How a Single Recruiter Made 120 Hires in One Year

May 26, 2016

“There are two types of recruiters. Those who fish, and those who hunt,” says Liza Klein, HR Business Partner at MetTel, a cutting-edge telecom service provider. “Those who fish wait for the right one to arrive. Those who hunt are looking for the one they want. I’m a hunter.”

There’s no doubt about that. Last year, Liza single-handedly recruited and hired 120 people to the now 400-person company. Some small recruiting teams hire 100 people year, but she’s doing it all on her own, while also balancing her human resource responsibilities.

While 60% of her time last year was dedicated to recruiting, she also implemented a new hire onboarding process, and formalized performance KPIs and reviews across the organization.

In other words, she is super woman. 

How does she efficiently hire so many people by herself, and stay sane? She’s a master at keyword searching and pipelining. Here are some of her tactics for doing it all.

First, get to the essence of the hiring manager

When most recruiters first meet with the hiring manager, they go straight to the description of the ideal candidate. Not Liza. She starts her hiring process by zeroing in on the personality of the hiring manager and his or her team.

“Successful recruiting is 50% dependent on the candidate, and 50% on the hiring manager,” she explains. “Therefore, I want a deep understanding of the hiring manager's work personality and management style, so I can create the perfect match between them and the candidate.”

When Liza meets with the hiring manager, she asks questions like:

  • What do you appreciate in people?
  • What drives you crazy?
  • What skills does this new hire need that you don’t have?
  • How do you prioritize your day?
  • Describe your team’s culture.
  • How do you manage conflict?
  • How do you lead your team?
  • How do you prioritize?
  • What makes you happy at the end of the day?
  • What are you looking to achieve?

Here, it’s more about understanding the individual than the job itself in order to ensure a positive match between the hiring manager and candidate.

“Once I have this information, I analyze the personality of the manager, so I can identify the type of candidate that I need to hire,” she explains.

Then, focus on the needs of the role

After she has a solid understanding of the hiring manager and his or her team, she asks questions to learn about the job requirements, the market, the competitors, and the structure of the organization.

The focus is to understand the results the hiring manager is looking to achieve and what the candidate should be able to deliver in terms of quantity, time, and money.

Questions she asks include:

  • What should this new hire accomplish?
  • Who do they need to work with?
  • What skills are required to get those results?  
  • What will the candidate achieve for himself?

These questions help her understand the expectations of the role, and identify the key skills and/or experiences needed to be successful in the job.

Source with specific keywords

Liza's next step is to build her candidate sourcing strategy.

First, she reviews all of the information about the hiring manager and the role. Then, she lists the must-have qualities, skills and experiences the ideal candidate needs.

Liza then plugs these keywords into LinkedIn Recruiter to search and prioritize candidates. “When I say ‘keywords,’ I don’t mean job titles or buzzwords,” Liza explains. “I mean the unique hard and soft skills that both the job and the hiring manager require.”

For example, she’s hiring a Director and one of the must-have experiences for the role is building a corporate communications team from the ground up. Liza searches for similar titles and keywords that fit that experience, paying special attention to the specific results that the prospect lists in her profile.

Use phone interviews for both screening and pipelining candidates

On average, Liza conducts 40 - 50 phone screens per role. That’s almost 6,000 phone calls last year! To make sure this time is valuable, she uses phone screens not just to assess candidates, but also to pipeline for future roles.

When she screens candidates, she focuses on the key skills needed, and if the individual’s working personality will support the hiring manager. She also actively listens to the candidate's motivations, goals, personality, and what will make them happy to make sure that the candidate will be a good fit long-term. Hiring is a mutual investment, where the candidate invests in their career, and the company invests in him or her.

Since phone screens can take a lot of time, she respectfully cuts the conversation short if she knows that the candidate isn’t a fit. If someone is looking for an opportunity that she cannot offer, the call will be 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes. “I want to respect their time and give them a good experience no matter what,” Liza explains.

When she hires for the same position throughout the year, she also uses these phone screens to pipeline talent. For example, if she interviews an account manager who is interested, but isn’t ready to make a move. She then would consider that candidate for the same role opening up in 3-4 months. This is a great way to show hiring managers that you are ahead of the curve and already have warm leads.

Final thoughts

If your organization is going through hyper-growth or a hiring sprint and you are feeling overwhelmed, consider Liza’s advice on keeping your eyes on the prize: “Understand where the business is heading so you can have the right people when you need it. Your goal is to serve and empower the organization, and you can’t do it without the right talent. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I see our hires thrive and drive results at the company.”

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo

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