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There is a 'bug' in your hiring engine and you are not treating it

 Your phone rings...you reluctantly pick the call...

Person on the other side....Are you looking for a job? We are hiring! You work on python? How good are you at an R? What's your CTC? Can you come for interview on Monday? Call usually ends around this semantic.

Does this style sound familiar? ....................Now tell me, do you need a rocket scientist to do this call?

No wonder...

Commonly, the bottom rung of HR folks (Are they really HR folks? What is that HR into them? Some non HR, non-grad Customer services execs, or, any half educated telecaller can get there!) We usually find such people in TA, these days! This is such a low intellect job! Who made this so demeaning and non-glamorous? Body-shoppers? In early 2004, an HR manager at Wipro told me that he worked for the largest body-shopping company. He is currently heading HR at a Semi Conductor company, based at Delhi- NCR.

Remember, all this recruiter 'dhandha' started with a hot headhunter kind of a role, who were no less glamorous than the vamps! Insider, socialite. deal maker, etc. You did not see most of them unless one day you met them to discover, it was all for one such silly , hankering TA Manager/recruiter at a search firm!

Don't feel offended, things have not changed for recruiters in past 20 years! They have become less and less attractive. No wonder most of them want to find a cool parking lot in the HR's lazy little world that remains under rocks, unnoticed for generations!

Some B-schools get you celebrity status, high class citizens, who feel offended when they are asked intriguing questions in the interview! They are people who create future, don't ask them what they did in the past and how meaningful was that for their customer. One such Director-HR at a pharma MNC, shared his trophy that he got as a finalist from his company for playing a change-agent! The trophy had his name mentioned wrongly. It was written in reverse order. If I asked you, have you heard of a movie star called Gaurav Kumar, would you be able to find any? No. But what if I asked you, "Kumar Gaurav"! Oh, the "love story" movie guy! You got it.

People hired from XLRI, TISS, other top tier B schools of HR in India, often get placed into Talent Management, OD, Learning, Change Management, Capability building and other sexy (sounding) HR projects. If you placed them in Talent Acquisition (recruiting), they get depressed! Their elite community considers them, out-caste!

Folks from tier 2 colleges and many of you may agree, mostly got hired to begin with screening resumes and lining up and interviewing (checkbox interview screening) junior folks! 

Hiring is such a critical discipline and it needs schooling! We created varsities in companies but never thought about recruiters, who were keeping an eye on talent and ears on every talent discussion! Grooming them is a commando training! Does any company have even a capsule of such programs that cuts at the key skills, tech trends, business cases, talent analytics, the hot beds and talent-choice quotients? How much time and money do we invest in creating a hiring garrison? We can't be mercenary and expect to win a talent war and guard them too!

I personally believe recruiters/TA guys are seriously neglected! Just don't wash your hands by training them on tools to hire! ATS, LinkedIn, belong.co, etc! Help them rise intellectually too. In absence of which they are treated like call center agents!

No wonder we see, recruiting function being managed by the average of the better lots. Overall results? Lack of knowledge and sensitivity for; company's EVP, its brand value, its prestige quotient, etc,. Candidates treat them dime a dozen callers.

Observed behaviors of such recruiters? Poor communication, arrogance, poor vendor and candidate management due to poor knowledge on hiring, subject matter and thus making hiring a labor-market activity! Thus getting to interview chore and hire the desperate ones, the liked-ones and most often than not, the signature-below-average employee! Wollah! Welcome hiring Ninjas, off to the photo shoot for social professional media as the guardians of the coveted 'talent world'! They claim they have demystified hiring!

When quality of resume goes down and the recruiters including the Directors till schedulers get sound advise from hiring managers. What they do next, they go to LinkedIn and write an update, "Looking for recruitment firms, please share your company profile at this email ID....". End of it. This I saw a TISSin from medical device MNC writing on LinkedIn. This is flea market approach to hiring and vendor identification. There is no set standard for MNC in such matters is disappointing.

There is no difference in approaching the best hiring firms than approaching the best talent! 

Naturally, who will respond? Those who by any chance look at this update and seem interested. 

JDs posted/pasted mostly are a ritual, put this on IIM Jobs, copy-paste/link it to LinkedIn and you get applications, look at applications, apply minimum common sense and send them to hiring managers, start interviewing parade and offer someone!

