The unique challenges of recruiting recruiters

Your recruiting personnel can make or break your business success. As we know, your success is entirely dependent on the people working towards it, and your recruiters are the people who find those people. Getting it right, from the top down, is key – ideally the first time – and hiring the right recruiter takes a certain type of expertise.

When it comes to recruiting recruiters, there are unique challenges. The biggest one of these is simply that the current market is extremely competitive.

LinkedIn reported earlier in 2022 that the number of recruiter job postings had “skyrocketed” over the last year, pointing to continued economic recovery across industries.

According to the report, job listings for recruiters tripled between January 2019 and January 2022, outpacing growth in the job market overall and meaning that demand for recruiters is even higher now than it was pre-pandemic. That means it’s a recruiter candidate’s market.

And, accordingly, recruiter salaries have increased. An analysis of job postings in large metropolitan areas compiled by Revelio Labs found that salaries offered to recruiters rose by 14% between 2021 and 2022, the most out of any occupation (followed by education and corporate trainers and public relations professionals).

That challenge leads to more challenges, which include finding your market differentiator and identifying what makes yours a great place to work. If you want to attract talent, there has to be a reason to choose your workplace over someone else’s.

Another challenge is that a large number of candidates are passive, which means you have to work harder to get them. It can be done; “passive” doesn’t mean they’re not looking, but it means, again, that employers need these candidates more than they need employers.

Unique solutions for recruiting recruiters

Fortunately, there are solutions to these challenges. First, as stated above, anyone in the market for top recruiting talent must first identify the reasons people would want to work for them. What makes your company a great place to work? This matters more than ever with your human resources hiring because, not only do these people have to want to work for your company, they are the people who have to convince others to work for your company.

To succeed, you have to find your employer brand differentiator – and it can’t just be your “company culture.” Whenever we ask managers to point to what makes their workplace special, they say “our culture,” almost without fail. But let’s be honest for a moment – your culture probably isn’t as great as you think it is. Sure, maybe you’re nice people who work hard and try not to burn your employees out. You have fun group events and maybe, in non-pandemic times, a drink cart on Fridays. Maybe you even think of your team as a “family.” But, you know who else touts those supposed virtues?


So, what really makes you different?

What makes a great workplace?

The things that make a great workplace might not be what you think they are. They include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Open communication policies and goal sharing, so that everyone is aligned and can work together and nobody feels marginalized or that they are working in a silo.
  • Involving your employees in the decision making process. The more one feels that they are an integral part of the success of something, the more they feel invested in working towards that success.
  • Comprehensive and thorough training and onboarding. When employees are not properly trained they don’t know what is expected of them, their job performance suffers, and so does their self-esteem and their relationships with their superiors. Everyone is disappointed.
  • A sense of purpose. Research consistently shows that millennials want to work for a place where what they do has meaning. If you can demonstrate how your products and services make the world a better place, this can go a long way. Ditch the ping pong table and start a corporate social responsibility initiative.
  • Advancement opportunities. Advancement opportunities are among the top reasons candidates will choose one job over another. Nobody wants to feel stagnant and that there is nowhere to move and grow.
  • Flexible work options. As we’ve learned since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs can be done from anywhere and forcing employees to commute to the office is not going to cut it if you want to attract talent. Research has found that a vast majority of workers want to work remotely and will stay longer with employers that offer the option to work from home. It’s also been found that productivity has increased and internal communications have improved.

Align your internal and external employer brands

Employers also need to recognize that your external employer brand and your internal employer brand have to align. No matter how much you try to showcase your company as a great place to work with your blog and social media posts, if people don’t like working there, it will come out. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool, and it can work against you, just as much as it can work in your favour. When they hate their jobs, people tell their friends. And, when people apply for jobs, they often start tracking down current employees and asking questions – and looking at sites like Glassdoor, which feature anonymous employee reviews. Make sure your employer brand is solid both internally and externally.

Pay people what they are worth 

You should also pay people what they are worth – and not just when you are creating a counter offer or giving someone a raise when they threaten to quit. This sort of thing will  get you known quickly in the marketplace for doing just that. It should go without saying that you get what you pay for, and if you’re short changing your employees you will be short changed in return. That said, there are ways to compensate for a lower budget and they are included in the list above. Some people will exchange a higher salary for flexible work options or a sense of purpose. Identify what you have to offer on all levels.

Don’t drag out your hiring process

And the final tip of the day: don’t drag out your hiring process. Wherever possible combine personnel during interviews and keep the process to two interviews. Dragging it out over weeks of multiple interviews will likely result in you losing the candidate you want and will be a waste of your time and theirs. Nobody needs seven interviews and two months to decide if they want to hire a person. Long, drawn out processes tell people your decision making skills are lacking and you have no respect for people’s time. Neither of these things screams “great place to work.”

Follow these tips. Start cleaning up your internal and external employer brand presence and streamline your hiring process. You’ll see the results.

You don’t have to do it alone. At Raymond George Consultancy we will facilitate every step of the recruitment process. From connecting you with candidates, through the interview process and the offer, and help you secure the talent you need to succeed.

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