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Grow Your Agency: 5 Tips to Recruit Recruiters

Are you contemplating hiring one or more recruiters to build your team? When you ask most owners/managers how they can quickly boost their billings and increase profits for their agency, the conversation quickly turns to recruiting recruiters. What are the winning qualities to identify in recruiter candidates? Is there a magic formula that will ensure success, versus costing you a fortune in payroll?

Here are five qualities to look for when interviewing and qualifying new recruiters for your agency.

1. Does your candidate clearly display a positive attitude and solid people skills? The world of staffing and recruitment is a people business. One of the first and most important items for an owner to establish is whether or not their candidate can effectively communicate with all types of people. Does he or she display emotional maturity that will facilitate business relationships with executives in the field your firm specializes in? Does the prospective recruiter come across as someone you'd be friends with, or do they have a negative demeanor? If you leave the interview with any doubt in your mind on these questions, you reconsider hiring this individual.

2. Previous sales experience should always be a requirement. Corporate recruiters are essentially an extension of HR, and that's a different animal. In a search or staffing firm, having experience with 'a sales process', understanding metrics, and conversion creates a solid foundation to attain success. Since many agency recruiting jobs include a small base salary plus commission, or are 100% straight commission, it's imperative to only consider those individuals who understand the competitive and time-sensitive nature of running a full-desk.

3. Has your prospective recruiter ever worked on the phone? Since nearly 95% of an agency recruiter's time is spent cold-calling, screening and interviewing, making follow-ups, and marketing candidates by phone, it makes sense that an owner/manager should look for candidates with previous phone sales or phone customer service experience. While it's possible to train recruiters to work effectively on the phone, it can take some time to bring him/her up to speed. Phone experience goes a long way in determining the potential success of "the desk."

4. Does your candidate possess intermediate computer skills across basic business applications, and can they conduct research on the Internet? Since we're in the technological age, it may seem rare that there are candidates who aren't computer saavy. Even if you have a recruiting candidate who was previously a top performer in sales, has extensive experience on the phone, and great people skills--if they can't accurately access and input data in your ATS or reformat a C.V. in Microsoft Office, you'll have performance issues. To ensure your prospective recruiters can adequately use the computer for their job, many agencies opt to do pre-employment skills testing. Whether you own a small, boutique agency or a large firm, evaluating your candidates' skills up-front, is a wise investment.

5. Establish the fact your candidate is money-motivated. Let's face it--recruiting can be a tough business. If your candidate is not impacted by the amount of money they can make in this industry, it would be easy to walk away from your company. During the interview process, determine what motivates this person. Learn how your potential recruiter defines 'a win', and see if that fits your definition. Look at this individual's past earnings, and analyze whether your job aligns with what this person has earned previously. Ideally, it's best to locate candidates who get excited by generating high billings, but also enjoy helping their candidates change their lives, with a great new job.

You can grow your agency without hiring a recruiter-employee or contractor. SplitAlliance, powered by RecruitAlliance, is a split job network that helps search and staffing firms build their business, without the investment of hiring employees or contractors. The process is simple, effective, and safe:

1. Sign up for a membership on SplitAlliance.
2. Post all of the jobs you're not filling internally, and upload your split fee agreement.
3. Other recruiter members will begin referring their candidates to you for your evaluation and feedback.
4. If/when a split partner's candidate is hired by your client, you pay the agreed upon split fee.
5. Repeat the process over and over. All activity is tracked and managed, so you remove the potential of disputes or issues.

Sourcing, identifying, and hiring recruiters for your agency can be a challenging task. Knowing the traits necessary to be successful in the talent acquisition industry can help firm owners on-board the most qualified individuals, who will ultimately aide in the mission of increasing profits, over the long-term.

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