I have been Recruiting in Transportation for almost 15 years now and the question “why use a recruiter?” has probably come up about a 1000 times and asked in about 100 different variations?  The question is usually asked because of several good reasons:

  1. A recruiting fee is not insignificant and for some companies a little hard to swallow.
  2. Some companies have in-house recruiters and feel like they should have better success recruiting transportation pros
  3. In today’s digital online world it should be easier than ever to “attract” top talent with Job Postings (think LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and Indeed.com)

When I have this conversation with potential new clients they are usually very frustrated and way behind in the hiring process because “nothing has worked” or “our applicants aren’t even close to what we need”….etc…etc…  The key word in the above paragraph and I have it in quotations is “attract”, and I want to share a few thoughts on this word.  Too often companies think people should be beating down their door wanting to go to work for them and they think by placing Job Postings with the usual suspects they will “attract” top talent.  Is it possible, yes is it probable……not very often.  The undeniable fact that keeps professional recruiters busy whether in Transportation or any other sector is that top talent does not give a rats rear end about Job Postings on Job Boards, and the vast majority are gainfully and happily employed and too busy to be bothered “checking to see what is out there”.  Now, I’m not saying that you should not Post Jobs, we do it all the time and especially on our website which has tremendous traffic, but I am saying that you have to be realistic about who you think you will “attract” in doing so.   Over the years I can tell you with certainty that for every 100 online applications we get only 3 to 5 applicants are of interest for the position posted.

So, the #1 reason you use a recruiter  is because they do what you or your staff don’t have the time or the ability to do and that is reach out to people who have no idea your job exists.   In the biz, we call it “sourcing”, and there is a whole sub-industry within recruiting dedicated to techniques, programs and services that help make you effective at it.  Bottom line is, an effective recruiter invests the time and effort to “source” top talent that has no idea you job exists and presents your opportunity in a way that makes it easy to determine if it the right time and fit for them to pursue the opportunity.  This process can require hundreds of phone calls, emails and texts with no guarantee of success, but a good recruiter just keeps after it until a good slate of candidates emerges.