I spent some time at a local pool recently resting with my eyes closed, and I listened to the kids swimming around playing Marco Polo. “Marco!” they were all calling out blind of course! From outside the pool, I could hear the leaders, the followers, the helpers, and those who just weren’t interested in the game. Without watching, I could assess the experienced and the novices, the non-swimmers, and the ones who liked to just be a fish out of water.
Many people have asked me why I got into “recruiting.” I do not have formal training in recruiting, but I spent my career assessing, hiring, training and transitioning talent. I have developed a great filter. I prefer being called a Talent Acquisition Specialist to the term “recruiter” or “head-hunter.” It reflects most accurately the intention of what I do for Employers and Candidates each day. The other terms feel antiquated and are not in alignment with the modern role that outside firms play in hiring candidates.
Opposite from “job placement agencies,” a Talent Acquisition Specialist matches talent with opportunity and assesses fit. I provide job coaching, assess both sides confidentially, keep both interests in play, and find the best match. Internal recruiters have more on their plates than ever before.
Internal Recruiters are Drowning
Internal recruiters need a life vest. It is challenging to keep up with the number of applicants coming in and they must manage job boards, recruiting tools, onboarding plans, HR paperwork, internal stakeholders, and be project managers. In addition, they must keep up with and influence corporate culture and retention/replacement needs. The bandwidth and time spent trying to match the best candidates with roles is limited.
Employee needs and preferences are at the forefront of conversation, and people’s desires have shifted. Resumes often reflect the accurate experience of individuals, but resumes don’t always (and most times don’t) reflect a person’s current motivations, skills, or individual needs. Often there is a disconnect between the job description, the resume, and the hiring manager that needs to be translated. People are not resumes and resumes are not people.
In addition, now more than ever, there is a disconnect between those seeking employment and those needing valued workers. Potential candidates do not know how to get to the right hiring managers. Computer filters (bots) are a challenge to get past, requiring keywords to get noticed. Often, your network will assist you, but it is challenging for people at organizations to do their primary function, while also hiring on a continuous basis and providing recommendations. Hiring is a full-time job.
Filling the Gap in Hiring
The disconnect is solved by using external recruiting firms to hire candidates. Pick firms with experience in your space. Working with talent acquisition specialists to target passive candidates (individuals who are employed, but not actively looking) is an effective strategy that most internal recruiters do not have the network or bandwidth for.
Having swum in the pool, and in particular the deep end of the insurance space, I find having a team of people who have all played the game can sit and watch and hear the uniqueness of each player and where they are in their journey of learning how to swim and play the game, just a little better! We are outside the pool and can be the lifeguard on duty for your internal team of players.
As an executive in insurance recruiting, I have seen the value in bringing in outside “Recruiting Firms” for their expertise, their perspectives, and expanding internal bandwidth with great success!
So, call out Marco to some outside recruiting firms! To that, we say Polo!!!