Can Using Recruiters Improve Hiring Success?

When your business is trying to find a great candidate for a job opening, you may work with recruiters or with an internal team to find the best person. Your job description may list what you hope for in terms of education and experience, but are you really getting at what makes a candidate successful in the long run? Your first reaction might be that someone with the proper formal background and a track record of success is the best match for you, but HR professionals are asking more and more if this is true.

Why Some Candidates Don’t Work Out

By looking only at candidates who stand out on paper, you may ignore those who might have intangible qualities that will make them a surefire success at your company. A great resume can blind hiring managers to other signs that the person may or may not be a good hirer. This is true even with high-level executive positions, where the candidate undergoes multiple interviews before being offered a contract. Statistics show that only a handful (10 to 20%) meet the performance expectations tied to them.

So what is the problem? In many cases, interviewers ignore the old cliche about how you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Some candidates with years of experience and a bag full of degrees just don’t fit into the hiring company. No matter what a company does and how big or small they are, they have ways of doing things and a company culture that a new hire must assimilate to. Even when companies know they are in trouble and seek “new blood” to change things up, some candidates are unable to acquire enough of the flavor of the company to make changes.

Can recruiters improve hiring success?Searching For The Best “Network Fit”

This concept of “network fit,” which refers to a candidate’s ability to pull the team together, often proves more important than having specific skills. If a new manager, division leader, or president can’t rally the troops, current staffers may plant their feet in the ground and refuse changes that the new hire wants to implement.

Why does the lack of “network fit” not always come up before someone is hired? The answer may be with the candidate, the recruiting process, or the company itself. For example:

  • The candidate’s work style, way of handling coworkers, or communication skills may not be apparent during the hiring process.
  • The recruiters may have asked the wrong questions or been concerned about the wrong thing. They may have checked references to verify the candidate’s successes, but not asked enough about his approach.
  • The company may not have been realistic about what they needed or how much support they were prepared to give the new hire.

Regardless of the reason, poor “network fit” is a prevailing reason for many poor hiring decisions, whether the process was handled by an inside team or an outside recruiter. Since internal personnel are the ones who make the final decision, the “fault” may be with the company itself.

Improving Hiring Success With Recruiters

Using recruiters can increase the efficacy of hiring just the right people for a job opening. The way to make this happen, however, is to be open to an in-depth discussion of what your company thinks it needs and what it really needs, based on the company culture, budget, technology, and other factors. When recruiters work carefully with internal HR personnel and hiring managers, they get a better view of what makes the business tick. In turn, they are able to better select and presents candidates who have the elusive “network fit.”


The Lawler Group of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a team of executive recruiters who work with employers and candidates to match up talent. Part of the global MRINetwork, the group has over 40 years of experience in the industry and guarantees a customized search to meet your business recruiting and personal career needs.