When Recruiting Top Talent, Quality Intel Is Key

Recruiting Top Talent

Recruiting Top Talent

Even the best recruiters are only as valuable as the information they have. Our team spends a great deal of time understanding not only the position being filled, but the industry, the company as a whole and the hiring department. Well-rounded knowledge about the client is critical for a recruiter to understand their needs and paint an accurate picture of the company’s ideal talent. Executive recruiters go to great lengths to collect, absorb and understand this information up front, and put even more effort into data collection for mid-search course corrections. The key to making the right course corrections relies on getting the right information and feedback from the client, which can be a major pain point for the client-recruiter relationship. Yet without good intel, even the most straightforward search can fail.

The Knowledge to Execute

It may seem that the following is irrelevant to the opening that you are trying to fill, but for the technology startup in today’s market, every aspect of your company and industry can have an impact on your hiring efforts. We speak with our clients about their business plan, and try to understand their current position in the market, including their strengths and weaknesses. We especially dig into both the short and long term goals for the startup, including plans for business and revenue growth, funding, exit strategy, team growth and the vision for market position.

We also go through the structure, needs and goals of the expanding department in order to relate the open position to the goals of the group and company. Understanding the dynamics of the current team is a key aspect of this data, and is helpful when understanding the needs of the team in place and how the opening relates to those needs. Uncovering the cultural aspect of the team, as well as the company, is paramount. There is no shortage of literature and data around aligning a company’s culture with the personality and style of a candidate. And of course, we thoroughly discuss the opening itself, considering the work that the hire will focus on, the skills needed to complete the work, and the experience needed to reinforce those efforts.

When executing, we rely heavily on the information we collect. We target and source candidates based largely on all of this knowledge. It allows us to focus on a very narrow window, and zero in on candidates that match this criteria. We thoroughly qualify the potential candidates that we locate, based again on this information. And then we send them off to our client. Gathered intelligence is present every step of the way, further demonstrating the need for its accuracy.

Continuing Education and Re-Calibration

After interviews, we follow up with both sides of the table to get feedback. This part of the process is key to a successful placement. Sometimes, we deliver the right person the first time. But on other occasions, the first round candidates we deliver are found to be off course in some way. When this is the case, good feedback is paramount to making the right course corrections. Tell us where we failed! Was there a missing skill set, or did they lack the caliber of skill? Not enough experience, or not the right experience? Did they lack passion? Has the interview process resulted in a change in expectations? Or maybe a few interviews have led to realizations around what you actually need versus what you thought you needed.

Many times, the feedback we receive is pretty straightforward, and a simple adjustment will put us on the right track. But problems arise when the feedback lacks substance, or overlooks subtle nuances that end up being the root of the problem rather than just a side note. This can especially come into play when the cultural fit is lacking. A good recruiter can filter through this information to uncover the deeper issues, and will work hard to do so. But again, any successful course correction is dependent on feedback and its quality.

Ongoing, Accurate and Detailed Intel is Key

The bottom line is that poor intel and a lack of quality feedback results in poorly calibrated deliveries, eventually leading to a breakdown in the recruiter-client relationship. And in a market where talent is scarce and moving fast, companies must also adjust and move quickly . Making quick course corrections during your internal or external recruiting top talent efforts is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you are working with the best recruiter in the industry, or the absolute worst. If you don’t provide quality intel and feedback to your recruiting partners, your hiring efforts will most likely continue to fail.

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