By Allie Hembree Martin
The United States unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, the lowest it has been since the 1960s. I sat down to talk with Hutchinson Consulting Partner Michael Tompkins to find out why, now more than ever, companies need to be using recruiters to fill their vacancies.
AHM: Why in this economy is it important to use a recruiter?
MT: Regardless of the unemployment rate, human resource professionals are busier than ever with operational tasks and they don’t have the time to sift through resumes. When you use a recruiter, you are getting to peel back several other layers to this onion called hiring.
Similar to real estate, the secret to success is knowing who out there is looking before they’ve made it public and we know who those people are. Even further than that, I would say 20 percent of the time, I will call someone in our database, and they may not be looking, but they will know someone else who is looking or maybe they decide this is too good of an opportunity to pass up and pursue the opening. You aren’t going to find that in any database out there.
AHM: How is Hutchinson Consulting different than other recruiters?
MT: There is a level of trust that you need to have with your recruiter. You are trusting the team with confidential information and we’ve seen success because we’ve done that for more than 25 years. The Hutchinson Consulting team fully vets candidates. We look into their background, interview their references, have a lengthy conversation with the candidate and provide a resume and narrative to the client. Once they’ve made it to that stage, we know they are qualified for the job and the HR team can see that right away.
While Hutchinson Consulting has 20,000 viable candidates in our database, what truly sets us apart is the experience our recruiters have. They’ve all been VPs, CEOs, General Managers, senior leaders in their industry, etc. We have a firm grasp on the industry and the team doesn’t just focus on recruiting, they serve on boards and committees for associations like International SPA Association (ISPA), Green Spa Network, Global Wellness Institute, they volunteer their time and are active in their own communities. We know how to connect with people on a professional level and this makes it easy for us to talk to people and find the right candidate. Our team has created a reputation that when we call a candidate, they listen. They know we have great opportunities.
AHM: Tell me how the typical recruiting process will work.
MT: Once we sign with a company, we get to work. Clients can expect to receive three to five resumes within a two-week period. What’s nice for everyone is we follow the client and the candidates through the process all the way until the end. We look for feedback with each step of the process and offer that to each party. I love this part of the process because a client may think a candidate has a short-coming. In fact, we talk to the candidate and they have exactly the experience the client is looking for allowing them to move forward in the process. We can take the extra time needed to dig into the details with the candidates. It is also extremely comforting to the candidate to have someone walking through this journey with them. Once an offer has been made to a candidate, we step out of the way and let the two parties negotiate.
AHM: The latest ISPA data shows that there are more than 370,00 employees in the United States spa industry, up from 365,000 the year before, but yet it has been reported that there are still 30,000 spa, salon and club job openings that need to be filled. What do these numbers tell you?
MT: There is a deep shortage of workers in the industry. On top of that, there are new players in the market; wellness groups, senior living, other industries that now want hospitality within their business. Because of this spa is further bleeding the talent we have in this industry. On the other hand, these new players have been a great opportunity for Hutchinson Consulting and our candidates! I am proud that we are also seen as a leader in the hotel, food and beverage, senior living, wellness, and massage industries.
This competition means you can’t drag out the hiring process! When there is such demand for qualified professionals, they expect a quick turnaround. Obviously, we don’t want a client to make a rash decision, but that’s where having a process laid out beforehand and allowing us to communicate that process to the candidates will keep expectations met. And once a client is hired, making the on boarding process resourceful keeps those employees engaged.
On the candidate side, if someone is interested in the role, but they aren’t suited for the environment, we will tell them. We don’t just put them through because they are qualified and want the job. We offer honesty to candidates and make the process efficient. We aren’t just placing people in a job; we are affecting people’s lives and future – often times for the better. We have the same responsibility to our clients in providing them with the most qualified candidates available for the success of their organization. We see our relationship from both sides as long term, and you don’t get that commitment from other recruitment firms.