Why Work with a Direct Hire Recruiter?
Identifying and hiring an IT technology worker—one with the right skills, experience and cultural fit—for a permanent position is a challenge for any employer. And in our current rapid hiring environment, it’s even more difficult to do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Jeff Miller, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Direct Hire division of EdgeLink, a Talent Group Company with offices in Portland, Denver and Salt Lake City, has decades of experience matching the right candidate to the right job. He sums up the challenges this way: “We find a majority of companies struggle with the hiring process.”
Queen Consulting spoke with Jeff about why an employer would choose to work with a direct hire recruiter to fill permanent positions—and how that company can save time and money while doing so.
(EdgeLink, formed in 2003, focuses on providing contract, direct hire and contract-to-hire technical talent, with specialties in software R&D, IT infrastructure and networking. Approximately 40% of EdgeLink’s business is in placing direct hire candidates in companies that range from small start-ups to established firms with 500–1,000 employees.)
What Does the Direct Hire Process Look Like?
Starting with a Conversation
EdgeLink begins the hiring process with a conversation. Jeff says, “We start by working to thoroughly understand the job: why it’s open, what’s the level of urgency, what the candidate will focus on, what’s the culture of the workplace.” The goal of this meeting is to “get as much information as humanly possible so that we’re heading in the right direction. It’s important to meet the people who are working there, see where the candidate will work and observe the culture firsthand.”
A good culture match, says Jeff, accounts for 50% of the hiring decision. “We can find the best person on paper, with the right technical skills, but if they’re not a good culture fit, they’re not going to get an offer.”
Putting the Machine to Work
Next, as Jeff puts it, “we put our machine to work. Our team discusses the hiring need and creates an ideal candidate profile. Then we review our data base of candidates that we have built over the years and make outreach calls. Our goal is to submit three to five top candidates within one week.”
As EdgeLink continues through the hiring process, they set up interviews, conduct resume checks and other vetting activities, and develop an offer.
The Benefits of Working with a Direct Hire Recruiter
Chief among the reasons to engage a direct hire recruiter are savings in time and money, and timely access to highly qualified candidates.
Time is Money
Explains Jeff, “For most employers, there are a lot of inefficiencies in the hiring process, and we can walk them through it much more efficiently. If a client is hiring on their own, they’re spending lots of time posting job descriptions, looking through resumes, calling candidates, setting up phone screens, finding out if there’s a good match—all to get one or two candidates that might be a fit.”
“We connect the dots. We connect the person with the company. And we’re always looking three steps ahead, asking questions in advance to flush out any problems and prevent delays or dealbreakers. We can do all that for the client, which allows them to focus on their more meaningful work. So the goal for us is to help clients save time, and as the saying goes, time is money.”
“We talk about how time kills deals, and it’s true,” continues Jeff. “There are a lot of options out there for candidates, who can be interviewing at several other companies. And usually, the company that wins the best candidate is the one that has the best process.”
Relationships with Candidates
EdgeLink credits their ability to quickly find that best candidate to the relationships they have developed. “Everybody has access to job seekers now, through LinkedIn and job boards, but there’s a difference between having access versus actually having a relationship in place, in which trust is built up,” explains Jeff. “Relationships and trust are so important. People won’t share information and emotions with you unless you have that.”
“Candidates often share with us the other companies they are looking at, which helps us guide the client in terms of which candidates to focus on and whether to make an offer or not. By narrowing that down, we save the client time and wasted effort. In the end, we don’t want the client to make an offer unless it will be accepted.”
Jeff also notes that typically, 90% of EdgeLink’s candidates aren’t actively looking for a new job and so would not necessarily respond to a job posting. “But because we have a relationship with these people and know what their desired next career step is, we can contact them with a potentially great opportunity. Maybe half of our candidates in that situation will go on to look into an opening. In this way, EdgeLink can identify top candidates that a client would never otherwise get a chance to consider.”
High Quality, High Touch
“EdgeLink is high quality and high touch,” explains Jeff. “We build relationships both with the people making the hiring decisions and the people who will potentially work for them. Some of our clients use us for all their openings, and because we know them so well and understand what they want, we can be incredibly fast in filling the positions with great candidates.”
In a challenging job search, Jeff will recommend that the client use other resources in addition to EdgeLink. “The goal is always to hire the best candidate, whether it’s through us or other staffing firms. Ultimately,” he concludes, “we are all about getting the best people for the job.”