The Right Internal Recruiter Is Out There: 3 Tips to Finding a Good Match

November 9, 2012

At a certain point during the uptick of hiring for your expansion-stage company, you’ll likely realize you need a full time internal recruiter. Maybe you’re spending too much money on recruiting agency fees, or maybe your hiring managers are stretched thin with interviews for open requisitions — either way something has to give.

Hiring a recruiter is no easy task. You need to have someone who has experience in hiring in a multitude of areas for permanent roles. Why permanent roles? Ask any recruiter and he or she will tell you that hiring temporary or “contract” employees and permanent employees is a different beast. With all these things to consider, hiring the right person can feel overwhelming. But it’s far from impossible. Here are some pointers:

Hire someone who has worked in a recruiting agency

internal recruiterYes, sometimes recruiting agencies get a bad rap. They can be considered overly aggressive and too salesy, but the truth is (depending on what agency the candidate comes from) recruiters coming out of agencies are typically used to extremely high volume and specific demands from hiring managers.

Often agency recruiters are asked to find a perfect candidate who in agency jargon is referred to as a purple squirrel aka: an ideal person who does not exist. In this sense, agency recruiters are used to adjusting hiring managers’ expectations as well as getting extremely creative with how they source for candidates. The volume of agency recruiters is unparalleled. They’re often juggling business development along with six or seven roles. If you are experiencing a high volume of internal requisitions don’t you want someone who knows how to plan his or her day and can execute under a heavy workload?

You can’t teach people skills

Ever had an unnecessarily awkward conversation with someone that left you thinking “wow, that person has zero people skills?” It happens to me a lot — there are long pauses and miscommunications galore. Now, people skills are not necessary for everybody, but when it comes to recruiting they’re nonnegotiable. Recruiters recruit people. They need to be able to communicate and relate.

Someone who has real people skills can typically read any person or situation. For example, a recruiter with the right people skills will be able to pick up on any hesitations or unspoken concerns the candidate may have with the job or the company — and they will be able to address them. Trust me when I say this is one of the more important skills you need to hire for, and the only way to screen for it is to ask behavioral or situational questions to see how the person responds. You can teach a lot of things – but people skills are not one of them.

An internal recruiter should be type A all the way

Similar to hiring for a sales position, you want to hire someone who is competitive. I am not talking about in your face, I am the winner, you are the loser competitive, but you do want someone who is always trying to improve and be at the top of their game. With things constantly changing in the recruiting world with technologies and the job market, you need someone who is going to want to be in the know and actively touting why your company is the best. If you want your internal recruiters to deliver the cream of the crop, hire someone who likes to compete — they won’t disappoint.

So if you are thinking that finding a recruiter for your growing company is akin to finding a purple squirrel, think again. The right person is out there — you just have to go out there and get them.

Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.