Are You a Recruiting One-Man Show?

June 10, 2011

I came across an interesting article the other day that helped me understand my role better as a recruiter. Although the piece primarily discusses best practices when recruiting for a startup, it helped me realize what I ultimately do (and don’t do). For all you recruiters out there (inside or outside the venture capital and startup world), how many of you really are sourcers, process builders and closers all at the same time?

If you’re too lazy to read the article mentioned, in short, a sourcer gets the leads, a process builder manages candidate flow and schedules, while a closer locks the candidate down during negotiation and offer stages. Are you a recruiting one-man show?

When I’m recruiting for OpenView Venture Partners’ portfolio companies, I definitely play the hybrid role of sourcer/process builder. When an offer is made and negotiations are underway, the art of closing is conducted by the hiring manager of that portfolio company. After all, doesn’t that make the most sense? I’d consider myself well-read on the position and company about to make the hire. However, the true expert isn’t me; it’s the hiring manager. On top of that, I’m not privy to company finances, so I’m never in a position to think about negotiations in compensation.

Unless the recruiter is self-employed or hiring for another recruiting position within his/her own team, the only time one would play all three roles, I imagine, would be as an agency recruiter working on contract positions. In many cases, the client provides the recruiting agency with a “bill rate” which is a fixed, maximum dollars-per-hour “budget” rate that the client is willing to pay for the contract hire. The pay rate is what the hire actually ends up earning per hour. The hourly rate difference is what the recruiter pockets for the remainder of the agreed upon contract (3 months, for example). If Bank of America offers your agency a bill rate of $30/hour, the sad truth is you want to provide your candidate with the lowest, plausible rate as that will benefit you most. So you offer the candidate $20/hour and for the rest of the contract, you make $10/hour twiddling your thumbs!

Where am I going with this? I digress and apologize. Because you are put in a rare circumstance where you are in fact determining your candidate’s pay, you are now charged with closing! You are convincing the candidate that at this wage, the opportunity is a great one and simply cannot be turned down. You will have sourced, process-built, and closed and I’m convinced there are no other recruiters out there who handle these three tasks within a typical recruiting life cycle. So somebody, please prove me wrong as I’m eager to stand corrected.

Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at <a href="">Kamcord</a>. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.