Yes, yes, yes, I am 100% biased! I know that each person and every department contributes to organizational success, but the importance of recruiting is often underplayed.

My professional passion has always been geared towards talent acquisition. Why? Because I like to make a difference. That is corny, I know, but it is true. It is an amazing feeling when I can offer my candidate a role that rocks – one that’s exciting, challenging, and can provide them with a solid career for their future.

Recruiting is multi-dimensional. The company wants game changers and top performers, but the candidate’s experience is just as valuable as the organization’s needs. Recruiting is balancing the needs of all parties to come up with a winning solution for all.

This is why recruiting is crucial to your organization.

Recruiting is Not a Sales Job

I cringe when I hear that recruiters are “just” salespeople. I understand why people say it, but recruiting has evolved and will continue to do so. Companies are in a battle for top talent, which means the recruiter must become a strategic business partner. The butts-in-seat mentality must be retired in exchange for a more strategic and proactive hiring approach. Recruiting is complicated and people are not a sales product.

7 Ways Recruiters Can Be Strategy-driven  

When it comes to the bottom line, there is nothing that will make a bigger impact than hiring the best people the business can find. Every person hired must be an intentional placement, and for a specific value-added reason.

If the organization doesn’t bring in the right talent, business will suffer and the candidate will not be satisfied. This responsibility falls initially on the recruiter’s shoulders. It’s not easy, but I’d challenge anyone to find something more fulfilling when it’s done right.

There are seven things that must happen if the recruiter is going to be a strategic partner.


Recruiters must be passionate about their job, the company, and the candidates. And, great recruiters are passionate about getting results. This passion brings a spark to the interview and that spark ignites until the passion spreads and becomes contagious. When candidates walk away from an interview on a high and they can’t wait to work for the organization, you’ve done something right.

Important note: When you have passion, you don’t have to “sell” your company. Besides, no person wants to be “sold” anything anyway. The day you lose passion with your company, you’re not doing justice for yourself, your leaders, or for your candidates. If you believe in what you have to offer, so will the candidate.

A Recruiter and Hiring Manager Alliance

A recruiter who doesn’t understand job requirements is not effective in bringing the right talent. The candidate also loses out if that knowledge is not communicated effectively. Knowing the job is essential for a recruiter if they are to source, recruit, evaluate, and close candidates properly.

Recruiters cannot only be “buzzword” searchers. Being a strategic business partner means establishing a bond with the hiring manager.  Time must be spent with them so that they understand the nuances of their unit.

Typical questions recruiting partners can ask the hiring manager:

  • What are your key business initiatives for the next quarter, the next year? How does that relate to the strategy of the organization?
  • What are the critical competencies you require in your workforce to meet and exceed your business objectives?
  • Who are your top performers? What characteristics do they have?
  • What characteristics exist in those employees who are less successful?
  • What is your work style?
  • How do you define the culture of your department?
  • How will success be measured in this role?

These questions help to develop a collaborative partnership and will provide the keen insight you need to recruit.

A note to managers: Set aside time to do this.  If you want quality candidates, work closely with your recruiter.

Automation Never Gets in the Way of Candidate Service

Recruiting is now an automated process – much to the dismay of candidates. Candidates often feel that submitting resumes is like throwing something into a black hole. The recruiter who goes out of their way and picks up the phone, carries on conversations, and continues to network are the ones worth their weight in gold.

Relationship Building Never Stops

Recruiters must build solid relationships with their candidates, peers, and hiring managers. Anyone can retrieve a name out of a database, but it’s another thing to cultivate and build a relationship with candidates. Recruiting is about building a network not just for today but for beyond.

Top recruiters also build a network of industry peers and professionals because you will pull from both resources when acquiring top talent. Make friends with other recruiters outside of your own company. If you have a candidate that you can’t make a match for, connect with your other networks. The goal is to grow careers – even if that is outside of your organization.

Endurance and Perseverance

“But, I can’t find anyone that meets the qualifications”. Recruiting isn’t easy. It’s a tough business but recruiters must be relentless in their pursuit of candidates. That’s where resilience and the mentality you display in your career comes into play. That’s one reason why it’s so important to build your relationships and your candidate pool. The more your pool expands, the easier it will be to find the right talent.

There’s no silver bullet in recruiting. What works with one requisition may not work on another.

Knowing Trends Keeps You Innovative and Knowledgeable

Recruiters must have their finger on the pulse of the industry. Know the industry trends, the latest technology, best practices, and the competitors. The ability to come across as a subject matter expert rather than a “recruiter” is an advantage when it comes to attracting and hiring in-demand talent.

Candidate Experience is Crucial

Recruiters don’t play games. This is perhaps the most important item here. The candidate experience is a significant aspect in the recruiting cycle. How applicants are treated can blemish your brand in a just a single interface. Great recruiters understand this. They never lose touch with the human side of recruiting and they treat candidates with the respect they deserve. It’s okay to have a heart and still get results. This comes by way of the first contact all the way through to the offer (or no offer) stage.

A recruiter’s power comes from influence and is grounded in trust and competence. It’s the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do until you.

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Jan Johnston Osburn is a Certified Career Coach and Organizational Consultant. Her organizational specialties are Talent Acquisition, Training, and Leadership Development. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Buckingham, UK, and has certifications in Executive Coaching and Advanced Social Media. Her website is www.YourBestLifeTodayCoaching.Com .