1 Make Decisions Driven by Data
To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. Historically, how long has the agency taken to hire, from start to finish, service (account managers, analysts and CSRs), sales and marketing, executives, technical (claims, loss control, risk management) and administrators? What has been the process for advertising openings, processing applications, conducting interviews, determining compensation, responding to counter-offers, new hire retention, cost per hire, etc.? I don’t expect agency executives to be experts in recruiting. It’s not their field, but with a lack of understanding comes assumptions about the difficulty (or lack thereof) in filling critical positions. If you don’t show them data and cost, you will hear them say: “Candidates are out there. They fall off trees. Why aren’t we finding good people?”
2 Treat Your Position Like an Outside Consultant
Your seat belongs at the leadership table. Too often agency leaders lump internal recruiting into the rest of the HR department. When that happens, you’re not seen as a strategist. To be viewed differently, you must articulate the impact of recruiting on all other aspects of the business. Speak the executive’s language – growth, profitability, budget, cost containment, retention and culture.
3 With Real Power Comes Real Responsibility
Don’t shy away from being in control. It’s what they’ve hired you to do. Own that by requesting decision making authority over aspects of the process such as budgets, utilization of resources (vendors, outside recruiting budgets) and requisition status. If widespread control is hard to obtain, start small and request just one area of dominance. You determine the interview process. An individualistic process per position or hiring manager undermines your success and is detrimental to the whole organization. Essentially, you create a RPO.
4 Organic Recruiting on Purpose
Question: What is the toughest position for an agency to proactively recruit? Answer: An opportunity hire, or a position without a formal vacancy. Most companies reactively recruit because their process is designed to fill vacancies. Strive for an equitable balance of time spent on speculative recruiting and filling immediate needs.
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