Budget Impossible: The Case For Recruiter Training

budgetWe all spend a lot of time online dealing with nonsense from half-assed recruiters, at some point or another. Regardless of our years of experience, we will inevitably come across someone who is doing our profession a disservice just by sharing the space. So we shun, mock and rant against them in public forums. It’s akin to being really sick.

We’re treating the symptoms, but not the root cause of the disease. What if recruiters were receiving more training – up front AND ongoing? It might not eradicate the disease, but we’ll be able to minimize it.

Few companies invest in enough any training for their recruiters. It’s as if the perception is that recruiters magically appear, equipped with all the tools and know-how to be wildly successful. When in reality, the very nature of recruiting (whether rightly or wrongly) is that it is virtually all “trial-by-fire.”

Conventional wisdom is that if someone can last through that first year, they will likely last at least a few more, and the weak will be filtered out as being “not cut out for this field”. Fair or unfair, it’s the prevailing perception.

Let’s not forget that, there isn’t exactly a Bachelor’s degree in Talent Acquisition. So in a function with no clearly defined educational path, it would stand to reason that it’s a function that requires some core fundamentals training.

If recruiters could get on the right track early and understand the different facets (read: fundamentals) of recruiting, it would have multiple benefits. Among them, it would increase the credibility of recruiters (assuming they can then apply this training) and it will lend some structure to an industry that is in desperate need.

It wouldn’t be so ground breaking. There are certification courses for designations that you want to achieve in various other fields. Want to be a public accountant? Read up for the CPA. Want to manage certain large-scale projects? The PMP is only a certification away. Heck, even auto repair has a technician certification to attain.

Why not recruiting?

So, why? Why invest in recruiter training now? It’s been working to this point, right? Right? Yep, recruiting has carved out a niche for itself. But, with so few barriers to entry, an oft-times lack of defined measurement, we’re becoming a profession of “fell into it” instead of “strove for it”. Take into account the wide variation in practices across companies and industries, and you have a compounded problem.

The benefits for organizations that want to invest in the mechanism that delivers their most important asset – people – are plentiful.

Huge Upside For Cost Savings

With some core recruitment and sales (that’s right) knowledge, these recruiters can apply this knowledge to aid them in recruiting and closing talent. More work being done in-house, means a reduction of cost for external recruiters or agencies.

So, using round numbers, let’s say the average salary for a role they are recruiting for is $100k. With a 20% agency fee, that’s going to be 20k in addition to what you are paying that person. When the smart money is on adding that into your budget, so they can be trained. They’ll save more than one agency fee, and the majority of training out there will cost a fraction of agency fees.

Recruiting Becomes More Budget And Finance-Friendly

How-to-Save-MoneyCost savings isn’t just a victory that Recruiting can savor in. Finance takes notice as well. Saving money for the company is a language that they understand. They can quantify it. In addition, having a reputation for being able to mitigate costs is helpful when at the annual budget bargaining table.

Increased Productivity And Performance

Well-skilled recruiters can find people for those “hard-to-fill” roles; roles that would typically be filled by agencies. They can have more in-depth and high-level conversations, adjust their communication to the intended audience, and they can CLOSE.

They can also become more of a strategic partner in the execution of the organization’s growth strategy and employment branding.

Lacking the right knowledge, they are merely performing rote, task-driven functions – with what is arguably an average success rate.

Grow The Talent You Want

Many companies want “junior” recruiters. Frankly, it’s because they come cheap. But if we want them to stick around – heck, if we want them to succeed – we’ve got to build them up and help them evolve into what we want. That’s where the training comes in.

Don’t misunderstand me; I think there is always merit in having a senior level recruiter(s) in the mix with any less experienced ones. That’s part of training too, creating mentoring opportunities. Training isn’t always on a webinar or in a classroom. The best training is done right in the office, as it happens.

But this is America. We’re lucky that we get to make choices. We can make good recruiters who can execute and also participate in the discussions throughout the industry. They can be prepared to do it with tact and bring credibility to their company and to themselves, IF we give them the tools.

Or, we can just leave the “expertise” up to people who haven’t “been there”, and that leaves us with guys like this

radloffAbout the Author: Pete Radloff has over 13 years of recruiting experience in both agency and corporate environments, and has worked with such companies as Comscore, National Public Radio and Living Social.

With experience and expertise in using technology and social media to enhance the candidate experience and promote strong employer brands, Radloff also serves as lead consultant for Exaqueo, a high-end workforce consulting firm.  An active member of the Washington area recruiting community, Radloff is currently a VP and sits on the Board of Directors of RecruitDC.

Follow Pete on Twitter @PJRadloff or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 




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