Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

You Get What You Pay For
October 13, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Recruiting, Research

I recently received a phone call from an old colleague of mine at a company we both used to work for. It was great to hear from him and to get caught up on the last several years. In our discussion, I discovered that the company has had a difficult time finding (and keeping) researchers who produced any kind of quality for the recruiters. There have been at least 3 researchers that have come and gone since I left and unfortunately they haven’t lasted long. I asked a little about the researchers and discovered that they were all fresh out of college when brought on. Which got me thinking about a couple of things…

This post is not to say that people who are fresh out of school can’t do recruiting research. They certainly can, and they can excel at it as well. But there are a couple of considerations that must be taken when you are looking to build your internet research team, the most important of which is this: you WILL get what you pay for. I have 2 suggestions for making investments in your research and ensuring that you don’t have a revolving door of researchers in your organization:

  • If you need research and you need it now, hire for experience. Invest in a seasoned, experienced researcher who comes with knowledge of resources, procedures, recruiting tools, and industry. This will cost you however; good researchers typically command anywhere from $50,000 on up for base salary, based on how experienced they are. The return on your investment is that you will have a person who needs little training and who can hit the ground running upon being hired.
  • If you need immediate cost effectiveness, go ahead and hire the new college graduate. But you will need to provide them with proper training, tools, and resources in order to protect your investment. Without proper training, you are setting a newbie up for failure from the get-go, and you are starting a revolving-door process that will end up costing you more in the long-run than if you invest a little initially to get your new researcher up to speed. Sending a soldier into battle with no armor will almost guarantee them not to return alive.

Sadly, a lot of what I have seen over the years is the cheap hybrid of these two: hire a new college graduate, and expect them to be a great researcher with just a cheat sheet and a free LinkedIn account. While one in a million will find a way to make it happen (and if you have that individual – they deserve a raise or you’ll lose them fast), most will flounder without appropriate training and resources. You really can’t have your cake and eat it too in this situation. Research is not, and should not be, an afterthought on a recruiting team. It’s not something that, upon signing up for a free LinkedIn account or running someone through one free “Sourcing 101” webinar, will yield much quality. If you care for the success of your researcher, and your company, you need to invest – either by hiring experience or investing in appropriate training for your brand new researcher.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great article! I’ve tried to work with researchers in the past -but they just didnt understand the industry that I was in. I’ve done research for other recruiters through split placements but what I’ve found is the best researchers are born and bred recruiters from the get go. Combining both research (finding candidates for other people) with recruiting (biz dev) makes for a full time job that takes up quite a bit of time.

Comment by Brian Pho

“Without proper training, you are setting a newbie up for failure from the get-go”

I’m in a different industry but I am sure glad to see someone reconize this. Thanks for this post, it’s a very important for both new professionals and small biz owners.

Comment by Marcus Andrews

This is all so true, I wrote it a month ago here “Value of True Research” would love to see the mindset shift from recruiters.

Comment by Sara Chi

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