B2B Services: What You Need to Know

Finding qualified vendors to manage crucial areas of your business is no simple matter. We make it a lot easier, with advice from local pros.

Find People Who Find the Right People

When a prospect recently asked Don Zinn for help finding a CEO for her firm, she mentioned that her five-person search team was already talking to three candidates. “If we are wowed by one of these three, we’ll make the hire,” she said.

“How do you define wow?” Zinn recalls asking her. “Do you agree on what wow means?” he went on. “What if each of you has a different interpretation of what wow means, and you hire the wrong person for CEO?”

Asking tough questions like these is a big part of Zinn’s role as a partner at the executive search and recruitment firm Jobplex Inc., which has an office in Tarrytown. While many companies see hiring as just another item on their to-do list, he views recruitment as a strategic process. “Whenever you are making a new hire, there is a new opportunity to define the business,” he says. “A good client will allow me to work with them and become part of their team.”

So how do you find outsourced human-resources professionals who can help you take your team and your company culture to the highest level?

“You want to partner with a company that is ideally local to your market and has a good finger on the pulse, in terms of what hiring profiles are in demand, what the appropriate salary levels are, and what skill sets are hard to find,” recommends Jason Witty, vice president at Robert Half, which has offices in White Plains and Stamford.

To get a sense of how a recruiter thinks and whether there is synergy between you, ask some key questions, Witty advises: What hiring trends do you see in the marketplace? What compensation trends are you seeing? Who are the last two or three people you placed?

Also, ask how many candidates a recruiter typically vets to fill a position. Finding the best talent is ultimately a numbers game. Zinn often aims to speak to 150 people, succeeds in reaching 75, winnows that group down to 15 to interview and then will present four or five to the client.

Once you find an HR pro you trust, being open about your culture and strategic goals is key. “In order for us to deliver the best service to our clients, we need to know who they are,” says Witty. “I ask them, ‘Why would a candidate who is looking at two, three, or four different opportunities choose to work for your company? Is it the culture? The growth? The compensation or benefits that are being offered? What is really attractive about your company versus others?’”

The best way to determine if your recruiter is doing a good job is to look around your office. If you’re thrilled with the candidates you have hired as a result of the work you’ve done together, that’s a powerful indicator that you have a great partnership. “It boils down to having a deep and trusting relationship,” says Witty.

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