Recruiting Can Be Hard Work!

What comes to mind when you think of hard work in talent acquisition?

Is it phone screening 8 people on the same day? Culling on-target candidates from a req with 200 applicants? Getting a 6-person hiring team to all agree on which finalist to hire? What’s hard work to you?

For me, the hardest work is “direct source” recruiting.

To a lot of recruiters, it’s just plain recruiting, but those new to the industry or in Corporate TA roles may not do it very often. Basically, direct source is developing a list of people that do similar work and contacting them to see if they’d be interested in pursuing something new, preferably an opening that needs candidates.

It’s pretty labor intensive, and with all the administrative tasks, it’s hard for corporate recruiters to do much of it. If a company hires a lot of tough in-demand talent, they may have a staff member or two focusing on direct source recruiting. Companies with a few of these nagging reqs a month typically farm the work out to external recruiters. At my company, this is all we do.

We usually get the openings no one else can complete.

The reason is that we only work on projects where a company makes the commitment to partner with us by sharing access to the hiring manager and any other company information needed to fill the job with a top performer. They also need to agree to pay us for the work we do (we do provide a deadline, a “fixed” fee and guarantee a hire is made too!).

At first, they start out testing us with a crazy difficult project, but quickly like the idea of having a dedicated team who knows their business. Pretty much thereafter they give us any req needing external support, realizing that they’ll get a top performer. It also helps that our costs are way less than other firms and the shorter time to fill rates means lowering the expense of the job being vacant. All around a win-win.

Think of it this way:

Picture a burst pipe and a bathroom filled with water. There are 5-6 contingent plumbers looking into the water, but they can’t tell how big the hole is and the water is climbing fast. One by one they leave because, well, they won’t be paid unless they fix it, and they can’t tell if they can. In desperation, you grab the last one walking out the door and thrust money in their hands begging them not to leave.

That’s typically us, and we always seem to know how to fix the leak…


K.C. Donovan

Likes to “live in the future, then build what’s missing.” As a recruitment innovation strategist, he has a unique blend of marketing, recruiting, sales, and entrepreneurial executive experience. Is a frequent blogger, webinar and conference contributor to the global recruiting conversation. A 5x company founder, has managed teams of up to 400 and held numerous internal and external TA leadership roles. Currently, manages DonoVision, a Talent Agency using advanced engagement techniques delivering only top 20% performers with a “hire guarantee” for all projects



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