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Confessions Series Part One: Confessions of a Recruiter

Danielle McClow
November 17 ․ 12 min read

There's no secret that we have a talent shortage today or that we're living in a worker economy. But did you know we also have a recruiter shortage? That means the people meant to do the hiring are... missing. 

6.8x more recruiter jobs posted in June 2021 vs. June 2020

Recruiter job postings on LinkedIn have steadily increased since the beginning of the year and have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. According to LinkedIn research, the demand for recruiters is happening at scale, across industries, and around the world. 

The recruiter shortage impacts hiring

The truth is we can't properly attract and retain talent for open roles when we don't have the people in the seats to recruit them. Without the core TA team working on innovative recruitment marketing strategies and campaigns, your talent pipelines will remain empty. 

The recruiter shortage data show changes in where recruiters are coming from and what they value most. It's important to break down the data and get to know the real stories behind the recruiter's pain to create a recruitment marketing strategy that appeals to today's recruiters first then extend it to other open and niche roles. 

To help you get started, we interviewed our internal subject matter expert Judith Russell, VP Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

JudiJudith Russell, VP Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Judith continues to function as a recruiter and heads up a team of contract recruiters. She oversees all projects for clients within the recruitment process outsourcing environment. 

These are her stories...

Confessions of a Recruiter: Part One

  • Why do you think we have a recruiter shortage? 

We see quite literally almost every company having hiring needs. Because there is such a high demand to hire employees, that in turn creates higher turnover and demand for “good” recruiters. This results in a lot of stress on recruiters to find candidates (like pulling them out of their hat!). 

Also, just like job candidates looking for a better situation, recruiters seek a better work-life balance and less stress in their role, plus a higher salary. 

(Check out how recruitment marketing can boost your brand for the great rehire here.) 

  • Why have recruiters been so negatively impacted by COVID?

When the pandemic began almost eighteen months ago, the job market came to a standstill and some recruiters actually lost their jobs. 

Once the pandemic improved and employers started reaching out to hire either their former employees or others to fill their positions they found that many people didn’t want to return (many wanted to try something new). The demand to hire quickly fell on recruiters. This became and still remains a very difficult task. 

  • Do you see recruiter burnout today, and how can you prevent it? 

To prevent burnout, each recruiter needs to evaluate what is most important to them in their role.

- Do they want to work FT or PT?

- Do they want to work remotely or in person?

- How many reqs can the recruiter handle comfortably? 

Most importantly, recruiters need to discuss expectations with their hiring managers (HM) and agree on them. The HM needs to act quickly in these high-demand times where each candidate knows they can go almost anywhere! An example of this may be that once the recruiter sends the HM a really good candidate, the HM needs to schedule an interview within two business days. 

(Check out tips from a CRO on how to grow and retain your employees here.) 

  • What’s the most challenging part about being a recruiter in general? 

Not getting distracted with other things and staying focused on the positions you are recruiting for. And finding the “right fit” for the position. In addition, many recruiters are not versed in sourcing candidates. They have been comfortable in the past with only handling applicants that applied on their website. In this environment sourcing candidates is essential. 

  • What’s the most challenging part of leading a team of recruiters? 

The most challenging part of leading a team of recruiters is knowing each person’s strengths, getting their availability and matching them with the right project work. I am blessed to have a wonderful experienced team and we have worked together for many years. 

  • What top KPIs do you tell recruiters to focus on? 

Focusing on quality candidates is our number one priority for our recruiters. We enjoy exceeding our clients’ expectations!

(Check out how to get that recruitment marketing data talking here.) 

  • How do you support recruiters in managing workload and automating tasks? 

We are fortunate at Symphony Talent to use our own tools to recruit and source candidates both for our clients and for our own openings.

It’s great using tools that internal teams work on to build and improve and having the ability to weigh in on the features and benefits based on our user experiences. 

To help automate our team’s tasks, I participate in each project. I manage the workload depending on the recruiter and their preferred number of hours. I always ensure we have a backup for any recruiter, so there is never a delay in services during the project. 

  • What gets you excited in the world of TA/HR? 

I love the “Win-Win” in finding and hiring the right candidate and providing a “good fit.”  It is always a joy speaking to candidates and learning something special about that person. 

  • How’d you pivot to virtual recruitment? Do you see virtual staying around into 2022 and beyond? 

At Symphony Talent, we transitioned to virtual tools rather quickly, especially having virtual job fair events for clients. Clients are embracing the positive aspects of having a CRM and using it. 

We know that virtual tools will continue to evolve in the coming years. According to Pew Research center, “ Their broad and nearly universal view is that people’s relationship with technology will deepen as larger segments of the population come to rely more on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions, and essential social interactions. A number describes this as a “tele-everything” world.”

  • How do you implement a DEI strategy and then carry that through with recruitment marketing tactics and tools? 

According to Forbes, “Data shows clearly that DEI is a priority for workers and job seekers, with 67% of people on the job market stating that racial and gender diversity is an important factor in their job search.” 

In addition, Glassdoor’ stated, “When job-seekers are looking to see if a company has a diverse group of employees and whether current employees are happy with the company, they tend to put the most trust in employee reviews: 66% of employees and job seekers trust employees the most when it comes to an understanding what diversity & inclusion looks like at a company.” (Currently, in my role, that is the function of our People Success Team who do a great job).

(Check out how to promote DEI at your org here.)

Want to learn more talent attraction tips? 

If you're interested in learning more about recruitment marketing for today's worker economy, check out "The Great Rehire and Beyond: Your ultimate guide to recruitment marketing for the new talent landscape." 

Great Rehire Guide