Proactive Recruiting - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

The heart of the recruiting workforce is an itinerant bunch who move through the industry every economic cycle.

Proactive Recruiting

Are you listening to the HRExaminer Radio Show? We are 16 episodes into a long learning curve. Live radio, even the internet version, provides no shortage of opportunities to ‘grow’.

The show focuses exclusively on technical recruiting. Each half hour segment (weekly on Fridays at 11pacific, 2 eastern), is an interview with a single guest. The guests are practitioners, vendors, trainers and leaders in the field.

This year, the show is sponsored by DICE. They’ve very generously agreed to help us get the show on the road (so to speak).

All of this is prelude to saying that tech recruiting is different. In spite of great coverage in the New York Times and HRExecutive magazine, technology innovation is not driving a transformation in technical recruiting. And, if technical recruiting isn’t being transformed, you can be sure the rest of the industry isn’t either.

The heart of the recruiting workforce is an itinerant bunch who move through the industry every economic cycle. When the economy is flush, there are 750,000 recruiters. When it’s down, there are no more that 200,000. The swings in the recruiter population are even more severe in the tech sector (because the highs are higher and the lows lower in tech).

Our guests talk about the development of judgment. They talk about the challenge of understanding what a candidate says. They know about the difference between fit in one company and another. They live and breathe culture and its development.

The process of selecting a technical candidate has a series of steps.

  1. Find people who claim to know how to do the work
  2. Validate their skills (generally in real time)
  3. Interview them for fit and temperament
  4. Shepherd them through the interview process
  5. Make and negotiate an offer.

Recruiting is a bidirectional sale (as Hank Stringer is fond of saying). Unlike any other form of contracting, the recruiter is responsible for managing and balancing the expectations of both sides of the process while trying to create the highest value for the organization. It’s a difficult and nuanced balancing act.

The fundamental process resists “transformation” . Most technologies have the effect of normalizing one process or another. While it is inescapably true that process consistency produces better results, the real value is in the recruiter’s interactions with both sides of the equation. That work must be completely tailored.

Technology is really important, just not transformative.


Meanwhile, our guests describe the market realities; what it’s like to live in the trenches.

You can listen to the shows in our archives at the links below. Or, you can download them to your ipod or phone.

Read previous post:
HRExaminer Radio: Episode #16: William Uranga

  HRExaminer Radio Episode: 16 Date: Apr 30, 2013 Guest: William Uranga   William Uranga is the Director of Talent...