With the national unemployment rate holding fairly steady around 4.3 percent, it's often said that candidates hold all the power in today's job market as skills gaps spin out of control and disruptive technologies change where and how we work. Nobody understands this candidate-empowering environment better than corporate recruiters.
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So what happens when the recruiters themselves are the job candidates? Businesses need recruiters, and recruiters know it. As such, corporate recruiters not only find themselves in high demand, but they also find their paychecks steadily increasing. Recruiters saw 7.4 percent year-over-year pay gains in May 2017, according to a Glassdoor report.
Who Recruits the Recruiter?
Numerous verticals – technology, manufacturing, trucking, and healthcare, to name a few – suffer from talent shortages that could, in the long term, affect their ability to meet demand and continue to grow. As those talent gaps get bigger, companies start relying more heavily on recruiters to help them stave off shortages.
"Great recruiters know how to find and entice the right candidates for open positions," says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist for Glassdoor. "It is something of an art. Having an eye for screening candidates and good judgment about who will or will not work for a position is becoming an increasingly valuable skill in a tight labor market."
This unique skill set is one that many hiring managers don't have time to fully develop themselves, given all their other responsibilities. Thus, many hiring managers rely on in-house or third-party recruiters to narrow down the candidate pool for them. Sectors that face shortages in talent will only need more help from recruiters in the future.
"The labor market is red hot, and we don't see signs of it slowing," Chamberlain says. "I expect the pay for recruiters to continue to climb as employers look to fill open positions."
But when the talent shortage is, in fact, a shortage of recruiters, where do companies turn? The following tips will help you successfully bring new recruitment staff on board:
1. Fill Knowledge/Skill Gaps
Doubling up on skill sets can be problematic in the long term. Team members can become overly competitive, or they may begin to fear they'll lose their job to the new hire, which reduces productivity and team cohesion.
Examine your current recruitment team and try to figure out where you might most benefit in terms of additional skills or knowledge. Do you struggle to attract candidates on social media? Do you lack an understanding of useful technologies, such as applicant tracking systems? Has your once-vast network stopped delivering valuable leads? Bringing on a new recruiter who can combat a specific problem will help to improve the whole operation. After that, cross-training and close interaction will create a well-rounded team built for success.
2. Consider Alternative Experience
Not everybody built their career as a recruiter. Casting a wide net in terms of acceptable experience may just bring in a better catch. Consider those who work with and understand people, such as salespeople, college admissions personnel, journalists, or marketing professionals. While these candidates might have holes in their experience that need to be filled after hiring, they might also bring new perspectives and skills to the job.
3. Understand Industry/Client Needs
Is it possible to learn a complicated industry well enough to successfully identify talented candidates? Yes. Is it possible to do it quickly? Probably not.
Your new recruiter should have some knowledge or experience of the industry they will be hiring for. If they are needed to recruit top tech talent but don't understand concepts such as blockchain or the cloud, they most likely aren't the best person for the job.