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Industry Insights

Mistakes Labs Make When Working With Recruiters

By: Tara Luellen, MA, Vice President of Laboratory Director Services, Lighthouse Lab Services

This is Part 3 in our series on best practices for hiring a Lab Director. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, click below to read them. Or click here to register for our Sept. 29 Lab Director webinar.

When I connect with a new client, I always ask them if they have previous experience working with a recruiter. Those who have don’t typically tout it as an enjoyable or successful process, and those who haven’t are oftentimes scared of the horror stories they’ve heard from colleagues. However, working with a recruiter should be a near painless process that makes finding and securing your next hire easier on you, not harder!


Give feedback in a timely manner

Here’s my biggest tip on working with a recruiter: provide feedback. Give too much feedback, even. Tell us all the minute details of why you’re passing on a particular candidate. What may seem like trivial information to you can sometimes actually be the thing that results in a successful hire!

The biggest problem we as recruiters have with our clients is obtaining feedback on candidates in a timely manner. This occurs throughout the recruiting cycle, but is especially detrimental to the process during two specific times:

  • When the candidate is first submitted for your consideration.
  • After an interview has occurred (phone, virtual, in-person, or otherwise).

Candidates who are on the market for new jobs don’t remain available for long. If a recruiter has a qualified candidate for your review, that candidate is also likely considering other opportunities concurrently. Given the candidate shortage, and the fact that the supply of candidates for laboratory positions is not meeting current demand, taking even an extra day to respond to a candidate’s resume can mean missing out on an opportunity to work with that candidate altogether. Laboratory professionals are being hired that quickly these days.

If a lab recruiter sends you a candidate that, for whatever reason, you do not have interest in interviewing, it’s okay to say exactly that to your recruiter; your communication with your recruiter should be open, transparent, and honest. Recruiters are professionals and will find a way to break the news gently to the candidate to inform them they are not the right fit for your particular position. In fact, we deliver that news much more often than we get to celebrate a job offer with our candidates.

We would never provide feedback in an unfeeling or insensitive manner, as it would not be in our best interest either since we would likely hope to place that candidate with a different client if he or she is not the best fit for you. Providing direct feedback on submitted individuals’ qualifications and experience is pivotal to the recruiter’s ability to adjust the search so candidates you want to interview can be identified!


How to proceed post interview

After interviewing a candidate, take time to reflect upon that interaction, and then reach out to your recruiter to share your honest thoughts – feedback does not need to be lengthy to be helpful. Recruiters are looking for candidates who, on paper, meet the qualifications you need for the specific role they’ll be fulfilling at your laboratory or company. However, the candidate also needs to be a good personality fit for joining your team, something for which it’s much harder to screen. Providing even just a few points of feedback after an interview, positive or negative, can help move that candidate forward in the process so you don’t miss out on hiring them.

For candidates you aren’t interested in after interviewing them, providing feedback as to why you came to that conclusion will help your recruiter adjust the search accordingly so your time isn’t wasted considering other candidates with similar characteristics and/or qualifications who may not be a great fit for you. Good recruiters are constantly adjusting their search efforts based on feedback obtained from the client so the most ideal candidate can ultimately be hired.

As you can see, feedback is more important to the recruiting process than most people realize. The clients who are the most satisfied with our recruiting efforts and who seem to retain their employees longest are those who work to effectively communicate good feedback to their recruiter throughout the recruiting process for each hire.


Make sure your Lab Director recruiter fits

Another thing that can be helpful is to work with a lab recruiter who is an expert in your specific industry. Many recruiting agencies fill positions in multiple industries; however, for the labs in particular, which have several nuances involved in hiring qualified individuals given state, federal, and accrediting bodies’ regulations and requirements, working with a recruiter who is not as familiar with your industry can equate to less than ideal candidate results. A recruiter is unable to unlock the secrets to industry after performing one search; it takes years of working in an industry to learn this information.

I have been recruiting for Lab Directors for five years, and I still learn new things every day. The industry and regulations are also constantly changing, so someone who does not work explicitly within your industry cannot possibly stay abreast of such changes and how they may affect your business and hiring needs. Lighthouse Lab Services is proud to have specialized itself within the clinical laboratory industry; we do not offer recruiting or our other services to other industries, which allows us to focus our expertise and efforts to continue to serve our clients well in hiring specially qualified individuals to join their team. Our recruiting services are also always contingent-only and risk-free to our clients, meaning that, should you not hire a candidate we have presented you, we will never send you an invoice.

We stand behind our high-quality recruiting services and the candidates we heavily vet for your consideration. Let us change your mind about working with recruiters the next time you have a staffing need in your laboratory, and be sure to provide good feedback to your recruiter throughout the process!

Want to get started? Contact us today!


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