June 20, 2017

Partner with a Headhunter

By Matt Lewis, Partner and Practice Lead, Banking

Every modern professional needs three people in their lives: an attorney, an accountant, and a headhunter. People have always, of course, needed legal services and financial expertise to navigate the many challenges of conducting business and managing money. But a recruiter? Really?

Yes. Now more than ever. Technology has changed the way human beings—both as job seekers and as hiring departments in companies—perceive and interact with each other. The rapid pace of our digital culture means we’re all exposed to an endless and constant barrage of information, and that noise often creates more confusion than actual progress. As a recruiter, it is my job to help navigate that maelstrom of information, and connect people with opportunities that improve the lives of professionals and their families.

Hiring Dynamics Have Changed

The days of a company’s HR department simply writing up a job description, posting it online, and generating scores of qualified applicants are gone. While every company have a successful hit on a posting every now and then, the vast majority of time this method is unsuccessful. Baby Boomers are retiring by the thousands, Millennials are perpetually on the move, and everyone in between is doing their best to understand the ebbs and flows of opportunity in our evolving economy. This swirl of human potential has made chasing and engaging the most talented professionals—particularly in the commercial banking and finance industries—an enormously complex endeavor.

Banking and finance can no longer woo the most gifted minds and emerging talents with promises of future salary gains and other perks. Today’s talent seeks employers with values-based corporate cultures that not only embrace the inspiring promise and power of digital technologies, but also the rewards of a professional existence that prioritizes inclusivity, diversity, and social responsibility. For a recruiter, this means matching a client’s internal beliefs with a candidate’s personal needs from a career. Hiring is no longer a numbers game, and it hasn’t been for a while now. Today, finding the right job candidate by posting a job description is like finding the right babysitter by posting a picture of your house.

A Holistic Approach Saves Time & Money

Recruiters are playing an increasingly important role in the success of both clients and candidates in an ever-expanding plethora of ways. Though the prevailing goal is always to create the perfect client-candidate match, the process determining how that goal is achieved has become a paramount concern to clients and candidates. Today, recruiters must be masters of time management, and skilled at explaining how and why time management strategies that define the recruiting process have profound, long-term ramifications for all parties involved.

Take, for example, the CEO. Most hiring practices today only bring in the CEO at the very end of the process, if at all, even for key roles. The conventional wisdom being that the CEO’s time is very valuable, and a busy person of this level shouldn’t be involved in a process conducted by others until the very end, when the hiring decision actually has to be made. But if the CEO does not approve of the candidate for whatever reason, then weeks or even months of work and time have been wasted—for both the clients and candidates. Recruiters know that this is an example of delegation gone awry.

How Unity Impacts Reputation

The recruiting process should be unified, where all decision makers are involved from the first step, including the CEO. There are not only financial and productivity consequences to poorly streamlined hiring practices, but there are other forms of collateral damage as well. Especially for companies. Imagine how the ambitious and talented candidate feels about having to attend seven rounds of interviews, through every level of bureaucracy, only to be rejected by the CEO, with whom there simply wasn’t any chemistry. That candidate has equally impressive family members listening to his awful story at the Thanksgiving table, as well as friends in important positions throughout the industry. And that candidate may end up working for the client’s top competitor. An efficient hiring process is a sign of internal competency and outward respect for others, regardless of the outcome.

Partner with a recruiter, even if you are not looking to make a change today. Build a relationships with someone who can help you navigate the waters of today’s opportunity landscape. If you are a hiring authority, partner with a competent recruiter who can help you streamline your interviewing process and educate the key parties involved on how to actual hire. It’s a bit more complicated than you think and now, more than ever, recruiters are needed.