July 23, 2018 – Colleen Niese -

Does Your Headhunter Use an ATS Solution?

When it comes to hiring, some positions are super straightforward to fill while others present challenges each step of the way: a parking operator opening in a new market needing a really strong operations professional, or sourcing for a newly created position (IT comes to mind) and no one within the organization has a clue what to ask or how to write a job ad to attract the right candidates. Never mind that simply between HR and the hiring manager, no one has the bandwidth to vet, interview, or evaluate potential candidates for the best fit.

Often times in these situations, organizations consider outsourcing the hiring to a third party recruiter. If you're embarking upon such a process here are three key tips to ensure you partner with a professional who will present the best candidates, based on your needs and objectives.

How do they leverage technology for speed? There are plenty of stats that conclude A-level talent will last in the market for only a matter of days. One of the best ways to keep that candidate profile engaged is to gain and keep their attention through social media and online presence. Ask your potential headhunter two specific questions to gauge their expertise in this area: 1) How do they leverage social media to post the job? and as importantly 2) How do they grow and maintain their candidate database through their online presence? If you hear in response what you could do yourself, a little bell should go off in your head.

In our experience, we design a social media campaign specific to each position we search that includes the usual channels - LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed, etc., - but also job sites designed to attract particular professional profiles, and webpages where the profile is looking to either learn more about the company we represent or the opportunity itself. We recognize we're competing with a lot of content (duh) wherever we post, so our job ads are inviting, blend graphics with content to pop off the page and are drafted to sell the position to candidates.

Our website is our best vehicle to draw passive candidates in and connect with us so they can learn more about opportunities they may want to consider and lots of tips and best practices to best prepare for the interview process, from the initial call all the way through the final interview. In our 2017 Parking Industry Career Seeker Survey, 90% of operations professionals, roughly 300 individuals, responded they would consider a career move.  We target those folks to be a part of our network through blogs, free tools, and lots of content directed at preparing them for that next step so when it does come along, we can move at a good clip to get them in front of the client.

Do they apply The Golden Rule for candidates? When vetting headhunters, ask specific questions related to how they treat their candidates through the process. Keep in mind, whoever you engage to hire on your behalf is an extension of your employer brand and making sure their approach promotes your reputation in the marketplace is paramount.

Our first step with each client is a 60 minute web-based conference call to take a deep dive on their values, strategic plan and culture to get real deep on the profile itself through the lens of how it fits within the overall vision for the organization. From there we tailor the interview questions and evaluation criteria to ensure our process aligns with the client expectations and each candidate is treated with the same level of service we provide to the client.

For those candidates we present to the client, we first prep them with a good backgrounder on the company and each stakeholder they'll meet and follow up afterward with a phone call to obtain from the candidate's perspective, what she thought went well, where she may have not been as strong and next steps. For those candidates who aren't selected, we'll spend a few minutes with them providing both the reason as to why and when asked, a bit of coaching as to how they may better prepare for the next opportunity.

Lots of little questions help make the best decision. If you're evaluating external recruiters for the first time, here are some good "devil's in the detail" kind of questions to help determine their level of professionalism:

  1. Let's talk money first: What's the fee schedule and what exactly are you buying? Do they provide compensation reports and/or recommendations on relocation packages? How many paid job sites do they post on their dime?
  2. Do they provide candidate evaluation tools such as a behavioral assessment and how is it used in the overall interview process?
  3. What can you expect in terms of routine client communications, metrics reporting (typically provided by an Applicant Tracking System - ATS) that represents their efforts and results?
  4. Lastly, the fine print: Do they offer a mutual NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and candidate guarantee (i.e., a set amount of time, typically 90 days post-hire, that if the candidate doesn't work they'll replace free of charge), and their payment terms?

The cost of hiring is mostly hidden - people's time covering for the open position, interviewing candidates, coordinating process logistics and evaluating the final one selected; and that's just to get someone through the door. On the other side, if it's a bad hire, more hidden costs are rung up with perhaps a dissatisfied customer, lost new business opportunities or affected morale as a result of poor leadership and a hiring manager who realizes he'll have to repeat this process all over again sooner rather than later.

Hiring managers can materially mitigate this too-often worse case scenario by bringing on a professional recruiter who can demonstrate a comprehensive process that holistically considers the client needs, market demands and candidate career objectives to guarantees the best hire.

Do you need help finding the best candidate for a tough to fill position? We can help!  Contact us today to learn more at letsconnect@marlyngroupllc.com