CFO by day, hiring manager by night

...unfortunately, though, I’ve lately been getting more
involved with hiring. What I’ve discovered is that most of the hiring channels
this company has been exploiting for 10-odd-years are ridiculously expensive.
And quite honestly, the quality of employees obtained from these channels
simply does not justify the cost. There are a few exceptions, like the
recruiting company Dayak – but their model, which pools together recruiters
that compete to fill job openings, is highly anomalous and lends itself to
lower prices as well. Most recruiting boards will suck at least 25% of new
employees’ salaries, as well as other fees. I’ve instructed the hiring managers
to be far more careful when they post job openings...

Any other successful avenues to pursue here?




  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Using external recruiters is the path of greatest dollar cost but lowest disturbance to your operations.  That's the biggest reason why hiring managers love to send it out of the house: they don't have to do their job in addition to the job of trying to find a good employee.  It also means they can offset some of the accountability for the hire decision. Alternatively, as may be the case at your company, people just do what's always been done for as far back as anybody can remember.

    Doing your own recruitment and selection is the lowest cost avenue but it takes time and work and can result in hiring managers hiring the first decent-appearing person they can find so that they can get back to their job.  Having someone take on the initial search to pare down a pool of applicants to a slate of qualified-looking applicants that the hiring manager can rank will make the process less of a pain for the hiring manager.  The recruiter can then do screening interviews and then take the top players for an in-house interview with the hiring manager.  This is a common practice.  If you do not have an internal recruiter, then contract one.  It will still be cheaper than using a search firm, even if you fork over for searching rights on some major job boards.

    Search firms can be better than in-house for critical positions for which you don't have the right knowledge and skills internally to be able to assess what is needed in the new hire and if any particular candidate has what is needed.

    What type of position(s) has your company been flipping to external recruiters?

  • I am not a big fan of having the hiring manager doing all the work to hire new employees.  With different managers hiring for different positions you are likely to have inconsistencies in your processes and the messages going out to candidates.  You really need one person that is in charge of the hiring process and have the hiring managers involved in the interview process. 

    You could potentially hire someone part time to do recruiting for you (or contract out as TXHRGuy mentioned).  This person could make sure that the job ads send a consistent message (and don't contain anything illegal), make sure you have interview guides for the positions you are trying to fill (and make sure no illegal questions are on these guides), make sure interiew process is followed for everyone (certain number of interviews, reference checks, background checks, drug screens, etc - whatever the process is for your company), offer letters have all the appropriate information, etc.  Also if you are going to do a lot of recruiting over the next year, then it may make sense to get a yearly package with one or more of the job boards (with both posting and resume search features).  For what you are paying recruiting firms for one new hire, you can get a package for the entire year with one of the job boards.

    Is the company not large enough to warrant someone in Human Resources?  What about if you hired someone part time?  Who is doing your new hire orientations, benefits administration, payroll, etc.  If the company is continuing to grow then maybe hiring a person in HR is necessary.



  • On reflection, I was under the assumption that there was in-house HR.  I would not expect a business manager to write ad copy or to go through the recruitment process with no guidance or oversight.  However, I'll stand by my statement that hiring managers can play a much larger role than calling a search firm and asking them to send someone over who's good

    Think of it this way: if you hire 4 or 5 people a year, the fee you are paying to the search firms is another FTE.  Wouldn't you rather just have another FTE with all of the additional potential productivity for the same cost if you could use that person to take on significant responsibilities in recruiting?

  • I appreciate all your helpful feedback.  Right now I am looking for a QA Team, 2 right now and depending on who leads will see about additional members 3rd quarter.  I need a Cognos 8 developer, this could be a virtual position.  Also looking for a Customer Account Manager... more of a liason between my not so organized sales guys and the clients.  And last but not least we are bringing all our marketing in-house so would like to get an Adobe Photoshop friendly creative type to generate a new line of brochures for our latest product, the trade show materials and signs etc.

    One of the reasons I chose Dayak was that they offered to post the jobs for us.  They got my attention right away with that type of "above and beyond" customer service above and beyond.  So I was able to relay the information by phone and they did all the work for me on their end. 

    My pet peeve about Monster is the pricing packages and 1 location equals 1 job posting.  Never quite sure how to market the virtual positions.  Anyway, trying something new.  Will let you know how it works out.

    C Waters

  • It appears that you are choosing to accept the cost of the service apparently to minimize the impact the search could have on operations if conducted more in-house.  That is, because they will do things like post job opportunities for you, you prefer to use their service.  There's nothing wrong with that, but let's be clear about what's being done and why.

    Now, with more information about what you are looking to hire, I'll say that I've have had shockingly good results using Craig's List for technical recruiting both on the West coast and in Texas.  I've found a highly qualified software QC manager, technical CSRs, and a field engineer through that venue.

    Posting of ads is the easy part.  Making ad copy that is meaningul and speaks to the correct audience and then sifting through resumes is hard.

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