The Modern Recruiting Approach

The Modern Recruiting Approach

The ways in which companies select and work with 3rd party recruiters is long overdue for major transformation.

What worked in the past doesn’t work in the modern recruiting era.

This is especially true when recruiting for high impact revenue generating and customer facing roles.

Companies are often hesitant to engage outside recruiting partners when they have dedicated in-house recruiting or HR teams. The decision to engage a recruiter is more often reactive than strategic and usually is driven by demands from the business.

How and when companies engage external recruiters varies.  In many cases budget is a key factor.  When roles remain open and the internal recruiter has exhausted all efforts, a 3rd party recruiter is then engaged by the recruiter or the hiring manager. The budget for external recruiting resources is often absorbed by the line of business engaging their services.

Corporate Recruiters

Every company needs to have a strong internal recruiting engine at some point. Internal recruiters are responsible for posting jobs, reviewing applicants, finding candidates, managing the recruiting process, generating offers, checking references and a long list of administrative tasks.

When it comes to hiring for key roles that impact revenue like sales, marketing, alliances, etc… The internal only approach often produces less than stellar results:


  • Recruiters have too many open jobs to fill – average number of open reqs ranges from 15 – 30 at any given time
  • Lack of relate-able experience or understanding of the roles they are recruiting for
  • Limited experience and therefor limited credibility as a career adviser with candidates
  • HR vs business experience
  • Tunnel vision – only seeing one sided company view
  • Inadequate network

Contingent Recruiters

The same is true when it comes to agencies. Relying on contingent recruiters doesn’t work long-term and often produces poor results.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great agency recruiters but the contingent model isn’t conducive of a strong client/recruiter partnership where both parties have skin in the game. It’s one-sided and too many companies treat this relationship as – ” It can’t hurt to have recruiters work on our roles – we only pay if we hire someone”. Bottom line, there isn’t a lot of respect on the part of employers for the time and effort that it takes for a good recruiter to conduct a thorough search.

Engaging multiple contingent recruiters to recruit for the same job benefits no-one.

Companies don’t benefit from multiple agencies competing to fill the same roles, they actually get less value because they are forcing recruiters to work on speed, instead of quality.

Candidates don’t benefit because the recruiters are focused on getting resumes submitted first, instead of having meaningful career based discussions.

What most employers don’t realize is that under this type of recruiting structure, recruiters have to work with many companies and it’s hard to be loyal to one in particular. It becomes a numbers game, how many jobs, how many candidates, how many interviews – the magic number that is needed to get to a placement… Hiring is a transaction.

Buyer beware – the resume-slinger is a different breed of contingent recruiting. Under this model you are nothing more than a place to throw resumes against the wall with hopes that one will eventually stick.


  • Unpredictable results
  • Poor brand ambassador’s
  • Bad hires
  • Zero accountability
  • Lack of qualified candidates
  • Managers’ time wasted interviewing unqualified candidates
  • No loyalty
  • Limited if any focus on actual fit for the candidate or the employer

Implications and Costs with These Models

  • Lack of quality candidates / Hiring the best of who’s available.
  • Turnover – average cost equals 2.5x annual salary
  • Loss of productivity equals lost $$$$
  • Positions remain open/un-filled – for quota carrying roles this can mean lots of lost revenue $$$
  • Hiring Managers time wasted interviewing unqualified people
  • Poor employee morale equals bad employer brand
  • Negativity among employees has a downhill spiral effect… bad Glassdoor reviews, decreased employee referrals, word spreads – this is a crappy place to work.
  • A bad hire can impact productivity, retention, employee engagement and corporate performance.

A study by Harvard Business Review found that 80% of companies believe that turnover is the result of a bad hire.

When organizations are under pressure to grow their teams, while lacking an effective recruitment strategy, bad hires become inevitable.

The issue isn’t that good candidates don’t exist. Recruiting qualified people is the issue and hiring inexperienced or mediocre people comes at a big price.

The Modern Recruiting Consultant

A Modern Recruiting Consultant Can Augment, Supplement and Compliment Internal Recruitment Efforts

A good recruiting consultant will partner with HR, Internal Recruiters and Hiring Managers to support your recruiting efforts. They will act as an extension of your organization and represent your brand professionally while evangelizing your company above and beyond your standard marketing channels.

