Tag Archives: Recruitment

A Savvy Recruiter (Part 1 of 2)

Fotolia © Stephen CoburnHuman resource practitioners consistently talk about being business partners with the clients whom we support.  Human resource managers want our line management to value the advice and solutions we provide.  More often though, business managers don’t understand the advice we provide and how it relates to helping them achieve their business objectives.  That is because HR professional offer solutions from the HR perspective.  They often lack the insight of the core issues affecting business managers.  The most effective HR solutions are those made with true understanding of the business and goals.

Recruitment professionals deal with the same issues.  While a recruiter’s desire is to help line managers find the best candidate and quickly, they frequently face situations where managers reject the set of candidates presented and being asked to find better qualified candidates.  Hiring cycle time are lengthy and misses targeted recruitment time frame.

A “Savvy Recruiter” is a recruitment professional who understands business requirements, finds qualified candidates and has support and trust of the business management.  If you observe carefully, there are some recruiters who show a certain level of confidence.  They don’t seem to have any difficulty sourcing for the right candidates.  They can talk with fluency of the business strategy, challenges and opportunities.  Business managers seek out savvy recruiters to help them with the toughest recruitment cases.

Savvy recruiters exhibit the follow three qualities:

#1) Being Prepared

  • Most job requisitions are not new and are often for replacement and incremental headcount. In fact, the majority of positions posted need the same skill sets as previous hires.  The savvy recruiter can use previous hiring profiles as a basis to get a jump start on sourcing candidates.
  • The savvy recruiter also works with HRBP and training teams to better understand skills gap of the team.  They use this information to source for better qualified candidates who can meet the current and future needs of the organization.
  • Knowing the business team is critical to being a savvy recruiter.  They can have insightful discussions with business managers about succession planning and offer job rotation suggestions to current employees.  These types of discussions help line managers think about career development for their existing team.

#2) Know The Market

  • Having updated market intelligence data such as competitor companies and talent skill set map is a hallmark of a savvy recruiter.  This can prove to business managers that you understand where to target potential candidate recruitment.  You have insight into business environment and the surrounding talent market.
  • During your hiring debrief, a savvy recruit will do some preliminary homework by bringing sample resumes to the meeting.  Having a set of sample resumes helps managers consider the potential profiles and offer insight of the preferred candidate, many times the profile requirements are not written in the job description.
  • Knowing the technical requirements of the role is also another strength of a savvy recruiter.  A recruiter who knows and understand the technical domain of a job role can screen, expertly interview and shortlist candidates for a hiring manager.

#3) Deliver Top Candidates

  • Ask you hiring managers for candidate referrals.  A players refer A players.  A savvy recruiter will go one step further to engage hiring managers to go through their LinkedIn connections and to post the vacancy on their WeChat account to proactively involve the hiring managers in the sourcing process.
  • A savvy recruiter will always personally interview their candidates before they presenting profiles to the hiring manager.  Recruiting is not about presenting volumes of resume to hiring teams.  It is about presenting a small set of qualified candidates to the hiring team and know exactly which candidate will be hired.
  • It is not done until it is done.  Recruitment does not end at the time of an offer accept.  A savvy recruiter will follow-up with the candidate offered until the person in on-board and at least, until the new hire has passed probation.  The recruiter will develop an on-going relationship with the new hire for future candidate referrals.

In summary, a savvy recruiter knows the business and the talent needed for the organization.  Secondly, the savvy recruiter is networked with both internal and external talent market.  Lastly, the savvy recruiter can influence the hiring outcome.  These are the qualities of a recruitment professional who can demonstrate the highest impact to the business they support.  Ultimately, they gain the trust of hiring managers and help teams become winning organizations.

What does it take to locate and recruit the best? in HR Matters Magazine

What does it take to locate and recruit the best?

I was interviewed in HR Matters Magazine for their January 2103 issue along with Tim Norman of DreamWorks Technology and Christa Foley from Zappos.com.  The three of us share in common of working for Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2012 (DreamWorks #14, Zappos.com #11, Qualcomm #23).


In the article, I discuss the following points:
  • Bring your talent base closer to the customer

since some of the top mobile manufacturers are also located here, it makes sense to bring engineering talent closer to our customer base. This in turn is driving the increase in hiring wireless engineering talent in Asia.

  • Hiring beyond pure engineering talent

Customer Astuteness – we look not just for talent who possess strong core engineering skills but are astute with customer and market needs.


Technology Savvy – Most of those who work in areas such as marketing, finance or HR are not trained as engineers. However, we strive to select those who “tinker” with wireless gadgets and who are tech savvy.

Cross-cultural Leadership – In leadership roles, we look for individuals with a proven track record of building and leading strong engineering organizations.

  • Build strong relationship prospective candidates for the long-term

Talented individuals are always highly regarded and engaged in high profile projects.  They often are not looking for the next move but already have a clear designated career path. We make it a practice to involve our hiring managers and executives in building relationships with prospective candidates.


Download the excerpt article here.  Please visit the HR Matters website here.