What HR Talent Professionals Expect from Corporate Recruiters

What HR Talent Professionals Expect from Corporate Recruiters

As a strategic corporate recruiter, I’ve made a practice of learning what’s required and what’s expected when dealing with HR talent professionals and hiring managers. I’ve learned a lot over the years, but I’m committed to continuous lifelong learning because I know I don’t know it all and, quite frankly, neither does anyone else: We learn from each other.

I was reminded of this during a recent educational seminar where we explored things from the HR talent professional’s perspective: Much of it was familiar, but there were some great takeaways too—some obvious truths that aren’t so obvious and that we sometimes overlook in the corporate recruiter community.

So now, based on my latest learnings and experience, let’s explore five expectations that are brought up consistently by HR talent professionals.

1. Talent with 85% of Job Skill Requirements
On balance, HR talent professionals complain about seeing a great number of candidates who don’t possess half the required skill sets of the search position. Instead, HR talent professionals expect the following:

  • 85% of the skill sets outlined for the position (think 5/6)
  • Will accept an offer in the specified pay range
  • Motivated to take the position for reasons other than just money
  • Hard-to-find but sought-after skills
  • Blue-chip companies and education

When recruiters like us complain about a lack of feedback from HR professionals, as we often do, we might consider that HR folks feel little obligation to provide it when they receive candidates from us that are off-target.

2. No Rookie Recruiters
HR talent professionals complain about the many resumes they receive from recruiters that they’ve already viewed on job boards and eliminated from contention. Please understand: HR professionals want access to people they can’t already access on their own.

An informative Resource Solutions Group survey, Perceptions of the Recruitment Industry, which included 168 talent professionals from various industry sectors, found that 86% of respondents valued listening skills as the most important requirement when working with recruiters, along with honesty, and doing what they say they will. Close behind at 58% was an expectation that recruiters would have knowledge of their marketplace and use a consultative approach (48%). Accordingly, dishonesty (95%) and over-aggressiveness (86%) were listed as the biggest pet peeves HR professionals have when working with recruiters. Finally, HR talent professionals indicated that first-time phone calls (60%) from recruiters were preferable to emails (40%) or door-to-door visits (0%), but these same recruiters were expected to have already done research on their marketplace and identified a need (90% believed this was important) and shouldn’t simply call to introduce themselves.

3. Good Pay for Good Partnerships
Fees matter, as every recruiter learns from interacting with HR talent professionals. But tactical recruiters focused on price fail to realize that HR talent professionals may be willing to pay more to a quality agency that understands their strategic needs. We’ve heard talent professionals admit that they can sometimes gauge the worth of an agency by the price quotes they receive. But fees are only a small part of what makes recruiters valuable.

4. Strategic Job Submittals
HR talent professionals aren’t looking for volume; they’re looking for quality and prefer to receive two to three nirvana candidates from us. What’s more, we need to communicate our job submittals clearly and succinctly: Each resume we submit should be accompanied by a cover document highlighting the candidate’s required skills, salary requirements, and reasons why he or she is a good fit for the opportunity.

5. Staying Within Pay Range
Finally, the ability of candidates to fit within the specified pay range is one of the biggest pet peeves we hear from HR talent professionals. HR talent professionals understand the market value of skill sets and don’t need to be lectured about it. It’s the recruiter’s job to find candidates that fit the pay range and, yes, they may be hard to find, but that’s one of the reasons we’re paid a fee. Strategic recruiters outline the parameters of salary meticulously and gain agreement with the candidate long before he or she may be in a position to receive an offer. This is an important practical issue: Having a candidate go all the way to the altar and then reject an offer due to compensation is a disastrous situation that should be avoided at all costs.

Treating HR Professionals Professionally
How’s your recruitment process going? HR talent professionals deserve to be treated professionally. If you’ve worked with Victoria James Executive Search before, you already know that you’ll have a strategic partner who understands your organization’s goals, corporate culture, and onboarding strategy.

Give us a call today at 203.750.8838, if you’d like to chat.

All Victoria James Executive Search recruiters have a proven track record of senior-level placements at Fortune 500 firms as well as start-ups. We look forward to hearing from you and having the opportunity to be of assistance.

Smile! We leave with the following superb job-interviewing tip guaranteed to land your next job with style
from the folks over at The Poke in the UK (try these at your own risk ):

When asked if you found the place OK, say “I was driven here by a cab;
but I’m normally driven by results,” then wink four times in rapid succession.

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• Greg Doersching. Griffin Search Group: www.bullseyementor.com, greg@bullseyementor.com.
• Resource Solutions Group and APSCo: Perceptions of the Recruitment Industry. (Sept. 2011.) Accessed March 31, 2016. http://www.apsco.org/article/perceptions-of-the-recruitment-industry-infographic-355.aspx



Victoria is an accomplished direct marketer with more than 20 years of industry experience. The Founder and President of Victoria James Executive Search, Inc. direct marketing search firm, she has had a successful and accomplished career, holding senior level sales and marketing management positions in companies such as Citicorp Diner’s Club, Donnelley Marketing. Victoria understands the need for premium talent in the Direct and Digital Marketing industries, is an active member of the Direct Marketing Association, NEMOA and other associations, and holds an Executive MBA from Bernard M. Baruch College. Contact Victoria today to learn how her team of recruitment experts can accelerate your efforts and help you quickly accomplish your goals.


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