The Changing Role of the Recruiter

May 17, 2011

It’s no surprise: the role of executive recruiters has changed, and so has corporate America. The critical focus of a CEO is the health and long-term growth of his/her company and to identify, recruit, and secure the top three percent of employees.

The top three percent? The top three is a small core team that is absolutely essential to set the stage for the next 10 years of a company. The remaining 97 percent? Increasingly becoming a commodity. Recruiters must develop a process to find the “best of the best” who can focus on short-term quarterly goals and drive the company on a daily basis. The key to identifying this ever-changing, fluid group of individuals is to use both global and local social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) effectively. Recruiters will need to use these tools to identify, track, and be ready to reach out and entice individuals to join their company.

With these changes, the question remains: how can recruiters stay on top of their game? I have the inside track of the CEO perspective and his/her needs from its corporate recruiters. I see three reccurring trends:

First and foremost, corporate recruiters are salespeople. Today’s professional corporate recruiter needs to be more strategic, have a keen business orientation, and more importantly, have the ability to really “sell” prospective employees on the company. Recruiters must understand the corporate culture, the business goals, and talent needs of the company in order for it to attract the right individual.

The corporate recruiter’s role is being elevated to talent management. HR is changing, and many of its functions are being outsourced.  The corporate need to recruit and retain employees is growing in value exponentially as companies seek to hire the best and the brightest to join the company. As hiring begins to increase in the post-recession economy, the skills and experience of a talent manager are critical. Recruiters will be judged on who they invite to the corporate front door and how they contribute to the company.

Developing new data analytics is required. Yesterday’s cost-based data (how recruiters show their value and progress) are being replaced with “quality-based” cost analytics. How many recruiters did it take at what price to hire X number of employees is not as important as the percentage of new hires are performing at or above average (based on peer review) and how many are still with the company after one year. The new data should reflect how the performance of new hires and their longevity within the company push the company closer to achieving its business objectives.

If you want to hear more, I’m speaking at the Fall ERE Expo in Florida. My topic “How to Make Recruitment Relevant When Only Talent Matters” will discuss the art of recruiting and retaining great talent as a business objective and how to keep a company competitive as recruiting evolves into a more strategic role for the company.

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