One Part Detective, One Part Salesperson Extraordinaire

Technology has changed everything — how we work, love, live and learn, travel, read, exercise and rest, transact business, make friends and even raise our children.

It also has rewritten the rules of hiring, morphing from the old “wait-and-see” attitude of attracting applicants into an innovative, proactive approach of targeting and reeling in the best possible people for the job.

At Duffy Group, we employ a method called Recruitment Research, a little-known offshoot of executive search. Duffy Group brought Recruitment Research to corporate America as a means of quickly identifying first-rate candidates at fees well below those charged by traditional recruiters.

What is Recruitment Research?

Simply, Recruitment Research is precisely and successfully targeting the people that are the best match for a company’s open positions. Equal parts detective and skilled salesperson, Duffy Group’s highly trained practice leaders use a flexible, multistep methodology that begins with learning our clients’ business and ends with a list of interested, qualified candidates.

Strategy is at the core of the process and it is followed by digging in to uncover hidden talent. That means reaching beyond job boards to find the right people and then piquing potential candidates’ interest in what could be a career move that is beneficial for them and their new employer. The goal is to serve up the most qualified candidates for interviews, but also give clients comprehensive market data, including other candidate names, background details and contact information, that could be useful for future searches.

How exactly does it work?

The foundation of Duffy Group’s process is a required in-depth situation assessment to understand our clients’ culture, personality, projects and strategic plan, the job’s requirements, responsibilities and specific skill set, as well as our clients’ past search strategies.

We use a comprehensive intake form to collect data about our clients’ recruiting targets, geographic preferences, salary and compensation levels, communication expectations and industry-specific vernacular.

Working with a practice leader, our clients’ hiring leaders’ investment of time on the front end is tantamount to the search’s success. Once the intake form is completed, Duffy Group’s disciplined, four-part recruiting process begins to take shape.

The building blocks of the process

Building a sourcing strategy — We start by learning everything about our clients’ businesses and the type of people they want to recruit.

For example, clients may need a product manager, but there may be 15 types of product managers, and we want to hit the bulls-eye right out of the gate. The client may — or may not — want us to target competitors, may be in a new industry and not know who the players are, or may not even know what they want in a new position. As part of the Recruitment Research process, our job is to roll up our sleeves and find out.

Name generation — Armed with information from our client briefing, we begin identifying candidates whose backgrounds, education and experiences dovetail with their needs. We use a variety of methods — from cold-calling and Internet tools to probing professional organizations, trade shows and chambers of commerce — to find people who are looking for new careers – and some who may not be looking at all.

This is where the detective work shines. Our practice leaders excel in being smart, diligent, efficient, respectful, adaptive and prepared.

Recruitment candidate vetting — List in hand, Duffy Group then contacts all viable candidates to pre-qualify them. Because getting people to return calls may be difficult, our outreach message is compelling with the sizzle around why they should consider the opportunity. For a candidate, that is hard to resist.

Once we have a candidate’s attention, we ask a series of “hurdle questions”: Are they interested in relocating to a particular area? Do they have the right educational or experience requirements? Would they be interested in the job our client is trying to fill? Salary and compensation expectations also are broached.

During this step, our recruiters are building internal talent pools from which clients can use for this hire and others to come.

As one Duffy Group client said, “The best can’t be hired, they must be courted.“

Highly qualified and fully screened candidates — Duffy Group may search as many as 100 candidates for one position, and through the vetting process present a short list of interested, qualified candidates. The deliverables include a comprehensive research report with market data, customized in-depth candidate profiles and resumes. The first candidates are typically seen in 10 to 15 business days.

Our clients own the candidate database that could be useful as their business changes and new employees are needed. We think of it as a talent database to carry them into the future.

The benefits of Recruitment Research

Recruitment Research is as much of an art as a science, but the rewards are evident in the form of qualified candidates who can hit the ground running on Day 1.

It’s a model based on collaboration and trust between the client and Recruitment Research firm, and one that is based on billable time, similar to a professional services organization. There is no retainer fee that can add up, on average, to one-third of successful candidates’ first-year total compensation. Nor is there a contingency fee, which often run as high as 25 percent.

Instead, clients can unbundle the search process and choose parts or the entire process resulting in average cost savings of up to 50 percent per project.