How to Really Add Value as an In-House Recruiter

By Paul Slezak - Sep. 7, 2017
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Editor’s Note: This post is by Paul Slezak, Cofounder and CEO of RecruitLoop – the World’s largest marketplace of expert Recruiters and Sourcers available on-demand.

I have just had the privilege of being part of the speaker line-up at In-House Recruitment LIVE! 2017 here in London. I’ll be writing up a separate post on the actual event since there were some fantastic presentations, ideas shared, and conversations sparked throughout the day.

However, I wanted to share a specific post with the highlights of my own presentation from the event – How to Really Add Value as an In-House Recruiter.

It is becoming extremely common for organisations to say they are shifting away from a recruitment model to more of a talent acquisition model.

What exactly does this mean? More importantly what does it mean for the role of the in-house recruiter? It really comes down to adding value – to both the hiring managers and the organisation as a whole; as well as to the candidate experience.

My session addressed:

  • The difference between recruitment and talent acquisition;
  • Building live talent communities;
  • Innovative sourcing and talent attraction techniques;
  • Attracting talent to your employer brand;
  • The metrics that matter for in-house recruiters; and
  • Other strategies to make the in-house recruiter shine.

Here are a few highlights – but I have also included a copy of my presentation below.

Are you recruiting or acquiring talent?

Bersin by Deloitte defines talent acquisition as “a strategic approach to identifying, attracting, and onboarding talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs.” Recruitment is defined as “the tactical component of attracting and identifying job candidates.”

The difference comes down to connecting talent to business needs versus just addressing a momentary need.

Building live talent communities

I like to think I have a pretty solid understanding of this topic having been in this game for nearly 25 years. But to be honest I really used this opportunity to promote another fellow Australian startup doing amazing things in this space. So rather than me rambling on, check out LiveHire right now.

Adding value vs being a necessary evil

What do your hiring managers think you actually do? Is it a case where they brief you on an open requisition and then expect you to suddenly pull a couple of pre-qualified, ready-to-interview candidates out of a hat?

We all know there’s so much more to your talent attraction and selection process, so if your hiring managers don’t appreciate your efforts, it’s about time you made it clear what takes place behind the scenes.

The difference between sourcing and recruiting

As an in-house recruiter, how do you distinguish between sourcing and recruiting?

While the concept of actually finding people has become much easier in recent years, finding the right people has become increasingly more challenging. Finding all of them is even harder. As such, knowing how to effectively source talent is now more important than ever before.

However sourcing is so much more than simply specialized resume search and candidate name generation. Sourcing has turned into a specialised field of its own, and if you don’t understand the difference between sourcing and recruiting, you will end up adding to your overall cost and time to hire.

Sourcing is the act of identifying prospect candidates who fit a target profile. It’s the proactive search for qualified candidates; and not just the perusal of CVs and applications received in response to an online job posting. For some, in addition to the identification of talent, sourcing also includes the assessment and candidate engagement piece.

Adding value through a positive candidate experience

There are literally thousands of articles available for candidates on how to leave a lasting first impression throughout the recruitment process. Everything from how to craft an engaging cover letter; to how to make a resumé stand out; and even to what not to wear to a job interview. I even wrote an entire book on the subject a few years ago!

With the war for top quality talent raging pretty fiercely right now, it’s also critical for in-house recruiters to leave a positive first impression on their candidates – that is, of course, if they want their candidates to remain loyal and to not run straight into the arms of their competitors.

I certainly can’t take all the credit for the information I shared. A while ago, the team at Software Advice (an online reviewer of recruiting technology) shared a study with me which got me thinking.

The candidate experience is an integral part of the recruitment process that can impact how effectively an organisation is able to recruit quality candidates.

The team at Software Advice conducted their survey with nearly 400 respondents from around the world who had applied to a full-time job in the previous 12 months, and the results were pretty eye opening … even for someone who has been banging the drum about candidate care for nearly 25 years!

You’ll see some of the findings I talked about in the SlideShare below.

Becoming a trusted advisor to your hiring mangers

Assuming you are not considered a necessary evil by your hiring managers, what type of working relationship do you think you have with them?

During my presentation I made reference to a book that I have personally read many, many times – The Trusted Advisor – by David Maister, in which the author refers to four levels of a business partnership:

  • Service based
  • Needs based
  • Relationship based
  • Trust based

I related these levels to the situations that in-house recruiters might find themselves with their hiring managers.

The metrics that matter

If you measured every metric that every article on the web suggested you should measure to confirm whether you are recruiting effectively or not, you would end up spending most of your time measuring recruiting activities instead of actually recruiting!

While measuring your recruitment activities is certainly important, from over 2 decades in the recruitment industry I can confidently tell you that there are a few key metrics you really need to care about as an in-house recruiter. Check out the presentation below.

How to Really Add Value as an In-House Recruiter

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.


Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

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