I’m starting to notice something. A lot of the complaining about internal recruiters comes from TPRs trying to work with large companies where they’re trapped by or redirected to the dreaded vendor list. You know the ones – Fortune 500 Company, hundreds of positions, and you’ve got junior HR chickie saying you have to be on a list with 40 of your closest friends before you can submit a candidate. Never mind that your guy is perfect for the job. Forget that the VP of Whatever is your best friend and really wants to interview your candidate. Nope, there are rules. And a list.
So you’re told to go sit in the corner, wait for a Talent Acquisition Specialist (or whatever we’re calling them these days) to send you an ATS generated email with a job description written by HR and a sprinkle of Legal. You are then instructed to submit your candidate (resume only please, no cover letters will be accepted) and you are not allowed to phone into the company for any kind of a status update. You are to hurry up and wait while keeping your candidate warm and engaged just in case the so-called internal recruiter wants to phone screen him or her 3 weeks later.
When did we decide this was recruiting?
I have no problem with large corporations. I’m sure this has nothing to do with me being rejected for a recruiting gig at a large corporation because back then I didn’t have any “corporate experience” (My response to that was “I’ve recruited for hundreds of corporations, how about you?” but I digress). I’m still left wondering why on earth any third party recruiter would want to work with companies who put this sort of price tag on their opportunity. It’s like recruiting has become a never ending season of The Bachelor – go through a bunch of dates (which bear no resemblance to any date I’ve ever been on) to try to get a rose – if you get enough roses you’ll last till the end and might get a proposal. Most of us have seen how long THOSE relationships last!
Of course not all large companies are created equal. Some genuinely want a better partnership with their vendors- um, I mean partners. I talked to a corporate recruiter recently who was looking at how to scale back the agencies they worked with so they could get BETTER SERVICE. So it’s not impossible.
What’s a recruiter to do while you’re waiting for that guy to call you? Easy – find better targets. When you’re looking for companies who will benefit from your service (recruiting is a service, never forget that), ask yourself these simple questions –
1. Are they small enough to need me? Bona fide job openings, too much work for HR or internals to keep up with.
2. Are they big enough to pay my fee? Full fee for full service, as my friend Luke Collard put it.
3. Do they want an actual staffing partner? Don’t be one of these dumb twits on reality TV standing around waiting for a rose. Find companies that want a relationship – not an inbox full of resumes.