In my mind, the engagement level of an organization's Recruiters are a major indicator of how well that organization's Recruitment function performs. Over the years I have worked with hundreds of Recruiters in countries all over the world and one of the characteristics that always differentiated the performance of the great Recruiters from their Recruitment colleagues was the high levels of passion and engagement they brought every day to their role and their organization.
I remember in my early years working in HR in the 90's as an Employee Relations Leader for a global professional services consulting firm and always envying the Recruitment team for all the enthusiasm and excitement they showed in the job. At the time, I was on the other side of the engagement spectrum, my job was advising leaders on performance management and terminations. Although my role was always interesting and the experience gained from this role over the 3 years was invaluable, I had a difficult time remaining positive and passionate every day about what I was doing. Luckily for me and my sanity, I moved into a Recruitment leader role which dramatically changed my engagement for not only the organization but also for the function.
Enough about me already. Let's get back to the engaged team of Recruiters who I envied. They loved their roles and were passionate about bringing the best talent into the organization. They were passionate about the company and invested a great deal of time as part of their role in learning more about the organization at every opportunity. They were truly engaged in what they did, how they did it and who they did it for. They genuinely enjoyed dealing with people. They worked well together as a team even though many aspects of their roles were individually focused.
You might be asking yourself, "OK Simon, thanks for sharing - but what impact did this have on their success and performance?"
The number one impact that I saw first hand was to the talent they were recruiting into the organization. Recruiters are the initial "face of the organization" to every candidate. Obviously having an engaged Recruiter who is positive and passionate about the organization they recruit for will be felt by the candidates they are recruiting. I don't think I would be ever be sold on moving to a new role and organization if the Recruiters and other stakeholders I met with during an interview process didn't seem happy with where they worked and what they did. We all have a sixth sense when it comes to communicating with people and sensing either their passion or negativity even if it isn't openly displayed.
Here is another great example of the benefits of having an engaged Recruitment team. About eight years ago I joined a large financial services company and was tasked with building a top level recruitment team from scratch. One of the larger divisions of this company was a Call Centre with approximately 2000 employees. The Call Centre hired 60-120 people every month and experienced close to 60% new hire attrition which was both disruptive and costly to the business. Obviously part of my challenge was to not only build a process that ensured the right people were hired for these roles versus the traditional "bum in the seat" call centre recruitment mentality, but to also put together an engaged team of Recruiters who were up to the challenge of quality high volume recruiting. I was able to put together a great team of Recruiters, all with very different background but they shared one common characteristic......they were engaged to be successful and were passionate about recruiting the right talent.
Within 6 months, the new hire attrition levels were down to 15% and the call centre quality and performance metrics of the new hires rose significantly. The Recruiters cared about the outcome of their hires. They were personally engaged in the success of their hires. I was fortunate enough to have worked with one of the best Recruitment teams I have ever come across - their success is directly linked to their high level of engagement with their role and their organization.
Take a minute to look at your organization's Recruiters - how engaged and passionate are they about what they do? Are they the right Talent ambassadors for your company?
Simon Parkin is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition of top talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon is the Managing Partner at The Parkin Group Ltd. and is focused on working closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices.