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Ask The Expert

Are you just soliciting HR for jobs? It’s Open Season now.

Ask a Human Resource or Talent Acquisition Rep how many calls they get in a week from recruiters, or even in a day!

Then ask them how many email messages they get from recruiters in the same time frame! The larger the company’s employee count, the more extensive the number of contacts they receive. As openings increase, so do solicitations from recruiters. It is indeed unmanageable, and recruiters are a relentless nuisance! Period. We are.

How many calls do you think they answer, or how many messages do they return from unfamiliar solicitors?

I have the answer. NONE.

As the President of ROW (Recruiters of Wisconsin), I am often challenged by others on the content of my articles. “That’s a little bold, Mark! It would be best if you didn’t discuss going around HR; they should be our allies. We need them.”

Let’s be honest. One responsibility of the HR department is to manage the company’s hiring budget and outside vendors, which includes functioning as a gatekeeper. Here is another shocker: retaining and engaging recruiters on searches is not always a company’s first choice.

Good recruiters know how and when to “back-door” HR. In fairness, it should not be a recruiter’s first choice either. Before you do this backdooring, have your records in order of how you tried getting ahold of HR. Send emails and leave voicemails with HR before you go around them.

To have any success doing this, you have to know a few things about this scenario…

First, you better have a superstar candidate! You must have exclusivity representing that candidate and have the candidate’s complete confidence, trust, and loyalty. You need a unique product unavailable by other means. Otherwise, you may be wasting your time and get screwed out of a fee. (Ask me how I know next time we meet.)

If you have an A+ candidate and know there is a critical need at a company that would love your candidate, try this back-door option. Go to the company’s LinkedIn page, find a few managers who may have the opening, and email them a teaser – or take off all identifying characteristics and send the candidate’s resume directly to them. Managers can’t stand not getting the timely help they need from HR. Managers also don’t care about “approved vendors” or the recruiting company name on the check.

I want to be clear that backdooring HR is not a good recruiter’s first choice. However, the best recruiters always want and work towards a 3-way win. Suppose you need to back door HR to finally get an annoying and stale job opening off their desk? You may find yourself a new ally!

Happy hunting – the season is open!

Written by: Mark Rowbottom, President – Recruiters of Wisconsin

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