The Gap Between What Leaders Want and What Recruiters Deliver

fill the gap

The Harvard Business Review published a great article, “The Gap Between What Leaders Want and What Recruiters Deliver” written by By Sue Marks on February 16, 2016. This article addresses the subject of  ‘gap’ that so often exists between  the expectations of the Hiring Managers / Business Leaders and the candidates presented to them by both internal recruiters and volume recruiters.

The Gap Created by Limitations

This article further explores the perceived gap in the recruiting ‘user experience’. So often the recruiting process is driven by presumed cost restraints (short term vs. long term), assumptions (poor communication), over exposure (red flags) and possible lack of business experience or acumen. Overlooking the gaps can be a set up for disaster and at the very least a scenario when less is not just more – it is likely the very best choice.

quality over quantityIt is a widely accepted fact that successful hiring depends on a number of variables. When the market is flush with great talent, and there is a high unemployment rate, desirable candidates may be available via online job postings. When the market is tight and specific skills are in demand, hiring the best and the brightest is far more challenging. This is because of the gap in available skills.

Filling the Gap

When talented individuals are few and far between, not locally available or their skill set is very highly valued, expect those candidates to almost always be gainfully employed. When these same candidates are experiencing success in their current role, attracting them to a new opportunity takes much more than an online job posting, emailed job description, open house or job fair.

Turning desirable talent into potential candidates requires influence, expertise and a strategic advantage. It means having the ability to translate business needs into a career opportunity. It uses a targeted and proactive approach in avoiding any gap in expectations. And, absolutely, it also includes a superior network of industry relationships.

Define | Target | Deliver

I trust you will find Sue Marks’ article on what may be a gap in your business, a worthwhile read. If you have any questions, want to discuss what may be your ‘gap’ or just want to speak with a search consultant on the inside track, give me a call. Let’s have a no obligation discussion. It will be a learning experience for both of us.

Expect More than a Recruiter

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The Gap Between What Leaders Want and What Recruiters Deliver

We all know that talent plays a key role in business outcomes. And that means that hiring is one of the most crucial tasks for anyone who manages a team. But according to our recent research, there’s a significant gap between the importance of key recruitment activities to leaders and the performance of these tasks by recruiters. While managers understand the importance of hiring star players, recruiters simply aren’t doing a good job of finding them.

Our many years of experience helping organizations transform their recruiting functions also back this idea up. Simply put, companies around the globe are struggling to hire the talent they need, as shown in the chart below.


leaders & inhouse recruiters

All of the tasks are important to managers when they’re hiring new employees, but one stands out above all others in the eyes of the business leaders we surveyed: delivering quality hires consistently. While this metric was without question the top priority, recruiters performed way below expectations in this area. That’s simply unacceptable.

Here in a bit more detail are the 12 practices referred to in the chart:

  1. They use recruiting analytics to inform business decisions.Top recruitment teams use analytics effectively, learn from data, and create frameworks to make future decisions. Doing so requires a deep understanding of your talent pool and the ability to apply the information to your business. Be consultative in your approach with recruiters, ask plenty of questions, and be cognizant of past areas of success and failure to hire the right people.
  2. They deliver great experiences for candidates and hiring managers.Whether or not a candidate gets a role, the experience they have must be second to none, and that means friendly people and efficient processes. You want to be known as the organization to work for, so give every candidate a positive and professional view of your company. Recruiters must strive to be viewed as experts if they want to deliver this type of candidate experience.
  3. They’re always sharpening their recruiting acumen.Recruitment is a profession, requiring specialist skills and experience. Like any other profession, establishing processes to regularly evaluate the skills of recruiters and supporting team members, as well as committing resources to continuous learning and development, will be the difference between world-class and mediocre. Make sure you know where the strengths and weaknesses are in your recruiting team and work to fill capability gaps accordingly.
  4. They generate insights contrasting workforce needs with the market supply of talent.A buoyant job market creates competition for top talent; in slower times, you’ll have your pick of the bunch. It’s up to recruitment teams to ensure they are taking the market into consideration when building recruitment strategies. If they don’t know what’s happening in the market — which areas of talent are oversupply and undersupply — it will be an uphill struggle to deliver what the business needs in a timely and consistent way.
  5. They innovate to meet the demands of the business.There are dozens of ways for companies to connect with potential hires. High-performing recruitment teams stay up to date on the latest technologies, embracing social channels and creative tactics to attract brilliant candidates. But beware of overreaching for the sake of innovation, which can distract from core recruitment work.
  6. They craft a comprehensive strategy.World-class recruitment teams create talent strategies that support business goals. They completely understand the objectives of the business and are able to align their own department’s aims with those of the overall company.
  7. They communicate why your company is a great place to work.It’s up to recruiters and hiring managers to demonstrate exactly why their company is the right place to work. Communicating an authentic company culture online and in person is key to encouraging great applicants to get engaged. Make no mistake, your brand can make or break an ideal candidate’s decision to submit their resume.
  8. They simplify the recruiting process. The best recruitment teams make the process as simple as possible for the applicant.
  9. They meet changing demands.When under pressure, talent needs and priorities can turn on a dime. But rather than rushing to fill roles, the best recruitment teams build agility into their selection, assessment, and screening processes. They make sure they have a full talent pipeline at all times, with a range of potential candidates across relevant skill sets, job levels, and geographies so they can fill roles quickly without compromising quality or cultural fit. And they embrace hiring technology to create a slick process that can easily flex to recruit one person or 1,001.
  10. They deliver quality hires consistently.This is the big one. Hiring great people should be the standard for recruitment teams, not a future aspiration. World-class recruiters maintain a steady talent pipeline and are never tempted to hire an employee who is not up to scratch just to fill a role.
  11. They use measurement to their advantage. The success of your recruitment team depends on the quality of the individuals they find. All organizations should have a measurement model to benchmark the success of talent strategies according to KPIs. Only then can the team begin to compare and analyze results over time to understand the effect their efforts have had on major organizational initiatives.
  12. They provide strategic thinking to shape business decisions. The recruitment team has a key role to play in making business decisions a reality: bringing in the people needed to execute strategy. Their insights about what capabilities new talent could bring to the organization should be taken into account when strategic decisions are made.

Creating a world-class talent acquisition team takes time, training, and dedication, but the business case is clear.

Sue Marks is Founder and Chief Executive Officer at the global Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) firm, Cielo

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“Leaders don’t flock. You have to find them one at a time.”
~ Ross Perot, founder Electronic Data Systems (EDS)

Solving IT Search & Leadership Challenges

JKS Talent Network is an exclusive Priority Search Practice specialized in the recruitment of Mid-Management to Executive Level Talent. We yse a fresh perspective and a purposeful approach.

Contact by email or call Janis directly @ (604) 731-2073  

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Expect More Than a Recruiter with Talent Search Consultant Janis Strathearn