Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SHRM Session: "How to Hunt like a Headhunter"

One of my first sessions at the SHRM Conference was called “How to Hunt Like a Headhunter for the Global Talent You Wish You Had”. My first position out of college is in recruiting and I thought the session would give me some new ideas that I could use. The speakers were introduced as Jim Dyak, founder of Human Resource Dimensions (a consultanting company), and Jennifer Brock, the Manager of Executive Searches. As I walked in they handed me a poker chip with their company info on it:

The session was a casual discussion that jumped between the two of them. They began by discussing the difference between headhunters and corporate recruiting. Headhunters consider recruiting to be a profit center, while corporate recruiting is considered a cost center. My position at work is closer to a headhunter and hearing about how they are viewed was interesting to me. I hadn’t considered how differently recruiting is done when it is corporate recruiting. I've only thought about the similarities.

Successful recruiters are the same in both circumstances. They listen to the candidate and get to know them.  A recruiter has to be proactive and not reactive. They develop their network because most candidates are found through networking.

There is a variety of technology available for recruiters but getting on the phone is the most effective method. However, more than one method should be used to reach candidates. A process needs to be created for searches and should be repeatable. Metrics should be used to measure the effectiveness of recruiting methods.

They mentioned a few ideas that I never considered. Jennifer mentioned using social media to find who is passionate about their career. Candidates can be sent texts to stay connected. Headhunters get a bad reputation for not engaging clients and that should be avoided. This is something I dislike about recruiting and I am glad they pointed it out. I prefer creating a relationship with each candidate. Simply asking, “is it a good time to talk?” helps create a rapport with each candidate. This simple question is one that shows the recruiter is considering the candidate’s needs.

The last portion of the session was on international recruiting. A recruiter needs to have an understanding of the culture. We cannot assume that other countries are similar to the United States. I think a lot of Americans forget to consider the differences... along with some other non-Americans. Creating alliances with the top colleges would allow access to entry-level talent. A list of top colleges was provided on their company's website. A method of searching nationally and internationally is to seek out information on who received rewards in the industry. They mentioned “glocal” which means to consider things on a global scale while acting locally.

They gave me some ideas and methods that I will be able to use. I intend to use their social media tips and research awards. I was surprised how informal the session was but this made the audience more comfortable asking questions.

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