The Executive Recruiting landscape is an ever-changing, dynamic industry that has been drastically impacted by the advent of the internet over the past two decades. Most corporations have hired troves of talent acquisition representatives and have spent millions of dollars on internet tools and artificial intelligence. These tools purport to replace executive recruiters and claim to find them the perfect candidate for every job opening. Yet, in 2018 there are more working recruiters than ever before and they continue to enjoy a virtually endless supply of search assignments.
In Part I of our new series entitled “Does Anyone Care What the Recruiter Thinks?” we had the chance to sit down with an industry expert who gave us his perspective on the state of the recruiting industry and some thoughts on how the specialists in his company have been able to thrive and remain relevant. Jeff Herzog is the President of FPC National which is made up of over 60 franchised recruiting offices with 130 recruiters around the country. He started in the industry as a recruiter 21 years ago for a subsidiary of FPC. Although he is mainly focused on growing the FPC system of offices both internally and externally, he continues to make placements and believes that there is no better way for him to provide value to his franchisees and their recruiters.
Below are excerpts from the interview:
»What types of clients have you been most successful with?
– “First and foremost, for us to be successful for our clients, they need to understand the importance of talent acquisition and place a premium on hiring the right talent. They also have to recognize that having an empty seat can potentially cost them thousands and thousands of dollars. Recruiter fees are an investment in the future, not a cost or a tax. Hiring the right person in an efficient manner can often save or make the company much more money in the long run than what it costs to pay a recruiter.”
– “It’s also very important for companies to have a defined interview/offer process and be able to impress our best candidates. It’s an extremely competitive job market right now and top candidates are in the driver’s seat. If you don’t have your act together and don’t understand the market, the candidates you want will simply accept a counteroffer or move on to their next opportunity.”
»What frustrates you most about working with certain companies?
– “A few things come to mind Steve. Nothing frustrates me more than when we are relegated to working with the lowest level person in an organization that doesn’t appreciate that we are professionals. One of the most significant differentiators of FPC recruiters is that they all specialize in an industry and discipline – most of our franchisees and recruiters come out of corporate America and spent a significant amount of time working in the types of jobs they now place people in. This gives them incredible insight into our clients’ needs. Companies need to embrace the fact that we know and understand the market, leverage our experience and bring us into their high level discussions.”
– “The other thing that frustrates me is when companies tell us that they can’t accept a resume from us because the candidate applied to a different job they had posted on their site eight months prior. It’s more than likely that it’s been sitting in their database collecting dust and the hiring manager has never seen it before for this job. Trust me, I understand the logic…you don’t want to pay a fee for something you already have, but if they are interested in interviewing the candidate, they should admit they didn’t find this person and consider us, the recruiting firm, the procuring cause. Technology is great if used properly, but if companies are going to maintain their own database of resumes, they need to do a better job of searching through them.”
»What attributes do you look for when searching for candidates?
– “I’m glad you asked me this question. I am extremely passionate about this part of the business and we spend an extraordinary amount of time training our recruiters on what to look for. Let’s face it, we get paid the fees we do for placing the strongest candidates available. First things first, I look for consistency and career progression. I don’t care what industry or discipline a candidate comes out of, they had to have been able to stay at a company for several years and get promoted. Next, I look for ‘make-it-happen’ people who don’t let circumstances control their career – they’re upbeat and positive about their experience and don’t whine and complain about previous employers. I like people who have a plan and know where they want to go. It’s also important that they can articulate their accomplishments…not just tell me what they ‘did’, what impact did they have on the business.”
»In your opinion, what is the future of Executive Recruiting?
– “Well, I’m obviously biased on this topic considering I’ve invested my life in this business. That said, I do believe that the fundamentals bode very well for us in the coming years. We are facing a potentially crippling shortage of skilled workers due to the huge number of baby boomers retiring and a major skills-gap that forces companies to look to us to actively recruit the people they need. Internet tools and artificial intelligence will continue to attempt to disintermediate our industry, but the personal relationships and human interaction we bring to the table make our industry extremely sustainable well into the future.”