At the risk of sounding like a broken record by quoting from my favorite business author/philosopher Seth Godin yet again, here is what Seth has to say about the difference between recruiting and simply hiring:
Hiring is what you do when you let the world know that you’re accepting applications from people looking for a job.
Recruiting is the act of finding the very best person for a job and persuading them to stop doing what they’re doing and come join you.
If you take only one thing away from that quote, it’s that there is a BIG difference between hiring and recruiting. I think that this distinction may be the most important reason that employers and savvy job seekers reach out to recruiters as a component of their job search.
Law firms and in-house legal departments realize that the job market is significantly better than it was even last year, and to see the very best candidates for a position, they need to utilize a recruiter to expand their candidate pool.
Placing an ad simply lets the world know you are accepting applications. You need to PERSUADE someone to join you. That ability to position your opportunity vis-a-vis a candidate’s currently job is a key role of the recruiter. They need to be able to make the case to the candidate why they might be better off leaving their job for a new opportunity, and that ix oftentimes a very tough thing to do.
Ads, website postings, tweets and other traditional ways of announcing openings rarely have the ability to persuasively “sell” an opportunity. That’s what top recruiters do every day.
In short, if you are an employer looking to fill a position and you can’t show that your job is one worth quitting for, you will never have the deepest candidate pool to choose from until you are able to reach candidates and EXPLAIN why your position is such a great opportunity.