Anyone can find good staff, so why use a recruiter?

Would you extract your own teeth with a garden tool? Would you legally represent yourself at a trial? Would you operate on your dog because you learned how to dissect a frog in biology 15 years ago and feel that hey, Fido will be just fine. Dog, frog…what’s the difference anyway? If you answered yes to any of these questions and are not a qualified dentist, lawyer or vet, then you, my friend have delusions of grandeur and I am calling the SPCA immediately. If you tend to hire professionals for these tasks, it would be safe to assume that you understand that these are professions. People have studied towards these professions, have countless years of experience in their respective fields and earn their living doing these jobs every day. The same would apply when working with recruiters and yet, I frequently get asked why anyone would use a recruiter, especially since placing people in good jobs is the easiest job in the world?

I pay an accountant to manage my books and submit them for audit. Although I understand what credit and debit means, I in no way, shape or form could adequately reconcile my bank statements or submit relevant documents correctly in time for an audit. After working with my accountant for several years, he recently approached me for help. I was tasked with finding an accountant for his growing firm. To be honest, I was surprised he hadn’t approached me sooner and when I asked him, he said he had spent countless hours looking for his own people and hadn’t been very successful doing it. After paying for advertising, sifting through countless irrelevant CV’s, interviewing candidates and making an offer to a candidate who didn’t accept, he called me. One week later, an accountant was sourced, interviewed and sent. I am pleased to report that she is still happily employed and now handles my books. I told him to stick to accounting, I’d stick to recruitment. After all, there is room enough in this world for both of us to do what we do best.

So, here are 6 reasons why companies should use recruiters:

Their network is better than yours

Recruiters have the tools, subscriptions, know-how and a network that is better than yours. They pay for advertising on job boards and keep CV’s on their database so at any given time, they have an abundance of relevant profiles at their fingertips. Since they have been in the industry for several years, candidates apply directly and through word of mouth. Recruiters nowadays are tech savvy and use various social media platforms to attract candidates, they regularly attend job fairs which increases their candidate database. Just because LinkedIn makes candidates more accessible to everyone does not mean you will be better served to do searches for talent without a recruiter. Unless you know how to use LinkedIn effectively, it can become a maze of endless profiles and unless you have a dedicated person handling this task, your searches are going to go nowhere.  If you think that LinkedIn will answer your recruitment prayers, it won’t. It takes time to strike up rapport with candidates on LinkedIn and when this is not your core function, do you really have the time to send numerous InMails and wait for a response?

They know how to attract talent

Recruiters are experts at understanding the motivation to move. They spend countless hours looking at different profiles and can read between the lines. By looking at timelines, job history and current market trends, they can predict whether a candidate is really motivated to move and even if the prediction is incorrect, they have the time to investigate the matter. This is their core function and what they get paid to do.

Time is money

Searching for candidates takes time and time is money. Is it wise to distract your managers and leaders with this function?  Do you really want senior managers scouring Facebook and LinkedIn trying to find talent? Are you sure you know what their time is worth? Your managers should be busy leading the strategy of your company and managing processes and people, not spending endless hours reaching out to potential employees. Your financial managers probably know how to make really good coffee, but would you insist they make coffee at a meeting with international clients? Is that how you want them to allocate their time?

Market knowledge

Recruiters speak to employers and employees all day, every day. This is how they earn their keep. They will fine tune what you are looking for and define your job vacancy quickly and accurately. A recruiter knows what the market dictates and can advise you on salary, benefits, and what your competitors are offering.

Recruiters focus on recruitment

Perhaps you have an inhouse HR Manager, but chances are, recruitment is only a small part of the job. HR focuses on budget, strategy, performance appraisals, coaching AND recruitment. It is not the only function of HR and therefore not always a priority. With so many duties, how would HR have the time to recruit effectively? HR will be busy filling easier jobs where active candidates apply directly. They do not have the time nor resources to find passive candidates.  Recruiters focus only on recruitment and have the ability and time to dig deep and find those hard to reach candidates.

Recruiters work for free (kind of)

What other group of professionals do you know that will work on a contingency basis? Recruiters guarantee their work even though they have little control over what you do to ensure the success of their placement. They dedicate man hours to searches and pay money to advertise even when the client decides to fill the role internally or close the position at the last minute. When a candidate leaves because they don’t like the company or the company fires them, the recruiter has no control over this, yet they guarantee their work by giving money back or offering a free replacement. When was the last time you bought a car, drove it for two months and then took it back and got a free replacement? Accountants and lawyers bill for every hour of their time, recruiters only charge on success.

If you are confident that you can attract the best candidates using your limited LinkedIn subscription, have an HR manager who can dedicate all hours to sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates while simultaneously handling numerous other tasks then good for you, you should open a recruitment agency! If not, save yourself the time and money and focus on growing your business while the recruiter focuses on growing your team.

Maria Titan is the co-founder of WorkForce Cyprus. She’s a champion recruiter, cake baking wannabe and super mom to two humans and three furry things.