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For Employers: The Guide to Finding the Right Recruiter

For Employers: The Guide to Finding the Right Recruiter

Blog Posts
Alex Aitchison
5 min

The #1 Request

If you ask any Head of Platform at a Venture Capital firm what the number one request their team gets from founders I’d be willing to bet it’s to help them with hiring. Sourcing and hiring talent is one of the most difficult challenges companies face. Leveraging third party recruiting firms can help alleviate some of the burden from internal teams while providing flexibility and expertise insights.

Engaging third party recruiting firms can deliver a very compelling ROI, from both a time and monetary perspective. However, that positive ROI is dependent on ultimately finding the right candidate as efficiently as possible. This might all sound familiar and obvious but there’s a reason companies struggle to also identify the recruiter to get the job done.

What to Look for in a Recruiter

Before the introduction of HeadRace (read our introductory article now) there was no truly transparent way to understand the qualifications, experience, and track record of an individual recruiter or their recruiting agency. Still, companies had to do their best to evaluate recruiters with the minimal data they had.

There is a long list of things an employer should consider when hiring a recruiter, but the following is a list of what we consider to be the most important.
  • Industry Focus – in which industries does the recruiter typically work? Are they an expert in Financial Services with a deep network there? Are they a thought leader elsewhere, such as in Crypto?
  • ~Make sure that the recruiter’s industry experience aligns with your business.
  • Functional Area Focus – within a specific industry, recruiters may focus on certain functional areas. For example, if a recruiter was a Financial Services expert, they may focus on placing Quantitative Traders at hedge funds, but have no experience placing Investor Relations professionals.
  • ~Make sure that the recruiter has experience placing candidates in the specific functional area that you are hiring for.
  • Seniority Focus – this refers to the seniority level a recruiter focuses on. Do they primarily place entry level positions, VP/Director level positions, or C-suite executives?
  • ~Make sure that the seniority of the hire you are making is consistent with the recruiter’s experience. Recruiters will oftentimes focus on building a deep network and bench of candidates at a certain seniority level.
  • Preferred Fee Structure – depending on the type of engagement (industry, functional area, seniority level), recruiters will typically have a preferred search structure, e.g. retainer, contingent, container, etc.
  • ~Ensure that you and the recruiter are aligned on how the search should be structured. For more senior leadership positions, a retainer may be strongly desired by the recruiter due to the uniqueness of the role. However for more junior positions that are higher in volume, a contingent search may be agreeable for both parties.
  • Capacity – how much time does the recruiter have to dedicate to your search? The best recruiters are very busy, so make sure that you and the recruiter are aligned on how your search ranks in the recruiter’s priority stack.
  • ~Do your best to understand the capacity the recruiter has TODAY to dedicate to your search. It’s not worth engaging the best recruiter for your search if they don’t have the time to deliver a great experience for you.

Finding the Right Recruiter

Everyone loves a good network referral but it’s limiting and not always aligned with your own business needs. HeadRace provides companies with the ability to access the top recruiters without jumping through hoops. Join HeadRace and expand your network further without having to email your entire rolodex. We will help you engage directly with the world’s best recruiters in a transparent and efficient manner. Shoot us an email to learn more grow@headrace.com.

Alex Aitchison

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