Transforming Recruiters Into Business Partners

The way companies recruit has changed greatly over the years, but there’s at least one more area in which recruiting has room to grow. While the tools and methods have evolved, the role recruiters play within organizations tends to be stagnant. Like many support departments, HR and recruiting are often segmented and not heavily involved with the business side of the business, but they should be.  

Recruiting has a direct effect on morale and performance, which leads to revenue and organizational success. It would make sense then for recruiters to not just complete the task of recruiting but to be a true business partner, working closely with hiring managers to understand the business, its goals and how to achieve them. Of course, this takes buy in from all sides, but when your company understands the value of recruiters beyond the literal action of recruiting, it can reap the benefits of successful, strategic recruiting.  

Take a look at these three ways to transform your recruiters into business partners and earn the seat at the table that your team, and company, need.  

Take the initiative  

In a perfect world, executive leadership would see the value in recruiter business partners, hiring managers would devote time to the relationship and the entire organization would view recruiting in a different light. In the real world, however, you and your team will likely champion the effort. It’ll be up to you to show leadership how you can add value, and you’ll spend the time and effort initially to develop stronger relationships that support being a business partner. Taking initiative might mean inviting yourself to staff meetings, inquiring about departments’ specific goals and asking questions that get you and your hiring managers thinking about what the ideal candidate really looks like.  

Build trust  

As recruiters cross the line from fulfilling one function to being true business partners, a new trust has to be established. Hiring managers have a lot of responsibilities aside from hiring, so they want to know that the time they invest in this new relationship is worthwhile. They also need to believe that their recruiter business partner truly understands their needs, which will be evidenced by successful hires. Every time a recruiter business partner is able to take the critical information they’ve sought out and turn that into an excellent selection of candidates and eventually the perfect hire, trust is built. Success leads to trust, which leads to hiring managers investing more time and effort in the recruiter business partner relationship.  

Be consistent  

Once recruiters are moving towards becoming business partners and initial trust has been developed, consistency will be key to strengthening the partnership. Consistency in this area translates to seeing requests through, sticking to a timeline, joining staff meetings regularly, having one-on-ones with hiring managers, re-evaluating and measuring, and continuing to put forth the effort even after the relationship has been established. It’s the hardest part because it’s ongoing, but it’s what makes all the effort worthwhile. It shows your hiring managers that being invested in their success and their area of the business wasn’t just a fad. It’s also what sets the organization up for success both now and in the future.  

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.