Software engineers, data scientists and nurses are among the jobs that cause the biggest talent wars between companies, but the most strategic hire many companies will make in the next twelve months won't be one of those titles.

According to new research as part of Glassdoor's Local Pay Reports by Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, your recruiter may be the most important hire your company makes this year. The study indicates recruiter pay has increased the most -- more than any other job title -- year over year, growing by 7.4 percent to a median base salary of $51,216. In fact, recruiter pay has grown 3x faster than overall U.S. pay growth (2.1 percent) year over year.

Today, Recruiters Need to Be 'Hunters' Instead of 'Gatherers.'

Dr. Chamberlain's research indicates these pay surges are linked to companies relying more on passive candidates to fill jobs, putting recruiters in high demand. Gone are the days where recruiters can simply "post and pray" on job boards, hoping to scoop up dozens of resumes from qualified candidates. In a tight labor market where the war for talent is high, recruiters need to hunt down and connect with "passive candidates" a/k/a people not currently looking for work on job boards.

Major Recruiting Mistake Companies Are Making

Keith Langbo, founder of Kelaca, a recruiting agency headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina says replacing the 'post and pray' mentality with a more strategic recruiting plan is not the only reason why the cost of recruiting talent is on the rise. "Companies are failing to make recruiting a dedicated priority. They say that their talent is their greatest assets, but when it comes to building the right candidate attraction process, they don't deliver." Langbo says his clients are often too busy to dedicate the time or resources to creating a strong internal recruiting program, resulting in their need to outsource the work to his firm. Langbo says training his own recruiters to be hunters is the key. "When I started the company, I built an intense training program so I could hire people with a non-recruiting background. That way, I could get individuals with no bad habits, like relying on post and pray methods for finding talent."

Signs Your Recruiters Don't Have The Right Strategy For Today's Market

If you're wondering whether your current recruiters have what it takes to succeed in today's competitive talent market, ask your team the following:

1. Where do your recruiters get the majority of candidates for your position? i.e. online job postings, referrals, or proactive outreach to professionals that meet your criteria. If your company still relies heavily on 'post and pray' recruiting, the quality of the candidates you're getting is lower.

2. How long does it take your company to fill a position? Is your time to fill rate getting longer? If so, then it means your recruiters aren't building talent pipelines to help you hire quickly.

3. Has the quality of candidates gone up or down in the last six months? Are your recruiters claiming they just can't find the kind of talent they used to? Again, an indication they don't know how to strategically gain the attention and trust of the better quality candidates.

4. Are you seeing an increase in turnover of new hires? Are the new people you're hiring falling short of expectations and either A) being terminated, or B) leaving voluntarily while saying the company was a poor fit? This is a sign your recruiters aren't hiring talent that truly fits your company.

The significant increase in recruiter compensation is a sign companies are recognizing the need to have the most skilled professionals to help them recruit top talent. Now is the time to take a closer look at your own recruiter's skills and abilities. If you need a better recruiting strategy, you should be prepared to pay for it. Or, as Langbo is doing, invest in training to make your existing recruiters better at proactive process needed to win the war for talent.

Published on: Jun 6, 2017