Stopping Recruiters From Taking Your People

Q. Our industry is one that is actually growing during this recession.  Some of my people are getting calls from recruiters offering them new positions. We can't afford to lose anyone at this time. Is there any way to keep recruiters away from my people?

The short answer is no. Good recruiters are as good at their job as your best people are at theirs. Recruiting your best people is what they get paid to do. However, they don't offer your best people a new position as you state. They only offer them a potentially better opportunity. Maybe it is better, maybe it isn't. Determining that is what the interviewing process is all about from a candidate's perspective.

You can't stop recruiters from calling your people, but you can make your people recruiter resistant to a large degree. The best way to stop recruiters is by making sure that your best people don't want to leave. I have made thousands of recruiting calls in 30 years as a recruiter. Employees that really enjoy their work,  the company they work for, and respect their boss, generally thank me for calling and then turn down a new opportunity to move forward. Why?

I have discovered that the best way to defend against recruiters is to make sure you continually provide your employees with three things; 1) The opportunity to always be learning. Top talent require this. 2) Belief that they are a making an impact. Top talent don't want to just perform busy work. They want to know that their work is meaningful and impactful. 3) They are growing and becoming better. This requires a boss that they respect and that is willing to take the time to understand their needs. A boss that is willing to challenge them and makes sure year after year that they are better at what they do than the previous years. Most people don't leave a company, they leave their boss.

If you ensure that your employees are learning, impacting your company, and have a boss  they respect, you will also stop recruiters. A byproduct of this is that your company will get a reputation as a great place to work so finding new people will also be easier.

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I welcome  your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Is It Possbile To Find Reliable Recruiters?

Q. Our company has had bad experiences when using recruiters. How do we find a reliable recruiter?

A. One of the most important things a good recruiter must be able to do is recruit passive candidates, i.e. candidates that are not actively looking for a new job, but open to talk for the right opportunity. Good recruiters must be able to quickly identify the motivations of the candidate, present a compelling reason for them to talk with the recruiter, and gain the trust of the candidate. If they can’t do this, then those candidates willing to make a job change will tell the recruiter “Thanks, but no thanks.” Great recruiters are able to demonstrate to top talent how this opportunity will help them grow, how they will make an impact on the organization and work for a boss they can respect.

Good to great recruiters should add a lot more value to the hiring process than just finding candidates. The best recruiters are trusted advisers to the hiring manager and candidate. The recruiter meets multiple times at the company in order to understand the company’s culture and they should spend time with the hiring manager putting together the measurable goals to be achieved by the new person. The recruiter should help to develop an interviewing plan, they should clearly understand the needs of the candidate and communicate those to the company. The best recruiters will personally conduct a face-to-face interview with all candidates before presenting them to the company. A good recruiter will anticipate potential landmines, such as compensation issues, and address them before they explode. Finally, a good recruiter will alert the hiring manager to any issues that would cause the offer to be turned down, before the end of the process. In short, great recruiters do a lot more than just find people. They make sure that all the issues are addressed so the deal comes together and is a win/win for both. If the recruiter does a good job, two things will never happen; the hiring manager will never think, “You’re not the person I hired” and the candidate will never think, “This is not the position I accepted” or worse, “You’re not the person that hired me.”

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I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please forward this to your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anyone you think would benefit from this article.

Brad Remillard