Many people think the reason to engage a search firm is to get help with recruiting.  Well, maybe that approach works in big companies, but in small firms great recruiting is nearly useless by itself.

Hiring smart internal recruiters, engaging search firms, and even turning the recruiting process over to a Recruitment Process Outsourcing firm is usually a really bad idea for small organizations.  Recruiting support is absolutely useless to you if it is not integrated within a cohesive hiring and performance management process.

Do you ever wonder why so many companies are frustrated and disappointed by contingency search firms?  It’s because most contingency search firms do not see it as their “place” to suggest how organizations should run their internal hiring process.  So contingent search firms focus their efforts on recruiting.  But great hiring involves a lot more than recruiting.  And you can’t improve the whole until all the parts work together:

A great hiring process is a “force multiplier” for a great performance management process, and vice versa – both processes support and multiply the effectiveness of the other.

But recruiting?  Don’t even think about spending money on recruiting until the rest of your hiring process warrants the investment – you will just be pouring fine champagne in a dirty, leaky, plastic cup.