How to Hire a Recruiter for Your Startup

The employment market is seeing a growing demand for recruiters. Companies are hungry for talent at a time when our talent pools are shrinking. When talent is abundant, recruiting can be easy. But as it grows scarce, the competition heats up and there are more losers than winners. If you’re thinking of adding a recruiter to your team, these 5 tips should help your selection process.

1. Recruiting is all about results. It requires persistence and second efforts. The best recruiters are results-oriented, competitive, fearless, creative and possess a high degree of EQ. You can’t teach these things, so they need to be a part of the recruiter’s DNA. If these qualities are missing, the recruiter is essentially a talking head. They might look the part, but they will be out-recruited by the other sharks in the tank.

2. Headhunting firms have better recruiters. Many corporate recruiters work alone, therefore they learn alone. For this reason, recruiters from headhunting firms can be a better bet – one year of headhunting can be equivalent to three years of corporate recruiting. Of course, the best overall measure of experience is the number and types of positions they’ve filled.

3. The best recruiters place candidates in those tough-to-fill roles. If you’re an SMB, think twice about hiring a recruiter from a name-brand company where talent comes knocking everyday. There’s a difference between flipping through and farming applicants and going out and getting what you need. Finding candidates is one thing, selling them on the job is another. You need someone with tangible examples of networking, selling and marketing.

4. Good recruiters should have a presence on social media. Your recruiter will be your ambassador to the market, ensure they have a genuine interest in your business. Check them out to see how they represent themselves and compare with your culture. Make sure you hire a recruiter with genuine interest in your business.

5. Recruiters should be natural and engaging conversationalists. When you interview potential recruiters ask them if they have any questions for you – this will separate the naturals from the interrogators. The better recruiters will seize the opportunity to ask thought-provoking questions. Don’t hire the ones who don’t take advantage of this invitation. If you really want to have fun, ask your candidates to take the lead and interview you – right from the onset. You’ll get to see if they think on their feet or need a script.