08 Aug 5 Reasons to Hire Experienced IT Recruiters
The current market for IT professionals is extremely hot right now. According to Dice in a report released earlier this year, the tech job unemployment rate in Q1 was 3.5%, compared to a cumulative national rate of 7.7%. Four of the job categories were below 3%, with web developers leading the way at a rock bottom 1% unemployment rate. It’s clear that the IT professional is in high demand. And when IT talent is in high demand, services and staffing companies need to expand the recruiting team to keep up with client needs. However, hiring recruiters is an extremely challenging task. The return on investment can be quite a long journey, not knowing the actual payback for 6-12 months. But in a market like the one we are in, there is a case to be made as to why companies looking to hire IT professionals should hire experienced IT recruiters, versus those not from the industry, or straight out of school. Here are five glaring reasons why hiring experienced IT recruiters is the right move.
- Recruiting is basically B2B sales. Communicating to lure candidates from one place to another requires deep listening and understanding skills. Candidates are unique and each position is unique. The permutations of matches between candidates and IT job openings are infinite. Having a recruiter with experience in matching two-sided needs takes skill. Yes, it’s a numbers game, but do you want your firm to be the one slapping anything on the wall to see what sticks or do you want your client thanking you because you clearly understand their business?
- Comprehending technology takes time. Recruiters really can’t understand a technology department unless they’ve studied them and have had a chance to be educated by those that work within or around the departments. The blurred lines between business units and technology departments have also complicated the learning curve for recruiters.
- Candidates can be shifty. In 2002, Robert S. Feldman, a University of Massachusetts Psychologist, conducted a study which found that 60% of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation while telling an average of two to three lies. It’s human nature to avoid the truth and deceive others. This is no different when it comes to assessing the real skills of a candidate (or if the interviewing candidate is the same one that shows at your client) and uncovering the truth. Recruiters with experience have a better chance of being a skeptic and avoiding a bad experience with a client.
- What’s a hot priority position? Experienced recruiters can smell money and know how to prioritize open positions. Even though management may be steering each recruiter’s priorities, experienced recruiters can get to the finish line much quicker by assessing the situation and making decisions that are more beneficial to the business.
- Compensation Negotiation. In markets where demand for resources is high, compensation rises; a natural economic law of supply and demand. Whether the requirement is to negotiate salary or an hourly rate, it takes experience to navigate the discussion so that the outcome favors all parties included. Experienced recruiters have been down this path before and there is significant value in winning a deal because of the ability to put all of the pieces in place. Green recruiters can only get this experience through on the job training.
In a tight market for resources, the ROI on hiring skilled talent scouts is high when compared to training new recruits. If the base salary cost differential for hiring a more experienced recruiter is $20,000-$30,000 annually, the break even is about 3-4 hires over each 12 month period, assuming a number of factors (same margins or fees, same commission, average bill rates, project value, and high utilization). These numbers can vary, but it’s a safe assumption that a recruiter with experience should out produce a new recruiter by 40-50% over a two year spin up time period.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.