What's the Real Purpose of a Recruiter?

February 19th, 2014
Daniel Banfield
Video Interviewing

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to ask some talented and seasoned recruiters about their thoughts on where recruiting will go 5 years from now. I was impressed with their ideas and how much they had already thought about this topic. Over the years, recruiting has stayed relatively constant. A recruiter would post a job, put out some feelers in their personal network, screen some resumes, and present the best candidates to their hiring managers. Although the methodology remains the same, recently so much has changed from a social media, economic, and candidate behavioral perspective.

The Real Purpose of Recruiters: To Be Talent Advisors

When speaking to the recruiters, one theme really stood out. Most felt that their title should evolve from “Recruiter” to “Talent Advisor” in some shape or form. Rather than simply hunting for and securing talent, a recruiter is responsible for the entire experience of a candidate from the second a candidate is engaged, up to the time the candidate walks through the door for their first day of orientation. For many recruiters, this represents a huge change and a lot more responsibility. Making this task more challenging is the common theme of recruiters being asked to do more with less. It isn’t uncommon these days for a recruiter to take on more requisitions with fewer resources (sourcing support, advertising, etc.)

When I ask recruiters to describe their role or job, I often hear about activities they perform rather than specific objectives/outcomes of their role. I hear things like, “I call x amount of people or perform x amount of phone screens, or present x amount of candidates to my hiring manager.” While these activities are often required to perform a job, is it really what a recruiter does or what makes him/her effective as a recruiter?

To Be a Matchmaker

I’ve known many recruiters and have learned the recruiting process of many organizations. The job of a recruiter is to match the right person to the right job, period. The recruiter is responsible for assessing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other traits of a candidate that will meet the requirements of a job.

To that point, a recruiter’s time is most valuable when he/she is able to spend most of their time with the most skilled candidates. The constant phone tag, scheduling, and lengthy conversations with the wrong candidates are just time wasters that get in the way of the valuable conversations they need to have in order to place the best candidate.

I believe most recruiters love that they are able to speak to a candidate, communicate the value of joining an organization, and lead that candidate step-by-step through the process of joining their organization or client. There isn’t a greater joy than having an excited candidate and hiring manager when the decision has been made to make an offer, and the candidate accepts.

To Interact with Candidates

To be a true “Talent Advisor,” recruiters need to spend most of their time interacting with candidates and hiring managers to ensure the right person is hired for the job. This means less time scheduling, less time screening, and less time with unqualified candidates. Recruiters have the responsibility of the lives/careers of their candidates as well as the productivity and success of their company. This requires the time to build a relationship with the best candidate to ensure the best candidate is hired. Even with all of the changes in the industry- the job and responsibility remains the same the job of a recruiter is to find the best candidate for a job, and ensure that person is hired and successfully brought on board.