Five Reasons Why You Need to Reward Managers for Great Strategic Hiring

Internal recruiting is generally a thankless task, with few rewards or incentives for those managers dedicated to scouring the pool of available candidates, locally and perhaps beyond the immediate region. This is unfortunate because in addition to going generally unrewarded and unrecognized, recruiting can be an extremely frustrating practice to be involved with. Sometimes candidates are unresponsive, unavailable, and even disappear at critical moments.

Hiring managers contribute to the stress of the situation by clamoring for faster fulfillment and more candidates. Bringing both sides together can literally be a nightmare at times, and it seems that the scenario wherein a great candidate is actually hired by the company, happens only after the anxiety level has escalated to a huge crescendo.

As opposed to hiring in quantity, strategic hiring is intended to fill specific positions which are considered to be critical to a company’s success, which makes recruiting just the right personnel all the more important. Here are some reasons why internal recruiters should be rewarded for the important service they provide to a business organization.

Increased performance

Sometimes internal recruiters have other functions within a company and recruiting for strategic hires is an added responsibility which they have been tasked with. That means finding good candidates is probably not going to be their top priority, and that it may even be addressed only when there are lulls in a manager’s normal primary routine. While this may be enough to get results in some cases, there’s a good chance that the lack of commitment will produce less than desirable outcomes.

If a recruiting manager were to be rewarded for a job well done, the incentive would probably increase commitment, so that better results might be achieved. With a reward system in place, there would probably be more managers vying for the position of the recruiter, and it would encourage more aggressive pursuit of appropriate candidates.

Ease of implementation

Rewarding recruiting managers amounts to a pay-for-performance model, and this is a framework which can easily be implemented at virtually any company. Since this same model is in use at thousands of companies, both big and small in this country, there are a number of examples to choose from and to emulate.

In fact, because there are so many existing models to choose from, there will almost certainly be several which fit the circumstances of any given company. It would be a simple matter to just copy the main features of such a program, install them in your own company, and then just wait for good results.

Manager retention

When recruiting managers achieve desirable results for a company, those accomplishments should not go unnoticed, because it can easily have the effect of making the recruiter feel like his/her efforts are not appreciated. This is one of the main reasons good employees leave companies – because they don’t feel that their contributions really mattered. Nowadays, it has become very difficult to retain good employees and good managers, because the Baby Boomer generation is leaving the workforce in droves, and the individuals bringing great skillsets into the workplace are at a premium.

It’s a well-known dictum of business that it’s much easier and much less costly to retain a good employee than it is to go through the long, drawn-out process of finding a new one. If recruiting managers were rewarded for their extra efforts, it would provide a stronger reason for staying on, and it would be a clear indication that their work was being appreciated.

Recruiting closely mimics the sales model

There’s not a lot of difference between making sales and closing the deal on hiring a new employee, and the distinct phases of each process incorporate many of the same activities and approaches.

Recruiters have to identify qualified prospects and assess their potential as targets, build relationships with those individuals, establish criteria for decision-making, prepare and deliver a ‘sales pitch’, and then actually close the ‘sale’. Sales personnel are generally well compensated for successfully carrying out all these activities, so why shouldn’t recruiting managers be compensated in a similar manner?

Performance-based recruiting is effective

One of the best reasons for implementing a pay-for-performance system in your company, with regard to compensating recruiters, is that it’s a system which has already proven to be highly effective. In fact, around 66% of companies with internal recruiters have performance models in place, and they have found that it produces results which solidly justify the compensation schedule.

Surveys which have been conducted on this topic have revealed some very interesting results, the first of which is that open positions are typically filled much faster, often within a calendar month. In situations where that rapid kind of turnaround doesn’t happen, higher quality short lists of candidates are more often developed by the motivated recruiter.

More phone calls, meetings, and note exchanges are also characteristic of incentivized recruiting managers. Statistically, there is a higher ratio of resume submissions to interviews with recruiters who are compensated for their performance.

Not surprisingly, it has also been discovered that managers tasked with strategic hiring responsibilities invest longer hours at work into the process, usually between 46 and 55 hours per work week. In some cases, the extra motivation of receiving pay for performance has even inspired recruiters to work additional hours from home, in order to expedite the job and bring about a successful conclusion to the candidate search.

The message here is clear – when a recruiter is paid above and beyond the normal pay scale for this kind of work, the effort invested is correspondingly above and beyond as well.


The reasons above should make it crystal clear that rewarding a recruiting manager for great performance is good for the manager and it’s good for the company. There’s simply a whole lot more reason for a recruiter to give extra time and effort when those efforts are being rewarded – this is a basic tenet of capitalism.

When internal recruiting is treated as just part of the job, the kind of effort invested tends to be no more than what’s expected as well. Recruiting managers should be compensated in line with the valuable service they provide to a company, and the entire company should recognize that provided value.

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