It happens at parties, barbecues, at the gym: I tell people I am in the recruiting and staffing business and they ask me what I specialize in.
When I started my Burlington-based recruitment agency, I realized I need a good answer to the question.
Like many small business entrepreneurs, I took on many diverse clients until I got a sense of the type of recruiting I enjoyed.
I learned the ropes through very transactional hiring: filling large call centres and responding to immediate needs for temporary employees.
It was ‘quick fill’ stuff that required minimal strategy and allowed for very little consideration of the new hire’s alignment with company values and leadership styles. It was fun, fast, frenzied…all about numbers and selling.
I soon discovered I liked working with a number of key clients in diverse industry sectors. It was more fun than just filling a job description with a suitable candidate.
This is where recruiting turned into consulting and partnering.
I hit my stride when I was able to take a deeper look at who goes where and why. Yes, I looked at skills and qualifications, but along with this came a deeper consideration of how certain personality styles paired with particular environments and management styles. It became about strategy on how to attract top talent, how to work on challenging technical hiring projects, how to help my clients hire for lasting fit all the while mitigating their risk.
My answer to “what do I specialize in” became clear once I spent some time working with clients in a more consultative and strategic way.
Better yet, my wheelhouse became working with clients in a wide variety of industries who had struggled in their hiring. All had made what they felt were hiring misfires and lost valuable time that would have been better spent running and envisioning their businesses. My specialty had evolved into supporting companies with difficult hiring needs.
The challenge: how to establish a meticulous and layered approach to identifying top talented people in a time-frame that works for the client?
My business now involves…
- Drawing in the ideal candidates.
- Establishing connections with people whose personalities fit with their peers and client groups.
- Finding people who can contribute quickly and require little training time to perform at a high level.
I love working with companies who historically have been ‘willy nilly’ with their hiring. There has been no real rhyme or reason and no structure or planning to their decisions.
Recently, I began coaching small businesses, companies with 100 employees and less, on creating a hiring strategy. Mapping out the steps to develop a consistent hiring process creates a great candidate experience, mitigates risk by including a number of checks and balances and engages staff in decision-making.
Recruiting is essentially marketing now. Everyone in the company can be involved.
As a headhunter, I often operate in the sourcing and selection phase. In my wider recruiting consulting services, I operate in the ‘how to attract phase’: how to market to your audience to attract who you want to hire as well as elevate your brand and generate excitement in the process.
Proper interviewing and vetting is key but it only works if the plan has been set and the vision for what you are hiring for is clear.