You need to pay more attention to who is doing your recruiting. Probably.
I spend a lot of time talking to recruiters, I have a bunch here to manage, I am always looking for another one to hire, most of my friends are recruiters, a lot of my corporate contacts are recruiters, you get the picture. I even recruit recruiters for corporate clients from time to time, although, with the challenges most companies face hiring the people they need in China I am always surprised at how little attention is paid to this crucial position.
Many of the corporate recruiting positions in China are the second lowest position in the HR department and not particularly well paid. Some recruiters are paying their dues, some enjoy the work, and others have been handed a job for which they are not well suited. In this market I advise anyone interested in improving their internal talent to take a long hard look at their own recruiting staff.
I often hear that companies have named hiring the right people as their number one challenge in China. I often wonder,then, why they are not using one of their sales people as a recruiter. Great recruiters are great sales people in that they specialize in drilling down to core issues involved in prospect decision making and they are good at meeting rebuttals with information. This is a personality type that you will most readily find in your own sales department or that of one of your competitors.
AdMark China is often chosen by our clients here because we are experienced professionals who know the market and the positions we work on very well. When we talk to a candidate we are able to connect with him or her on a professional level and, as a result, we have more influence with our candidates. If you are having trouble getting the best candidates it may be because they need to connect with someone at your company who makes a better impression. Your candidates have a lot of options in this market and if you are not doing everything you can to impress them with your company's professionalism and culture you are going to miss out on too many of them.
Your top people have also met with good (and bad) corporate recruiters, make a point of asking who they know. Good recruiters stand out and they will remember. You can also find out who recruited away your employees during their exit interviews. If you keep up with this kind of information gathering you will begin to build a list of recruiters you should be contacting. Keep up with them and treat them like the money makers they are and you may end up with a top recruiting team.
Third party recruiters make excellent internal recruiters, as well, but they make good money and usually enjoy a certain amount of freedom and Independence that you may not be able to offer them so be prepared to pay if you go this route.
Finally, if you are really serious about recruiting, if you really want to hire away the best from your competition and see top line results from the professionals you have hired you should probably handle this function at the highest level your organization can handle. In very competitive markets that are short on talent it is not unusual for hiring mangers, Controllers, and General Managers to be fully engaged in this process.
If you are managing a company here in China or are responsible for the hiring function it might be a good idea to honestly assess if your current recruiters are good enough to get the best.