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Recruitment Failure: How Recruiters Fail with Their Process and Strategy

by | May 20, 2019 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Nobody plans to fail. Okay, go ahead . . . I know you want to say it. Just say it:

“Yes, but you can fail to plan.”

Thank you. It’s good to know that you’re all aware of this time-honored axiom. The reality of the matter is that recruiting is NOT an easy profession. There is a high degree of difficulty. Many people who start a recruiting business eventually go out of business.

In fact, there is an ebb and flow in terms of the recruiting profession. During good times, like the ones we’re currently experiencing, more people enter the profession. Then, during a recession (like the God-awful Great Recession), the recruiting ranks are thinned considerably. By many estimates, anywhere from 25% to 40% of all third-party recruiting agencies disappear during recessionary times.

That’s recruitment failure on a grand scale.

However, let’s not focus on that. Instead, let’s focus on recruitment failure on a smaller scale. Specifically, let’s address what typically happens on a recruiter’s desk that leads to failure. To help with this, we’re going to call upon renowned industry trainer and coach Bob Marshall of TBMG International. This year, Bob is celebrating his 39th year in the recruiting business. When you can last that long in the search profession, it’s considered the epitome of success.

The root of recruitment failure

According to Bob, the underlying reason for recruitment failure is quite simple. That reason is a lack of commitment. Recruiters are faced with a myriad of challenges and obstacles on a daily basis. Those who are not willing or able to overcome those challenges and obstacles simply are not committed enough. Commitment and conviction equal recruitment success. Lack of commitment and conviction equal recruitment failure.

With help from Bob Marshall, below are 10 ways that recruiters fail with their process and strategy:

#1—Failure to plan

I addressed this at the top of the blog post. “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” Professionals plan. Doctors plan. Recruiters plan. “Winging it” will get you nowhere. Literally.

#2—Lack or failure to market or recruit consistently

This is a process, not a series of events. Recruiters should market every day, and they should recruit every day. Just as the doctor markets for new patients, recruiters market for new clients. You have to keep all of your pipelines full. That includes clients, candidates, and job orders. If one dries up, they could all dry up. Poof!

#3—Lack of urgency

Recruiting is a profession that is filled to the brim with the rich taste of urgency. One of the reasons that employers pay recruiters is they expect recruiters not only to get things done, but they also expect recruiters to get things done quickly. If you lack urgency, you might eventually be lacking placement checks. Ouch.

#4—Poor quality job orders

This is when a client company or candidate refuses to give information to a recruiter. This is critical information necessary for successful completion of the search. As I noted in a previous blog post, the most important key to success in recruitment is getting rid of poor quality job orders. And then getting rid of poor quality clients.

#5—Lack of qualifying the interview process

Specifically, this is a lack of qualifying the interview process to find out when important decisions will be made. It starts with identifying the last day that the hiring manager can go with the position still open. This is the “drop dead” date. Then you need to know the following information:

  • Who is conducting the interviews
  • When they are conducting the interviews
  • The time interval between the interviews
  • When the hiring decision will be made
  • The party (or parties) that will make the hiring decision

#6—Failure to close on objections

Even with the best of intentions, novel things can happen along the way to Placement Town. Just as doctors have to be flexible when their surgeries don’t go perfectly, recruiters also need to be flexible in handling objections as they arise. (You’re probably thinking right now, “I wonder what percentage of surgeries don’t go perfectly. Is it more than half? Three-quarters? I wonder if my surgery went perfectly . . .”

#7—Lack of discipline or intensity

If you don’t make a firm commitment to the business, then you won’t have the discipline to complete your assignments. Commitment and discipline go hand-in-hand. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like macaroni and cheese. And like pie and coffee. Is anybody else hungry?

#8—Inability to close the placement

Fear can be a powerful force, especially if you combine it with a lack of self-confidence. Essentially, this is a case of professionalism. Just like the doctor closes the operation, recruiters must close the deal. This is why recruiting is also much like the sales profession. There’s a lot of selling and closing involved.

#9—Lack of keeping up to date in the specialty

Would you want to go to a doctor for surgery if he or she was doing surgery like they did it 20 years ago? No, you would not. So why would a client or prospective client use you if you were not up to date in your specialty or in your niche? Fair question. Another fair question: What’s all with the surgery analogies?

#10—Blaming others for a lack of production

This is the “grass is always greener” syndrome. Recruiters must take responsibility for their own actions. Or their own in-actions, as the case may be. If you’re suffering from a bad case of recruitment failure, chances are good that YOU are the one primarily responsible for it. Blaming others is not the first step on the road to success. It’s the first step out the door.

How to avoid recruitment failure

The ninth item on the above list is “Lack of keeping up to date in the specialty.” That’s another way of saying “Lack of continuous training and education.” There are many ways to stay current as a recruiter. You can stay current both in terms of your specialty and also as a recruiter in general.

With that in mind, Top Echelon offers a free training webinar every month as part of its special Recruiter Coaching Series. We conduct this webinar on the second Tuesday of the month. Incidentally, Bob Marshall has presented more webinars for the Top Echelon Recruiter Coaching Series than any other industry trainer. In addition, Bob’s sessions have been among the most highly rated by attendees in the Series.

When these webinars are over, we post the recorded versions in our extensive Recruiter Training Library. You can access all of these webinar videos, including Bob’s 16 videos, by clicking here. For more information about Bob Marshall and the coaching services that he provides, visit his website.

Consistent training is one of the best ways to prevent recruitment failure. Visit the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library today and subscribe to our Recruiter Coaching Series email list!

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