On Understanding Your Recruitment Strategy and Not Letting Psychology Interfere with Finding the Right Candidates…
Christine Rowe has been heading Human Resources at Vault since 2018. Having worked in many industries, when Rowe recollects the span of her 20-year-career in Human Resources, one thing that has remained the same in the everchanging employment landscape is her outlook on best practices within the recruitment process. “We make a big deal about recruitment being so different in every industry. To me, recruitment is developing a relationship and learning about the candidate’s skills and what they can bring to the table,” asserts Rowe.
As the Director of Human Resources at Vault, Rowe balances recruitment needs and efforts to avoid being over or understaffed. “One day you can feel full and the next day we might win a large client and need to find two people,” she notes.
Contrary to the popular belief among human resource workers and hiring managers, Rowe doesn’t believe there is a shortage of candidates; in fact, she thinks the talent pool runs quite deep. “Everyone is in the talent pool…everyone has LinkedIn. Everyone gets alerts. Even those working are on the market, which in turn expands your hiring pool,” she observes.
As the way people acquire roles has gone from job seekers answering classified ads to professionals on LinkedIn being pinged from recruiters, Rowe agrees that some shifts are appropriate evolutions within digital age recruitment. Though, she is confident that artificial intelligence will not take over her role because human resources is a face-to-face function. It is also a function that requires respect and transparency, which are variables built under Vault’s relationship-building strategy.
At Vault, Rowe never uses the phrase “top talent” on a job opening because according the Director of Human Resources, everyone has their talents; moreover, people who aren’t fit for one role may flourish in another. When Rowe is looking at a prospective candidate, she is analyzing their skillset and their adaptability, not whether they’re perfect or not.
Rowe argues that rather than finding the perfect candidate, companies should focus on filling their resource gaps, “it’s a business question. They have to realize what the business units are and what the needs are. It’s so simple. It’s a yes or a no. You either want this candidate or you don’t.”
And sometimes, even when she has found a great candidate, it might not be the right timing. Still, because Rowe’s approach is to maintain relationships, rejecting good candidates doesn’t mean the relationship ends there. She often reaches out to previous applicants when new roles emerge. “We’ve had candidates where it doesn’t work out on the phone screen—but a few months later we were able to re-engage. Timing has a lot to do with it,” reflects Rowe.
Time is always of the essence in recruitment. Another way Rowe tackles timing in her recruitment strategy is by not letting job openings languish on the server. When roles open, she fills them. She encourages management to allot a certain amount of time to fill the role; otherwise, she advises to take dated posts down to avoid companies seeming like unresponsive employers.
In a tight labor market, this is Vault’s recruitment strategy, “we’re selling a position, but we’re also selling a relationship.” Rowe harnesses the tried and true power of person-to-person relationships in recruiting. She values transparency and respect between both parties, and that includes dismissing the idea that ‘top talent’ exists. She doesn’t let herself get tripped up on chasing a purple unicorn, nor does she let openings dwindle on the website or inquiries from candidates go unanswered. “I think we have to clearly define what types of people we are looking for, and we need to be realistic that there’s no such thing as a perfect person,” she concludes.