Recruiting: It's Not All In The Name

By Derek Zeller

It’s true. In fact there is an interesting perception that because you’re big, you are better. Everyone wants to work for you.  Who wouldn't want to work at Google, Amazon, and Apple?  Apparently there are a few.  How can I back up this statement?  Well, in my best Jim Carey voice “LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING!!”

The reason I know this is that ALL these companies have recruiters, ALL of them.  Now why would that be? They have a great brand, everyone knows who they are. Why do you need recruiters? You need them to get the people.

Although they know of you, they are:

1)      Afraid of the machine

2)      Wary of the process

3)      Been burnt before

4)      They just aren’t that in to you

We are the agents of the company we work for. We are RECRUITERS. The very definition of recruit is “someone who supplies members or employees”.  Having a big name may be part of the picture but relying on it is silly. We need to, yes I am going there, SELL our company to the candidate.  I know there will be multiple postings on recruiting is not sales etc. but get over it. It just is. I know that a stellar candidate is going to be chased after by Google and Microsoft.  Both great companies so who wins?  IMO the company with the better recruiter does.  I know, I know, there are many variables but at the end of the day the recruiter is the final voice the candidate hears and trusts. If you were doing it right, you were closing them from the very beginning.

I don’t recruit for a large company.  I recruit for a medium sized Government contractor in DC.  I recruit for some of the most difficult to find, capture, and retain talent in the world.  These folks are Cyber and IT and all have clearances.  There are a lot of “Big Boys” here Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, etc.  They all have a brand. They are all well known.  I compete against their recruiters with 10 times the budget that we have and guess what? I beat out the big companies almost every time when it comes down to winning the talent. Why?  I SELL my company with all that I have to get these folks. My method is simple. I know what they do. I listen to what they want. I make the match.  I pre-sell the opportunity and am listening to them all the way through the process. I don’t rely on a “Big Boy” reputation with the arrogance that they MUST want to work for my company because blah blah blah.

This rant is really for my brothers and sisters in the corporate world and was not written to chastise you or your company. In fact a few folks, Amy Ala, Cathy Anderson, and Will Thompson are some of the most passionate and talented recruiters I know. They work for large very well-known companies and they use that to their advantage. They never take it for granted and neither should you. No matter who you recruit for do it with passion. Do it with honesty and credibility. The candidate will know it. #truestory

Derek Zeller is a Senior IT Recruiter with ARTI, Inc. You can connect with Derek on LinkedIn or Twitter