When it comes to finding an appropriate title that describes what a recruiter does, the vocabulary in the English language falls completely flat. The term recruiter can take on many meanings depending on which profession it is being applied to in the moment.
For example, in collegiate sports, recruiting is used to funnel athletic talent onto a team that is guaranteed to lose its senior class each year to graduation. In the fine arts, such as musicians, actors, and performers, recruiting can be a talent agency constantly on the lookout for the next big star.
Hospitals recruit physicians and technicians, while nursing homes continuously recruit nurses often from multiple countries. There are recruiting firms that specialize in recruiting hospitality staff for five-star resorts and those that cater (pun intended) only to supplying sous chefs to small restaurants. Universities also use external recruiting firms for recruiting provosts, presidents, and other posts in academia. Law firms use recruiters. Cities, counties and municipalities use recruiting firms for heads of transportation, education, and other department leadership. Name 1000 specialties and I can tell you there are 10 search firms serving each niche.
As a founding partner of IRES, a talent acquisition firm soon entering its thirtieth year, I’ve sat in countless boardrooms, conference rooms and executive offices from mid-town Manhattan to Los Angeles, and Mexico City to Toronto including financial hubs of Europe. From this experience, I have come to realize even C-suite executives, and those comprising of their upper management teams, have little realization of how much expertise a capable executive search consultant possesses. It’s not their fault as recruiting outside of the company is for most, like replacing the roof on your house: it’s something many executives do not get involved with each year.
Here are a few of the skills my team and I must bring to the table in order to deliver consistent results:
Above all a professional executive recruiter MUST be knowledgeable with all Federal Compliance Laws affecting hiring including but not limited to:
So, there you have it! More than forty different underlying skills are necessary to be a successful recruiter (occasionally I perform those skills in one of 4 languages). The simple title of recruiter does a very poor job of explaining what a recruiter actually does. I’m thinking magician might be more apropos!
If you have made it this far I hope you have a better appreciation of the multitude of skills a competent talent acquisition and executive search firm must bring to bear on each hiring project.
* Our involvement on such issues is limited to helping identify the need for a CPA, Attorney, CFP or other dedicated professional.