus anyways.... The more effective your employee selection strategy, the more of the following benefits you will experience....

- Improved Productivity

- Increased Employee Morale

- Increased Employee Retention

- Improved Customer Satisfaction

We can help. Give us a call.

1-866-988-7246



Human Resources
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