This approach takes a commitment from both the company and the recruiter and requires open communication, transparency, trust and a commitment to the desired outcome of the partnership. It can’t be one- sided, all involved should be accountable with objectives that are clearly defined and metrics that are frequently measured.

In the Digital Age, Recruiting Is Equal Parts Art and Science

Recruitment is rapidly changing, and the characteristics of a successful recruitment consultant have fundamentally shifted.

Modern recruiters combine matchmaking with sales, talent advising, marketing, communications and technology.



Recruiters must embrace how candidates choose to interact when it comes to changing jobs. Similar to a B2B buyer, one must consider the candidate persona, journey and stages in the recruiting process.

Recruiting is a funnel process, it requires focus at the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and at the bottom of the funnel (selling at every phase).

Just like sales and marketing, recruiters must maintain longer relationships nurtured over many more touch-points before a candidate is willing to engage.

Focus On Quality of Hire and The ROI of Hiring the Best

Modern recruiters maximize the quality of the candidates at the top of the funnel, they focus on fewer candidates and spend more time developing each candidate.

Who is your ideal candidate & fit with your employer brand.

Passive candidates through recruiter engagement, employee engagement and social.

Stay top of mind with those that aren’t ready to make a move.

Have meaningful career discovery conversations with those that are open to a discussion.

Move qualified candidates through the hiring process, always focusing on delivering value.

High-Tech & High-Touch



Modern recruiters embrace technology and use the best tools available. They constantly look for ways that technology can improve performance, increase productivity and provide a competitive edge.




They understand that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Data is key, and modern recruiters know how to harness information, not only to make better decisions but also to stay ahead of the competition.




Modern recruiters stay up to date on current industry trends, they constantly explore candidate pools, benchmark industry metrics, research the latest technology, and monitor competitor activity.




They’re trusted experts on important subjects for candidates and their clients.

Top Traits of a Modern Recruitment Consultant


They’re skilled at prospecting, building pipelines, negotiating and closing deals.


They know how to market companies and positions to candidates and, how to market candidates to potential employers.


They understand how to navigate skill sets, personalities, and fit to find the right match. Modern recruiters understand their client’s company culture and find candidates who not only have the right experience, but will also fit well with the existing team.

Modern Recruiters


They seek out great people, nurture those that aren’t ready to engage, work closely with the ones that are and help the best people get hired. Ultimately delivering a win-win for candidates and employers.


They are considered trusted career advisers by their candidates and they value the relationship regardless of the outcome.


The best recruiters conduct interviews that focus on fit, past performance and motivation. They uncover if someone is running away from or running to a new job.


They can articulate the actual work that needs to be done, the employee value proposition, the direct impact of the job on the company’s strategy, culture, team dynamic and company strengths, weaknesses, competitors, etc.


Like solution selling, this involves discovery, needs analysis, qualification and emphasizing the difference in what the person is doing now and what they could be doing in the future.

Recruiting passive candidates involves different recruiting skills and techniques than traditional recruiting approaches.

Successful recruiters must be able to source passive candidates, communicate with and engage them, and know how to present their clients’ opportunities with relevant differentiation.

Candidates want to understand your company’s competitive strengths and how working for your company will benefit their career, what a career move will mean to them in the short-term and long-term, and why they should make a move. What’s the compelling event and potential positive outcome.

The Best Recruiters















Recruiting top candidates isn’t getting easier, using the same recruitment and hiring practices won’t produce different results.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur,”

Red Adair

Contact us to learn more about how working with a modern recruiting consultant can benefit your company.

For further information about recruiting top performers please read our Recruitment Consulting Case Study.

About the author: Rachel Budlong

“As a recruiting consultant I often wear two hats. I work as an extension of my clients while maintaining independence as a 3rd party service provider. Although I partner closely with HR, I’m typically accountable to a line of business leader

in Sales, Operations, Finance, or Marketing.

I’m not limited to the tools available from HR. I maintain and utilize my own resources including technology, data analytics, and administrative resources.

By definition I am a 3rd party recruitment consultant, my brand and my opinions are my own. The clients I partner with are carefully selected, they ultimately are a reflection of my brand and I am extension of their employer brand.”

Follow Rachel on Twitter @stellarhirep or connect with her on LinkedIn.