If you’re interested in a recruiting career, it is essential to prepare for your first conversation with an internal recruiter at a staffing agency. Because the basis of your job will revolve around communication and sourcing, you should be going into this conversation with specific talking points and questions at the ready.
Brooke Stemen, Director of Talent Acquisition at Green Key, has these discussions daily with prospective recruiters. She shares her key points and concepts to remember when having that first conversation with a staffing agency or speaking with Brooke herself.
The staffing industry, as a whole, is a production environment. All or a large portion of our income directly correlates to our production. If you’ve worked in recruiting or sales in the past, it is essential to be knowledgeable and able to speak about your production. Brooke stresses, “You should have relevant production numbers both on your resume and be ready to discuss with talent acquisition.”
Be prepared to discuss your book of business. You’ll want to have some key numbers on hand, such as your average weekly spread/gross margin, headcount on assignment, and most importantly, annual gross profit. “As a recruiter, this is your time to brag and quantify how good you are! You really want to be knowledgeable on your own productivity. Before moving candidates forward in our process, I always make sure candidates are able to discuss what they’ve accomplished in their previous roles,” Brooke reiterates.
In addition to the numbers, be sure to discuss which geographical areas you’ve supported in the past. If you have pipelines in a certain area, and your new agency is looking to hire in that area, this is something you will want to emphasize during your first conversation as it may effect where you can support in the future if you have a non-compete.
Every industry and skillset are found differently. Stemen emphasizes, “For example, the sourcing strategy to find a nurse is VERY different than how you find a software engineer.” Not all sourcing tools are created equal. During this discussion, thoroughly describe your sourcing strategies and tools and provide examples of how they have worked for you in the past.
“Every recruiter says they have LinkedIn experience,” Brooke says. “But the connections and engagement speak for themselves.” The ability to use LinkedIn as a networking tool is a huge aspect of recruiting. Internal Recruiters always notice your connections or lack thereof, as well as the pages you follow, and how you engage with others on the platform.
As a prospective candidate, you should always research the company and who you’re meeting with prior to having this first conversation. Stemen encourages you to LinkedIn connect with the hiring manager prior to meeting with them to show you did some prep work. Additionally, study the agency’s website, which industries they support, and what values are. The internal recruiter you speak with will want to know how their values align with their own.
If you’re interested in advancing your recruiting career, or want to learn more, don’t hesitate to connect with Brooke on LinkedIn and get these conversations started today!