Is this the way talent is mapped, calibrated and invited-integrated to the organisations, aspiring to be the world leaders? Is this the expectation from the recruiters (of all levels from VPs till sourcers)? Is this what you pay millions for?

I have found HR folks/Recruitment folks/Managers and all more of a bottleneck in hiring than facilitators, because they block the communication channel between a recruitment partner and the hiring manger. 

When I asked to speak to the hiring mangers directly, it was considered outrageous by the HR person, who manages the hiring function. And when some good HR/Recruiting folks allowed me to talk to /facilitated my talks with the hiring manager, I found huge difference in the amount of information that was given earlier and were hidden, some very critical for search! Some information given earlier by the Recruitment Manager and HR Managers were wrong! 

The best way to hiring top talent is to work with the best set of recruiters (Recruiting partners) and allow them to directly talk to the hiring manager! They do not need middle-men, who mostly harass them! 

How to hire the best recruiting partner?

Spend time, have patience, research and INTERVIEW them! Invite the shortlisted to meet your leaders and get one more open interview at your workplace!

How many of you do it as a process which is documented?

Most of you manage old time relations-comfort level based recruiting partners! The same mind set goes for employees and you expect change? Wonder why it is not happening?

How much time have you spent training and developing and evaluating and rewarding your talent partner firm?

What have you done which was in your written plan? 

You do not care who is selling your position and how? It's your brand and you care less!

It is that exciting success-based game! This process is largely exploitative and creates more looser than winners!

Most of the business in recruiting is success-based (which means lottery despite your best efforts). It is a lose-gain scenario when multiple recruiting partners work on the same position, mostly. Lose for the set of recruiting partners and gain for the recruitment manager (who has his life cool, as he has resumes and interviewers are not cribbing) . Gain for the company as they get to see many folks and hire who fits their bill. Fits the bills is a big deal-maker! Better you know the hiring manager and your chances of success are higher. Working only through company recruiting folks is no less than shooting in the dark. Large number of recruiting partner companies have been exploited, frustrated into the process. It is a brutal-cruel game of success-based relationship with company. 

What matters to recruiter is resume and good resume and if your resume are not good (most of the time it means not fit for them) you just get to hear one word. "REJECTED". Why? If you dare ask, Answer is "You and not getting the JD". "We are not here to train you in sourcing"? Arrogance, thy name is corporate recruiter (not all but majority are like that). 

Hardly any in corporate recruitment hierarchy ever thinks of developing best recruitment partners? Why? They do not know how to do that and they do not have time for such things! They will call 10 recruitment firms and BOOM, here you have loads of resumes to screen through! It is a WHOLESALE market and not WHOLESOME business! 

And in all this process, you said, "employer branding"? What crap! They are for the time, when company has decided about the EVP! In last 30 years, they could not find one, in next 10 years, they may write one? 

Some smart HR guy will write it, in lines with Google, Netflix, etc irrespective their leaders and people would never know, "Are we really like Google and Netflix? OMG. Why did you not tell this earlier?

How to exploit the talent partnering firm?

No one knows this better than the corporate recruitment folks at most places. Many are exceptions and they do great work. Thanks to their leaders and culture. Leaders who have Right education and have not grown just in title but in real capability! 

Here I suggest a different way-

Give them a crisp JD, get them to interview the hiring mangers, ask them to articulate their search strategy and give them measures of success.

List the firms you want folks to come from, with set of projects and experiences and structures and kind of success stories besides the essential facts of education. Ask them to share search report on top 5 candidates and present to hiring manager on the given matrix of search: Company, Role-KPIs, expanse and key co-ordinates, Reporting and reports, Critical Experiences, success stories and then answers to "interest in the current role". What 5 key questions he had to dig more about the role and success factors around the role/position? What 3 big/medium/small concerns he has about the role, factors around it. Answer from the search/talent partner for "what will make him more interested in the role and how to intrigue him into the role". What shall hiring company discuss, ask and engage in terms of "current, challenges, excitement and future of the role"

Ask in the report the comp benchmark details from similar jobs in similar companies.

Hire search partners who can give you the expected. Big names and MNC are good to tag with and compare how they fare against some firm who is passionate about your company!

 Hiring needs to be liberated from the shackles of unfit-recruiters!(again all in recruiting from top to bottom!) 

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